By: Jon Dula and Connor Keehn
The NFL season is almost underway. It is just about that time to start placing your bets on all things football. But before you go running off to hammer the over on your mediocre teams this season, take a look at what we think. Our picks are based off of the Over/Under according to DraftKings.
Credit: Golf Digest
Miami Dolphins: 4.5 (+110/-134), 2018 wins: 7
Keehn: Under. Even with Fitzmagic and Rosen, #TankForTua seems to be more and more real as the days go on.
Dula: Under. The Dolphins are odds-on favorites to have the worst record in the NFL. But hey, at least they’ll get a top five pick in next year’s draft.
New York Jets: 7.5 (-136/+110), 2018 wins: 4
Keehn: Under. Sam Darnold is one year away. It’ll be interesting to see how Lev Bell responds after sitting out an entire season. Again, one year away.
Dula: Under. But just barely. I think this team can reach a 6-10 or 7-9 record, however, the lack of overall talent cannot be carried by Bell and Darnold.
Buffalo Bills: 6.5 (-200/+160), 2018 wins: 6
Keehn: Over. Josh Allen is ready to go nuts. He was one of the top QB’s for fantasy during playoff season. If he can improve with the arm, they can be sneaky.
Dula: Over. The Bills are by far the second best team in the AFC East behind the Patriots. Josh Allen may be the best QB to come out of the 2018 draft class and with the addition of C Mitch Morse and WR John Brown expect Allen to build on his rookie campaign.
New England Patriots: 11 (-134/+110), 2018 wins: 11
Keehn: Over. We’re not going to play this game again are we? Look at their win totals this entire decade. They won’t slow down anytime soon. Sony Michel will have a huge year, especially around the goal, and a strong receiver core will easily win them the divison. It’s Brady and Belichick. Come on now.
Dula: Over. I mean, do I really have to do an analysis for this one? Brady and Belichick are the most dominant coach-QB duo of all time. And that defense is actually one of the best in the league talent-wise. Belichick is expected to call the defensive plays this year as well, should be fun to watch.
Cincinnati Bengals: 5.5 (-132/+110), 2018 wins: 6
Keehn: Under. After an unfortunate injury to AJ Green, the luck of the draw in a loaded division will give the Bengals the short end of the stick.
Dula: Under. The Bengals could give the Dolphins a run for their money for the worst record in the league. This team gave up over 400 yards per game on defense last year and with a middle of the road offense they will not be able to keep up with teams scoring in bunches against them.
Cleveland Browns: 9.5 (+120/-143), 2018 wins: 7
Keehn: Under. Do people really think this team is going to make the super bowl? Baker is good but where people are taking him in fantasy is crazy for a guy who is still unproven.
Dula: Over. I think the Browns finish the season either 10-6 or 9-7 making this a difficult line to bet on. With the weapons the Browns have provided Baker Mayfield, it would be difficult for anyone to have a below average season at QB for Cleveland. Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward are also two of the best at their respective positions on defense.
Baltimore Ravens: 8.5 (+115/-139), 2018 wins: 10
Keehn: Over. Lamar is ready for a big year. Yeah, he was pretty bad in the playoff game, but the dude can flat out run. They look to build in year 2 of Lamar after last year’s playoff birth.
Dula: Under. Coach John Harbaugh told reporters to hammer the over for the amount of carries Lamar Jackson will have this year and to expect a different type of football. Are the Ravens trying to implement an option offense in the NFL? There’s a reason no other teams run this type of offense and that’s because it simply doesn’t work. With teams loading the box and lack of receiver depth, Baltimore’s defense will have to keep them in games.
Pittsburgh Steelers: 9 (-148/+120), 2018 wins: 9
Keehn: Over. No more Bell and no more Brown is a pretty big hit considering they are both considered, by many, to be top 5 in their positions. But now the Steelers have no more drama and it is worth the trade-off. Do not be surprised when JuJu accumulates a lot of AB’s targets. He can potentially finish as the WR1 at the end of this season.
Dula: Over. James Conner and JuJu Smith-Schuster are basically Bell and Brown 2.0. The Steelers won’t lose a step on offense and Big Ben is coming off one of the best seasons of his career. I’m considering him as a dark horse MVP candidate.
Oakland Raiders: 6 (+105/-125), 2018 wins: 4
Keehn: Under. Hard Knocks has kind of been a summary of what I imagine the season for them will be like. Gruden running around doing stupid stuff while all eyes are on Antonio Brown, who is also always doing and saying stupid stuff. I like rookie back Josh Jacobs, but not as much as I hate Antonio Brown. Next.
Dula: Over. There is a lot of emotion surrounding the Raiders being that this will be their last season before they relocate to Las Vegas. They’ll want to go out with a bang and the additions of Tyrell Williams, Antonio Brown, Trent Brown, and Josh Jacobs could help propel their team to a comeback season.
Denver Broncos: 6.5 (-152/+125), 2018 wins: 6
Keehn: Over. I’m a little worried for Emmanuel Sanders because I don’t think he will be as good after the injury. Their defense though should propel them past the 6.5 mark. Expect Lindsay to take a slight dip as well.
Dula: Under. It seems as if Joe Flacco has gotten worse every year since he won a Super Bowl. With Drew Lock on the IR and people around the organization claiming he isn’t ready to play in the NFL yet, I don’t expect the Broncos to have a good enough QB to make their sub-par receivers better.
Los Angeles Chargers: 9.5 (-143/+116), 2018 wins: 12
Keehn: Over. Austin Ekeler can, I think, handle the running back spot while Melvin Gordon follows closely in the footsteps of his buddy Lev Bell. But I have this weird hunch that Keenan Allen might ACTUALLY stay healthy (for the most part). I have no stat to back this up but I just got a hunch.
Dula: Over. Philip Rivers needs a ring. He has been too good for too long without a championship and the Chargers are one of the most talented teams in the league this year. Keenan Allen has played all 16 games the past two years so it looks like the unlucky injuries are behind him. The only question mark with this team is their running back situation. It’ll be a battle between them and Kansas City for the division title.
Kansas City Chiefs: 10 (-182/+150), 2018 wins: 12
Keehn: Over. Is it me or should this number be higher? It is the best offense in football and Pat Mahomes shows no signs of slowing down. Fun fact of the day: Dula told me last year Mahomes was going to win MVP and that I should take him as my backup fantasy QB. Dula called it, and boy was he right. Expect more of the same and yet another AFC title game between the Chiefs and the Pats.
Dula: Over. The Chiefs may be the last team to lose a game this year. If not for Dee Ford lining up offsides in the AFC Championship Game, we probably would’ve seen Patrick Mahomes lifting the Lombardi Trophy in his first full season as a starter. Kansas City has all the right pieces and Coach of the Year candidate, Andy Reid. We’ll be seeing these guys in January.
Tenneessee Titans: 8 (-104/-118), 2018 wins: 9
Keehn: Under. I just can’t get all in on Mariota. I really wish I could but I just can’t. I can’t be a Derrick Henry truther either. So unfortunately, I am going to have to hammer the under on this one.
Dula: Under. The Titans defense is young and underrated. Mike Vrabel saw a quick jump from LB coach to head coach because of his excellent defensive mind. But their defense does not make up for their lackluster offense.
Jacksonville Jaguars: 8 (-125/+104), 2018 wins: 5
Keehn: Under. I love Dede Westbrook this year for fantasy purposes but, like Mariota, I just cannot get behind Nick Foles. I don’t think the Blake Bortles to Nick Foles transition will add 3 wins to their total. No offense to the Eagles people.
Dula: Under. Nick Foles’ Super Bowl run was exceptional but I don’t expect him to turn this team around in just a year. The receiving corps is simply too young but give them a year or two and they may surprise some people in the next couple seasons.
Houston Texans: 8.5 (-134/+110), 2018 wins: 11
Keehn: Over. I was really close to saying under just to be different. But I don’t see a scenario where the defense doesn’t hold up and Hopkins and Fuller aren’t enough. Watson will still put up great numbers and JJ Watt will continue to scare people, including me.
Dula: Over. I have been very high on Deshaun Watson ever since his days at Clemson. He is without a doubt a franchise quarterback. Hopefully his offensive line can keep him upright and we’ll see this team back in the playoffs.
Indianapolis Colts: 6.5 (-134/+110), 2018 wins: 10
Keehn: Over. Considering I still think the Colts are going to win this division without Andrew Luck, I am hammering the over on this one. Jacoby is the best backup in the league and they still have so many talented offensive weapons and an exciting young defense.
Dula: Over. No Andrew Luck? No problem. The Colts still have a great offensive line and an above average defense led by Darius Leonard. The talent around Brissett is enough to make him a serviceable starter.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 6.5 (-110/-110), 2018 wins: 5
Keehn: Over. Chris Godwin is ready for a, consistent, breakout year… for real this time! One of Dula’s breakout player predictions this year, Jameis Winston will be a steal in every fantasy league he is taken in. Expect him to use all of his offensive weapons to his advantage, even if the O line isn’t that great.
Dula: Over. The Bucs might surprise some people this year. Everyone is saying Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, and OJ Howard are all going to have great years and if that’s the case, why isn’t everyone talking about how great of a year Jameis Winston could have? A name to look out for is Dare Ogunbowale. He is the potential savior of Tampa Bay’s running game.
Carolina Panthers: 7.5 (-165/+135), 2018 win: 7
Keehn: Under. I am not on the Curtis Samuel Hype train this year nor the DJ Moore one. I love Newton as a fantasy QB and the fact that Stephen A Smith Doesn’t have McCaffrey on his top 5 RBs is “blasphemy” as he would say.
Dula: Over. Looking at the Panthers depth chart, I have a hard time justifying how they will win less than eight games. They have names like Keuchly, Poe, and Reid on defense. If Curtis Samuel and DJ Moore can show they belong in the league and if Christian McCaffrey is Christian McCaffrey, then I think the Panthers can be a .500 team.
Atlanta Falcons: 8.5 (-130/+108), 2018 wins: 7
Keehn: Under. The window for the Falcons has pretty much closed. The Saints are the team to beat in the division. Their offense is still elite but somehow Matt Ryan still cannot seem to find Julio Jones in the end zone and I am not sure if that can change this year.
Dula: Under. The Falcons had a window to win a Super Bowl and that was when they were beating the Patriots 28-3 at halftime of Super Bowl LI. They still have not recovered since then and I’d say another season without a playoff appearance puts coach Dan Quinn on the hot seat.
New Orleans Saints: 10.5 (+115/-137), 2018 wins: 13
Keehn: Over. Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas are too damn good. Brees is still elite. The Saints are looking to avenge their exit from the last two playoffs and make one last run for the title before their window is closed. This could be the year.
Dula: Over. Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, Cameron Jordan, Marcus Williams, Marcus Davenport, Marshon Lattimore, Sean Payton. Need I say more? The Saints should have been in the Super Bowl last year but the worst no call in NFL history got in the way. We should see them there this year.
Detroit Lions: 6.5 (-150/+123), 2018 wins: 6
Keehn: Under. Another team in a loaded division with three other teams all capable of making the playoffs. I love Marvin Jones as a fantasy option this year but as a team they don’t seem to be going anywhere.
Dula: Under. It won’t be long before the Lions realize they made a mistake signing Matt Patricia as their coach. He wasn’t even that great of a defensive coordinator but because he was on the Patriots coaching staff, he was highly sought after. The Lions just don’t ave enough talent to compete in the NFC North.
Minnesota Vikings: 9 (-121/+100), 2018 wins: 8
Keehn: Push. It’s crazy to think that a team with as much offensive fire power finished .500 (with a tie). With Dalvin Cook going down early in the season they took a tough loss to a Bills team they should have beaten. With another tough schedule this year, including two AFC games at the Chargers and at the Chiefs. I do, however, think Dalvin Cook will stay healthy and that could get them over the 8 win mark.
Dula: Over. I think Minnesota bounces back this year and they’ll find themselves contending again. Their offense is stacked and their defense includes guys like Linvall Joseph, Danielle Hunter, Everson Griffin, Anthony Barr, Harrison Smith, and Xavier Rhodes. Looks like a tough team to beat on paper.
Green Bay Packers: 9 (-112/-112), 2018 wins: 6
Keehn: Under. The Packers will have more than their 6 wins they had last year. I’m going to go with 8-8 for them here this season. So many people are ready for an Aaron Rodgers MVP season but I’m just not seeing it this year. They have a tough schedule and, like the Vikings, go up against the Chiefs and the Chargers this year.
Dula: Under. I like the direction the Packers are moving in. Matt LaFleur seems to have good communication with Rodgers but I’m not impressed with their receivers outside of Davante Adams. If teams can eliminate Adams, the Packers might struggle to put points on the board.
Chicago Bears: 9.5 (+135/-162), 2018 wins: 12
Keehn: Over. With the best defense in the NFL, the bears look to come out punching after a heartbreaking loss to the Eagles. They have a new kicker and hopefully he won’t have a mental breakdown in the playoffs. Fingers crossed, Chicago.
Dula: Over. Mitch Trubisky will only keep getting better. David Montgomery will take over Jordan Howard’s role and be better than Howard was. Tarik Cohen and Allen Robinson II will help carry the offense while the defense will remain dominant.
New York Giants: 5.5 (-132/+110), 2018 wins 5
Keehn: Over. I do think the Giants are a little bit better then they get credit for. Their O line is much better (it couldn’t get much worse last year) and Saquon Barkely is ready to dethrone everyone else as the clear-cut RB1. However, a tandem of slot receivers with an aging Eli Manning calls into question their ability in the passing game. I do think Daniel Jones will prove a lot of people wrong, and I do think he’s better than Haskins. Maybe we’ll get to see some reps from the former Dukey.
Dula: Over. Saquon Barkley is the best running back in the NFL after only playing one season and who were Eli’s receivers when he won those Super Bowls? Eli Manning somehow thrives without star receivers with the exception of Plaxico Burress. Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram will do just fine. That defense could surprise some people too with Jabrill Peppers, Antoine Bethea, Dalvin Tomlinson, BJ Hill, and rookies, Deandre Baker and Dexter Lawrence.
Washington Redskins: 6 (+115/-139), 2018 wins: 7
Keehn: Under. Any team that has Ereck Flowers on it should be hammering the under. Just kidding but not really. Gruden now says the offense will be run through Derrius Guice. This should be interesting how those touches are dispersed through him and AP. Hopefully, Jordan Reed doesn’t get yet another concussion once he’d done recovering from the one he has now.
Dula: Under. Yet another team that can finish the season with the worst record in the league. Gruden is in for a rude awakening when he realizes the offense can’t run through Derrius Guice because of his offensive line. This offensive line is bad and Case Keenum will open the season as the starter because Dwayne Haskins isn’t ready. He only started fourteen games in college, of course he isn’t ready. And when he is ready he will still look like he isn’t ready. The Redskins are in a bad situation for what could be years.
Dallas Cowboys: 9 (+105/-129), 2018 wins: 10
Keehn: Push. Who knows how long Zeke’s contract talks will stay in the state it’s in. It has gone from one extreme to the other and at this point, Dallas fans might as well just get behind Tony Pollard and call it a day. I know the advanced metrics are on Dak’s side, but the eye test really isn’t all that solid for me. He’s a good dude, don’t get me wrong, but this is the Eagle’s division this season.
Dula: Under. I will not give delusional Cowboys fans the satisfaction of saying they will win more than nine games. Dak Prescott has benefited from being in a division with the Giants and Redskins the last few years but I don’t see him as a guy who can lead a team to a Super Bowl. Maybe if Jason Garrett was replaced this offseason I would’ve taken the over.
Philadelphia Eagles: 10 (-148/+120), 2018 wins: 9
Keehn: Over. Carson Wentz is back and hopefully can stay healthy. Rookie back Miles Sanders is getting a lot of buzz heading into the season and looks to add to a team loaded with offensive weapons. If the Eagles can stay healthy, they’ll look to be at the top of the division once again.
Dula: Push. Carson Wentz is an MVP candidate when healthy and he benefits from an above average offensive line. However, they have to face the Patriots, Bears, Seahawks, and Vikings. Winning in Dallas is no easy task either. I expect the Eagles to have exactly 10 wins this season.
Arizona Cardinals: 5 (-137/+112), 2018 wins: 3
Keehn: Under. I think people might be freaking out too much over Kyler’s hellacious preseason game. He is going to be fine and is my clear-cut favorite to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. I do think Christian Kirk can emerge as the WR1 for this team. It’s unreal that Larry is still going and we’ll always show that dude the love he deserves.
Dula: Over. I’m excited for Kyler Murray in Kliff Kingsbury’s air raid offense. People have also forgotten how incredible David Johnson can be when the Cardinals can spread the field. Patrick Peterson will miss the first six games due to suspension but this defense also features Terrell Suggs, Chandler Jones, and DJ Swearinger. Also, look out for rookie defensive end, Zach Allen, out of Boston College. Some analysts were comparing him to JJ Watt ahead of the draft.
San Francisco 49ers: 7.5 (-159/+130), 2018 wins: 4
Keehn: Under. Jimmy G is back. Kittle is a beast. Maybe we can finally see a breakout from Dante Pettis? Maybe? I really wanted to take the over on this one but they are going to struggle with the LA and Seattle. I am going to go with 7-9 for them but this one could be hit or miss depending on how well their offense can capitalize.
Dula: Under. Kittle had an extraordinary season with Nick Mullens throwing him the ball a majority of the time. Honestly, if Nick Mullens remained the QB I probably would’ve had a more difficult decision but the Niners aren’t paying Jimmy G way too much money to sit on the bench.
Seattle Seahawks: 8.5 (-139/+115), 2018 wins: 10
Keehn: Over. Seattle’s front seven is down right terrifying; on top of an already unfair home field advantage. Doug Baldwin is gone but Tyler Lockett looks to take the reigns as the WR1 and Chris Carson looks to get involved in the passing game more this year. Look for the Seahawks to be legitimate contenders to not only win this division instead of the Rams, but compete for the NFC title as well.
Dula: Under. The addition of Jadeveon Clowney solidifed Seattle’s front seven as the best front seven in football. It’ll be tough for this team to lose at home this season but I can’t get on board with Tyler Lockett as a WR1 and DK Metcalf as a WR2. Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny will complement each other well in the backfield but that might be the only thing this offense has going for it outside of Russell Wilson. I’m pinning this team at 8-8.
Los Angeles Rams: 10.5 (+110/-134), 2018 wins: 13
Keehn: Over. Cooper Kupp is back and the dude was the WR2 before he went down with his torn ACL. Add that to a young, and still improving, Jared Goff, a healthy Todd Gurley (although his knees are a huge enigma for fantasy purposes), and an array of weapons on both sides of the ball. Did I mention they have the best player in football in Aaron Donald? All this under the genius that is Sean McVay. They will compete, yet again, at the highest level.
Dula: Over. The Rams will recover from their Super Bowl loss and return what could be the best receiving corps in the league with Cooks, Woods, and Kupp. Even if Gurley isn’t 100%, rookie Darrell Henderson will be a good change of pace back. Add that high powered offense to a defense anchored by Aaron Donald and you’ve got yourself a contender.