2013 NFL season over/under win totals: NFC picks

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

2013 NFL season win totals and over/under picks for the NFC. (USATSI)
Can Chip Kelly's offense spark Philly's win total? (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.

NFC East

New York Giants, 9
Over (even) / Under (-120)
Does any division have more question marks than the NFC East? It explains why there are low win totals and the Giants are predicted up top again. A year removed from a 9-7 season that saw them miss the playoffs and two years removed from a 9-7 season that saw them win the Super Bowl ... well, nine wins is probably a good bet. David Wilson could break out this season (hence the release of Ahmad Bradshaw) and the Eli Manning/Victor Cruz combo will continue to dominate. Hakeem Nicks needs to be healthy though. Jason Pierre-Paul is a stud, but Justin Tuck needs to bounce back and there are major questions in the secondary. In the interest of victories I've avoided these, but I'll go with the rare ... Verdict: PUSH

Dallas Cowboys, 8.5
Over (+135) / Under (-115)
Jerry Jones' team still terrifies me with a patchwork line, regardless of how important he thinks it is. And while the defense is stacked with talent including Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne, DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer, Bruce Carter and Sean Lee to name a few, the shift to Monte Kiffin's 4-3 Tampa-2 is a major, major question. Tony Romo and Dez Bryant should put up major points but I'm earmarking another .500 season. Verdict: UNDER

Washington Redskins, 8
Over (-110) / Under (-110)
Everything here is up in the air depending on Robert Griffin III's recovery and that's why you couldn't find a more Even Steven number if you tried. Two of their easier games, against Detroit and Oakland, come before the bye in Week 5, and it makes you wonder how they'll perform with a less-than-100-percent RG3. The pieces are there for defensive improvement (I like the David Amerson pick) and on offense Kirk Cousins and Alfred Morris can carry the load if Griffin's not healthy. But I think we could see some regression as the offense (hopefully) adjusts to trying to keep Griffin healthy. Verdict: UNDER

Philadelphia Eagles, 7
Over (-110) / Under (-110)
I'm probably too high on Chip Kelly's offense. Or am I ...? This isn't going to be some funky read-option based offense, it's going to be, I think, a high-tempo offense that maximizes snaps and utilizes the trio of Michael Vick/DeSean Jackson/Jeremy Maclin to take shot plays down the field. With Jason Peters back and Lane Johnson in the fold the offensive line should be much better and I thought additions like Bradley Fletcher, Connor Barwin, Kenny Phillips and Cary Williams were smart, under-the-radar moves on defense. Maybe I'm too high on the Eagles, but I expect impressive things from Kelly's first season, particularly if they come out firing against a stacked early-season schedule. Verdict: OVER*

NFC North

Green Bay Packers, 10
Over (-110) / Under (-110)
This offense, with Aaron Rodgers under center and James Jones/Jordy Nelson/Randall Cobb catching passes, is going to score points. Period. Rodgers will keep them in contention because he's the best player in football. Did they improve the running game enough with Eddy Lacy and Johnathan Franklin the mix? Can Bryan Bulaga play left tackle well enough to protect Rodgers? (Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang are a criminally underrated guard combo by the way.) Will the Datone Jones acquisition improve the defense enough to give them some stops on the other side of the ball? The number is dampened because they're playing the AFC North this year, but I can't see myself picking less than ten for Rodgers and Co. Verdict: OVER

Chicago Bears, 8.5
Over (-120) / Under (even)
Brian Urlacher is now retired and with Lovie Smith out and Marc Trestman in, the focus has shifted completely to offense for Chicago. The Bears D is still strong, what with Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings, Lance Briggs, Henry Melton and Julius Peppers out there. Jay Cutler could be in for a career year thanks to Trestman's presence and Jermon Bushrod, Kyle Long and Matt Slauson improving the offensive line dramatically. Brandon Marshall's gonna catch a lot of balls and Matt Forte should have a very nice season too. Martellus Bennett is a sneaky weapon. They won 10 last year and just missed the playoffs. Something similar this season wouldn't be shocking. Verdict: OVER

Minnesota Vikings, 7.5
Over (-110) / Under (-110)
Expect regression much? Maybe it's smart, as Minnesota outperformed expectations dramatically in 2012 by riding an MVP season from Adrian Peterson. They almost literally got on his back. Losing Percy Harvin hurts badly, but Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson should help the sting. The bigger issues might be the defense (though landing Shariff Floyd and Xavier Rhodes should help) and the quarterback situation. Is Christian Ponder "the guy"? I honestly don't know but I'm not confident about it. Week 7 through Week 14 looks like this: at NYG, vs GB, at DAL, vs WAS, at SEA, at GB, vs CHI. That is a straight-up FILTHY stretch. 3-5 would almost be impressive. I think we see some regression this year, closer to a 7-win team. Verdict: UNDER*

Detroit Lions, 7.5
Over (-110) / Under (-110)
Adding Reggie Bush this offseason could go down as one of the better, more underrated moves of free agency. He's a perfect fit for what the offense wants to do and should provide a safety valve for Matthew Stafford and keep defenses from keying in on Calvin Johnson 100 percent of the time. But Ezekial Ansah's the big story to watch. If he can turn into the pass rusher people expect and do it next to Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, that defensive line will be nasty. Even though 2013 should be better than 2012 for Lions fans, I just can't look at their schedule and see eight wins right now. Verdict: UNDER

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons, 10
Over (+110) / Under (-130)
Atlanta definitely outperformed their expectations last year, winning 13 games. But they also did it on the arm of Matt Ryan, and as long as he's throwing to Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez, that's not a bad bet. Steven Jackson in the backfield will only help. Keeping Sam Baker in the fold will look smart by year's end. It's the defense that should be a concern: can Osi Umenyiora generate enough pass rush for them? Will rookies Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford solve the secondary problems? I'm always on the Falcons bandwagon but they've got a tough schedule. I think nine might be their number this year. Verdict: UNDER

New Orleans Saints, 9
Over (-120) / Under (even)
Really was hoping this would open up lower, because I love New Orleans this year. Starting Charles Brown and Zach Strief at tackles is a problem, but their guards are what make that offensive line hum. Drew Brees is Drew Brees and he is good. His weapons are all intact and I wouldn't be stunned if Mark Ingram had a surprisingly impressive season. Switching to Rob Ryan's 3-4 defense will improve things dramatically on D; netting Keenan Lewis, Victor Butler and Kenny Vaccarro were great, great moves. Sean Payton's return will make the offense more efficient and there aren't any bounty-related distractions this season. Verdict: OVER

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 7.5
Over (-140) / Under (+120)
Is Darrelle Revis healthy? Because if he is, I'd recommend hammering this over. Revis -- combined with Dashon Goldson, Mark Barron, Eric Wright and Johnthan Banks -- makes the Bucs biggest weakness in 2012 a strength in 2013. Da'Quan Bowers and Adrian Clayborn have to live up to their talent. Gerald McCoy was a monster last year but didn't really get the notice he deserved. Josh Freeman is up and down like a rollercoaster but with Doug Martin and Vincent Jackson (and a healthy Carl Nicks?) he should be able to fend off Mike Glennon. I'm gonna go out on a limb and bet that Revis is ready for Week 1 against his old team. Verdict: OVER*

Carolina Panthers, 7
Over (-110) / Under (-110)
Carolina finally addressed its biggest weakness by drafting defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Kawaan Short in the first two rounds of the draft. But holy moses is this secondary a potential nightmare. Josh Norman, Captain Munnerlyn, Charles Godfrey and Haruki Nakamura aren't stopping anyone. Having Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy apply pressure will be easier with the DTs and it'll help the secondary but teams are going to score on Carolina. Fortunately, I think Cam Newton's primed for a huge season and a step forward and the Panthers should score right back. If they hit the bye in Week 4 with two or more wins, this is a stone-cold lock. They don't hit divisional play until Week 8, which could mean things are falling apart or things are starting to hum. I'm actually betting on somewhere in between. Like, say, the number eight. Verdict: OVER

NFC West

San Francisco 49ers, 11.5
Over (+105) / Under (-125)
I'd probably be on the fence were it not for the Michael Crabtree injury. Given that news, I don't love the Niners hitting 12 wins this year. After all, they didn't do it last year. But that wasn't with a full season of Colin Kaepernick, who is truly one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL. Their offensive line is absolutely stacked, the best in the league. Justin Smith being healthy will mean Aldon Smith returns to being dominant. Frank Gore will keep rocking the rock. Nnamdi Asomugha could be a steal. I just see some question marks and think this number is hyped up, even against the AFC South this year. Verdict: UNDER

Seattle Seahawks, 10.5
Over (+110) / Under (-110)
Wish I could've re-picked my Seahawks selection from last year later in the season. They were one of my top locks. Oh well. You know the story: Russell Wilson improved dramatically (and won't fall off in my opinion), Marshawn Lynch continues to be a Beast (Mode) and they traded for Percy Harvin. Chris Clemons injury and Bruce Irvin's suspension are going to put Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett to the test immediately. That's my biggest concern; there aren't many secondaries better than Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Brandon Browner and Earl Thomas. Antoine Winfield is just run-stopping gravy. I've got 11 wins here as my total, along with an NFC West title. Verdict: OVER

St. Louis Rams, 7.5
Over (+120) / Under (-140)
Seattle and San Fran draw all the headlines in this division, but don't sleep on the Rams. Jeff Fisher and Les Snead had a great offseason, nabbing Tavon Austin and Alec Ogletree in the first round of the draft after signing Jake Long as the key piece of their free-agent class. The running game with Zac Stacy and Isaiah Pead is a little up in the air, but Sam Bradford's got weapons and should have a very nice season in 2013. That defensive front seven, with Michael Brockers, Chris Long, Robert Quinn and an underrated linebacking corps is dangerous. Janoris Jenkins should keep improving. I think they surprise and get to .500 this season. Verdict: OVER

Arizona Cardinals, 5.5
Over (+135) / Under (-115)
And then there's the real stepchild of this division, who definitely shouldn't be slept on after their strong offseason. Steve Keim hired Bruce Arians and then slam-dunked the draft, coming away with a couple offensive-line starters in Johnathan Cooper and Earl Watford. Tyronne Mathieu was an early pick but could pay early dividends. The defense, with Calais Campbell, Darnell Dockett and Patrick Peterson, is stacked, even with Daryl Washington's suspension. The biggest obstacle is a brutal opening stretch. I think they'll get to six wins in Arians first season though. Verdict: OVER

 
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