The NFL offseason has slowly come to a halt here in the past few weeks as many teams’ rosters are set and ready to go for the 2020 season. There are still a few big names free agents out there, however. Jadeveon Clowney (EDGE), Larry Warford (OG) and Logan Ryan (CB) headline this rather scarce free agent market as we slowly approach the dog days of the summer.
Teams are now beginning to start pseudo-training camps to get a better feel for their rosters, as there has been growing optimism throughout the league that the season will start on time. If all goes according to plan, the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs will host the Houston Texans on September 10th in Arrowhead.
Below we’ll take our first peek at some interesting lines to consider as we gear up for another jam-packed NFL season.
Over/Under Win Total
Houston Texans under 8.0 wins: One of my safest picks for this upcoming season — the Houston Texans are bound for significant regression in 2020. A team that has often taken advantage of a weak division, the Texans now find themselves projected to finish 3rd in the AFC South, as the Colts and Titans have both made major improvements over the last couple seasons.
The loss of DeAndre Hopkins, the self-proclaimed best WR in the league, will loom large early on, as the Texans first 4 games feature a plethora of good defenses (KC, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Minnesota). I don’t think this team can continue to depend on late-game heroics from Deshaun Watson week in week out to consistently win football games.
In what has become a rather competitive division, I just don’t see how this team can keep pace atop the AFC South. The instability and leadership concerns surrounding this franchise lead me to believe that they’re a team destined for a sub-500 season.
Who takes the AFC East?
New York Jets +750: Alas, the New England Patriots are no longer a shoo-in to win the AFC East, as Tom Brady’s departure has sparked a series of question marks surrounding Bill Belichick’s ball club.
In year 2 of Adam Gase’s system, Darnold will be much more comfortable in a revamped offense that features a complete transformation across the offensive line. Rookies Mekhi Becton (OT) and Denzel Mims (WR) appear to be plug-and-play starters next year, as Joe Douglas has taken a disciplined, long-term approach to rebuilding this Jets roster.
Although the Bills and Pats appear to be the clear-cut favorites amongst sharps, the Jets seem to have tremendous value across books at odds as good as 8:1 to support throwing a flyer on the green and white.
Best Bet for Super Bowl LV?
I’m going to go a bit outside the box here and make a case for the Philadelphia Eagles at +1800. Riddled with injuries, the Eagles were still able to dethrone the Cowboys as NFC East champs last year.
The road to the SuperBowl always starts in your division, as this always helps pave your way through the conference. Luckily for Philly, the Eagles are arguably a part of the worst division in football, as the Giants and Redskins both feature new staffs that will be severely hindered by a compromised off-season program.
If the Eagles can oust the Cowboys for the divisional crown, I expect them to make a deep run in the 2021 playoffs. They have upgraded their secondary immensely, as this was a major area of concern last season. The additions of Darius Slay and Rodney McCloud will provide much-needed support to a defense that already boasts a nasty defensive front.
Moreover, their offense is likely to be vastly improved, as well. Rookie wide receiver Jalen Reagor will help provide an over-the-top deep threat that could transform Doug Pederson’s west coast offense. If Wentz continues to make strides as a quarterback, expect Philly to be right in the thick of things come next January and February.
All odds were taken from William Hill Sports Book.