Cantor Gaming has released NFL Win Totals for 2015, and here is an early look at the NFC. Note that these early projections are being made before the NFL Draft.
Spring has just begun but the NFL is one league that never stops being relevant, and to that end Cantor Gaming has already released win totals for the 2015 NFL season! So as you might expect, we are here with a very early look at some selections on these win totals that may hold value, perhaps more so now then when the season draws closer. After posting some NFL picks for the AFC last week, we now look at some of our favorite win totals for the NFC.
Keep in mind these selections are being made five weeks before the NFL Draft, which this season will be held in Chicago on April 30th through May 2nd, and that may have an impact on these selections later on. However, 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 an abnormal amount of high profile trades, so at least we do have quite a bit of personnel move information already.
So with all of that in mind and with no further ado, here are our four favorite Win Total ‘overs’ for the NFC, followed immediately by our four favorite NFC ‘unders’. Once again, all win totals and the odds attached to them are from Cantor Gaming.
Arizona Cardinals ‘over’ 8 (-110): The Cardinals were the top seeds in the NFC last season at the time that quarterback Carson Palmer was injured, but the severe drop-off behind Palmer became apparent at that time and not only was Arizona surpassed by the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL West, but it could not even get by a Carolina Panthers team with a losing record in the Wild Card Playoffs. Still, Palmer should be ready for the start of training camp, the Arizona defense remains one of the elite units of the NFL, and besides being able to re-sign wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, this ‘over’ could gain more value if the Cardinals are able to land Adrian Peterson as has been widely rumored, instantly turning a running back position of need into a strength.
New York Giants ‘over’ 8 (+100): The Giants underachieved last season at 6-10 as quarterback Eli Manning has an erratic season, the running game was beset by injuries and the defense failed to perform up to expectations. However, Manning did improve over the second half of the year with some huge yardage totals, no doubt helped by Odell Beckham being active for the last 10 games, and Manning has some added motivation this season with this being a contract year! The Giants also helped the running game by adding the versatile former New England Patriot Shane Vereen in free agency and they fired defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, replacing him with someone who has had past success in that position in Steve Spagnuolo. And they also extended the contract of Coach Tom Coughlin despite him being the oldest coach in the NFL, and he would love nothing better than to lead a turnaround in his last few seasons.
Atlanta Falcons ‘over’ 8 (-120): Somehow the Falcons were in a position to win the NFC South in the final game of the season last year, but they were not even competitive at home in a 34-3 loss to Carolina, costing head coach Mike Smith his job. Now, it is not as if the Falcons are lacking in talent, especially on the offensive side, and new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan should do a better job at getting the most out of that talent than the departed Dirk Koetter. The defense had many more issues last season, but Atlanta added some nicely needed linebacker help by signing free agents Brooks Reed, who is versatile as he played both inside linebacker and outside linebacker for the Houston Texans, and Justin Durant, who as also versatile as he could play all three linebacker spots. Just as slight improvement in the defense could propel the Falcons over the .500 mark this season.
St. Louis Rams ‘over’ 7½ (-110): The Rams have had one of the better defenses in the NFL for several seasons, but they have been held back by playing in the best division in football and by poor quarterback play. Well, the defense could now truly approach elite status with the signing of Nick Farley perhaps giving St. Louis the best front seven in football, the division may not be quite as daunting with the San Francisco 49ers appearing to have taken a step back and the Rams may finally have themselves a quarterback, trading the oft injured Sam Bradford to the Eagles for Nick Foles. They also re-signed a nice target for Foles in Kenny Britt, who is capable of big numbers with a competent quarterback throwing to him, and running back Tre Mason developed nicely over the second half of last year to take over as the lead back.
Dallas Cowboys ‘under’ 9½ (-115): The Cowboys returned to the playoffs as NFC East Champions after a long absence last season, riding the running of the leading rusher in the NFL in Demarco Murray along the way. Murray’s great season meant that quarterback Tony Romo did not need to force passes as often as he used to, so he too had a nice season. However, the Cowboys failed to re-sign the free agent Murray, losing him to a division rival in the Philadelphia Eagles no less, and they do not have much behind him unless they get lucky in the NFL Draft, which is never a guarantee. Furthermore, the biggest signing for Dallas this off-season was a controversial one in Greg Hardy, who still could face an additional suspension for domestic abuse.
San Francisco 49ers ‘under’ 8½ (-110): My how the mighty have fallen! The 49ers have gone from going to the Super Bowl three years ago to just missing a return trip when losing to the eventual champion Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game two years ago to finishing 8-8 last season. But it does not end there as the man that orchestrated the San Francisco success, former coach Jim Harbaugh, bolted for the Michigan Wolverines of the NCAA and was replaced by someone with no head coaching experience in Jim Tomsula, who was formerly the defensive line coach. Then the offense lost Frank Gore to free agency and the defense was weakened by, of all things, a slew of retirements, suddenly leaving San Francisco currently as a +5000 longshot to win the Super Bowl! It appears that even finishing at .500 in Tomsula’s fist season at the helm would be a major accomplishment.
Detroit Lions ‘under’ 8½ (-120): The Lions are another team that made a return trip to the playoffs last season, thanks in large part to ranking second in the NFL in total defense behind only Seattle. However, the Lions’ defensive line does not figure to be nearly as daunting this year after losing both Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley to free agency, and that defensive line was able to cover up some deficiencies in the secondary, which it will probably no longer be able to do. Granted Detroit did add Haloti Ngata, but at age 31 he is no Suh at this points of his career and that still leaves a void on the other side of the defensive line. Also the Lions were rather disappointing offensively after that was believed to be the strength of the team, and with Reggie Bush now departed, can Joique Bell handle the load of being an every-down running back?
New Orleans Saints ‘under’ 9 (-120): The Saints were very active this off-season, but we are not so sure the current team is better than the disappointing one that finished 7-9 in 2014. It does appear that the Saints are changing their personality with the running game now a strength, as they re-signed Mark Ingram and added C.J. Spiller, who when healthy is an upgrade over the departed Pierre Thomas. The offensive line also got a boost with the acquisition of Max Unger, but who is Drew Brees going to throw the ball to? New Orleans traded tight end Jimmy Graham to acquire Unger, they traded away Kenny Stills, who led the team in receiving yards last year, and Marques Colston is one year older after two straight sub-1000-yard seasons. And the defense took a major step back last year under Rob Ryan.