Yes, it’s time for the NFL preseason to kick off, starting next week. We made it everyone. We know people have been placing wagers on NFL win totals since schedules came out in the spring.
However, the start of training camps piques interest so let’s take a look at some of the interesting numbers currently on the boards across New Jersey sportsbooks.
New Orleans Saints: Win Total 10.5
One of the top teams on futures (NFL win totals) markets to win the NFC and the NFL Super Bowl have a big number to achieve in the regular season. The Saints and Rams, the top two seeds last year and the NFC finalists, each have a 10.5 win total.
The Saints are favorites to win their third straight NFC South crown. The very competitive division saw their rivals get stronger, while the Saints did…. Anything in the offseason?
Drew Brees has a loaded offense again. However, he lost Mark Ingram to Baltimore so more of that load falls on second-year stud Alvin Kamara. Can Kamara provide a strong backfield option as a pass-catcher and a pass-blocker?
Michael Thomas is holding out for a monster contract, which could make him more vulnerable to injury over a long season.
The over at all books have a juicy plus value, topping at +135 at William Hill. However, the September schedule looks like a murderer’s row: Monday Night opener hosting the Saints, visiting L.A. the following Sunday, staying out west to play Seattle, then a Sunday night battle to host the Cowboys. Four games, four playoff teams. That’s rough.
There is not a really easy stretch this year for New Orleans. The last six weeks see three divisional games, two against the Panthers, sandwiching a visit from the 49ers, another from the Colts, and a visit to Tennessee.
This schedule is difficult, even for a veteran team. 11-5 seems a stretch.
Pick – Under 10.5 wins (best priced at -125 at PointsBet)
Pittsburgh Steelers: Total 9
What will the Steelers do without LeVeon Bell and Antonio Brown? Can Mike Tomlin keep the Three Rivers faithful happy after last year’s collapse?
Well, the Steelers still have a two-time Super Bowl champ QB in Ben Roethlisberger. He may be older but he’s probably way less pissed off without Brown causing commotion.
The Steelers have a good team structure. James Conner was the toast of the league with an old-fashioned ground game while Bell sat out last year. Juju Smith-Schuster made spectacular catches and confounded secondaries.
There’s a reason Pittsburgh has remained in the upper echelon of teams for over a decade: they have a good winning formula. Names change but the results have kept pace.
The Steelers can play defense, they can control the clock, they can throw to tight ends. Take away the distractions and this is still a team with “good bones”.
Like the Saints, the Stillers have a rough start to the schedule. The Patriots host them at their sixth banner-raising opener, then the Seahawks visit western PA (on a 1 PM kickoff), then it’s a trip to visit the 49ers before the Bengals start the AFC North annual slugfest.
If Big Ben doesn’t fall apart, the team has a favorable stretch in December. The Steelers visit Arizona, then host the Bills and Jets before the season finale in Baltimore. That last game may mean virtually everything in the division race. However, the 9 wins should be clinched by then.
If the futures market for division champs stay open during the season, this may be a team to follow. Take a look at their record at their Week 7 bye or after the Sunday-Thursday pair when they host the Rams and visit Cleveland. This could be a tantalizing NFL win totals bet.
Pick: Over 9 wins (Best price: -120 at PointsBet)
Seattle Seahawks: Total 8.5
I feel like since Pete Carroll called a goalline throw in the Super Bowl against the Patriots, he has been sitting on an increasingly-warming chair. 2019 might be the year he gets burned.
Russell Wilson is a phenomenal athlete and has won games on skill and guile. His team has weapons but nowhere near previous years.
Seattle has lived and died on defense. Earl Thomas’ departure has ended the Legion of Boom’s era, where they rivaled the great secondaries of decades past. However, their successors have failed to maintain that mystique, as they were punished in Dallas during last year’s Wild Card round.
Every team will play at least one short week, with a Sunday-Thursday pair of games. After a late kickoff at Arizona, they come home to host the Rams.
Seattle will play three 1 PM kickoffs on their slate, at Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Atlanta. All these will happen before their Week 11 bye.
The Seahawks are third-best in odds to win the NFC West, behind the 49ers. Five of the last six games of the year will feature potential playoff teams, including the Niners in Week 17. Yeah, this might be the team that costs Carroll his job.
Pick: Under 8.5 Wins
New York Jets: Total 7.5
When NFL win totals in sports betting came to New Jersey, the Jets were actually a more popular betting team than the Giants, despite a smaller fan base. Both teams were putrid but the Jets were somewhat less atrocious.
There’s a lot of confidence in Gang Green for 2019. LeVeon Bell is a massive pickup for the Jets and should take a lot of pressure off second-year pivot Sam Darnold.
The Jets have traded on strong defense for years but lost Muhammad Wilkerson, one of their mainstays along the defense line. Todd Bowles is out and Adam Gase has made a long trip up I-95 from Miami.
This could be the start of a long-term rebuild in the Meadowlands and the Jets could succeed the G-Men as top banana for the first time in over two decades. 2019 is not going to be pleasant.
The Jets start the season with the Bills, Browns, and at New England. Then comes the bye week, followed by visiting the Eagles, hosting Dallas and the Pats, then a trip to Jacksonville.
Should the Jets survive that early gauntlet, their short week features hosting the Dolphins followed by a trip to Baltimore. After that, the Steelers come to MetLife, likely looking for a playoff clinch.
This may be one of the easiest bets on the board. If you’re feeling very confident, FanDuel has the total at 7 with the under at +135.
Pick: Under 7.5 Wins (best priced at +105 at William Hill)
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