NFL Futures Odds Point to Tight Playoff Race Based on 2019 NFL Win Total Projections
By Max Staley
Cover Photo: Getty Images
The NFL schedule was released last night, and fans are already jumping to conclusions about their favorite team. As things currently stand, it seems like the New England Patriots have caught yet another break, as their schedule appears far less difficult than you'd expect for the reigning Super Bowl champs.
While the Patriots are certainly the heavy favorites to win the AFC East (-700), the most recent NFL win total projections from FanDuel Sportsbook reveal we could be in for some close playoff races.
For example, the upstart Cleveland Browns' over/under for wins this season is set at 9.5, while the Pittsburgh Steelers' total is listed at 9 on FanDuel Sportsbook. Both teams will also contend with the Baltimore Ravens (8.5), who won the division last year.
Both the Ravens and Browns need their young quarterbacks, Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield respectively, to make huge jumps next season to win the division. Meanwhile, the Steelers are relying on Ben Roethlisberger to carry their offense now that Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell have found new homes.
Much like the AFC North, the three teams with the highest projected win total in the NFC North are also separated by just one game, making this one of the most unpredictable divisions in football.
The Chicago Bears have the highest win total (9.5), but the Green Bay Packers are much improved after free agency, and they're projected to win 9 games on FanDuel Sportsbook. These two will also meet in Week 1, which could provide some added clarity.
The Minnesota Vikings could also be in for a bounce-back season, as their win total is currently set at 8.5. If Kirk Cousins can return to form next season, it wouldn't be a surprise to see any of these three teams win the NFC North.
The AFC South is currently the only division with four teams projected to win at least 7.5 games. The Indianapolis Colts have the highest win total at 9.5, but the Houston Texans (8.5) and the Tennessee Titans (8), aren't too far behind. The Jacksonville Jaguars are currently projected at 7.5 wins, but if their defense plays like it did in the 2017-18 season, they could make some noise this season with Nick Foles at the helm.
It's clear who the favorites are on paper, but the NFL is arguably the most unpredictable league in the world. There could be some more surprises next season like we got with the Kansas City Chiefs going 13-3 last season, so it's far too early to jump to any conclusions.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.