NFL Season Preview and Predictions, Over/Unders
September 6, 2018 marks the beginning of the 2018/19 NFL season. After an incredible season last year that was capped off by a Super Bowl that featured a record-breaking performance for the greatest quarterback of all time, and a team that won the Super Bowl for the first time in history.
The offseason was just as intriguing, and the power dynamics in the league this season could mimic just how crazy the offseason was.
The Los Angeles Rams followed up their breakout 2017 campaign by wheeling and dealing for every player that they desired. They added Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib, Sam Shields, and Ndamukong Suh.
The Philadelphia Eagles looked to bolster their chances at a repeat by adding Michael Bennett, Daryl Worley, Haloti Ngata, and Mike Wallace.
The Oakland Raiders brought Jon Gruden out of retirement with a 10-year, $100,000,000 coaching contract, and then traded their best player, Khalil Mack, to the Chicago Bears.
The Cleveland Browns acquired Tyrod Taylor, Carlos Hyde, Jarvis Landry, and Baker Mayfield. They brought in offensive guru Todd Haley from Pittsburgh, and as a team they were one of the most entertaining casts of Hard Knocks in a while. They suddenly look, dare I say, competent?
The Seattle Seahawks blew up their team. The San Francisco 49ers took advantage and signed Richard Sherman to go along with their new god-like quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, who is still undefeated as a starter.
The Kansas City Chiefs shipped Alex Smith to Washington in favor of Pat Mahomes, who will throw to one of the most dynamic receiving corps in the league. The Minnesota Vikings signed Kirk Cousins away from Washington to round-out the most balanced roster in the league.
There were a myriad of other moves, and the league is almost completely different than it was just 365 days ago. Even though the league is different in many ways, some things never change. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick still will run the AFC East. Odell Beckham Jr. will continue to dominate and elongate Eli Manning’s career. The Arizona Cardinals are still old and not good, the Buccaneers are still a mess, the Bengals still won’t win a playoff game, and Jimmy Garoppolo is still undefeated.
So, with that all being said, let’s get to predicting what will happen in the NFL this season.
The natural place to start here is with the over/under win totals for each NFL team, which will tell you how I feel about each team in a concise way. So let’s do it, and I’ll accompany each pick with a one-sentence prediction for each team. These over/under totals come to us via OddShark.
New England Patriots: 11 - Over. Brady and Belichick have only won at least 11 games in 13 of their 16 seasons, and this division is bad.
Miami Dolphins: 6.5 - Over. Second best team in the division, which isn’t saying much, .500 team.
New York Jets: 6 - Under. Sam Darnold is the starter, he's good but has no great weapons around him, could be a rocky, turnover-filled, first season.
Buffalo Bills: 6 - Under. Starting QB: Nate Peterman, the man who threw 5 picks in his first ever start, and he doesn’t have a great team around him.
Philadelphia Eagles: 10 - Hold. Very hard to repeat, expect them to fall back to Earth after last year’s run, plus, the NFC is LOADED.
Dallas Cowboys: 8.5 - Under. Defense not good enough to carry what should be a mediocre offense unless Dak Prescott can make bad receivers look good.
New York Giants: 7 - Over. Eli Manning will actually throw to NFL receivers this season, whereas last year every receiver he looked at spontaneously combusted.
Washington Redskins: 7 - Over. Alex Smith is a winner, and has a very solid roster around him, this team will surprise this year.
Pittsburgh Steelers: 10.5 - Over. Le'Veon Bell is holding out, but even without him they boast one of the most dynamic offenses in the league, they’ll win the division.
Baltimore Ravens: 8 - Over. Best receiving corps in a long time with Joe Flacco in a contract year, could be great, could be bad, I’ll bet on the former.
Cincinnati Bengals: 6.5 - Under. Solid team, the Ravens and Steelers are just better, I don’t expect the Bengals to be good.
Cleveland Browns: 5.5 - Over. John Dorsey has a proven track record of success as a GM, and I think this is the beginning of a successful turnaround for the tortured franchise, they get six wins.
Minnesota Vikings: 10 - Over. Perhaps the most complete team in football, now with a very underrated quarterback.
Green Bay Packers: 10 - Over. Aaron Rodgers revenge season, they take the division.
Detroit Lions: 7.5 - Under. This division is now loaded, and the Lions are serial underachievers.
Chicago Bears: 6.5 - Over. This team’s defense should be a buzzsaw, but I don’t trust Mitch Trubisky enough to have them in the playoffs.
Houston Texans: 8.5 - Over. Deshaun Watson is magical, and JJ Watt is back, this should be fun.
Indianapolis Colts: 6.5 - Over. Andrew Luck has never won less than 11 games when he starts all 16 games, but I don’t expect them to win the division.
Jacksonville Jaguars: 9 - Over. No major injuries on the defensive side of the ball last year, that’ll change and Blake Bortles isn’t good enough to carry the team.
Tennessee Titans: 8 - Hold. The team around Marcus Mariota is solid, but Mariota has been misused and mediocre to this point, I can’t get a grip on this team.
Atlanta Falcons: 9 - Over. Good well-rounded team, won’t win the division, the offense should come back together after a shaky season last year.
Carolina Panthers: 9 - Under. I don’t trust Cam Newton and the offense enough to hang with the Falcons or Saints.
New Orleans Saints: 9.5 - Over. Drew Brees has enough weapons around him on offense to pair with a solid defense that should be more than enough to win the division.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 6.5 - Under. This team is going to be a dumpster fire, it might be time to move on from Jameis Winston.
Los Angeles Chargers: 9.5 - Over. Could be the most well-rounded team in the AFC, should be a challenger atop the conference with the Patriots and Steelers.
Denver Broncos: 7 - Under. Outside of last season Case Keenum has been a very mediocre quarterback, and I simply don’t think this team is good enough to compete atop the division.
Oakland Raiders: 8 - Under. After the disastrous Khalil Mack trade, I have total confidence in saying that this year will be a nightmare for the Raiders.
Kansas City Chiefs: 8.5 - Over. Should be an incredibly dynamic team on offense, as most Andy Reid coached teams are, but I have questions about the defense.
Los Angeles Rams: 10 - Over. This team is LOADED, and might be playing under a different salary cap than the rest of the league. Will win the division.
San Francisco 49ers: 8.5 - Over. Jimmy Garoppolo is undefeated as a starter, and the team is upgraded around him, this team will have a winning record for the first time since the days of Jim Harbaugh and Colin Kaepernick.
Arizona Cardinals: 5.5 - Over. Solid team, should hover around .500 if Sam Bradford manages to stay healthy for a whole season, which is a big “IF.”
Seattle Seahawks: 8 - Under. This team started blowing things up in the offseason, they are bad now, and will be bad until the season ends.
Now, who will play in Super Bowl LIII? Will the Eagles repeat? Will the Patriots make it back?
Nope, neither team will make it, and the Green Bay Packers will take down the Los Angeles Chargers in Super Bowl LIII, with Aaron Rodgers winning the MVP.
Who will win the individual regular season awards?
Aaron Rodgers will win MVP as he tears apart the league in his revenge campaign.
David Johnson will return to form as the most complete running back in football to win Offensive Player of the Year.
Khalil Mack will THRIVE with the Bears, finally playing in a great defensive scheme with Vic Fangio, he will dominate and win Defensive Player of the Year.
Saquon Barkley will give the Giants a great running game for the first time in what feels like forever, and will take home the Offensive Rookie of the Year in the process.
Roquan Smith will thrive in a great defense in Chicago to take home the Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Kyle Shanahan will lead the 49ers to a winning record, making Jimmy Garoppolo an MVP candidate in the process, and will win Coach of the Year for his efforts.
Andrew Luck will win Comeback Player of the Year after making the Indianapolis Colts look defense after last season’s awful showing.
This year's NFL season is looking to be a fun one, with perhaps more twists, turns, and unusual storylines than ever before. The first game of the year, between the reigning champion Philadelphia Eagles and the Atlanta Falcons, kicks off at 5:20 p.m., and then the bullet train will officially leave the station on Sunday. Buckle up, this season's going to be CRAZY.