NFL football returns tomorrow night. It's the Texans and the Kansas City Chiefs at a 22 percent full Arrowhead Stadium. If you're a football fan, there has to be a feeling of excitement combined with cautious relief that we actually MADE IT to this moment. Let's face it, there even being a season was looking a little dicey there for a while, but the NFL has done a phenomenal job avoiding COVID-19, and optimism is high that the season will get played in full.
So full seasons mean one thing — well, one thing that REALLY matters to me — season long win total bets! As I explain every year, betting on a team's season win total is the solid long play for someone who doesn't want the weekly pressure of betting individual games. It's a mutual fund versus the day trading of betting individual games were to week.
As is the case with every season, there are a few of these season long win total wagers that I highly recommend. Here are five that I really like for 2020, starting with a very familiar team!
TEXANS OVER 7.5 wins (-115)
If you're a Texan fan who is still angry over the DeAndre Hopkins trade, here is your chance to allow it to work in your favor. You see, the lopsided nature of that deal has bettors and oddsmakers on a "gloom and doom" tour de force when it comes to predicting the Texans' 2020 season. The truth fo the matter is that (a) the Texans will probably be better offensively than they were in 2019, and (b) no team with Deshaun Watson healthy for 16 games will go sub .500. I am looking at a 10-6 season for the Texans, which easily clears the 7.5 win barrier.
COWBOYS OVER 10 wins (-120)
Meanwhile, the other Texas team has much higher expectations, ironically, coming off of an 8-8 season a year ago. Here's the thing — unlike the Texans who were 10-6 last season, but probably played closer to 9-7 or 8-8 game to game, the Cowboys probably should have had double digit wins, but found ways to lose. Those things tend to go the other way the next season. Add in rookie WR CeeDee Lamb (who reportedly looks tremendous in training camp), and add in the NFC East's being, top to bottom, the worst division in the league, and I think this is going to be a 12-4 Cowboy team that competes for the top seed in the NFC.
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PACKERS UNDER 9 wins (-130)
I know this whole "Hey their record was THIS, but it should have been THAT last season" seems like a recurring theme, but admit it, the Packers are another one. They were 13-3 last season, and were probably much closer to a 9-7 or 10-6 team, in reality. This became quite evident when they got run off the field by the 49ers in the NFC title game. Now, here comes 2020, and their future Hall of Fame QB Aaron Rodgers is openly wondering how much longer he will be in Green Bay, considering they traded up to draft his replacement (Utah State's Jordan Love) in the first round of the 2020 draft. On top of that, they really didn't get Rodgers any help offensively in the draft or free agency. This is feeling like Rodgers' last season in Green Bay, and 8-8 will be a struggle.
RAMS UNDER 8.5 wins (-125)
I've been licking my chops to bet on the Rams' UNDER all offseason long. Anybody with a calculator and a working set of eyes could have seen these days coming when (a) the Rams went all-in on a bunch of high priced veterans to make a Super Bowl run in 2018, (b) their offensive line fell apart last year, exposing (c) that Jared Goff just ain't that great at quarterback, even though he is getting paid like a franchise savior. The NFC West has never been tougher top to bottom, with the Niners defend NFC champs, the Seahawks a perennial playoff team, and the Cardinals kind of frisky all of a sudden after the Hopkins' trade. I'm guessing 5-11 for the former boy genius Seen McVay and the Rams.
STEELERS OVER 9.5 wins (-105)
The Steelers went 8-8 last season with a combination of Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges starting most of the games. Let me repeat — the Steelers started a guy named "Duck Hodges" in NFL games. That sounds like a player my son created on MADDEN 12 years ago when he was in fourth grade. The Steelers got to 8-8 on the back of the best defense in football. That defense remains largely intact, and now Ben Roethlisberger is back, healthy, and not weighting 800 pounds! WIN, WIN, WIN! I think the Steelers are the third best team in the AFC behind Kansas City and Baltimore, and are certainly a double digit win team.