Cantor Gaming has released NFL Win Totals for 2015, and here is an early look at the AFC. Note that these early projections are being made before the NFL Draft.
Well, we are at the beginning of spring but the NFL is one league that never stops being relevant and Cantor Gaming has already released win totals for the 2015 NFL season! So naturally we are here with a very early look at some NFL picks on these win totals that may hold value, perhaps even more so now then when the season draws closer. This week we are looking at some of our favorite win totals for the AFC, with the NFC to follow next week.
Obviously these selections are being made six weeks before the NFL Draft, which this season will be held in Chicago on April 30th through May 2nd, and that may have a later impact on these selections. On the other hand, there have already been a lot of key free agent signings in the frantic first few days after free agency officially began, as well as some high profile trades, so we do have quite a bit of information already in regards to significant personnel moves.
So with this in mind, here are our four favorite Win Total ‘overs’ for the AFC, immediately followed by our four favorite AFC ‘unders’. Again, all win totals and attached odds come from Cantor Gaming.
Indianapolis Colts ‘over’ 9½ (-120): The Colts reached the AFC Championship Game last season without a real running game and some holes on defense, but they may have added some more separation between themselves and the rest of the AFC South this off-season. On offense, the running game got a major upgrade with Frank Gore, and a potential big loss in wide receiver Reggie Wayne was quickly compensated for with the signing of Andre Johnson. And the defense also addressed an area of need with a good pass rushing linebacker in Trent Cole, who has 85 sacks in 155 career games. We see absolutely no reason why this team should not win at least 11 games this season, with even 12 or 13 wins being real possibilities given the weak division.
Miami Dolphins ‘over’ 8 (+100): The Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots have dominated the AFC East for a long time, but we feel that the entire rest of the division improved this off-season and we would not be surprised if all three teams other than those Patriots see an improvement in their win totals this year. The Dolphins finished 8-8 last year despite mailing in some games at the end of the year after being eliminated from playoff contention, and we think trading away the cancerous Mike Wallace to the Vikings is addition by subtraction after he quit on the team several time last year. Miami also gave quarterback Ryan Tannehill an excellent receiving right end in Jordan Cameron, who made the Pro Bowl just two years ago with the Cleveland Browns, to replace the underachieving Charles Clay. Add in one of the biggest free agent signings in the entire league in defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and the Dolphins could make a run at New England’s divisional dominance this year.
Buffalo Bills ‘over’ 8½ (-110): And the Dolphins may not be the only team challenging the Patriots as a case can be made that the Bills were the biggest winners this off-season after all the moves they made. Granted the quarterback situation could be better, although at least newly acquired Matt Cassell has proven to be a good game manager in the past. And the Bills have certainly surrounded him with talent, beginning with one of the best running backs in the NFL in LeSean McCoy. Buffalo also added the versatile Percy Harvin and even tight end Charles Clay could be an upgrade over the departed Scott Chandler if Clay can rediscover his form of two years ago. And there are no issues with what was one of the best defenses in the league last season.
New York Jets ‘over’ 6½ (-110): The Jets won just four games last season to cost Rex Ryan his job, and the J-E-T-S replaced him with another great defensive mind in former Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. And he now has more to work with defensively that Ryan did last year as New York might have the best set of cornerbacks in the league with former Jets Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie both coming “home” as well as the addition of former Brown Buster Skrine. Add in former San Diego safety Marcus Gilchrist and Bowles may be able to put in some exotic blitzes like Ryan used to do with the Jets’ secondary now being able to play man coverage again without getting burned often like it was last year.
New England Patriots ‘under’ 10½ (+105): Now do not get us wrong here as the reigning Super Bowl Champions are probably the deserving favorites to win the AFC Conference again this year. However, they may be the only team in the AFC East that did not improve since the end of last season, not that a team that just won the Super Bowl needed any improvement. Still, New England no longer figures to have as easy a time with the rest of the teams in the division as in past seasons and it is entirely possible that the Patriots could split with all of those teams, giving them three losses just inside the division. Thus, topping out at 10-6 may not seem as far fetched as it may have seemed before the beginning of free agency.
Cincinnati Bengals ‘under’ 8½ (-125): We felt that the Bengals were very lucky last season with their 10-5-1 record being an overachievement given their peripheral numbers, and as oftentimes happens when teams outperform their true numbers, this manifested itself with a double-digit 26-10 loss to the Colts in the playoffs. And the team seems committed to Andy Dalton as its quarterback, which we feel is a mistake, and has really done nothing to improve the offense in recent months, as its biggest recent signings were both on defense in defensive end Michael Johnson and linebacker A.J. Hawk.. Look for Cincinnati to crash down to its true level this season unless it makes some major offensive moves in the near future, which in our minds is a .500 team at best.
Kansas City Chiefs ‘under’ 8½ (-125): The Chiefs may have overachieved when they went 11-5 while taking advantage of a last-place schedule in their first season under Andy Reid two years ago, so slipping to 9-7 last year was not a major surprise. And we could now see more slippage this year with conservative quarterback Alex Smith not having much talent to throw the ball too. Yes the Chiefs made a splash in free agency by signing Jeremy Maclin, but do not expect a replay of his 85-catch, 1318-yard, 10-touchdown season with the fast-paced Eagles last year as opposing defenses can smother him this year with no fear of whichever receiver wins the starting job on the opposite side, not after Kansas City lost Dwayne Bowe and released a couple of guys that saw extensive time on the outside last season in Donny Avery and A.J. Jenkins. This team will only go as far as running back Jamaal Charles can take it.
Jacksonville Jaguars ‘under’ 5½ (-120): The Jaguars showed some improvement last season after Blake Bortles took over at quarterback, but the bottom line was still winning only three games. So can the team now suddenly double that win total in 2015? We would tend to doubt it despite the addition of tight end Julius Thomas. Now Jacksonville actually has the makings of a nice defense, especially in the front seven, but this is a team that needs offensive line help in the worst way before it can take any more positive steps. It also remains to be seen if the big numbers Thomas put up in Denver were more the result of the “system”, and the Jaguars remain weak at running back in our opinion as we do not believe the recently signed Bernard Pierce is the answer.