Apart from draft day, there is no better window into how the NFL season might play out than when the league releases the upcoming schedule and win totals odds are released. Bye weeks, short weeks, early games in the East, and total mileage traveled for the season all play a role in how each week will unfold. And it all matters when you look at placing futures bets on NFL season win totals.
Here is a look at three of the more intriguing teams to watch this season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Over/Under 10 Wins)
It’s hard to say that Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski will add three wins to Tampa Bay’s 2019 total of seven, but a favorable schedule might. The Buccaneers will play the Chiefs, Vikings, Packers, and their two division games against the Saints. But the Kansas City game is at home in late November, and then they get a bye before hosting the Vikings in mid-December.
With a lot of new parts to this offense, being able to put off those two big games until the end of the season is big. Meanwhile, in September they start tough, at New Orleans. But then they get the Panthers, Broncos, Chargers, and Bears – which could all very easily be wins.
Indianapolis Colts (Over/Under 8.5 Wins)
Indianapolis has another new quarterback in Philip Rivers, which will make the Colts better. But what really makes this an intriguing bet is that, based on projected win totals for the 2020 season, it is the Colts with the easiest schedule in the NFL.
Inside their division, everyone is anticipated to take a step back. Jacksonville is in total rebuild mode, the Texans have had a brutal offseason, and the Titans are not expected to repeat last year’s trip to the AFC Championship Game.
And in the first seven weeks of the season, Indy gets the Jags, Jets, Bears, Browns, Bengals, and Lions. It would not be surprising at all if they start the year 6-1 (with the lone tough matchup against Minnesota in Week 2).
New England Patriots (Over/Under 9 Wins)
Maybe it’s a fool’s errand to bet against Bill Belichick. But not only do the Patriots have a young quarterback whose growth might suffer from an unorthodox offseason and training camp, they play a brutal schedule in 2020.
Week 1 vs. Miami – not easy. Week 2 at Seattle – brutal. Week 4 at Kansas City – brutal. Week 7 vs. San Francisco – brutal. Week 10 vs. Baltimore – brutal. And then not once, but twice, do the Patriots play games 3,000 miles from home in Los Angeles. And with just four days between the two.
Add in two games against Buffalo and a trip to Houston, and it’s very easy to see how this team could fall short of nine wins.
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