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The NFL begins it’s greatest season to date with more young quarterbacks and offenses poised to impress every single one of us. Dallas and Tampa Bay open the actual game action but you still have time to be proven correct on some futures bets on win totals. Here is who I am for 2021 and I suggest you think long and hard before giving up this money.
I’d like to open up the this pick session by proclaiming how wrong everyone is about to be about the Titans again! Firstly, the gimmes in division: the Jaguars are on the schedule twice and so are the Texans and those are two teams battling for the worst team in American football. The base is set at four and then we get to the analysis: the Titans score. Tennessee will be in every single game they play because they score. Ryan Tannehill is 21-4-1 on game OVERS in his 26 starts in Nashville and no one has been better. He’s also won 5 of his seven season opener starts so hello Arizona.
Seattle is vulnerable, the Jets are on the schedule (LOL), the Colts are a guaranteed split at a minimum now with their quarterback issues, and there isn’t a strong loss vibe coming from anyone outside of possible Buffalo (Monday night in Nashville) or Kansas City (also at home the Sunday after Buffalo). This is a WAY OVER!
Speaking of Buffalo, how about this opening month: Pittsburgh, at Miami, Washington and Houston? Anyone scared yet? No? Good then let’s keep riding. They could split the next two with Kansas City and Tennessee which are both on the road, then spend their BYE week getting ready for the Fighting Tuas of Miami again before traveling to Jacksonville and the Jets eventual victories. We are at eight wins by my estimation at this point before we get to the final 8 GAMES!
There’s nothing to believe in a rematch with Indy will have a different result, New Orleans’ identity may be Jameis Winston but is he going to avoid all of his classic mistakes and do it on Thanksgiving? I’m imagining a worst-case scenario that features splitting of the Patriots matchups over the next month and then it’s Carolina, Atlanta and the Jets again. This is a thirteen-win schedule destined to make the under bettors gag.
I don’t like the position the Browns have put me in today but folks, we are buyers of the new-attitude Browns. Their potent offense needed some offseason help on the other side of the ball and they got better by signing Josh Johnson III and Troy Hill. I love those moves and I love their schedule.
After opening at Kansas City, I count 11 straight games where they will be the betting favorites before travelling to Baltimore on November 28 and then again two weeks later after their BYE, Las Vegas at home and then a late-season trip to Lambeau Field and finally wrapping with division-foes Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. I don’t see a lot of losses there. Cleveland is good enough to go 12-5 and it’s not stretch anymore to say that.
Houston: where every game is a grind. I’d like to forget about the offseason disaster that Deshaun Watson is currently living that has cost him more than just his starting spot for now, I’d like to forget that this roster was essentially gutted before David Culley and I’d like to overlook that more than half the roster consists of guys I have never heard the names of and I watch a TON of college and pro football; but I can’t forget or overlook and this schedule is not impossible but if you don’t have the guys and may not get one of the guys back ever again, it may be tank time, again.
Houston will have to grind to beat Jacksonville (if they do at all) and perhaps get a betting nod later in the year when they host the Jets, but woof these guys are going to be underdogs for a long, long time. The under is an easy play.
Hey, Dan Campbell, whatcha think of starting the season with THREE Super Bowl contenders right out of the box, then two division games on the road right after? Feel good? Could I interest you in a nice, brisk 1-4 start? I didn’t think so and to be frank, this schedule is littered with trouble spots like a 4-game stretch that includes trips to Denver, Atlanta and Seattle mixed with a home game against Arizona? What did the Lions do to the NFL to get such a wonky and land-mined 17-game grid? If you think this team is going over the 5, might I suggest a place that has some ocean-front property in Arizona?
Imagine a world where the defending Super Bowl champions, not named the Patriots, could be really, really good again. The perfect storm is in Tampa this season with a whole lot of returning roster including EVERY SINGLE STARTER ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BALL. The defense, especially against the run, is elite. The pass offense was fourth in the NFL last season in yards and tied for fourth in total touchdowns.
A glance at the schedule shows that this 11.5 total for victories is quite obtainable. They have six division games, all aginst suspect teams this year (Atlanta, Carolina, New Orleans) plus they open against a limping Cowboys squad and also play the entire NFC East which was a disaster in 2020 and matchup with a bunch of question marks when it comes to QB: New England, Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago and Indianapolis. That defensive unit is going to eat this year. The Bucs end the season with four games that smell like wins to me: vs. New Orleans. at Carolina, at the mighty Jets and back home for the Panthers again. It’s a long haul to get to 12 wins and a little ripe on the juice to take the over, but I’m here to win.