NFL Season Specials – First, Worst & Everything in Between

Posted on September 9, 2021

FanDuel Sportsbook has a number of fun NFL props focused on teams having the best and worst records this season. If you’re thinking about any team going perfect, you can get some pretty juicy payouts – especially now that the schedule is 17 games instead of 16. At the other end of the spectrum, FanDuel has odds on all 32 teams as to who’ll finish with the worst record.

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Let’s take a look at some great props:

NFL Team To Finish With Best Record  

Part I: Will The Kansas City Chiefs Go 17-0?

Yes Odds At FanDuel Sportsbook: +3400

No Odds At FanDuel Sportsbook: -6000

Last season, the Kansas City Chiefs lost midway through their season. As they entered the month of November, they did have one loss on the ledger… but then they didn’t lose again until Week 17, when they rested players for the playoffs, having already clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC and a bye in the wild card round of the playoffs. The Chiefs finished 14-2, but because they rested players in Week 17, their record with Patrick Mahomes as the starting quarterback was 14-1.

The idea that they can go 17-0 in the NFL’s expanded schedule is realistic… but it’s still a 17-game schedule, up from 16. It will be a tough challenge for the Chiefs to win every game on their slate. Let’s say the Chiefs are 14-0 in December, and they have the No. 1 seed in the AFC already wrapped up. Do you think they would try to go all-out for the 17-0 record, or would they make sure to rest important players and guarantee that their starters would be fresh for the playoffs? Maybe the Chiefs would in fact pursue history, but the whole point of the season is to win the Super Bowl, and the Kansas City organization would face a genuinely tough choice.

If a team is 16-0, yes, going for 17 makes sense and would certainly be done, but if a team is 14-0 of 13-0, that invites the very real possibility of a letdown and some mental relaxation late in the season. It’s true that the Chiefs play four non-conference games this year against the weak NFC East, which is another reason to think Kansas City might be able to go 17-0, but the brutality of football plus the reality of every team having at least one bad performance each season recommends the view that the Chiefs will lose at least once at some point along the way.

Part II: Will the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Go 17-0?

Yes Odds At FanDuel Sportsbook: +4000

No Odds At FanDuel Sportsbook: -20000

The Buccaneers are defending champions, which means everyone will be out to get them. Second, they lost five games last year, so the idea that this team will be close to unbeatable already seems noticeably oversold. The Bucs are likely to be a great team this season, but their ceiling might be 15-2 at best. With an old quarterback, Tom Brady, at the controls, it seems likely that there will be a game when Brady doesn’t move very well, or gets hit hard and doesn’t immediately bounce back from a big hit.

There will probably be at least one or two games in which Brady looks like an old man and just doesn’t have the mustard on the fastball. That point aside, the Buccaneers play four nonconference games against the AFC East. That’s two teams which won 10 or more games last year – the Bills and Dolphins – plus Bill Belichick and the Patriots. The Buccaneers do not have an easy schedule, and at some point, that will catch up with them in terms of having an unbeaten season.

NFL Team To Finish With Worst Record: Detroit Lions

Odds At FanDuel Sportsbook: +400

The Detroit Lions had Matthew Stafford at quarterback. Now they have Jared Goff. They hired a new head coach, Dan Campbell, who is promising tough, physical, run-focused football, even though the NFL is now a passing-based sport in which teams need dynamic quarterbacks and potent offenses to have a realistic chance of winning. The Lions are also de-emphasizing their passing game even though they play their games on a fast, synthetic surface inside a domed stadium.

The Lions should be embracing a high-tech passing game, but instead, their head coach is endorsing the very opposite. The Lions are one of a handful of teams in the NFL who could realistically go 0-6 in their division this year. The Lions could certainly get swept by the Packers, Vikings, and Bears in the NFC North. Add that to the fact that the Lions play four non-conference games against the AFC North. Detroit figures to lose to the Ravens, Steelers, and Browns. The Lions’ game against the Cincinnati Bengals could very realistically be a battle for the No. 1 overall draft pick… but that game against the Bengals is very winnable.

The Lions’ games against the Philadelphia Eagles and the Denver Broncos are the other games that stand out as winnable. Detroit is almost certain to be a genuinely bad NFL team this year, but even a bad team usually picks up a few wins. Detroit might be a 2-15 or 3-14 team. That’s an atrocious record, but it’s better than 0-17. Teams that start out 0-10 or 0-11 work really hard to finally get that first win. We saw this with the New York Jets last year. No one wanted to be winless, so the Jets rallied to beat the Los Angeles Rams in one of the greatest stunners of all time. The Lions will give 0-17 a run, but come up just short.

Houston Texans

Odds At DraftKings Sportsbook: +200

The Texans have a quarterback, Deshaun Watson, who does not want to play for them and is in the middle of severe legal problems off the field. If Watson doesn’t play, the Texans will go with Tyrod Taylor, who is modestly competent but hardly the solution at quarterback. The Texans might win one or two games against the young and unproven Jacksonville Jaguars, who will be breaking in No. 1 draft pick, Trevor Lawrence, as an NFL quarterback this season.

Houston is likely to win at least one of its games versus the Jags. However, if Jacksonville does somehow sweep Houston, the Texans – who have to play the very tough NFC West in nonconference games – could go 2-15 or 1-16 and seriously flirt with the possibility of going 0-17. Like the Lions, it’s not likely to happen, but a few weird turns in the road could still make it possible.

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