The Early 2019 ‘Over/Under’ NFL Win Total Team I’m Getting Asked About The Most…
The question I’m getting a lot this past week, since the first round of over/under win totals have come out is – we’re putting all our money on Arizona ‘over’ 5.5 wins, right?
We don’t know (today) if the Cardinals don’t draft Kyler Murray. You could have Arizona led by Josh Rosen – the lack of excitement that thought brings is in part why they will draft Kyler. Let’s assume they do draft Kyler and then we’ll walk through the unscheduled/no order yet schedule assuming Murray starting Week 1.
First thought is…Arizona under Kingsbury-Murray will be total chaos for the NFL. Murray is better at everything than Lamar Jackson and look at how LJax perked up the Ravens last season. Arizona doesn’t have the Ravens defense, but they aren’t bad there…just so poorly coached in 2018.
The 2019 Cardinals could have Kyler Murray with healthy David Johnson in an up-tempo offense that opponents will struggle with figuring out, at least right away. Arizona smartly has Brett Hundley as a backup if Murray gets hurt. Hundley is plausible with upside, and a similar-ish style to Murray. Most NFL teams don’t have a viable backup QB…Arizona is not in that same boat.
The Cardinals defensive talent is solid, but the offensive styling is just going to create shootouts anyway. Their defensive prowess is a second-tier issue.
Let’s consider the schedule, as we know it…
Within the NFC West, we’ve got problems…the Rams are great, and the 49ers are that ‘take a step forward’ team for 2019. Seattle is no slouch. Let’s say Arizona could go 2-4 in the NFC West -- 0-2 vs. the Rams, and splits with SF and Seattle.
Are there 4 other wins for Arizona to get past 5.5?
The schedule is not kind.
In their 2019 rotation to the AFC North: They drew the Steelers and Browns as home games for 2019...not great draws at home. I wish that would have been the Bengals and Ravens at home for more ‘likely wins’ potential. Cincy is a likely win, regardless, but I’d hate to see that game at Ohio in December. Let’s say the Cards go 1-3 with the AFC North setup. 2-2 is on the table, but let’s go 1-3…losses to PIT and CLE, and one of BAL or CIN on the road will be bad weather potentially…and the Ravens will be a tough game regardless.
In their rotation with the NFC South: They drew ATL and CAR at home, that’s not bad. If you assume they are going to lose to the Saints no matter what, then going to New Orleans to get it over with is fine…burns a road game. Tampa Bay is a team I fear is scrappy under Bruce Arians, so going to Tampa is not a sure thing. Let’s go 2-2 in the NFC West setup. The NFC South is not ominous but not easy either.
We have 5 projected wins (9 losses) going into the final two games to consider…the based-on-standings draws of hosting Detroit and going to NYG. I like both of them as wins in general, but we have the NYG factor of ‘what if that game is in the snow/cold to neutralize the offense’? Worst case a split with DET and @NYG.
I see 5-6-7 wins here right now with a lean towards 6…which makes 5.5+ wins to bet on an option/shaky proposition right now.
If Arizona draws a tougher team like the Steelers or Browns for an opening day matchup maybe they can sneak up on and upset them and then if the Cincy and NYG games are in Sept/Oct versus late-Nov. or Dec. for better weather – then, maybe, we got 6+ wins looking stronger.
I like the general thought of Arizona getting 5+ wins this year because of the Kyler Murray effect, and that they were a pretty good team until Steve Wilks destroyed it...not the talent, but them having the Rams and 49ers four times, and ‘at’ Seattle all in division is so very tough for a young team. If they go 2-4 in division, they have to go 4-6 the rest of the way. If they go 1-5 in division, then they need 5-5 in their other 10 games. Kliff Kingsbury couldn’t win in college with his style…who knows about in the pros?
This is one bet that the schedule layout will change the landscape on. As an early bet, I don’t love it but I kinda 'feel' like I like it. I’m intrigued, but I want to see the schedule layout coming out soon.
Here is an early look at all the o/u’s right now…
Team 2018 Wins 2019 Wins OVER UNDER
Arizona Cardinals 3 5.5 -110 -110
Atlanta Falcons 7 9 -110 -110
Baltimore Ravens 10 8 -110 -110
Buffalo Bills 6 6.5 +100 -120
Carolina Panthers 7 8 -110 -110
Chicago Bears 12 9.5 -110 -110
Cincinnati Bengals 6 6 -110 -110
Cleveland Browns 7 9 -130 +110
Dallas Cowboys 10 8.5 -120 +100
Denver Broncos 6 7 -110 -110
Detroit Lions 6 7 -110 -110
Green Bay Packers 6 9.5 +110 -130
Houston Texans 11 8.5 -120 +100
Indianapolis Colts 10 9.5 -120 +100
Jacksonville Jaguars 5 8 +100 -120
Kansas City Chiefs 12 10.5 -110 -110
Los Angeles Chargers 12 9.5 -130 +110
Los Angeles Rams 13 10.5 -110 -110
Miami Dolphins 7 5 -130 +110
Minnesota Vikings 8 9 -110 -110
New England Patriots 11 11 -110 -110
New Orleans Saints 13 10.5 -110 -110
New York Giants 5 6 +110 -130
New York Jets 4 7 -120 +100
Oakland Raiders 4 6.5 +100 -120
Philadelphia Eagles 9 9.5 -110 -110
Pittsburgh Steelers 9 8.5 -130 +110
San Francisco 49ers 4 8 -110 -110
Seattle Seahawks 10 8.5 -110 -110
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5 6.5 -110 -110
Tennessee Titans 9 8.5 +100 -120
Washington Redskins 7 6 -110 -110
Note: A -150 bet means it requires a $150 wager to win $100. On a +130 bet, a $100 wager could win $130.