The true NFL offseason is officially upon us. Mandatory minicamp has come to a close and players from all 32 teams have gone their separate ways. Most players will get some vacation time in while continuing to work out in preparation for the return to training camp in late July. Once training camp arrives, the road to Super Bowl 54 begins in earnest.
Each year, sports bettors are able to wager on where they think each team will finish up in the win column. Sportsbooks release a number for a team’s win total and you can bet over or under that number. If you land on the number, it’s a push, or tie.
Below are win totals for the four teams in the NFC West. The number in parenthesis is the juice on the over and the under. For example, if you bet the over on 10 wins for the Eagles, the payout is +105 (you bet $100 to win $105). If you bet the under, the payout is -120 (you bet $120 to win $100). That means the under is the favorite.
Sportsbooks are not predicting each team will win the number of games on the win total. Rather, they are setting a number so that they can get a similar amount of money on both sides of the wager. They do not want an extensive liability on one side or the other since then they would be relying on a specific outcome. With even money on both sides of a wager, the house will profit more often than not.
Now that roster overhauls are mostly complete and teams have finished up spring workouts, we took a few minutes to chat with site managers from each SB Nation team blog. They offered reasons why their team could end up over the win total and why their team could end up under the win total. The sites pay close attention to their teams and have more insight than your average national reporter.
Philadelphia Eagles: 10 (+105, -120) — Bleeding Green Nation
Why over: The 2018 Super Bowl champions arguably have one of the best quarterback-head coach duos in the league with Carson Wentz and Doug Pederson. Wentz easily could’ve been NFL MVP in 2017 had he not torn his ACL late in the season. There’s reason to believe Wentz can have another great year now that he’ll have a full offseason to prepare for 2019. The addition of DeSean Jackson also gives Pederson’s offense a deep threat they’ve sorely lacked. Philly’s running back situation is significantly improved with Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders in the fold. An improved offense paired with an Eagles defense that features one of the league’s better pass rushing units should lead to success in 2019.
Why under: Wentz’s durability is an obvious concern. He played in all 16 games as a rookie but he tore his ACL in 2017 and then missed time due to a back fracture in 2018. If Wentz gets hurt again, the Eagles won’t have Nick Foles around to take over since he left for the Jaguars. Nate Sudfeld is currently projected to be Wentz’s backup. Sudfeld’s shown flashes of promise but he’s largely untested with only 25 career pass attempts.
Dallas Cowboys: 9 (Even, -120) — Blogging The Boys
Why over: A full season of Amari Cooper with a defensive line that added Robert Quinn, there’s all the reason in the world to believe that the Cowboys turn the second half of last season into the full thing in 2019.
Why under: The offense was and remains to be a question. A first-time offensive coordinator might not be the injection that pushes it over the edge. It’s all up to Dak Prescott.
Washington: 6.5 (+120, -140) — Hogs Haven
Why over: Derrius Guice returns from his torn ACL, and the backfield of Guice, Adrian Peterson, Chris Thompson, and Bryce Love is a strong starting point — if the offensive line can hold up and improve from last year. They have questions at quarterback, but Dwayne Haskins comes with some intriguing upside. On defense, the loss of Reuben Foster stings, but even an overpaid Landon Collins is still a solid linebacker. Washington is not a playoff contender, but if a few things bounce their way, this is a team that can push for seven wins.
Why under: No Alex Smith, no Reuben Foster, and several notable free agent departures leave this team scrambling. They have struggled with injury woes, and Foster’s ACL/LCL tear has the year off to an inauspicious start. Dwayne Haskins will see playing time sooner rather than later this season, but the loss of Jamison Crowder hurts whomever is the starting signal caller. Haskins is intriguing over the long term, but for 2019, it could be a rough ride.
New York Giants: 6 (+110, -130) — Big Blue View
Why over: They are right about Eli Manning and the offense. If Manning can still play at a high enough level, the offensive line really is better and the receivers make enough plays the Giants will be able to play good offense. Also, if they improve on defense. The Giants spent a lot of their draft capital to upgrade a defense that needed the help.
Why under: If the Giants are wrong about Manning, and he cannot continue playing at a high enough level. Further, the offense takes a big step backwards following the loss of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The Giants averaged 25.5 points in four games without Beckham last year, and they believe with an improved offensive line and enough weapons on offense they will be fine spreading the ball around. Finally, if they are unable to build a better defense. Shurmur and Dave Gettleman believe they could have won more than five games last year had they been able to make key stops.
Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
Odds and lines subject to change. See website for actual odds.
*21+. NJ/WV only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See website for details.