Get ready, folks: an 18 year old high school senior that has never gambled before is about to give you gambling advice. Now, hear me out. I have never gambled nor do I suggest you gamble. That being said, I do think it is pretty fun to gamble millions of dollars in fantasy land where life has no consequences. I learned about over/under for win totals a couple years ago, and have made my predictions for the NBA twice. For the 2017-18 NBA season, I went 17/30 on my predictions, and for the 2018-19 season I went 14/30. Not amazing, but not horrible. How that relates to picking NFL predictions? I am not sure. But, hopefully it lets you know that I have some semi-competence when it comes to this kind of thing. This is my first time predicting NFL win totals before the season, but football was my first love and obsession. I think I should be pretty good at this. Most of the time in the NFL, nothing changes. The Patriots make the Super Bowl. My beloved Vikings have a cursed kicking game. The Lions and Titans are always mediocre. Nothing changes. Stay tuned to the end for some bonus props and predictions. Without further ado, here we go.
Chicago Bears – 9.5 wins: OVER
Man, do I hate the Bears. They are just gross. What is even worse is the fact that they are kinda good. This offseason they lost their defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to the Denver Broncos, which is a huge loss. But for the most part they returned almost all of their team, and added David Montgomery from Iowa State. I’m picking the over, just based on the amount of talent on their team
Green Bay Packers – 9.5 Wins: UNDER
The Packers did a lot in the offseason to improve their defense and try to squeeze the last bit of Aaron Rodgers prime out. Here is the thing, though: I am not a huge fan of Aaron Rodgers. To be honest, he kind of sucked last season, and got the coach fired that led him to a Super Bowl in 2010. He has a brand new coach named Matt La Fleur, but I do not think Rodgers is at the stage in his career where a new scheme will lead him to the playoffs. He’s done. Take the under!
Minnesota Vikings – 9.5 Wins: UNDER
Oh, the Vikings. My squad. The team that I cried over after the 2009 NFC Championship (I am still not over it). Kirk Cousins and the boys are looking to get a ring before their Super Bowl widow closes. After watching every single Vikings game last year, I am just not a believer in what they have going on. Particularly, Kirk Cousins. It’s just so mehhhhhh. I love Thielen and Diggs, and think they are the best wide receiver duo in the league. I also think they have some absolute savages on the defensive side of the ball, but with Kirk at the helm and some question marks on the offensive line, I don’t see much improvement from last year. I see 8-8. That being said, I think that my boys have a chance to go all the way to the Super Bowl if the dominoes fall in the right direction. I would be pleasantly surprised, but, it is just tough for me to pick the over when the last time I watched them they were a textbook definition of mediocre.
Detroit Lions – 6.5 Wins: UNDER
This one does not take much explaining. There is nothing about the Lions that I am in love with. Yes, Kenny Golladay is somehow starting on my fantasy team, but other than that, all I see is a below average football team. I am not sure I have ever been alive for an exciting Lions football team (shoutout to Megatron, though), and I do not expect that to change this year. I am confidently taking the under because who would want to gamble on Matthew Stafford and Matt Patricia?
New Orleans Saints – 10.5 Wins: UNDER
Just a year ago, the Saints were a few plays away from the Super Bowl. They have one of the most dynamic offenses in the NFL, and are one of the most entertaining teams to watch. Drew Brees is due for regression since he is getting older, but he was in MVP conversations last year. I owned him in fantasy and have to say, at the beginning of the season he was on fire, but as the season progressed, his play worsened, especially when the weather was cold and he was not in the Superdome. They lost Mark Ingram, but added Latavius Murray in his place which does not lose much in my opinion. They had a super small draft class but should have a few contributors from there, and added veteran tight end Jared Cook as another weapon for Brees. I think the Saints are still a playoff team, but I am picking the under due to Drew Brees getting older and having poor play towards the end of the season.
Atlanta Falcons – 8.5 Wins: OVER
The Falcons have a fantastic offense led by Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman, and Matt Ryan. That group has consistently made the Falcons relevant, and almost won them a Super Bowl. The defense on the other hand has been kind of lackluster. Last season the Falcons went 7-9, but I think they are better than that. They had three of their best starters on defense either miss the entire season or most it. With those guys back, I think Atlanta improves on that side of the ball. They added two starting caliber offensive lineman in the first round of the draft, and seem bound to improve this year I am taking the over.
Carolina Panthers – 8 Wins: UNDER
The Panthers have a lot of young talent on their team. They have a fantasy stud in Christian McCaffrey, and some other young promising players on both sides of the ball. Luke Kuechly remains an elite middle linebacker, and the Panthers still have the coaching staff that led them to a Super Bowl a few years ago. Here is the thing though, Cam Newton has a bad shoulder. The dude is really injury prone. I can not buy into a team that could have their season ripped away from them easily. Cam is just too risky. I am taking the under.
Tampa Bay Bucaneers – 6.5 Wins: OVER
I do not believe in Jameis Winston. He has a great arm, but turns the ball over about three times a game. But, that being said, the Bucs bringing in Bruce Arians is key. In the past, he has had fantastic offenses and the Bucs do not lack talent on that side of the ball (except for at running back). Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are a dynamic receiver duo. The Bucs also drafted a stud linebacker in Devin White, and signed Ndamukong Suh. This could be the year where they can actually make some noise. I am all in on Arians with the collection of weapons the Bucs have. I am taking the over.
Los Angeles Rams – 10.5 Wins: OVER
This one is pretty simple. The Rams made the Super Bowl last year. Their roster is so stacked. They have one of the best coaches in the league in Sean McVay. I think they will be hungry this season due to their poor Super Bowl showing last year. This is one of the easiest choices I made. Take the over all day long.
Seattle Seahawks:- 8.5 Wins: OVER
The Seahawks are kind of a boring team to watch. Last year they pounded the rock more than they should have with an elite quarterback like Russell Wilson. They might do the same this year, but at this rate, I am just buying into the infrastructure. The Seahawks have not gone under nine wins since 2011. That’s seven years of being a solid football team. That is 38.88% of my life that they have been a top tier team. I do not expect that to change this year. I am taking the over.
San Fransisco 49ers – 8.5 Wins: UNDER
This was one of the most shockingly high numbers. Last year Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL and the Niners were really bad. George Kittle (go Hawks) was an absolute monster. But other than that, I am not a huge fan of their roster. I’m not sure how their number is so high. I do not think Jimmy G is that great, nor do I think that the Niners are. I am easily taking the under.
Arizona Cardinals – 5.5 Wins: UNDER
The Cardinals are my underrated watch on Sunday Ticket team. I am excited to see how Kliff Kingsbury transitions to the NFL, and how well he takes Heisman winner Kyler Murray (my starting Fantasy QB) with him. David Johnson has become a little underrated these days due to a rough season last year. Larry Fitzgerald is somehow still on the team, but when you think about their defense, it gets a little dicey. The Cardinals defense is one of the worst in the league. They are so bad that it is kind of unfathomable. The offense could be fun, but this is not a good football team. Take the under.
Philadelphia Eagles – 10.5 Wins: OVER
The Eagles are one of the best teams in the NFL. They probably have the best roster top to bottom. Their talent on both sides of the ball is ridiculous. They get better each and every offseason. They beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl two seasons ago, and I would not be shocked if we saw a rematch. The over is an easy pick.
Dallas Cowboys – 9 Wins: OVER
The Cowboys seem like a solid wild card team to me. Zeke just resigned and “America’s Team” has talent in every single position group on the team. Their O-Line is elite, Ezekiel Elliot and Amari Cooper are studs, and Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith are extremely talented linebackers. I think Dak Prescott is a tad bit overrated, but that is ok. I see 10-6. I am taking the over.
Washington Redskins – 6.5 Wins: UNDER
I love my boy Case Keenum (shoutout Minneapolis Miracle), but the Redskins are just not that good. They do not have much skill position talent, and for some reason keep letting Jordan Reed play football even though he has had every injury in the book and what seems like 5+ concussions. Yikes. They may have drafted their quarterback of the future in Dwayne Haskins, but he did not win the starting job yet and seems to be a little bit off of NFL ready. I am taking the under.
New York Giants – 6 Wins: UNDER
They may have Saquon, one of the best running backs to enter the league in my lifetime, but Eli Manning is currently their quarterback. They shockingly took Daniel Jones (Danny Dimes) very early in the draft, but he has not taken the job yet. The Giants could be one of those frisky teams that are annoying for wild card level teams to play, but other than that I do not see much success for this group. Evan Engram should take a leap with a lot more targets now that Odell is gone. If you have been in a coma for a few months, yep, they traded Odell Beckham Jr., one of the best young players in the league. This franchise is just not in a great state. Take the under.
NFC Bonus Props and Predictions:
Eagles make the Super Bowl (12/1)
They have one of the most talented and deep rosters in the NFL, and for the most part still have a lot of pieces from their 2018 Super Bowl win. I am believe in them.
Dalvin Cook over 1065.5 rushing yards
As a Vikings fan, this one jumped out to me. All indications are that Mike Zimmer wants to run the ball a lot, and if Dalvin Cook can stay healthy he should be well over 1065.5 rushing yards.
Alvin Kamara leads skill position players in fantasy points (PPR)
I drafted Kamara in my main league this year and bought in to him. He is an absolute beast and should get even more of a workload with Mark Ingram gone.
Kyler Murray wins Rookie of the Year
I am not sure what the odds are, but I know that Kyler Murray will throw up some insane stats. He is a great rusher and will also have great touchdown numbers in Kliff Kingsbury’s dynamic offense.
Who wins the opening night matchup of Packers vs. Bears?
I am taking the Bears over the Packers.