If you follow me on social media or consume my content here, then you are fully aware — I love to wager. Sure, winning money is fun, but when I self assess just why I've enjoyed plunking down so many hard earned dollars over the last 30 years, I think the exhilaration and thrill of the bet, the emotional roller coaster, is as much a reason for why I enjoy warring so much.
In short, I can handle the day to day, night to night swings in emotion. For some of you, though, you're not about that life. You'd like to have a vested interest without the nightly anxiety that comes with praying Central Michigan kicks a field goal to cover a 17.5 point spread in a meaningless Thursday night college football game. Truth be told, I respect that. You probably have more hair and lower blood pressure than I do.
For those of you who would rather have a more long-term wagering interest, who don't want the nightly angst, may I interest you (and your flowing locks and pristine ticker) in some NFL season win total bets? Yes? Good. Here are five NFL season win totals that I am placing my own money on this season. (As always, let the record reflect that, of the individual game bettor and the season win total bettor, I am both of them.)
CARDINALS UNDER 5 (+105)
Here's the thing — I respect the Cardinals thinking outside the box, punting on Josh Rosen (who was entirely punt-able), and trying to make a run at respectability behind the Air Raid offense of Kliff Kingsbury with Kyler Murray pulling the trigger. I really do. The problem is that, while Kingsbury is no doubt the coaching steward of an interesting potential powder keg of an offense, he is probably not a very good head coach. I mean, he was sub .500 at Texas Tech, and now I'm supposed to think he is going to win in the NFL? Sorry. From a schedule standpoint, the Cardinals play in a division with the defending NFC champs, a playoff team in Seattle, and a Niners team getting their QB back. They also cross over with the AFC North this season. I don't see six wins on this schedule, and for us to lose this bet, they need six wins.
DOLPHINS UNDER 4.5 wins (+110)
Do I really need to do a deep dive on this team? They just traded their best player (left tackle Laremy Tunsil) for a king's ransom of draft picks to the Texans. They literally have maybe one or two players that could start on more than half the teams in the league. This team is terrible, and it also happens to be where the Cardinals punt of Josh Rosen landed. This feels like stealing. The Dolphins will be 2-14 and picking first in the 2020 draft.
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TITANS UNDER 8 (-130)
I've actually seen a few outlets and pundits saying the Titans are a dark horse to win the AFC South. I guess, insomuch as everyone in the AFC South seems to have a case for a puncher's chance with the retirement of Andrew Luck, that may be true. I'm just not buying the Titans. This has all the makings of a roster mutiny if Marcus Mariota gets off to a slow start, and Ryan Tannehill is sitting right there to replace him. They, like the Texans, have the same litany of really good quarterbacks on their schedule. The four games with different opposing quarterbacks, the Texans play Tom Brady, Lamar Jackson, and Mariota twice, while the Titans play Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, and Deshaun Watson twice. Yikes.
REDSKINS UNDER 6 (-135)
So a team with Case Keenum starting for probably half the season, and rookie Dwayne Haskins starting the other half of the season, has to win seven games in a division with the Cowboys and Eagles in order for me to lose my bet? With Jay Gruden as the head coach? Sign me up for the UNDER! Hey, speaking of Grudens.....
RAIDERS UNDER 6 (+105)
I wish there was something that I could have gleaned from this season of Hard Knocks in order to come up with my wager, but I've fallen asleep in the middle of every episode this summer. Man, what a disappointing, boring season. Instead, I'll just go on the fact that I think Jon Gruden has zero desire to hitch his wagon to Derek Carr long term, and the parts of Hard Knocks that I was awake for, Carr looked like a cheeseball leader at whom most of the guys were rolling their eyes. This is still a bad football team.