Parts of the NFL schedule were already released, however last night we got our first glimpse into what the season will look like. There are a ton of seemingly great games heading into the season, and it is already having a big impact on the futures and NFL Odds.
Season Win Total Updates
Because we already knew who was going to play whom, strength of schedule has been out for a while. However now that we know the cadence of the NFL schedule, it’s easier to look at season win totals and judge some solid NFL odds wagers. For instance the Indianapolis Colts have one of the easier schedules in the NFL, and with the AFC once again looking like the worse of the two conferences, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them get over 10 wins. Their number has already risen from 9 ½ to 10, and the juice will likely continue to go up after the draft. In a division with the Titans and Jaguars, it won’t be hard for the Colts to have another stellar season.
Another couple of teams that might be heading in the opposite direction because of schedule is the Steelers and 49ers. The 49ers’ potential troubles were well documented on our Google Hangout last night, but in short, no one thinks this is any better than a six win team in this division. With their NFL Odds for season win totals still sitting around 8, it looks like prime value for an under bet. We all agreed that the Rams and Cardinals would be better, if not much better from last season, and with the Hawks there too, the 49ers on the under looks amazing right now.
Lastly the Steelers’ problems are not so much team related, as they are schedule-related. This team’s schedule is brutal, and while they still have some defensive issues, their real problem will be playing tough game after tough game this season. They have to start the season playing at New England on opening night, and then having to play the 49ers at home, at St. Louis, home against Baltimore, at San Diego, home against Arizona, at Kansas City and then home against the Bengals. That is exhausting just looking at it. It doesn’t get much easier after their bye week either, so 8 ½ wins may be optimistic for the Steelers.
There are a lot of great games coming up this season, but some key matchups stick out to me here in April. Things could get a lot more interesting before the season starts, but right off the bat in Week 2, the Seahawks and Packers hook up, which should be a playoff game in September. It could easily turn into a revenge game for the Packers, who might now have the better team.
The Patriots also have a couple of great matchups that those making NFL picks can't miss, but Week 6 could be an AFC Title game preview, as the Patriots have to travel into Indianapolis to play the Colts. It could go a long way in determining home field advantage if these two teams do in fact get to the AFC Title game.
Lastly in Week 14 the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers meet up in Green Bay, in what could be one big chapter in both of these team's seasons. Both are favorites to win their divisions, and both have aspirations of besting each other to get to the NFC Title game. This game could also go a long way in playoff standings as well, so by all means it should be a great game.