Early NFL win totals I like: Mike Clay's projections for all 32 teams


With the vast majority of free agency in the rearview mirror, here is a look at how my 2019 win total projections compare to early sportsbook win totals.

With numbers for all 32 teams, there are several teams that stand out as good value to me -- even before the NFL draft later this month.

All odds courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, as of April 10.


New England Patriots (over/under: 11 wins)

The Patriots have won at least 10 games each of the past 16 seasons and more than 11 in eight of the past nine. The big concern is the offense without Rob Gronkowski, as there was a moderate-to-significant drop in touchdowns, passing yards, completion percentage and yards per attempt in the 29 games for which Gronkowski was sidelined since he was drafted in 2010. In total, the players responsible for 40 percent of the team's 2018 targets are currently not on the 2019 roster. On the plus side, the defense is allowing 2.1 touchdowns per game since 2007 and has been near or better than average all 12 seasons. The Patriots are set up with the league's easiest schedule this season.

Projected wins: 11.3
Pick: Over

New York Jets (O/U: 7)

The key for this team will be second-year QB Sam Darnold, who completed 58 percent of his passes (third-lowest) last season, though he did post a 9.4 aDOT (average depth of target, fourth-highest). Darnold finished strong with a 6-to-1 TD:INT mark in his final four games. The Jets' offensive line remains suspect; Darnold was pressured on 25 percent of his dropbacks last season (sixth-highest). The past three defenses led by new DC Gregg Williams have finished worse than average in touchdowns per game. The defense has a lot of talent (including C.J. Mosley, Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Trumaine Johnson and Avery Williamson), but edge rusher remains a massive concern. The Jets have the second-easiest schedule, and it's worth noting that the second-place team in a division has won eight-plus games 86.7 percent of the time since the 2002 realignment.

Projected wins: 7.8
Pick: Over

Buffalo Bills (O/U: 6)

The Bills have won six-plus games in eight straight seasons and seven-plus games four of the past five . Second-year QB Josh Allen is a major question, as his 53 percent completion percentage and 22 percent off-target rates were worst in the NFL last season (his 11.2 aDOT was highest, however). The Bills' offense finished relatively strong, going 3-3 and averaging 2.7 touchdowns per game after Allen returned from injury after their Week 11 bye. A Sean McDermott-led defense hasn't allowed more than 2.44 touchdowns per game in a season since 2011. The Bills will enjoy the league's third-easiest schedule.

Projected wins: 7.3
Pick: Over

Miami Dolphins (O/U: 5)

Miami posted a negative-114 scoring differential last season, and that was before its offseason "rebuild" effort, in which the Dolphins unloaded a large share of their veteran talent. Aside from a strong cornerback room, Miami is below average (at best) at every other position. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrickcould win them an extra game or two, but he'll also lose them an extra game or two. The 36-year-old veteran posted the league's worst interception rate last season (4.9 percent) and sports a 36-to-32 TD:INT mark the past three seasons. The Dolphins are the favorite to pick first overall in the 2020 draft.

Projected wins: 3.6
Pick: Under

AFC North

Cleveland Browns (O/U: 9)

If the Browns win more than nine games this season, it will be just the third time since 1989 (and first since 2007). They have the roster to do it. Last season, Cleveland scored 25 offensive TDs (tied for seventh) and posted a 67.9 total QBR (eighth) in the eight games with new head coach Freddie Kitchens as offensive coordinator (and that was before the trade for Odell Beckham Jr.). Baker Mayfield's 7.8 YPA ranks sixth-best among rookies since 2007 (behind those of Robert Griffin, Dak Prescott, Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson and Cam Newton). Cleveland's defense ranked top-six in interceptions and forced fumbles but 28th in sack rate last season. Adding Olivier Vernon and Sheldon Richardson will help improve the latter. Cleveland will enjoy the league's fifth-easiest schedule.

Projected wins: 9.4
Pick: Over

Pittsburgh Steelers (O/U: 9)

The Steelers' demise has been exaggerated. This franchise has won eight or more games every season since Ben Roethlisberger was drafted in 2004, including more than nine wins in 10 of 15 seasons. The Pittsburgh offense set a franchise record with 51 touchdowns last season. Antonio Brown is gone, but Roethlisberger, JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner and a quality offensive line remain. The Steelers have managed a plus-68 scoring differential or better each of the past five seasons. The defense allowed 5.3 yards per play (sixth-best) last season and has led the NFL in sacks each of the past two seasons. Pittsburgh has the league's sixth-easiest schedule.

Projected wins: 9.2
Pick: Over

Baltimore Ravens (O/U: 8.5)

The Ravens averaged 1.9 touchdowns per game with Lamar Jacksonas the starter last season, which would've ranked seventh-worst over the full season. Jackson posted the league's fourth-worst completion percentage (58 percent) and second-worst off-target rate (22 percent). The defense ranked top-two in points and yardage allowed, but was 22nd in forced turnovers last season. Gone are the defense's No. 1, 2, 5 and 7 snap-getters from 2018, which is a big loss of talent. Baltimore does have the league's ninth-easiest schedule.

Projected wins: 7.6
Pick: Under

Cincinnati Bengals (O/U: 6)

The Bengals were outscored by 87 points, and their defense allowed an NFL-worst 6,618 yards last season. Their notable offseason additions? B.W. Webb, John Miller and Kerry Wynn. That's not going to cut it. Andy Daltoncompleted only 62 percent of his passes (ninth-worst) and averaged 7.0 yards per attempt (10th-worst) last season. Cincinnati failed to improve a weak roster but could benefit from a coaching change and the league's seventh-easiest schedule.

Projected wins: 5.5
Pick: Under


Indianapolis Colts (O/U: 9.5)

Indianapolis has won 10-plus games in four of the five seasons in which Andrew Luck appeared in at least half of the team's games. The Colts are strong at the most important positions, including quarterback (Luck), offensive line (Luck was sacked on a league-low 2.7 percent of dropbacks last season) and edge rusher (added Justin Houston to a defense that was top-10 in interceptions, forced fumbles and points allowed but 19th in sacks last season). The Colts have the easiest projected schedule in the division (13th-hardest overall).

Projected wins: 10.2
Pick: Over

Houston Texans (O/U: 8.5)

The Texans have reached nine wins in four of head coach Bill O'Brien's five seasons with the team, including an 11-win campaign in 2018. QB Deshaun Watson owns the league's fifth-best YPA (8.3) since entering the NFL in 2017 and the Texans' offense ranked 18th in touchdowns last season, but was first in field goal attempts. Part of the problem was weak offensive line play, as Watson was sacked 62 times (most in the NFL) and pressured on 27 percent of his dropbacks (third-most). Four of O'Brien's past five and six of DC Romeo Crennel's past seven defenses have been better than average in touchdowns allowed. Houston has the league's third-hardest schedule.

Projected wins: 8.9
Pick: Over

Tennessee Titans (O/U: 8.5)

Tennessee has won exactly nine games each of the past three seasons. Marcus Mariota has yet to play in all 16 regular-season games and sports a 24-to-23 TD:INT mark the past two seasons. On the other hand, he has been no worse than the 64th percentile in adjusted completion rate and better than average in yards per attempt in each of his four seasons. The Titans defense remains good on paper. That unit hasn't allowed more than 2.2 touchdowns per game in a season since 2015 but has been no better than 15th in forced turnovers in that span. And Tennessee has the fifth-hardest schedule.

Projected wins: 7.6
Pick: Under

Jacksonville Jaguars (O/U: 8)

The Jaguars have reached nine wins once the past 11 seasons. Their offense ranked dead last with 22 touchdowns last season. New QB Nick Foleshas never appeared in more than 13 regular-season games in a single season and threw eight interceptions and fumbled four times in seven games last season (including the playoffs). The Jaguars' defense remains loaded on paper; the unit ranked top-five in yardage and points allowed each of the past two seasons. The Jaguars have the seventh-hardest schedule.

Projected wins: 7.0
Pick: Under

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs (O/U: 10.5)

Over the past 10 seasons, five offenses have scored 60-plus TDs in a season, including the 2018 Chiefs (66); the previous four saw a big drop the next season, with an average dip of 13.75 scores. Mitch Morse was also lost from the offensive line after Patrick Mahomes was pressured on a league-high 30 percent of his dropbacks last season. Offensive regression is likely, which isn't ideal considering that the defense is worse on paper. The Chiefs allowed the sixth-most touchdowns (3.1 per game) and second-most yardage last season. They were first in forced fumbles and sacks, but Justin Houston (released) and Dee Ford (traded) were responsible for 13 of 23 forced fumbles and 25 of 52 sacks. The Chiefs also have the league's sixth-hardest schedule.

Projected wins: 9.8
Pick: Under

Los Angeles Chargers (O/U: 10)

The Chargers won 12 games last season but previously went eight consecutive seasons with fewer than 10 wins. Los Angeles' roster is in terrific shape, aside from obvious concerns in the trenches. The offensive line remains a major question, especially after Philip Rivers' sack total jumped from 18 in 2017 to 32 in 2018. The Chargers defense has ranked top-eight in points allowed the past two seasons, and though defensive tackle is weak, having a healthy Joey Bosa to begin the season will help. They enjoy the easiest schedule in the division.

Projected wins: 9.9
Pick: Push

Denver Broncos (O/U: 7)

Denver has registered 11 total wins the past two seasons. New quarterback Joe Flacco posted the league's eighth-worst completion percentage (61 percent) and fifth-worst yards per attempt (6.5) in 2018 with the Ravens. In fact, his 6.3 YPA the past four seasons is worst among 38 qualified passers. New coach Vic Fangio's defenses have averaged a strong 2.0 touchdowns per game allowed since he returned to the NFL as a defensive coordinator in 2011. Denver has the league's second-hardest projected schedule.

Projected wins: 6.6
Pick: Under

Oakland Raiders (O/U: 6)

Oakland has managed seven-plus wins twice the past seven seasons. Derek Carr posted career-best marks in completion percentage (69 percent), off-target rate (league-best 10.1 percent) and yards per attempt (7.3) while throwing only 10 interceptions (1.8 percent rate) last season. His prospects are even better with Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams and J.J. Nelson added to the fold. Oakland's defense ranked dead last in sacks, forced fumbles and points allowed last season, though the unit is a bit better on paper following offseason additions. Oakland will need to overcome the league's hardest projected schedule.

Projected wins: 5.1
Pick: Under


Philadelphia Eagles (O/U: 9.5)

The last time Carson Wentz was healthy to begin a season, the Eagles posted a plus-162 scoring margin, and Wentz was a strong MVP candidate. Wentz actually improved his completion percentage from 60 percent during that 2017 MVP run to 70 percent last season. He'll still have a terrific offensive line, and now both DeSean Jackson and Jordan Howard are in his arsenal. The Eagles have allowed no more than 2.19 touchdowns per game during Doug Pederson's three seasons as head coach, and DC Jim Schwartz's past five defenses have been better than average in the category. The Eagles have the league's fourth-easiest schedule.

Projected wins: 10.9
Pick: Over

Dallas Cowboys (O/U: 8.5)

Dallas has reached the nine-win mark each of the past three seasons and four of the past five. Dak Prescott has finished in the upper third in completion percentage each of his three seasons. He was sacked 56 times last season (second-most) but could have star center Travis Frederick back this season. The Dallas defense has allowed precisely 2.2 touchdowns per game each of the past three seasons and remains strong on paper.

Projected wins: 9.5
Pick: Over

New York Giants (O/U: 6)

New York has won a total of eight games the past two seasons and has failed to clear six wins four of the past six seasons. Eli Manning has finished in the bottom 10 in average depth of throw each of the past two seasons and has completed only 64 percent of his passes in that span. The Giants finished 22nd in offensive touchdowns last season -- and that was with Odell Beckham Jr. on the roster for 75 percent of the games. The New York defense ranked 30th in sacks and 23rd in points allowed last season and moved on from Olivier Vernonand Landon Collins during the offseason.

Projected wins: 5.2
Pick: Under

Washington Redskins (O/U: 6)

The Redskins have a solid offensive line in place, but it's otherwise tough to find a position in which they stand out. New QB Case Keenum completed 62 percent of his passes (10th-worst) and posted a 6.6 yards per attempt (sixth-worst) last season. The Washington defense was top-10 in interceptions and sacks last season, and though they added Landon Collins, the Redskins lost Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, Preston Smith and Zach Brown. The Redskins are currently projected to select second overall in the 2020 draft.

Projected wins: 4.9
Pick: Under

NFC North

Chicago Bears (O/U: 9.5)

The Bears' defense allowed a league-low 27 touchdowns last season, and the unit was pretty good in 2017 as well, allowing only 28. In fact, the era-adjusted 1.65 TDs allowed per game last season was the ninth-best mark posted the past decade. This unit remains in outstanding shape, despite offseason losses of Adrian Amos and Bryce Callahan. Quarterback remains a question, as Mitch Trubisky has posted one of the league's seven worst off-target rates each of his first two seasons while posting the league's 11th-worst interception rate in 2018. Chicago will face the league's eighth-hardest schedule.

Projected wins: 9.3
Pick: Under

Green Bay Packers (O/U: 9)

The Packers have struggled the past two seasons with defensive injuries and Aaron Rodgers missing time, but the team had won 10 or more games seven of the previous eight seasons. Rodgers remains one of the league's best quarterbacks; in 2018, he became the first player in NFL history to throw fewer than four interceptions (two) on 450-plus attempts in a season. The Packers' defense was bottom-10 in sacks and forced fumbles last season but added Adrian Amos, Preston Smith and Za'Darius Smith. Green Bay has a mid-pack schedule, but it's the easiest in the division.

Projected wins: 9.3
Pick: Over

Minnesota Vikings (O/U: 9)

Coach Mike Zimmer's defenses have allowed 2.0 touchdowns per game since 2007, which is outstanding, especially considering that it covers 199 games with three teams. Each of the Vikings' past four defenses has allowed fewer than 2.0 touchdowns per game, though they ranked middle of the pack in forcing turnovers. Kirk Cousins posted the league's third-best completion rate (70 percent) but the fourth-worst yards per completion (10.1) as a result of conservative play. The Vikings missed the playoffs in 2018, they lost more than they gained in free agency and the division rival Packers and Lions have improved.

Projected wins: 8.8
Pick: Under

Detroit Lions (O/U: 7)

Matt Patricia's first year as head coach did not go as planned, and that was highlighted by a big drop in offensive production. Matt Stafford was off-target on 19 percent of his throws (sixth-worst) and posted a 6.81 yards per attempt (worst since his rookie season in 2009). Incredibly, he was pressured on an NFL-low 16 percent of dropbacks, though T.J. Lang's retirement is notable in that regard. Detroit's defense ranked 31st in forced turnovers last season but is a bit better after the additions of Trey Flowers, Justin Colemanand Rashaan Melvin.

Projected wins: 7.1
Pick: Push


New Orleans Saints (O/U: 10.5)

The Saints have won 11 and 13 games the past two seasons, respectively, and have more than 10 wins in six of the past 10 seasons. The New Orleans offense has finished top-five in touchdowns, and Drew Brees has finished top-three in completion percentage nine of the past 10 seasons. The revamped Saints defense has finished top-seven in sacks and forced fumbles the past two seasons. The unit allowed 2.0 touchdowns per game after Week 9 last season (including playoffs). The Saints have no significant weak spots and are arguably the league's best team on paper.

Projected wins: 10.8
Pick: Over

Atlanta Falcons (O/U: 8.5)

Matt Ryan has somewhat quietly evolved into one of the league's best players. He has finished top-nine in completions, passing yards and completion percentage each of the past seven seasons. The defense is healthier than it was when it lost Deion Jones and Keanu Neal for most of 2018, but edge rusher remains a major concern; Atlanta hasn't finished top-10 in sacks in more than a decade. The Falcons have the talent to rebound, but they play the NFC's hardest schedule (fourth-toughest overall).

Projected wins: 8.0
Pick: Under

Carolina Panthers (O/U: 8)

The Panthers are always a tough call, as they've won fewer than eight games or more than 10 games in each of Cam Newton's eight seasons. We saw a new-look Newton last season, as his 7.3 average depth of throw was easily a career low and led to career-best marks in completion rate (68 percent) and off-target rate (14 percent). The result? Carolina scored two-plus offensive touchdowns in every game through Week 14. The offensive line will be much better with newcomer Matt Paradis and a healthy Daryl Williams. However, Carolina did little to improve a defense that allowed the ninth-most touchdowns or a pass rush that ranked 27th in sacks last season.

Projected wins: 7.6
Pick: Under

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (O/U: 6)

Tampa Bay has reached seven wins once the past six seasons. New head coach Bruce Arians' offenses have finished below average in touchdowns in eight of his past 10 seasons as a head coach or offensive coordinator. Jameis Winston was suspended and benched last season but completed 65 percent of his passes and was off-target on 16 percent of his attempts, both career-best marks. The Buccaneers' defense has finished 21st or worse in points allowed seven of the past eight seasons. New DC Todd Bowles' past three defenses have finished 22nd or worse.

Projected wins: 5.7
Pick: Under


Los Angeles Rams (O/U: 10.5)

The Rams have won 13 and 11 games during Sean McVay's two seasons as head coach. In 2017, the Rams scored 45 offensive touchdowns (fifth-most) and attempted 43 field goals (second-most). In 2018, they scored 55 touchdowns (fourth) and attempted 41 field goals (second). Both field goal numbers rank top-10 in the NFL over the past decade. Jared Goff has finished top-five in both yards per completion and yards per attempt the past two seasons. The Rams' defense has finished top-five in forced turnovers and defensive touchdowns the past two seasons.

Projected wins: 11.1
Pick: Over

Seattle Seahawks (O/U: 8.5)

Terrific (unsustainable?) offensive efficiency helped overcome a shaky defense last season. The Seattle defense allowed 5.92 yards per play (25th) but ranked No. 1 with 14 fumble recoveries (a number that will be hard to repeat). The defense allowed a solid 2.23 touchdowns per game, though that was worst for a Seattle defense since 2010. Talent is lacking on that side of the ball behind the likes of Bobby Wagner and Frank Clark. Russell Wilson threw a touchdown on 8.2 percent of his attempts, which is the league's third-highest mark the past decade. The previous 20 highest in touchdown rate saw a drop the next season (average dip was 28.7 percent). The offensive line remains a concern (Wilson was sacked on 10.7 percent of his dropbacks last season, fifth-highest).

Projected wins: 8.4
Pick: Under

San Francisco 49ers (O/U: 8)

The 49ers haven't reached the nine-win mark since 2013. Jimmy Garoppolo has yet to appear in more than six games in a regular season and has tossed eight interceptions and fumbled five times in nine games with the 49ers. His statistics are almost identical to those posted by 2017 undrafted free agent Nick Mullens last season. Garoppolo will need to take a step forward in 2019 for the 49ers to eclipse eight wins. The 49ers' defense ranked dead last in forced turnovers last season (including a league-low two interceptions) and was second-worst in TDs allowed per game (3.25). Adding Dee Ford and Kwon Alexander should help those numbers a bit.

Projected wins: 7.0
Pick: Under

Arizona Cardinals (O/U: 5)

The Arizona defense should not be overlooked, as the likes of Terrell Suggs, Darius Philon, Jordan Hicks and D.J. Swearinger have been added to a core that includes Chandler Jones, Patrick Peterson and Budda Baker. This is a defense that ranked fifth in sacks (49) and first in tackles for loss (118) last season. The big concern is quarterback play, as current starter Josh Rosenthrew 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions while completing only 55 percent of his passes (second-worst) and averaging 5.8 yards per attempt (third-worst) as a rookie. New coach Kliff Kingsbury will have his hands full with an Arizona offense that made few additions to a unit that ranked 31st in the league with 24 touchdowns last season.

Projected wins: 5.7
Pick: Over