2013 NFL season over/under win totals: AFC picks

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

2013 NFL season win totals over/under picks for the AFC. (USATSI)
How will Wes Welker's departure affect the Patriots win total in 2013? (USATSI)

Las Vegas sleeps about as often as the NFL. Which is to say, never. So it's no surprise that Vegas put out 2013 NFL season over/under win totals in the middle of May, much like they did last year.

And just like last year, we're going to take a look at the bets and make an over/under selection. Last year I went 17-12-3 on my predictions from May, which isn't that shabby all things considered.

Shooting for 20+ wins this year and I'll note any top picks with asterisks.

In case you're new to this (which is actually, um, a good thing I guess), the parentheses beside the Over and Under notates the price of the bet. For instance: the Pats over is +115, so you would take home $115 if you bet $100 and won. Conversely, it takes betting $135 to win $100 on the under

Leave your picks and favorite selections in the comments and feel free to let me know your thoughts on Twitter @WillBrinson.

AFC East

New England Patriots, 11.5
Over (+115) / Under (-135)

Betting against the Pats to not win 12 games isn't a particularly profitable enterprise. They've got a very nice opening schedule against (at BUF, vs. NYJ, vs. TB) and could likely start out 3-0. Looking over their schedule, I think I like 11 wins on the nose. If I was more confident about the health of Rob Gronkowski/Aaron Hernandez and more confident in a patchwork wide receiver corps featuring Danny Amendola replacing Wes Welker, I might lean over. But I'm not. Verdict: UNDER

Miami Dolphins, 7.5
Over (-135) / Under (+115)

Fascinating that the Dolphins win-total bet hasn't changed from last year, huh? That's despite the splashy offseason that featured the addition of Mike Wallace, Danelle Ellerbe, Phillip Wheeler, Dion Jordan and Jamar Taylor. I'm admittedly bearish on the Fins this season and I don't think they'll start out hot -- after going to Cleveland and Indy, they have to play Atlanta, New Orleans and Baltimore before their Week 6 bye. If they don't get at least two wins before the break it could be a nightmare season. But there's five post-bye wins available. The question is are there six. I'm not entirely confident. Verdict: UNDER

Buffalo Bills, 6.5
Over (+115) / Under (-135)

It's not unreasonable to hate the Bills over here. This is the Bills we're talking about. The reality is they're a giant unknown because of the quarterback situation. Is EJ Manuel good enough to step in and start from the get-go while also actually winning games? That's a risky proposition. Betting on Kevin Kolb to come out firing isn't exactly enticing either. I love the CJ Spiller/TJ Graham/Stevie Johnson trio especially with the addition of Marquise Goodwin and Robert Woods. That's a ton of SPEED at the skill positions. But the quarterback -- and the defense -- is too much of a question mark for me. Verdit: UNDER

New York Jets, 6.5
Over (-110) / Under (-110)

The Jets over/under is dramatically different from last season's 8.5 wins and it's easy to see why. They suffered significant losses on defense, including the departure of Darrelle Revis, and even though New York drafted Geno Smith the cloud of Mark Sanchez remains. I firmly believe an 8-8 season would warrant Rex Ryan getting Coach of the Year consideration and while it's not out of the question, I'm not a fan of the Jets at all in 2013. Who is? Verdict: UNDER*

(Perhaps worth noting: no AFC East team went over their projected win total in 2012. Food for thought if you wonder why I'm under across the board this season.

AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers, 9
Over (-120) / Under (Even)

Is Vegas expecting a bounceback for Pittsburgh this year? After a disappointing 8-8 campaign last season, the Steelers drafted Landry Jones ... hoping they won't ever have to play him. Ben Roethlisberger's nearly-fatal rib injury derailed their season last year. Even with Mike Wallace departing, this offense should improve in the second year under Todd Haley. Antonio Brown and Emmanual Sanders are capable No. 1 and No. 2 options and Markhus Wheaton could seriously surprise. Le'Veon Bell could get 300 carries as a rookie. Heath Miller's injury is a big concern, though, as is age on the defense. There's room for another sub-par season here, but I can't bank on a Mike Tomlin team winning eight games two years in a row. Verdict: OVER

Baltimore Ravens, 8.5
Over (-140) / Under (+120)

WHAT? 8.5 wins for the reigning Super Bowl champions? Shirley, you can't be serious. The -140 reduces the profit on this bet and DEN, HOU, GB, PIT before their Week 7 bye is a stinger. But the addition of Elvis Dumervil, Arthur Brown, Matt Elam and the return of Lardarius Webb (not to mention Terrell Suggs getting healthy) has me on record early saying Baltimore's defense will be better in 2013 than it was last season. I don't think it's a lock but I'm definitely higher on the Ravens than Vegas. Verdict: OVER*

Cincinnati Bengals, 8.5
Over (+110) / Under (-135)

Cincy's benefited greatly from easy schedules the last two seasons and it's helped Andy Dalton and Co. get into the playoffs two-straight years. In 2013, things are much different, especially at home. PIT, GB, NE, NYJ, CLE, IND, MIN, BAL is a formidable home schedule. But with a stout defense that features the criminally underrated Geno Atkins, getting close to double-digit wins shouldn't be out of the question. Getting a plus number on the bet only helps. Verdict: OVER

Cleveland Browns, 6
Over (-130) / Under (+110)

This is a cushy schedule for Cleveland in 2013 (BUF, DET, KC, JAX, NYJ all stunk last year) and you can't help but wonder if they can make a run at their best season in recent history. Signing Paul Kruger and drafting Leon McFadden and Barkevious Mingo should make this defense substantially better. It all comes down to Brandon Weeden. If the, um, young quarterback makes strides in Rob Chudzinski's offense then Cleveland can be dangerous. I'm not totally sold but I'm sold enough to take a gamble on a step forward. Verdict: OVER

AFC South

Houston Texans, 10
Over (-130) / Under (+110)

OK, so pencil in another 5-1 record against division opponents like the Texans had last year and we're halfway to hitting this over, even if you might not really love it. Add in at San Diego, at Arizona, home versus Oakland and at Kansas City and we should have seven or eight wins. The Texans then have to win at Baltimore, at San Francisco, versus Seattle, versus St. Louis and versus Denver to pick up another three or four wins and hit over. Arian Foster's workload is a major concern, even if I love the addition of DeAndre Hopkins across from Andre Johnson this year. J.J. Watt leads a dangerous defense again in 2013. I really don't like taking this one but in the AFC South it's hard not to like 10 wins. Verdict: OVER

Indianapolis Colts, 8.5
Over (even) / Under (-120)

An 11-win season last year saw the Colts try and fill gaps around Andrew Luck on offense (Gosder Cherilous to shore up the line) and add a ton of new bodies (Greg Toler, LaRon Landry, Erik Walden, Ricky Jean-Francois, Bjoern Werner) on defense. With Luck steering the ship they'll probably challenge for a playoff spot again (thanks AFC South!) but don't discount how lucky they were in 2012. That was a 7.2 win team based on their Pythagorean expected wins, they had a negative point differential and a negative turnover differential. Regression is due and I don't love their signings this offseason. Verdict: UNDER*

Tennessee Titans, 6.5
Over (-110) / Under (-110)

It's a make-or-break year for both Chris Johnson and Jake Locker after the Titans offseason. Andy Levitre was signed in free agency and Chance Warmack was a first-round pick. (Shonn Greene, awkwardly, was also added.) They've got some nice talent on defense including Jurrell Casey, the super-speedy Zach Brown and Derrick Morgan. But big plays were a big problem in 2012 and I'm not sold they'll cure that this year. I'm also not sold Locker can be consistent and accurate enough to make the Titans competitive, even in an extremely weak AFC South. Seven wins is a possibility given a cushy late-season schedule, but not one I'm interested in betting on. Verdict: UNDER

Jacksonville Jaguars, 5
Over (-130) / Under (+110)

Last year under on 5.5 was a mortal lock and it probably paid off nicely for investors. I don't think the number is quite as attractive this year, especially with their schedule and some of the additions they made in the draft. Luke Joeckel, Jonathan Cyprien, Denard Robinson and Ace Sanders could all be impact players as rookies. Losing Justin Blackmon for four games hurts in a bad way. Just like with Tennessee, though, it's all on the quarterback. If you believe in Blaine Gabbert, you should go over. If not, go under. Verdict: UNDER

AFC West

Denver Broncos, 11.5
Over (+110) / Under (-130)

The highest number in the NFL is reflected by getting a nice profit on the over (just a year from being an absolute steal at 9.5). The same crew returns minus Elvis Dumervil anyway and with Wes Welker as improvement over Brandon Stokely for Peyton Manning. Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker were a ridiculous wide receiver tandem without him anyway. Drama abounds on their much tougher schedule: a Manning Bowl with Eli, Peyton's return to Indy, Shanny's return to Denver, Welker's return to New England and the home opener in Denver against Baltimore. Remember that Denver was 2-3 and losing badly at half to San Diego before storming an impossible comeback and winning 11-straight (!) games. Against my better judgment, I like them to win big again this year. Verdict: OVER

San Diego Chargers, 7.5
Over (+115) / Under (-135)

It's a new day in San Diego, with Mike McCoy coaching and Tom Telesco running the front office. I love both choice and they make me hesitate to pick against the Chargers, especially after picking for them for so many years. (What can I say, I'm a sucker.) I'm glad they drafted D.J. Fluker and signed Max Starks and I hope Manti Te'o proves me wrong; I think that pick was horrible. Losing Melvin Ingram is a nightmare and I still see far too many concerns on their offensive line and secondary to believe. Verdict: UNDER

Kansas City Chiefs, 7
Over (-145) / Under (-125)

No surprise that people appear to love the over here: Andy Reid coming to town and trading for Alex Smith, drafting Eric Fisher and keeping Dwayne Bowe/Branden Albert in the fold is critical. This team already has a ton of talent in place on defense with Brandon Flowers, Tamba Hali, Justin Houston, Eric Berry and Derrick Johnson. They also added Sean Smith and Mike DeVito. Jamaal Charles is a top-five NFL running back to watch for me and he should only flourish in Reid's pass-catching friendly system. They've got a friendly schedule and I happen to love the value here. Verdict: OVER*

Oakland Raiders, 5.5
Over (-120) / Under (-140)

This year's Jaguars pick for me. Lock Oakland in for a top-two selection in the draft next year and either Teddy Bridgewater or Jadaveon Clowney. There's not much they can do about the situation, and Reggie McKenzie is doing the right thing by setting it all on fire and rebuilding from scratch; the only thing worst than a roster totally devoid of talent is a roster totally devoid of talent and also filled with bloated contracts. I can't fathom how they win six games this year unless Matt Flynn gets beat out by another rookie named Wilson (Tyler Wilson this time) who happens to produce a Rookie of the Year-worthy season and put his team into the playoffs. Verdict: UNDER

 
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