Letting Brock Osweiler go to Houston may hurt the Broncos this season and the Browns signing RGIII for two years certainly seems like a gamble. Let’s look at some moves made by both NFL teams as well as the Sportsbooks which could go totally wrong in this coming Regular Season and offer up a couple of picks.
Starting Quarterback Selection and Ejection Wrong For Browns, Broncos
The Cleveland Browns +2500 to win AFC North, at Heritage and the Denver Broncos +225 to win AFC West, seem to have made some questionable decisions at the QB position, somewhat spurned by the reality of trusting a young player like Johnny Manziel to potentially man the spot for the Future for Cleveland and new Head Coach Hue Jackson, while for Denver, letting go of its backup QB (Brock Osweiler) who had learned the system, knew the team and received considerable Playing Time in his stead of the Injured and Retiring Peyton Manning last season. And the desperate Browns went out and signed former Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III, in hopes the 26-year-old can somehow find his form for the Browns +20000 to win Super Bowl, this coming NFL Regular Season and the former Baylor star has beat out 37-year-old Josh McCown for the starting spot in scrimmages. If he earns the starting job, Griffin—who signed a 2-year, $15 million deal as a Free Agent with Cleveland in March and didn’t take a snap with the Redskins last season—will start as a QB for the first time since 2014 with Washington. But something tells me General Manager Sashi Brown and the Browns got his wrong like they do with a man of their personnel moves. We will see.
Maybe Cleveland should have gone after Osweiler, who ended up signing with the Houston Texans (+190 to win AFC South, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), leaving the Broncos and General Manager John Elway in the unenviable position of having to go out and find two QBs this Offseason. The problem? Denver used its Franchise Tag on LB and Super Bowl MVP Von Miller and representatives for Osweiler (170-275, 1,967 yards, 10 TDs, 6 INTs in 2015) became squirrely. So two days after legend Peyton Manning retired, Osweiler inked a guaranteed $47 million deal with the Texans (25/1 to win Super Bowl, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), forcing Denver into the “We need QBs really fast” mode and leaving the defending Super Bowl champions with 29-year-old veteran Mark Sanchez, Trevor Siemian (Northwestern, 2015 NFL Draft, 6-4, 220) and Paxton Lynch (Memphis, 2016 NFL Draft, 6-7, 245) with which to work this season. This reality will likely put much pressure on the rest of the Broncos Roster, especially the Defense and after zig-zagging through last season dealing with Manning’s inability and poor performance, this Denver Offense may be too emotionally worn down too quickly adjust to whomever ends up winning the job, making Broncos Unders maybe something worse consideration early on this year. Reports indicate that Sanchez will start the 1st Half for the Broncos against the Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago on Thursday night (ABC, 8 p.m. EDT/5 p.m. PDT, PK, 37, BetDSI) in their Preseason openers with Siemian coming in during the 2nd Quarter and Rookie Lynch playing in the 2nd Half.
Sportsbooks May Be Off a Hair on Some AFC Regular Season Team Win Totals
The sportsbooks got it wrong opening the New England Patriots at 10½ (Over -120, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) and not at 11 (with heavy juice on the Under) this 2016 NFL Regular Season. Why? Because New England (17/2 to win Super Bowl, Paddy Power) are have gone 11-4-1 Over the posted regular Season Team Win Totals under 17th-year Head Coach Bill Belichick (159-121-7 ATS) and superstar QB Tom Brady and the Patriots have gone 12-4 four straight seasons after going 13-3 in the Regular Season in 2011. And with the Buffalo Bills (6/1 to win AFC East, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), Miami Dolphins (6/1 to win AFC East, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) and New York Jets (6/1 to win AFC East, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) all looking like they are in for completely average seasons at best in the AFC East (11/2 to win Super Bowl, Bet365), the 4-game Suspension to Brady probably won’t even matter with backup Jimmy Garoppolo finally getting his chance to shine for New England (Name the Super Bowl Finalists: New England Patriots-Seattle Seahawks 25/1, BetVictor). The Eastern Illinois University product will get his chance to warm up the old arm on when the Patriots (-220 to win AFC East, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) welcome another EIU product, 10th-year New Orleans Head Coach Sean Payton (80-71-3 ATS) and the Saints to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough for the Preseason opener for both on Thursday night (NFL Network, 7:30 p.m. EDT/4:30 p.m. PDT; NE -3 -120, 39, 5Dimes).
And also in the AFC, it seems that sportsbooks also seem to have set both the Cleveland Browns and the Tennessee Titans Regular Season Team Win Total about a ½ game too high. The Browns (4½ Over, -155, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) will likely be going with a new starting QB in the aforementioned Griffin while athletic WR Josh Gordon was denied reinstatement back into the NFL after failing an Offseason drug test before being eventually being reinstated and then suspended the first 4 games of the coming season, meaning he may be back in Week 5 against Brady—who will also be returning from his own 4-game Suspension—and the Patriots. The 25-year old Gordon (161 receptions, 2,754 yards, 14 TDs lifetime for Browns) was suspended the entire 2015 NFL season for violating the NFL Policy and Program For Substance Abuse, as well as the first 10 games of the 2014 season, so tying the future of this team’s Offense to questionable players like Manziel and Gordon has hamstrung this franchise which has absolutely no room for error this season in the rugged AFC North (5/1 to win Super Bowl, Bet365).
And the Titans may have some promise in 2nd-year QB Marcus Mariota, Free Agent RB DeMarco Murray (Philadelphia Eagles) and (basically) 1st-year Head Coach Mike Mularkey (2-7 ATS), but Tennessee (50/1 to win AFC, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) has gone 3-13 and 2-14 SU over the L2 Regular Seasons and the Titans (10/1 to win AFC South, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) have a nasty schedule facing the Indianapolis Colts (+130 to win AFC South, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) and the Texans twice in AFC South divisional play, the Packers (Home), Vikings (Home), Bears (@ CHI) and Lions (@ DET) in NFC North intraconference play and the Raiders (Home), Broncos (Home), Chargers (@ SD) and Chiefs (@ KC) as the Regular Season schedule sees the AFC West quarter this time around. One break for the Titans may be a loose game against the Dolphins at Miami Gardens (Oct. 9), but seeing how this team gets to 6 Wins and the Over in the Regular Season Team Win Totals market is a mystery, especially with some people high on the Jacksonville Jaguars (3/1 to win AFC South, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), who could possibly win the Under bet in this marketplace by upsetting the Titans in Nashville in Week 8. QB Blake Bortles and the Jaguars (50/1 to win Super Bowl, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) are 3-1 ATS their L4 trips to Tennessee and Nissan Stadium but lost and failed to cover last season by the smallest possible margin (½ point), 42-39 getting 2½ points in a shootout. The Titans have won just two Home games their L2 seasons (1-7, 1-7), just two Divisional games the L2 years (1-5, 1-5) and Tennessee has won just three conference games (1-11, 2-10) over the L2 Regular Season games and has gone an abysmal 8-23-1 ATS (34.8%).
NFL Regular Season Team Win Total Picks: New England Patriots Over 10½ -120, Cleveland Browns Under 4½ +135, Tennessee Titans Under 5½ +140
NFL Name The Finalists Picks: New England Patriots-Seattle Seahawks 25/1 at BetVictor