This past Thursday, Caesars released their projected win totals for each team. Topping the list are the Chiefs and Ravens, both with 12 projected wins, followed by the Saints and 49ers, each with 10.5. Clocking in last was the Jaguars and Redskins, each with 4.5 projected victories, behind the Bengals and Panthers, with 5 and 5.5 respectively. As with every initial win total release, several teams have seemingly unattainable projections, whereas other teams should easily surpass the expectations set by Sin City. Here are 5 bets fans should make as a result of terrible win-total projections from Vegas.
The full list of projected win totals: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2886909-2020-nfl-odds-bradys-bucs-at-9-patriots-at-85-and-more-win-totals-revealed
5. Houston Texans 7.5 (Over)
Bill O’Brien may be driving the Texans off a cliff with his moves at GM, but he continues to succeed at coaching in the regular season. In his 6 seasons as coach, the Texans have had 5 winning seasons and 4 AFC South victories. Only 2 of those winning seasons were with Deshaun Watson at quarterback; O’Brien has proven that he can win even with players like Tom Savage and TJ Yates under center. The only significant losses so far for Houston are DeAndre Hopkins and DJ Reader, but the Texans have also gained the likes of David Johnson, Randall Cobb, and Brandin Cooks. They also retain Watson to lead the offense, who is a top 5 MVP candidate heading into 2020. The AFC South looks to be quite mediocre in 2020, and the Texans should have no problem winning 8-10 games in 2020.
4. Los Angeles Rams 8.5 (Under)
In a previous article about predictions for 2020, I said the Rams are primed for a collapse in 2020. Lots of warning signs are popping up for the Rams, such as their lack of cap space, the lack of a first-round pick, an overpaid quarterback in Jared Goff, and a below-average roster trimmed down from 2019. The Rams lost several key pieces in free agency, including Dante Fowler Jr., Cory Littleton, Brandin Cooks, Nickell Robey-Coleman, and Todd Gurley, plenty enough to knock their record down by a few wins. Oh, they also play in the loaded NFC West and will have trouble putting together more than 1 division win. Expect for the Rams to win 3-6 games in 2020.
3. Los Angeles Chargers 8.5 (Under)
The Chargers have had the most underrated offseason of any team yet. They acquired Trai Turner, Chris Harris Jr., and Bryan Bulaga, and can do some more damage with the 6th overall pick in the draft. However, they lost Philip Rivers, and apparently plan to replace him with Tyrod Taylor. Taylor is a step down from Rivers, and the Chargers will lose significant offensive chemistry between Rivers and his two 1,000 yard receivers, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. A total of 8.5 wins is 3.5 more than the Chargers had in 2019, and the moves they have made are not enough to win more than 8 games in one of the NFL’s tougher divisions.
2. Green Bay Packers 8.5 (Over)
As much as this one pains me to write, Caesars is way off on their Packers projection. The Packers won 13 games in 2019, and while they will have a tougher schedule in 2020, it is extremely unlikely that they will drop to 8-8 or worse. The Packers smartly let Blake Martinez and Bryan Bulaga walk rather than overpaying them, and they added Christian Kirksey and Devin Funchess on cheap contracts. The NFC North will also be kinder to the Packers, with an eternally mediocre Lions team, a Vikings team trending in the wrong direction, and a Bears team that can’t seem to move the ball more than 15 yards downfield. The Packers also went 6-0 in division games in 2019, so they should be just fine to win 10-12 games in 2020.
1. New England Patriots 8.5 (Over)
The last time the Patriots projected win total was this low, I wasn’t alive. The Patriots haven’t won less than 10 games since 2002, and nothing indicates that that trend will end in 2020. Despite not having a rusty Tom Brady at the helm, the Patriots will be just fine in 2020 to continue on the winning trajectory of Bill Belichick. They retain Belichick’s system that has been turning average Joes into elite players in New England for 20 years and have a top 5 defense led by reigning DPOY Stephon Gilmore. Belichick won 11 games with Matt Cassel in 2008, and with an even better roster in 2020, the Patriots will again reach their solid mark with 10/11 wins in 2020.