My ohhh my, what an off-season turnaround the Ravens brass pulled off! Not only did they bring Lamar Jackson back on a nice deal, but they added Odell Beckham Jr. for what could be his swan song season. OBJ adds a much-needed safety net on offense that the Ravens, and especially Lamar, have been craving for. Some bad news is that JK Dobbins is away from camp on a contract dispute but I can easily see this as a plus, saving JK some reps as to keep his body safe until his contract is resolved. Veteran Gus Edwards knows the offense and team very well. Well enough to which he could easily hit 2k yards as a replacement. Back to the wide receivers, taken in the 1st round back in the ‘23 draft, Zay Flowers looks incredible by all accounts and appears ready to have an immediate impact. Hopefully ‘21 1st round pick Rashod Bateman can establish a connection early and link up to form a killer combo behind OBJ. As if that wasn’t sexy enough, long time ball hog Mark Andrew’s is back and is set to be a top 5 TE in the NFL, maybe even, dare I say, a top 3 TE. Since entering the league in 2018, he has been a HOG. Lamar loves Mark and I expect another great season between the two, especially in the red zone. BUT WAIT…THERE’S MORE!!!! Todd Monken, the offensive coordinator from reigning national champions, the Georgia Bulldogs, climbs the ladder to the NFL with John Harbaugh and his purple gang. The Ravens have always sported a tough offensive line and last year was one of their best in the past 5-10 years. This year may prove a little different since stud left guard Ben Powers signed with Denver in the offseason, leaving a void for the Ravens to fill. A lot of pressure will rest on Ronnie Stanley’s shoulders and hopefully he stays healthy all season after two injury filled seasons.
Defensively, it starts and stops with star linebacker Roquon Smith. This hog dominates and brings it every game. His sidekick Patrick Queen is solid, but you can easily see another gear that could be hit. Even if he plays his 4th gear game, these two should be tough for all 31 offenses. On defense, Anthony Weaver has been coaching for 14 seasons so I trust he can make fire out of this unit. Defensive Coordinator Mike McDonald is a solid staff hire as he and Weaver joined back last year, after Mike went to Michigan to work with John’s brother Jim. Veteran Marlon Humphrey couldn’t be happier, and he should cause chaos like he usually does. Kyle Hamilton, my personal favorite Raven, is poised for a great season in Year 2 as comfort to the league sets in. Rock Ya-Sin is a delightful addition to this defense as his simple formation placement in zone allows for athletic playmaking.
Win Total: 10.5
Super Bowl Winner: +2000
My Pick: How do you not like the odds for this team? Sure, they have a few things to figure out but this team is solid on and off the field. The trade deadline should prove interesting as they should be gearing up for a deep playoff push, maybe adding some defensive studs. John really has no excuses this season as he is surrounded by people who are not only good at what they do but are either familiar with the system and/or both. Hopefully they can get JK Dobbins paid as he fights the good fight for running backs across the league. JK, when healthy, is a difference maker and 100-yard rusher in any game with this team.
Is this the season that the Bengals, led by Mr. Cool Joe Burrow, make it over the playoff hump and win the Super Bowl? The first couple weeks could be a bit rocky with the injury to Joe in minicamp. Regardless, Joe has shown he can be the guy to beat all the other guys out there and if his defense can hold their end of the bargain, he should have a great season and be on his way to winning multiple championships for the Bengals. This team is SOLID! Especially on offense, depending on if Joe Mixon is able to play after facing more legal trouble stemming from a March 6th incident. Honestly, Dalvin Cook doesn’t sound too bad in that offense or someone like Ezekiel Elliot who can gain 1-4 yards to set up the pass, but those ships have sailed. Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd form one of the premier receiving corps in the NFL, and they are Joe Burrow’s stallions. Irv Smith hopes to slide into the tight end position to pick up where Hayden Hurst left off. Irv has a nice track record of being a reliable target for his QB and when opposing defenses throw everything to stop the big 3, he should find some nice red-zone looks and splash plays. The big change for the offense this season is the massive signing on the offensive line as Orlando Brown joins the team on an expensive contract from reigning champions Kansas City Chiefs. With Jonah Williams on the other side, after a brief contract holdout, they should be able to stop the alarming amount of pass rush that’s been getting through. Joe has been one of the most sacked QBs in the last 3 years, so protection must improve for this team to become a champion.
Defense starts and ends with this team’s line, especially on the edge with Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard back for another season as bash bros. They are vicious and relentless against every offense they face, and they are even hungrier this year. DJ Reader was a big loss towards the end of the season due to injury, as he is a stellar run stuffer in the middle. BJ Hill rejoins the Bengals on a nice deal, so this line is coming back as a whole and healthy unit. Logan Wilson just got a nice payday to stay, and he has been a fine addition at linebacker since being drafted in the 3rd round in 2020. The same can be said for Germaine Pratt when he resigned back in March. Chidobe Awuzie suffered an ACL injury early last season and Eli Apple did his best to fill those big shoes. Awuzie should be hungry as hell and is slated to play Week 1 as he bolsters this secondary, which appears to be the weakest element after Jessie Bates left in the off-season for the Los Angeles Chargers. Mike Hilton hopes to lock down the slot as always but there is some underlying pressure on the rest of the Bengals secondary.
Win Total : O/U 11.5
Odds to win Super Bowl: +1100
My Pick: Here we are again with a stout Bengals team and after some offseason additions, they look stronger than ever. One big negative is Jessie Bates. Say what you want but a Pro Bowl safety is never easy to replace. The secondary will have the biggest question mark as a positional group throughout the season. Joe Burrow being protected is no small matter as well. He suffered a calf injury in camp that should keep him sidelined until Week 1, if not further, if it was up to teammate Ja’Marr Chase. Keeping Joe healthy is ultimately the main goal as he has faced a lot of abuse early on in his possible hall of fame career. I think the AFC North starts and ends with the Bengals, with the Ravens right behind them. The orange and black crew should be buyers at the deadline, with some solid cap space to work with currently.
Kenny freaking Pickett. It is now, without a doubt, the Pickett era. He showed signs of promise last year, even more so towards the end of the season as he adapted to the chaotic Matt Canada offense. That’s going to be the massive storyline as Canada let Pickett open up a little more and it seemed to be working. George Pickens could easily become a top 10 WR in the NFL at some point. His drive for the ball and physicality really pops out when you watch him. Diontae Johnson should find a lot of comfort in that, as he should still see some single coverage targets with George causing havoc. This offense has a lot of exciting potential in the skill positions. Guys like Allen Robinson III shore up the talent and experience that should help round out the youth. Running back isn’t flashy, but Najee Harris should make a great combo with Jaylen Warren who emerged as a strong runner late last season. This offense hasn’t found a lot of success in the run game the last couple seasons so you hope they can figure it out this year. The offensive line NEEDS to evolve for there to be any chance for this offense to stay healthy and consistent. There were many moments last season that hindered the Steelers offense and slowed down late drives because of poor blocking. Honestly nobody on this roster is top 10 at their position, with 1st round pick Broderick Jones without a single NFL snap yet at the left tackle.
Pittsburgh rides and dies with its defense, and it has been an absolute unit for years with big line hogs in TJ Watt and Cameron Hayward. TJ has shown he can be the best defender in the game, wrecking entire offenses by himself. Hayward, like my favorite Vince Wilfork, is a line hog that teams dream of having. Big savages who show up every snap and keep a good head on their shoulders. Minkah Fitzpatrick at safety helps solidify a top 10 defense made up mainly by the play of 3 players. Alex Highsmith has shown himself to be a capable edge rusher opposite of Watt. It’s the secondary and linebacker roles that take all the burden this year defensively. The Linebacker group searches for an identity after a whole new group is assembled. In the secondary, Pittsburgh drafted Joey Porter Jr. out of Penn State to be the #1 guy after having just 1 interception in college. Patrick Peterson is his only competition for the #1 spot, which hopefully doesn’t take long as Peterson enters his 13th season and should be in a #2 role. I just think this linebacker group needs more playmakers and it will let the line down.
Win total: o/u 8.5
Super Bowl: +5300
My Pick: Does Mike Tomlin have what it takes to bring this team together and push them to the big game? Does this team have a chance of making the playoffs? I have no clue but ole Mike Tomlin has a tough job to take this somewhat ragtag team to the playoffs. The AFC North is a gauntlet with playoff contenders and Super Bowl hopefuls in the Bengals and Ravens. The defense can compete in any game, but can the offense keep up? Matt Canada has long had an up and down relationship with Pittsburgh, as the offense has performed the same way. Kenny Pickett can flat out play but can he remain healthy after numerous concussions?
Now we are set for an actual Browns season where they have no excuses. Deshaun Watson served his time and Myles Garrett got hurt, so last year never really counted right? Well, here we are with a new season and all the big stars ready to roll. Amari Cooper is still hanging around trying to show off why he’s a top 5 WR in the league still. Elijah Moore joins the Browns to help solidify the #2 receiver role. Otherwise, you got to be excited about another season of big man Donovan Peoples-Jones. David Njoku is a monster of a tight end and should see quality red zone opportunities. Nick Chubb is ready to push for the lead rusher in the NFL, which looks better without Kareem Hunt, who the Browns let go. Chubb is your every down back so let’s hope for another healthy season after earning 2nd team All-Pro honors in ‘22. Jerome Ford has had some nice buzz coming out of camp. The second year player should see some more snaps when they rest Chubb. Just to make everything nice and smooth, the Cleveland Browns host one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. Joel Bitonio and Wyatt Teller form an insanely strong guard combo and Ethan Pocic emerged as a top 10 center last year. Bill Callahan is one of the best offensive line coaches in the game and should be extremely excited for the season ahead for his unit.
The Cleveland Browns defense has been good. Not great, not bad, but good. Myles Garrett is an apex defender out there and one of the defensive player of the year favorites. He should be set for another strong season with Za’Darius Smith on the opposite side playing Robin to his Batman. Dalvin Tomlinson, defensive tackle, and hog, from the Minnesota Vikings, joins the Browns on a nice contract to help plug the line. The linebackers are who this team needs more action from. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah has been a stellar hybrid LB, but injuries are starting to add up and it seems like he needs more help around him. I have no clue who on this roster can do that. Secondary though, different story. Denzel Ward has been a lowkey quality corner since he played his first NFL game. If Greg Newsome can stay healthy and do well on his side, this defense should easily flourish if the safeties don’t get blown out over the top with deep passing plays.
Win total: o/u 9.5
Super Bowl: +3500
My Pick: Crazy to see a Browns team where the offense looks so legit, and the defense seems to have massive holes. Sure, Myles Garrett is a beast and should easily get double digit sacks. But we have seen how even if he can shut down a whole side of the field, offenses have found success on the opposite side. Owusu-Koramoah definitely needs help around him, there is simply not enough play coming out of that group. The secondary is right there with them. Unless the Browns can get some help at the deadline or one of their draft picks turns into a diamond in the rough, I don’t see this defense giving a lot of help to an offense that “should” be really good.
Can Von Miller stay healthy and be the difference maker the Bills needed last year? I think so. Will it happen? At this point for the Bills, probably not. Buffalo has been Super Bowl cursed for decades and it would truly be the Buffalo way to see another great NFL QB in Josh Allen go without a championship win. Josh has been one of the best QBs since he joined the league in 2018. He doesn’t have the accolades or hardware to really showcase that unfortunately. His unique combination of strength, accuracy, and QB play is comparable to no one in this league. Stefon Diggs has been his go to for years now and things won’t be any different as they have been an unstoppable force. Add 1st round pick Dalton Kincaid whose an elite play making tight end out of Utah. Last year’s 2nd round pick James Cook looks to be the starter and ready to be an every down back. Dawson Knox and Gabe Davis should be safety valves for Allen as they have been on the team for multiple years now. I think the biggest issue is the offensive line. Very middle of the pack talent and nobody stands out on paper besides left tackle Dion Dawkins, but even still he’s not even top 5 LT. This group has got to step up or get modified quickly. The Bills cannot sacrifice another season to injuries and poor protection as Allen looks to make more productive plays while conserving his health.
Once again, it all depends on Von Miller. He’s the difference maker when playing teams like the Bengals and Chiefs, who the Bills will see every year in order to win the AFC. The clock is ticking for the Bills and this defense has been good, but not great. Ed Oliver is a great defensive tackle, and he will cause chaos in the middle while Von wrecks either side. Matt Milano is a premier linebacker as his motor and tackling shuts down most runs. This secondary is where the team can really go from mean to the baddest mofos out there. Tre’davious White is a #1 cornerback and could play for every team in the NFL. Him remaining healthy, unlike last year, will be a major focal point for this group. Kaiir Elam is the ‘22 1st round pick that showed lots of promise last year and hopes to solidify his rep in the league this year. White and Elam should form one of the toughest CB tandems in league and with Pro Bowlers Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer at the safeties, this group could be DEADLY.
Win total: over 10.5 -155 / under 10.5 +125
Super Bowl: +900
My Pick: This has got to be the year right? To me, the Bills were a healthy Von Miller away from winning the championship. The cracks are starting to show unfortunately as Stefon Diggs appears erratic with the team. The offensive line is getting older. This HAS to be the year, otherwise Josh Allen is looking at possibly a whole new offense. Year after year this core has come up short, you better believe heads will roll if this season doesn’t pan out. I definitely think they make the playoffs but give me the under 10.5 wins all day.
Are you ready, Miami? Are you ready for another season filled with so much promise at the beginning to be absolutely shredded by season’s end? Tyreek Hill wants to break 2k yards and I don’t see why he wouldn’t if he stays healthy. Jaylen Waddle has been better every year so far in the league since 2021 and is set for another explosive season. Gesicki is gone but replaced by Durham Smythe and Tyler Kroft which doesn’t really impact much. A lot will depend on the running game and offensive line as they failed to make plays in key moments last season. Big off-season signing, left tackle Terron Armstead, was injured most the season and unable to shore up a line that desperately needs him. Isaiah Wynn joins the Dolphins to help shore up those missed games by Terron, but he will not be able to cover for one of the best in the game. Conner Williams and Liam Eichenberg have been in the game for a few years so you hope they can bring some more consistency this year. Tua definitely needs all the protection he can get after numerous injuries last year and less than stellar play when under pressure. Is Tua going to break or lead any passing record? No. Can he win a Super Bowl with this roster? Yes. The talent around him offensively and defensively has been the best in years.
Speaking of defense, Miami went out and got Jalen Ramsey to link up with Xavier Howard and hopefully form one of the best lockdown corner duos in the game. Pumping the brakes on that early unfortunately is big free agent signing Jalen Ramsey getting hurt in minicamp. He should be back by December but not what you want to see is your star CB signing getting hurt 1 month into football. Christian Wilkins is one of the best defensive tackles in the game and as long as this guy is on the field, the defense is going to be solid. Speed, size, power, and he’s a fun guy to watch play football. On the edge are two young studs who are finding their best form and should be absolute hogs this year. Bradley Chubb is a household name in the NFL from his time with the Denver Broncos but Jaelen Phillips is a homegrown talent after playing at Miami University and now with the Dolphins. These two should be able to pressure the QB more often than not while Wilkins goes crazy in the middle. The safeties Byron Jones and Jevon Holland are both solid hogs against the run and pass, with Holland only 23 years old and another gear to find. They have been a combo since ‘21, featuring a strong knack for stopping deep passes. So, the weakest link would be the linebacker group as they do not have any elite talent there. Jerome Baker is solid and excels at the run while newcomer David Long does the same thing. The good news is that Vic Fangio is the new defensive coordinator and will be bringing the pressure while shutting down the passing game. He has cooked up some great defenses everywhere he’s gone, and this team is talented enough to give him great material.
Win total: over 9.5 +101 / under 9.5 -125
Super Bowl: +2500
My Pick: This has got to be one of the sexiest teams in the league. The offense looks strong and defense will be powerful once Jalen Ramsey comes back from injury in December. Otherwise, they should hold their own against everybody in the NFL. Just like last year, it all starts and ends with Tua. This team needs the QB to take them to the promised land. If the Dolphins get Johnathan Taylor, it’s pretty much going to be near impossible to stop this offense. This defense is fierce as well, maybe needs some improvement at the deadline but otherwise solid. Give me some change on them going over 9.5 and some Super Bowl props as well.
New England Patriots
Well, what do we have here?! An actual offensive coordinator? WOAHHHH take it easy there Bill Belichick. Seriously though, Bill O’Brien brings much needed comfort at the play calling position instead of defensive minded Matt Patricia who joins the Eagles staff. Bill also worked with Mac Jones at a small school called The University of Alabama – just kidding they are a powerhouse. So, there really shouldn’t be too much of a learning process between the two. Rhomondre Stevenson and Ezekiel Elliot will form a solid running back combo.
Matthew Judon is a beast. Christian Barmore should develop into a beast. Josh Uche is a delightful sight of speed to use at the edge position. Lawrence Guy is a solid veteran on the line and should provide some more pivotal play during critical moments. But WAIT…there’s more! Davon Godchaux joins the Patriots on a somewhat hefty deal for a guy who shows lots of promise but hasn’t put together a lot of games played. Rookie Keion White might be a household name soon with how dominant he was during some preseason games. The secondary looks promising after losing longtime Patriot Devin McCourty. Kyle Duggar looks to be the safety of the future while Jalen Mills slides to the other side and looks to fly around the field. 1st round pick Christian Gonzalez looks like a rookie who can play immediately – and succeed – so I don’t see it being a problem for the newcomer to float. Jack Jones may not be the smartest when it comes to carry-on items for a flight, but he can play cornerback very well. Hybrid Marcus Jones looks to slide into any role possible, but his tackling could be a liability. Last, and certainly least, this time around is the linebacker group. Yes, the edge is very nice but the actual linebacker group is a lot of blue collar lunch pail guys who offer limited creativity. But if everything goes well with QB pressure and the safeties are covering the top, the linebackers should flourish with mostly coverage and zone schemes. Ja’whaun Bentley is one of those vets and lowkey names that succeeds in this defense. Jahlani Tavai is another one of those guys. Gone are the days of strong SEC linebackers manning the helm. Jarod Mayo is the linebackers coach so if anybody can get this group fit for this scheme, it will be him.
Win Total: Over 7.5 +120 / Under 7.5 -150
Super Bowl: +6600
My Pick: I don’t see a lot of bright spots on this team. Bill Belichick will have his hands full with these guys but at least he has the right personnel around him. Mac must play better for this team to even have a chance at playoffs. The defense can hold its own, but that offense isn’t top 15 in scoring. They will barely get 5 wins. Give me under 7.5.
New York Jets
Aaron freakin Rodgers. Hard Knocks featured. Zach Wilson happy as a backup. Breece Hall healthy. Dalvin Cook signed. Mekhi Becton is actually trying to be in game shape. What is going on here? Robert Salah shouldn’t need any coffee when going to work, as this team should be exciting enough to get his nipples erect. Garrett Wilson looks to rival Justin Jefferson as the best in the league, and by going against Sauce in practice, he’s sharpening his skills every rep. Even in double coverage, we will see what he can really do as Aaron can put the ball anywhere he wants to on the field to make a play. New Jet, Allen Lazard, should provide a nice safety valve for Aaron as they have a connection from Green Bay, with Aaron specifically asking for Allen in his Jets courtship. Corey Davis is no slouch either and, at the 3 spot, he could make an impact anywhere on the field going against most slot corners. Tyler Conklin joins from Minnesota and looks to help in the red zone as the tight end position greatly improves. The big liability is the offensive line. Will Becton play most of the season? The huge tackle has been greatly missed for years now. Duane Brown is 38 and you can hear the swan song playing already for him. Whenever he’s out there, he’s going to give it all on the blind side. Lots of pressure will be on Laken Tomlinson and Alijah Vera-Tucker to open up holes in the run games and shut down that tough inside pressure.
The defense was super legit last year and one of the best in the NFL. Crazy right? But that’s what happens when you draft immediate studs, starting with Quinnen Williams. He earned a nice contract after some quality years with the Jets since being drafted in ‘19. Now add the best corner to come out of college in the last decade in Sauce Gardner. Spice it up with Jermaine Johnson, athletic outside linebacker who can bring the pressure on any QB, and we got ourselves a delicious meal so far. CJ Mosley is still there and has been completely solid while wearing the green sticker, which signifies the player getting the play calls. Adrian Amos and Jordan Whitehead form a quality, experienced duo at the safety position and have the talent to back up their play. I’m disgusted with how turned on I am about this defense. In two years they have spun this defense from trash to gold.
Win total: over 9.5 -125 / under 9.5 +100
Super Bowl: +1800
My Pick: Give me the Super Bowl odds. The defense is legit, and Aaron has won a Super Bowl before. I won’t be surprised if the Jets miss the playoffs completely because they are the Jets, but it would take a couple of big injuries for this team to not succeed.
Buckle up buttercups, we are in for a whole new experience, but with probably the same results. Davis Mills finds himself on the 2nd string after giving it all he could last season, especially with that thick neck of his. C.J. Stroud takes over after being selected 2nd overall in the ‘23 draft. Lots of pressure lands on his shoulders as he tries to make this Texans team competitive. Case Keenum slides his way into that QB room, and you have to imagine he’s there to solely help C.J. get better. Welcome back Dameon Pierce. He had such a great start to his rookie season before bowing out in Week 14 with an ankle injury. After almost rushing for 1k yards, you have to expect him to go over that number easily this year, depending on O-line play. C.J. will struggle so Pierce should get plenty of touches and check down looks. Devin Singletary jumps to Houston from Buffalo to help solidify that RB room. Dalton Shultz got paid handsomely and we will see if his magic in Dallas translates to Houston. He should be a reliable safety valve and red zone target. The wide receiver room is young and eager to get reps with their new QB. Nico Collins, ‘21 1st round pick, and John Metchie, ‘22 2nd round pick, were both studs in college and look to establish themselves in the NFL with a legit offense behind new head coach Demeco Ryan. Demeco has also said that ‘23 3rd round pick Tank Dell will be a factor this year as well. Things are very promising in the WR room over in Houston.
Now we get to the meat of the offense, which is the offensive line. Laremy Tunsil has established himself as one of the best left tackles in the game, at least that’s what he’s getting paid as. He might be the only highlight on this line, as the rest are either injured or have “okay” talent. Tytus Howard on the right is injured for 4-6 weeks with a broken hand. Shaq Mason hopes to rejuvenate some of his game since leaving the Patriots years ago. Juice Scruggs, great name, was a 2nd round pick outta Penn State and you hope he can be an anchor to build on with Tunsil for years to come. Kenyon Green at left guard is a sleeper but he was a 1st round pick last year and played fairly well next to Laremy. The pass blocking looks fine, but the run blocking needs to improve dramatically for the health and success of Pierce.
Offense yeah, nice, but this defense could be really mean in 2-3 years. You’ll have some bright moments this year, but ultimately Derek Stingley can’t cover every receiver and Will Anderson is not him….at least not yet. The defensive line is held together by the most expensive, unknown names I’ve ever heard of. The same can be said about the edge, as names like Chase Winovich and Jerry Hughes add some experience. Denzel Perryman at the linebacker position is a tackling machine and excels at the run. Henry To’oto’o hopes to become a nice add after being drafted from Alabama in ‘23. “Dismal, but promising” is the best way to put the linebacker position, or simply “sus”. The secondary is where this team can build around. Of course, Derek is a #1 and will develop nicely with all the reps and star WR’s he will match up against. He can flat out ball. Steven Nelson is very experienced and can still ball. He should be able to show Derek a few tricks while holding his own on the opposite side. The same can be said about his former Niners teammate Jimmie Ward who joins the team in the offseason and hopes to fill the void of Justin Reid.
Win total: over 6.5 +116 / under 6.5 +142
Super Bowl: +18000
My Pick: Under 6.5 all day. I personally love the under in passing yards from CJ as the offensive line is massively underperforming and CJ shouldn’t come close to 3k yards.
Holy sh*t what an off-season! Colts owner Jim Irsay vs star running back Johnathan Taylor, as Jim publicly downplays the importance of the running back position after a recent meeting by most of the NFLs starting running backs who met to discuss their financial situations as being undervalued players. Taylor is considered one of the best running backs in the league currently, so his word and stance is very pivotal during this time in football and for the immediate success of the Colts. Taylor had held out, only going to the facility a handful of times, and never practiced. He openly stated he wants to be traded even after a face to face with Jim, who had hoped to smooth things over with his stud RB. Zach Moss and Deon Jackson are currently listed as 2 and 3 behind Taylor which would be a massive drop off for talent and playmaking. Then, you add in 2023 1st round pick Anthony Richardson who looks to be “the guy” at QB for years to come. I don’t see that happening but hey, look how athletic he is. Combine freak. He’s going to go out there and “out-athlete” most people, but when it comes down to QB play to win games, possibly without Taylor, this team is going to crumble like crackers over soup. A positive spin is Gardner Minshew looks to be another forever backup, like Ryan Fitzpatrick, who can be exciting when forced into action. Minshew Mania might have some magic left on that mustache. The receivers are led by Michael Pittman Jr. who has 1k yard potential, but he is probably the only one with this current offense. Seriously, it’s going to take a lot of stellar offensive line work to open holes for the run and make time for the pass. Richardson’s legs should keep him alive every play as he “could” be one of the best mobile QBs in the league instantly. The biggest positive you got is ole Jim Bob Cooter as your offensive coordinator, who has not only a solid name, but a solid knack for offense. All eyes will be on Richardsons immediate play as the saving grace for this offense.
If Shaq Leonard can stay healthy, this defense can be solid. Without him though, it will not work. DeForest Buckner has been a beast on the defensive line for years and can be relied on to bring the power to every single game. Consistency is DeForest’s middle name, as he has made more starts than all other DTs during his career, and this season shouldn’t be any different as he looks to make another Pro Bowl. Back to Leonard, he can be one of the best defenders in the league and all signs point to him being back to 100%. But after two back surgeries within a year, is that athleticism still there? This defense and team DESPERATELY hope so. Plus, he’s exciting as hell to watch out there, so I hope we get some more years of high-level Shaq. Kenny Moore III is still great in slot coverage but the rest of the secondary needs to prove themselves. There’s very little spice on this defense behind DeForest and Shaq. Gus Bradley will have his hands full at the defensive coordinator position trying to will some quality play out of this unit.
Win total: over 6.5 -120 / under 6.5 -105
Super Bowl: +10000
My Pick: Under 6.5 all day. Richardson is not the guy, and that defense is not ready for a 17-game schedule. With Johnathan Taylor assuredly leaving, there’s not a lot of promise left in Indianapolis.
Please let this team be better than last year. They are exciting! A feisty Jacksonville team makes the NFL more entertaining, and this year should be something spicy. Trevor Lawrence is back and more experienced, so you have to expect a 4k yard passing season. This is his time to be the bad boy who can be the villain to the heroes of Allen, Mahomes, and Burrow in the AFC. Trevor has to put his team on the map, and that means winning in the playoffs. He has the same weapons around him. Travis Etienne is a beast RB. Rookie Tank Bigsby from Auburn is a stud of a prospect behind Travis. Christian Kirk and Zay Jones are back and ready to ball like last year. Say hello to reinstated Calvin Ridley. He has looked great in practice and preseason with many NFL personalities taking notice. Evan Engram at tight end is still a threat. The skilled positions are stacked. Offensive line….Houston, we have a problem. All Pro right tackle Jawaan Taylor is a massive loss. This unit was dead last for run blocking. That must improve with rookie Anton Harrison at right tackle now. Brandon Scherff is still there to help him out and Cam Robinson is one of the more solid left tackles in the game, so Trevor’s blindside is in good hands. Unfortunately, he’s suspended 4 games for some PED usage so the Jags will have to tread water until reinforcements come.
The defensive line is spearheaded by edge hog Josh Allen, who needs a good rebound year to help the defense stay in games. Devin Lloyd at the linebacker position was a beast last year as a rookie and will surely continue his tackling prowess. Travon Walker should be a year stronger and be more impactful as the 22’ 1st overall pick should have a lot of skill. The secondary is the big riddle. Can they hold up and be the last piece for the defensive puzzle?
Win total: over 9.5 -144/ under 9.5 +118
Super Bowl: +2800
My Pick: Buckle up and let’s ride. Little pepper on that Super Bowl bet so if they suck, you’ll get better odds and if they rock, you’ll already have good odds. The AFC South is soft, and the Jags return an experienced crew with solid talent. Give me a divisional winner as well. I doubt the Colts, Titans, and Texans make much noise.
Let the biggest QB battle in the NFL commence! Ryan Tannehill hopes to stay ahead of his rivals Will Levis and Malik Willis as the Titans continuously load up on that position with young potential as they look for their next guy. It’s going to be tough with this offensive line. Their center has played over 900 snaps at LG. They also have 3 newcomers with a rookie guard, albeit its 2022, 1st round pick Peter Skoronski from Northwestern, who is a quality hog. Hopefully Andre Dillard at left tackle can slide in easily for his 1st year with the Titans as he joins from the Eagles. He’s collected a massive payday to do so. Deandre Hopkins hopes to smooth things over as he joins after a brief market exchange with the Patriots. Treylon Burks is still very good and only in his second year. All eyes are on Derrick Henry. Will he play in all 17 games or at least be healthy enough to impact this team? I think he gets fed up finally and gets traded.
Win total: over 7.5 -132/ under 7.5 +106
Super Bowl: +6000
My Pick: I expect this team to finish dead last. It’s my hottest take but I firmly believe it. Tannehill is running on fumes. Derrick Henry will ask for a trade once he has one of the roughest starts to a season ever. Deandre Hopkins will most likely be injured or unable to breakaway for most of the season due to regression. The defense on the other hand is legit. The under in every game sounds amazing, as the Iowa of the NFL looks poised to grind out hard fought games.
Goodbye John Elway, and hello Sean Payton! Who comes in HOT with chirping former head coach Nathaniel Hackett’s performance with the team, as Payton spitting out how bad of a job he did and how tough a task it will be to fix this team. He and Russell Wilson should get along just fine with those massive egos of theirs. Injuries are running rampant through the receivers as Jerry Jeudy just recently went down while Tim Patrick hits the IR due to an ACL injury. Speaking of injuries, Javonte Williams is ready to roll at running back after missing some time to injuries. The Broncos signed Mike McGlinchey to help shore up the offensive line but honestly it might not be enough. Maybe the new coaching helps, but I doubt it opens up many holes for running.
The defense is known for the no-fly zone which is the nickname for their secondary group. Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson form one of the best safety combos in the NFL. Pat Surtain III is a matchup nightmare for opposing wide receivers. It’s going to be up to Randy Gregory and newly signed Zach Allen to pressure opposing offenses. The defense will be strong against the pass and the rush, and I think they are a Chase Young-esqe player away from being really mean.
Win total: over 8.5 -106 / under 8.5 -114
Super Bowl: +4500
My Pick: What the hell, give me over 8.5 wins and sprinkle that Super Bowl odd on me. They have a great framework and Sean Payton has a quality track record that can’t be denied. The injuries may hurt early on but if Russell has any magic left in the tank, we are going to see it this season.
Kansas City Chiefs
Dynasty? They always say it takes 3 championships in 5 years to make a dynasty so let’s see what the Kansas City Chiefs can do as they look strong as ever heading into a possible repeat season. Back-to-back parades would mean instant hall of fame votes for Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce. I’m sure they will make it regardless, but a championship this specific season would stamp that passport to golden jacket town. The stout offensive line has a couple of new faces. Gone is Orlando Brown Jr to the Bengals as Donovan Smith slides over from the right to make room for big signing Jawaan Taylor. Jawaan joins from the Jacksonville Jaguars and this team shouldn’t miss much chemistry from Orlando leaving, as Jawaan earned Pro Bowl honors. Isiah Pacheco seems to be the #1 running back for the Chiefs and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Kadarius Toney has bust written all over him but he’s fast when he runs so he will get a lot of hype.
Chris Jones is one of the best linemen in the game and he’s back. George Karlaftis is back after a successful rookie year. This defensive line is ready to stuff. I honestly don’t know how this defense performs so well but it starts with that line, and ends there as well.
Win total: over 11.5 -134 / under 11.5 +110
Super Bowl: +600 (Favorite)
My Pick: Give me the under 11.5 for plus money. They should have some Super Bowl blues and a little learning curve with the new lineman. After that they should gel and make the playoffs easily but 12 wins or more just seems too much to me.
Las Vegas Raiders
Oaklan…. I mean Las Vegas Raiiiiiiiders. Are we ready for the Jimmy G era? If not, there isn’t much else to be excited for, as a forever Patriots backup slides in behind Jimmy on the depth chart. Davante Adams is probably already looking at other teams to see who needs a top 5 WR. Josh Jacobs is reporting for Week 1, but don’t expect this relationship to end well. Jakobi Meyers joins the Raiders after throwing a touchdown pass to them last year. Just to make things worse, the offensive line does not look well. I don’t see any all-stars on that line, and I don’t see much light for this offense.
Maxx Crosby is pushing for DPOY and he may get it if Chandler Jones can mod his job on the other side. The defense will definitely need all the QB pressures it can get, as it lacks severe elite talent. Marcus Peters joins the team and should be their shutdown corner but could easily fall apart and be exposed by weak safeties.
Win total: over 6.5 +108 / under 6.5 -134
Super Bowl: +7500
My Pick: Under me all day here. I see this as a foundation season where they get out the bad and build the young all over again. McDaniels will be on the hot seat, and without Jarrett Stidham in the hole, I don’t see much offense.
Los Angeles Chargers
Same song and dance as Justin Herbert looks to be the guy, but the team needs to grow around him. Austin Ekeler is upset because he realizes the Chargers aren’t going to pay him for being the touchdown machine that he is. Mike Williams and Keenan Allen combine for a full season of games played. The line is better, but is still lacking a serious bite outside of Rashawn Slater and Corey Linsley. The Chargers offensively are not dangerous though, and will rely on the same Ekeler dump off and Herbert long bombs to score big points.
Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa are back and hopefully better. JC Jackson is healthy after missing all of last season, which was his first with the team. Asante Samuel Jr is a ballhawk like his dad, and hates to hit just like him. Enter Derwin James who can flat out fly across the field and cover a lot of ground.
Win total: over 9.5 -128 / under 9.5 +104
Super Bowl: +2100
My Pick: I’m not sold on this team. If anything, I think the defense keeps them in games, but offense and coaching will crumble. Ekeler is poised for injury or another team. Under 9.5 at plus money for me.
Okay, so Kellen Moore is gone and Mike McCarthy decides to take it upon himself to move this offense. Dak shouldn’t have to worry about that, as staying healthy and focusing on making plays should be the only thing on his mind. Tony Pollard takes over for Ezekiel Elliot, so expect more speed and passing out of the backfield. CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks, and Michael Gallup form a lethal wide receivers group. I’m sure all of Dalls fans are keeping their fingers crossed that Tyrone Smith stays healthy at left tackle.
The defense is led by Micah Parsons who is an APEX edge rusher. This guy is a beast. Trevon Diggs can play interception machine, but the damage that Micah can do can only be mirrored by that of TJ Watt. If Stephon Gilmore can get some of his old stuff back, he would be a great addition to be Trevon’s sidekick. This defense looks very exciting!
Win total: over 9.5 -162/ under 9.5 +130
Super Bowl: +1300
My Pick: Under 9.5. Mike McCarthy is calling the plays now that Kellen Moore has left to be offensive coordinator for the Chargers. Dak and Mike will have a troubled season where the defense outperforms the offense more nights than not. Micah Parsons should win defensive player of the year as his campaign of terror begins.
New York Giants
Danny Dimes and Saquon Barkley link up again for another season with the Giants. This may be the last for both of them as they play for their lives. They hope to build the heat after some nice momentum last season. Daboll has something going on and you want to see it sooner rather than later. The receiving room has a bunch of capable guys but there isn’t much top end talent. Enter Darren Waller from Las Vegas who should open up some nice holes over the middle for Danny Dimes, especially in the red zone. If the offensive line struggles then this could be curtains for their leaders.
Dexter Lawrence, Leonard Williams, and Kayvon Thibodeaux form a gnarly defensive line. They are great pieces to build around but the Giants haven’t done that. Bobby Okereke is a great addition from the Colts who hopes to lead the way for his new team. I just have lots of cobwebs about the secondary.
Win total: over 7.5 -104 / under 7.5 -116
Super Bowl: +4800
My Pick: Under 7.5 and that’s that. This team should be exciting to watch for the season but give me the under with a team in a battle tested division and a suspect offensive line.
The Super Bowl runner ups are poised for another deep run. Jalen Hurts got paid! He should be in the running for MVP all season and this offense around him is ready for another try. Really the only person who left was Miles Sanders, but D’andre Swift joined from Detroit to fill the gap. This offense has a great line, receiving corps, and running back room. The ball is in Hurts’ hands.
The defense is a different story. Jalen Carter is the highly touted 1st round pick from Georgia who shores up a deep defensive line. Jordan Davis and Jalen should form a devastating combo. Brandon Graham is still around being the savvy veteran linebacker and one of the best to do it. Nakobe Dean is a second-year linebacker out of Georgia who hopes to elevate from last year and stack the tackles. Haason Reddick had 16 sacks last season, which proved monumental for the Eagles’ success. Former Steeler Terrell Edmunds fills in for CJ Gardner-Johnson who leaves for Detroit.
Win total: over 11.5 +104/ under 11.5 -128
Super Bowl: +800
My Pick: The Eagles will regress on defense and the offense will sputter. That doesn’t mean they won’t make the playoffs, and that’s where I’m looking to bet on them for this season. I hope the injury bug stays away, but this team is a couple injuries away from being diminished.
We have a whole new team here without Dan Snyder. So much hope. Sam Howell looks to be the agent of change as he leads this rejuvenated team and organization. He has Terry McLaurin who is shaping out to be a top 5 WR. If either Jahan Dotson and Curtis Samuel can figure out how to be consistent, the passing game should be solid. Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson combine for a sneaky good backfield. The offensive line has room to grow, but they aren’t bad either.
The defense has a little bit more bite with Chase Young, Jonathan Allen, and Montez Sweat all combining for a powerful punch. As long as the secondary doesn’t give up massive plays and the linebackers can plug the run gaps, this defensive line should be able to eat enough to cause devastating pressure.
Win Total: Over 6.5 +100 / Under 6.5 -122
Super Bowl: +6500
My Pick: I have to be hopeful here. Over 6.5 because I think with new management comes new standards and this team will gear up throughout the season as the NFC East should be weak enough to let the Commanders hog to the top.
Justin Fields evolved last year with his legs making big plays. They made some off the field moves by shipping the number 1 pick out and nabbing DJ Moore in the deal. Khalil Herbert is a 1k yard rusher but there isn’t much shine on this side. The offensive line ranks in the bottom of all rankings.
The defense is not much better, and they do not have Justin Fields back there to run away from all the problems. Instead, they picked up Tremaine Edmunds to bolster the linebacker group and will leave the secondary to ‘22 1st round pick safety Jaquan Brisker.
Win Total: Over 7.5 -122 / Under 7.5 +100
Super Bowl: +6000
My Pick: I really don’t know about this team. They could either succeed in a weak division and scrap a couple underdog wins or bottom out and build toward next year. If I had to make a play, it would be under 7.5 at +100.
The darlings of the NFL, as the majority of football fans keep a soft spot for the Lions. Dan Campbell has this team and nation believing in him. Jared Goff has been very solid since his arrival and evolved as one of the team leaders immediately. Jahmyr Gibbs is an exciting rookie who should make some nice noise with Swift and Williams gone from the running back group. Once Amon-Ra St. Brown is healthy and Jameson Williams is done with his betting suspension, they should link up with Marvin Jones Jr to form a top-tier receiving corps. This offensive line has potential to be one of the best in the NFL.
Aiden Hutchinson enters season 2 and needs to bring the rain to help hold up the rest of this defense. Jack Campbell is a tackling machine out of Iowa so he will be able to slow offenses in the middle. CJ Gardner-Johnson missed a big injury and should be ready to roll for most of the season. Which is huge for the Lions, as the former Eagle joins a desperate group who needs his skills.
Win Total: Over 9.5 -122 / Under 9.5 +100
Super Bowl: +2100
My Pick: I would just sprinkle some on that Lions Super Bowl and wait and see if this defense can keep up. The over in every game this season sounds great, as the Lions secondary needs big plays from both CJ and Aiden to even compete against most of the NFL.
Green Bay Packers
Jordan Love assumes the crown left behind by Aaron Rodgers. Jordan has massive shoes to fill, and I can’t wait to see how that goes… not well if I had to guess. Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon combine to form one of the deadliest running back combos in the NFL. Thoughts and prayers out for the offensive line as they are held together by David Bakhtiari’s willpower.
I was never sold on Jaire Alexander being a shutdown corner. I even further doubt that this defense can do much with who they got.
Win Total : Over 7.5 -122 / Under 7.5 +100
Super Bowl: +4000
My Pick: Under 7.5 for plus money. Simple, they are the weakest in their division, and I don’t see how they scramble too many wins past 4.
SKOL! SKOL! KIRK! KIRK! Is this the year Kirk gets the big win? Kirk Cousins to Justin Jefferson is going to be automatic and one of the most entertaining things to watch in the NFL. Rookie WR from USC Jordan Addison hopes to join the party as the skilled wideout looks ready to roll. Justin is considered one of the best WRs in the NFL so Jordan, one of the best in college football, should be poised for early success. KJ Osborn completes the trinity, who comes in with solid experience and talent. TJ Hockenson is one of the best TE’s in the NFL. How does this offense not lead the league in yards? Okay sure, Alexander Mattison is no Dalvin Cook but the offensive line brings back all 5 at the same positions. They were okay last year but you have to expect more success from the same group.
Here we have another Vikings defense that looks mean on paper but could show up like poodles on game day. It’s a bad trend, but it’s a recurring one. This team on paper looks really good though haha. Dean Lowry is a nice addition to the defensive line from division rival Green Bay. Marcus Davenport is a certified hog and joins the Vikings D-line. Danielle Hunter resigns after another contract dispute. I mean that’s a lot of pressure with just those 3. Add in Harrison Phillips and that’s crazy. Harrison Smith on the secondary, though, needs a new season and to forget last year. Byron Murphy joins from the Cardinals to help Harrison shore up a leaky secondary. I’m confident on the line for this team but everything behind them could end up costing them in critical moments.
Win Total: Over 8.5 -128 / Under 8.5 +104
Super Bowl: +3500
My Pick: Over 8.5 and to win the division. I don’t believe the Bears hype and Packers are not good. That just leaves Minnesota to battle Detroit for the crown, in which I see the Vikings winning both matchups. I’m surprised the Vikings weren’t bigger spenders in the off-season, but if this team starts off hot or somewhat warm, I can see them gearing up as they get closer to playoffs. One issue that could easily hamper everything is the running back room crumbling and not being able to establish dominance.
What’s this? A young, capable QB in Desmond Ridder? One of the most talented running backs to come out of college in Bijan Robinson? Elite receiving tight end Kyle Pitts, with wide receiver Drake London fresh off a solid rookie season? No wonder there’s so much noise about this Atlanta Falcons team. Ridder looked stronger and stronger after taking over for Marcus Mariota last season, even if the season didn’t end as well as they liked. Ridder still showed he had some jam and maybe some extra sauce to elevate his game some more. As I’ve stated, he has plenty of talent around him to help out, especially with the running backs. Bijan is your current offensive rookie of the year favorite, and by all rights if he stays healthy most of the season, he should win easily. This dude is no joke. He reminds me more of Adrian Peterson the more I watch him. Tyler Allgeier just ran for 1k plus in his rookie season and looks as if he could repeat that any season easily with his speed and power. Last but not least, is veteran Cordarrelle Patterson who has been strong and very helpful to this young team when healthy. Kyle Pitts has already shown what he can do and that’s to be unrecoverable at the tight end position. Yeah, not the best blocker but definitely one of the best receiving tight ends in the game. Drake was incredible last year once the offense gelled around Desmond more. Drake should be his #1 for years to come and Mack Hollins joins from Vegas, bringing with him some experience and talent to be #2 easily. The biggest asset to this team really is an offensive line that’s bred for running but excels in the passing game too. Chris Lindstrom was the best graded run blocker at any position and they have him in the middle of quality tackles in Jack Matthews on the left and Kaleb McGary on the right. A lot of success with this line will rely on rookie Matthew Bergeron at the right guard position to step in and rock ‘n roll immediately.
This defense is grizzly and has been for a while. This year should be very special as it has a major bang or bust vibe. Grady Jarrett is still around, and I would dare to say entering his peak form. Nothing DPOY-like or anything but he is very sturdy and recently found that extra spice to pressure the QB often. Not bad for a 5th round pick. Joining him is Calais Campbell who is a 10+ year vet and a monster of a defensive tackle. He might have 1 or 2 more years left in him, but he could start for all 32. Then there is Bud Dupree. He signed here and if he can stay healthy, that could be huge for the defense. The linebacker group is a massive question mark for me, and I will be watching to see if somebody can stand out. The secondary is where the Falcons could excel. AJ Terrell considers himself one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL so we will see this season if he can not only repeat but achieve more this season. He is a 1st round pick from 2020 and never really made a splash until last season as he put up some great coverage numbers. Another 1st round pick from 2020, Jeff Okudah, joins the Falcons after 3 years with the Lions. Jessie Bates also joins this team from the Bengals earning a nice payday and bringing some elite talent to Atlanta. If Richie Grant can tackle everything that moves at the other position as he did last year, rarely should anybody be able to run against this unit.
Win Total: Over 8.5 -132 / Under 8.5 +106
Super Bowl: +5500
My Pick: Under 8.5 for the plus money and if I lose that, I will genuinely be shocked. There’s so much pressure on Bijan but even if he struggles Allgeier can pick up the load. Maybe Drake and Mack click and become super reliable. The defense could provide some clutch turnovers to help the offense more. I just fail to see how they get 9 or more wins unless they hit that next level behind Desmond.
And the first overall pick of the draft goes to the Carolina Panthers, who select QB Bryce Young from Alabama. Here we are in a new era of Panthers ball where Bryce Young is set to be THE guy. He sure does look promising, although his stature says otherwise. Panthers’ management went out and grabbed a couple weapons in Miles Sanders and Adam Thielen. Adam should help the young WR adapt to life in the NFL, especially with long time vet Andy Dalton backing him up. The line is solid enough to not get him murdered every night. DJ Chark Jr and Lavishka Shenault Jr are interesting depth receivers. Chubba Hubbard is a solid backup. The offense is solid all around but it rides and dies with its new QB.
The defense on the other hand does not have a lot of promise outside of Brian Burns. Brian can get to the QB violently and often. Shaq Thompson has been the Panthers linebacker hog for a while now and that shouldn’t change this year. Justin Houston was signed in the offseason. I just don’t see a lot of sauce with this group. The secondary employs the bend don’t break method, and an overall team chemistry to make up for their lack of elite talent.
Win Total: Over 7.5 -120 / Under 7.5 -104
Super Bowl: +6000
My Pick: Over 7.5 all day. The NFC South is soft, and they are scheduled to play some easy opponents like Houston and the Colts, who also deploy rookie QBs. Green Bay down the stretch would be a huge game as that should be one of the easier wins. I like the under in Bryce Young’s passing yards, as I struggle to see how he even touches 3k yards let alone the extra hundred or so they have with him.
New Orleans Saints
Derek Carr is here, and Michael Thomas is back. Are we excited for this combo? I am. Of course, it’s Derek Carr and he hasn’t won anything during his time in the NFL. Michael Thomas most likely won’t play all 17 games this season. Chris Olave is ready to be the number 1 guy after an amazing rookie season. Taysom Hill is still floating around there playing every offensive position. If Trevor Penning at left tackle can develop immediately, this team can find immediate success. Erik McCoy is a stud, veteran center and with Ryan Ramczyk at right tackle, they are poised for some aerial heat. The biggest question mark will be Alvin Kamara. He will be suspended for the first 3 games of the season for his off the field issues stemming from Vegas. Alvin was a ghost of himself last year, only finding the end zone 4 times in 15 games played. Are we going to get a determined Alvin or still the phantom form? Good thing Jamal Williams is there from Detroit to be a proper number 1 replacement.
This defense has been rocking the past few years and this year isn’t much different. It sucks losing Marcus Davenport to the Minnesota Vikings, but the Saints are still in good hands. Cameron Jordan is a beast at the edge, as the All-Pro veteran is poised for another solid season. Bryan Bresee is the rookie out of Clemson that hopes to be the next man up. This dude was legit in college so let’s hope his game translates. Isiah Foskey, the rookie edge out of Notre Dame, hopes to play Robin to Cameron’s Batman. Demario Davis at middle linebacker is one of the elites left in the game. You can believe he will bring it every game. Secondary has the deadly combo of Marshon Lattimore and Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu. Lots of excitement around this defense.
Win Total: Over 9.5 +114 / Under 9.5 -140
Super Bowl: +4000
My Pick: To me, the Saints have one of the easiest schedules in the league. Tennessee, Carolina, Green Bay, and Tampa Bay. There must be 3-4 wins there. The NFC South is pretty weak too and the Saints, in my opinion, are going to win it easily. A Super Bowl run would take some fine tuning at the deadline and Kamara in peak form which I doubt on both. Give me over 9.5 wins for plus-money. I like them to win the NFC South as well. Sure, it could fall apart and sputter but the defense and offense are geared to compete against all others and it would take some critical injuries to cripple this season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Baker Mayfield era has begun! It could be worse. Baker has looked well for the most part with this offense. Mike Evans is still a beast and one of the top 10 wide receivers in the game. Chris Godwin is still a beast and one of the top 15 wide receivers in the league. If Baker can air it out, these guys will still be able to make plays. Tristan Wirfs is a quality left tackle and still on the team. Ryan Jensen is in a weird injury limbo so this line is going to struggle a good bit of the season if their center can’t be healthy for most of it.
The defense is above average and held together by some veterans who can still bring it every night. Vita Vea on the line is a beast run stopper and when he’s rolling, a quarterback’s worst nightmare. 1st round pick Calijah Kincey is a quality pick for an edge rusher so he will be exciting to watch this season. The fierce linebacker group of Devin White, Shaquil Barrett, and Lavonte David will run it back again. They are a solid group who can give all 31 other teams issues. Antoine Winfield Jr. hopes to hold down this secondary group who have mostly been around each other for 3+ years.
Win Total Over 6.5 +116 / Under 6.5 -142
Super Bowl: +7500
My Pick: This is a wild one but give me over 6.5 for plus-money and sprinkle some cheddar on them to make the playoffs. Baker is going to air that sucker out and he’s got a quality crew around him. The run game eventually helps make some space, so Baker doesn’t have to scramble and force it as much. Plus, there’s enough on the defense to be excited about. Divisonally, NFC South has to be one of the weakest. With Atlanta and Carolina twice, the Bucs should leave with 3-4 wins. They got the Texans in Houston, Titans at home, and Green Bay in Lambeau during December. Also, the Colts on the road. I think this team can come together and suck less than others.
I feel for these fans. It has got to be a tough time being a fan of this team. Now you have the strongest test of your life. D-Hop gone. Kyler is hurt and probably not watching any film. This offensive line is very bad. James Conner is still a beast, but injuries are adding up. Not a lot of sauce behind him in the running back room either. The wide receiver group is still in good shape with Marquise Brown and Rondale Moore. I just don’t see how this offense makes magic for most of the season.
JJ Watt said adios to the Cardinals and the NFL as he retires after another solid season to add to his hall of fame career. Budda Baker is upset about not being paid more and had a brief holdout until reporting to camp, but things have got to be tense. Hard Knocks showed he’s not only hard working but a great leader who should have many teams asking for him this season. Isaiah Simmons is gone. The athlete project is over as they couldn’t find a position for him. Freak of an athlete, one of a kind specimen but seems to not be fully integrating with this defense. Zavin Collins seems to be the only rock on this defensive line, as Zach Allen bolts for Denver after some strong seasons. Zavin is a quality defensive stud but by no means a game changer and will need some help.
Win Total: Over 4.5 -102 / Under 4.5 -120
Super Bowl: +18000
My Pick: New head coach Johnathan Gannon has a tough task ahead of him and, as a defensive coordinator turned head coach, this will be a wild first season as head coach for the guy as he might start this season with a backup quarterback. The offensive line is bad. I say that again because they are ranked in the bottom 5 of every offensive line ranking I’ve seen. Give me the under (on wins) all day, but I’m staying away from this team – I’ll still bet some James Conner ‘Anytime Touchdown Scorer’ if he’s healthy.
Los Angeles Rams
Healthy Matthew Stafford is back. Coach Sean McVay is back and ready to roll after another off season of retirement rumors. The same can be said for Aaron Donald. Offensively though, they need Matthew Stafford to help lead this group and extend plays. Stafford is still one of the best QBs in the game and hopefully he can stay healthy as he fights in the league for a couple more years before retirement. Cooper Kupp is still here to play patty cake with Stafford and combine for a deadly 1-2 aerial combo again. The Rams better hope so because that’s going to be their bread and butter this season as the run game looks dismal behind this line. Cam Akers and Kyren Williams combine for one of the weakest backfields, although agility and speed are strengths. Rookie Zach Evans from Ole Miss hopes to develop into the number 1 guy, but this RB is going to have a tough time finding reps. Van Jefferson seems to be the only other skilled guy poised to make an impact this year as the 4th year man should know the offense very well by now. To make it all worse, the offensive line has got to be one of the worst in the NFL. No studs here, and it will be tough sledding until more help comes in.
Aaron Donald. That’s it. That’s the Rams defense. Also, like I said earlier, Aaron Donald is one hard gust of wind from retiring and if this season gets off to a slow start, watch him hit the IR.
Win Total: Over 6.5 +110 / Under 6.5 -134
Super Bowl: +6500
My Pick: This offensive line is bad. Straight up. The defense is held together by Aaron Donald who thinks about retirement every time the wind blows. The offense is led by Matthew Stafford who can’t have too much magic left in him for another couple seasons. There is simply not enough meat on this beast to contend with the big dogs. They should beat the Cardinals twice, so there’s two wins, otherwise you have to hope they can be the upset dogs a couple nights against some top-level opponents.
San Francisco 49ers
The big bad 49ers came up a little short last year, but the team is locked, loaded, and ready to hunt some muthaf***** down! This team features stars such as Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Christian McCaffrey, Trent Williams, etc. and that’s just the offense. Offensive line woes on the right side will be the biggest issue this season as Mike McGkinchey has gone on to Denver to protect Russell’s right side. Colton McKivitz tries to fill the void at right tackle. The left side is locked down with hall of famer Trent Williams and big dog, Notre Dame product, Aaron Banks who holds the left guard spot. Center will be an open competition all season as they will play who they feel can be trusted. You surely can’t expect better protection with that loss of talent but maybe they can scrape together some quality games instead of turning into Swiss cheese. They should get plenty of practice against their defense who are some of the best hogs in the game. But hey, they got Deebo Samuel, top WR/hybrid in the game and Kyle Shanahan’s go-to guy. Brandon Aiyuk showed why he could be a #1 for every team in the NFL last year with his great play and work ethic. George Kittle is one of the best tight ends in the game and should have another explosive season, hopefully he will be healthy for most of it. Fullback legend Kyle Juszczyk is back! Gotta love seeing this guy as the fullback position stays relevant with this hog.
Surprisingly, this team features one of the few quarterback battles in the league and one of the biggest storylines. Brock “The Rock” Purdy looked steady as his nickname when he led the Niners into the postseason after Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a season ending injury that forced Brock into action in Week 13. Brock led them into the NFC championship game where he unfortunately suffered an injury that forced him out of the game. He has since recovered and played in preseason games and continues to push back for his starting job. Low and behold, Sam Darnold finds his way in the roster and also looks pretty damn good in preseason ball, earning Kyle Shanahan’s praise about making all the throws.
Speaking of the best hogs in the game, reigning defensive player of the year Nick Bosa is charged up and ready to continue his ruthless campaign against opposing offenses. Arik Armstead had a career year last year and looks every bit ready to repeat. Enter Javon Hargrave from the Philadelphia Eagles who had 11 sacks last season and should flourish in this defense. Fred Warner, one of the best linebackers in the game, is paid up and ready to continue his Ironman streak. This guy can flat out fly across the field while bringing the pain, which helped this 3rd round pick earn All-Pro honors twice. Dre Greenlaw is a hog of Arkansas and has been so solid on this defense since he was drafted in ‘19. There were 127 tackles for the hog last year and he showed big strides in pass coverage. I mean come on, the defensive line and linebackers are an elite group together and on their own. In his first year with the Niners, Charvarious Ward, who enters his 6th season, had a career high season, and looks to be the main man to guard the left side again. Opposite of him is Demmondre Lenoir. The strong side safety is Talanoa Hufanga. Free Safety Tashaun Gibson has his hands filled, as the veteran enters his 2nd year with the Niners and he has been very solid for the San Fran hogs. He probably doesn’t have too many years left but with this defensive line and linebackers, he should be able to make big plays as long as he’s healthy. This is the reigning #1 defensive unit in yards allowed per game and turnover differential. You cannot make a mistake against these red monsters because they will capitalize on it.
Win Total: Over 10.5 -162 / Under 10.5 +132
Super Bowl: +1000
My Pick: Is this the year the Niners push through past the Eagles and the rest of the NFC? Here’s the deal, it’s a tough schedule and this team is not as good as last year. The offensive line is significantly behind with McGlinchey leaving. Plus, we still have a severe lack of talent at the QB position. Purdy is solid but not a game changer. If you think they are going to go over the wins then just take the “make the playoffs” or Super Bowl odds as they are a title contender, but the under 10.5 for + money looks too juicy for me. The defense will be one of best in the league but the secondary will cost this team more often than not. My guess is that when the Niners struggle initially out of the gate, you will be able to take the better value knowing that GM John Lynch will be very active at the deadline to help shore up any holes.
Last season went unexpectedly well after many thought it would go so poorly once they shipped Russell Wilson out of there to Denver. Geno Smith took over at QB and looked much better than expected. He looks like something the offense can build around for a couple of playoff runs. Hello 1st round pick Jaxon Smith-Njigba out of Ohio State, who joins DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett in an arguably top 5 NFL receiving group. Noah Fant came over to Seattle in the Russ trade and should be the #1 guy for a while. He’s young and features a quality mix of blocking and catching for a tight end, so Seattle scored getting this guy in the trade. Just to make it all sweeter, the running back room added 3rd round pick UCLA product Zach Charbonnet. He’s a strong runner who should find immediate reps to give Kenneth Walker a break. It’s no secret that running backs get hurt in Seattle often but if this running back group can stay healthy, the Seahawks are going to be running off to the playoff races with how powerful they are. A big liability is the offensive line, which has not been that good for a while. Charles Cross at left tackle is still leaving much to be desired as a first-round pick from 22’. Otherwise, the rest of the line is a combination of ragtag players that have not been stellar at either the pass rush or run support. They just haven’t been good and it’s holding this team back. Hopefully they get some stability around the deadline to help with the possible playoff push.
The defense hasn’t been elite, but it’s been pretty solid the last few years. Having Bobby Wagner back is huge, as the long time Seahawk returns after his brief hiatus on the Los Angeles Rams. Wagner may not be the quickest but he’s still very capable and can help grow this young defense that needs some leadership. Uchenna Nwosu did a solid job last season holding down the LB group in coverage and against the run. He and Wagner should form a nice tag team to pioneer the Seahawks defense. Another big dog is Jordyn Brooks who can not only tackle anything that moves but excels at zone coverage. This linebacker group should be one of the best in the NFL if they all stay healthy. Their ‘23 2nd round pick, Derick Hall from Auburn, should slide in nicely with this tough group and develop sooner rather than later. Let’s move down the list to 2nd place which the defensive line firmly holds. They always have a collective of gritty hogs with amazing work ethic and drive, albeit missing the elite flash. Jump to the secondary where the only highlight is Devon Witherspoon, the 2023 5th overall pick who is expected to step in and play well immediately. They desperately need it because Jamal Adams is hurt again, and Quandre Diggs can’t do it all by himself.
Win Total: Over 8.5 -142 / Under 8.5 +116
Super Bowl: +3500
My Pick: Sure, the NFC West will not be one of the strongest divisions in the league, but the Seahawks are prime for a playoff push. They have an early bye in Week 5, but the opponents they face those first 4 weeks will be great tests. The offense looks sturdy if Geno doesn’t crumble, and if the running back room can fight destiny and stay healthy. Walker should easily run for 1500 yards with Geno throwing for 3k yards. The offense looks really good, but the offensive line looks really bad. They desperately need to find some depth if they hope to last the season, let alone a deep playoff push.
The defense won’t be able to pick up the slack that the offense eventually gives up. Sure, they will be able to compete and not get blown out most nights, but they will have to play a lot of mistake free football and capitalize on every opportunity they can. The over 8.5 just makes a lot of sense but the plus-money on the under seems like the better ride. I can see about 4-6 wins on their schedule, and even if they squeak a couple more out, the 8.5 is still good. Under 8.5 would be my play, as I see this season sputtering out after a solid start.