2017 NFL season win total over/under picks for AFC East: Patriots can crush history
As it is every year, this division is New England and everyone else
The NFL Draft is over, which means we head into the doldrums of the NFL offseason. Every May, I embark upon a dangerous mission: looking at the win totals for every NFL team and deciding whether each team will win more or less games than Vegas predicts. Guessing in May who will end up with a certain number of wins come January isn't easy. And things can go south quickly -- two years ago I went a very disappointing 14-17-1 overall. Last year was much more promising, however, as I finished 18-12-2. I will take that all day and run with it.
Especially in the AFC, Patriots over). The NFC wasn't quite as good, , and that's not a loser, although my two best bets (Cardinals, Bears) were total eggs., including a sweep of the AFC East and a sweep of my two best bets (Raiders and
We're going to look at two divisions per day over the next few days. If you hate any picks, love any picks or have better ideas, leave them in the comments or yell at me on Twitter @WillBrinson. Some notes:
1) Any best bets are noted by (***) and BEST BET.
2) Lines are courtesy of Sportsbook.ag. The numbers next to the win total indicate the juice. If an over is +150, it means you make $150 for betting $100. If it's -150 you need to bet $150 just to win $100
3) Look for these to drop in this order:
Monday, May 15 - AFC East
Tuesday, May 16 - AFC South
Tuesday, May 16 - AFC West
New England Patriots
12.5 Over (-130) / Under (Even)
For two straight seasons the Patriots over has been one of my best bets and they easily have hit the over. But this year the win total is set historically high and the . It's probably because New England hasn't won less than 12 games since 2009. Think about that for a second. I'll spare you the breakdown of the Pats roster, but it's quite loaded: They added Brandin Cooks, Dwayne Allen and Mike Gillislee to an already stacked offense. They have incredible depth at wide receiver and running back and might sport the most dynamic weapons Tom Brady has had since 2007. Defensively, they added Stephon Gilmore and were able to retain Malcolm Butler and Dont'a Hightower while grabbing Kony Ealy as an upside play. This team won't go undefeated but it could make a run.
The schedule is actually kind of tough: Every game before their Week 9 bye could be against a playoff team except for Week 6 against the Jets, and that's the second road game in a row against a division opponent/bitter rival. From Nov. 12 through Dec. 17, the Patriots play six games and only one is in Foxborough. That's a brutal stretch of road games, including trips to Denver and Oakland back to back, as well as Buffalo, Miami and Pittsburgh in three straight weeks. I think the Patriots are going to win 12 games next season but don't have any interest in making a huge wager on it after watching them go 14-2 despite Brady being suspended for the first four games last season.
7.5 Over (-130) / Under (Even)
The Dolphins looked like the worst team in the NFL for the first few weeks of 2016. Adam Gase made some big personnel moves, Jay Ajayi turned into O.J. Simpson (on the field) and the Dolphins dominated down the stretch to sneak into the playoffs. Expectations are legitimately high for them to try and upend the Patriots next season, but that's mostly May chatter and should be tempered by a surprisingly low over/under here. Miami has the offensive weapons to be good: Ryan Tannehill should improve in his second season under Gase and Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills comprise a sneaky-good wideout trio. Julius Thomas should be a nice red-zone addition. Ajayi is like a poor man's Marshawn Lynch as long as he's healthy. Laremy Tunsil could become a franchise left tackle this season. They have a ton of stars on the defense, but it's questionable whether surrounding Ndamukong Suh with a bunch of name-value guys is going to actually produce a quality defense.
The schedule isn't terrible either. They Dolphins get the Jets (who should be terrible) twice before their bye and the Bills (who might not be terrible?) twice after it. The AFC West and the NFC South on the docket make this a challenging one to predict. But I see a little bit of regression from last season's hot finish, a tough slate and seven wins.
6.0 Over (-130) / Under (Even)
It's easy to like the pieces on this offense, if you're willing to buy into Tyrod Taylor as a legitimate quarterback and think Sammy Watkins can stay healthy. LeSean McCoy remains underrated somehow and the addition of Zay Jones could make an immediate impact in this offense. This team should be expected to be good on the defensive side of the ball with Sean McDermott taking over as coach, but it's tough to really look at this unit and see where it's going to get production in his scheme. There are a lot of guys who were drafted or signed to fit Rex Ryan's defense, and some who were selected for Jim Schwartz's scheme before Ryan's arrival. McDermott is smart and will make it work, but there's some serious transition here on that side of the ball, and the Bills weren't good on defense last season.
It's possible to see this team making noise early: They get the Jets at home to open and then McDermott gets a homecoming in Carolina with a Panthers team he should know well. Then they get the Broncos at home and the Falcons and Bengals on the road before their Week 6 bye. There's some sleeper potential there. But afterwards it gets ugly. There's the Bucs and Raiders at home followed by the Jets on the road, the Saints at home and then the Chargers and Chiefs on the road in back-to-back weeks. We haven't mentioned any matchups against the Patriots or Dolphins yet.
New York Jets
5.5 Over (+115) / Under (-145)
This is not a good team. Josh McCown hasn't been able to stay healthy when he does start and the options behind him are Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg, who is going to start a game or two next season. Bilal Powell is a Fantasy sleeper, but the depth chart at wide receiver is a bunch of wild cards like Quincy Enunwa, Charone Peake and Robby Anderson. Morris Claiborne and Buster Skrine are starting at cornerback with first-round pick Jamal Adams needing to make a splash right away at safety. Todd Bowles desperately needs Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson to have a major impact if this defense is going to scare anyone.
The schedule starts with two games on the road (at Buffalo and at Oakland) and also features the AFC West and the NFC South. The Jets close with the Broncos and Saints on the road, the Chargers at home and the Patriots on the road. At least they get the Browns this season!
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