The NFL released its schedule for the 2020 season on Thursday night, and William Hill released win totals for every NFL team. As expected, the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens are at the top of the win totals board with an over/under at 11.5 wins. With the addition of Tom Brady, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers saw their win totals number tick up to 9.5 over/under wins.
The Chiefs are the defending Super Bowl champions. It’s difficult to win the Big Game in back-to-back seasons since everyone will be gunning for Patrick Mahomes and the reigning champs. Will it be Baltimore’s turn to rise up and become the new powerhouse in the AFC? Or can KC pull off another Super Bowl appearance?
The Chiefs and Ravens are the top favorites to win the 2021 Super Bowl. The Chiefs are 6/1 to win consecutive titles, while the Ravens are 7/1 odds to win the Super Bowl.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are the lowest team on the board with an over/under at 4.5 wins. The Jags are in a rebuilding year after they traded away Nick Foles to the Chicago Bears.
The Jags join a trio of other teams with a 5.5 win total at the start of the rebuilding process, including the Carolina Panthers, Washington Redskins, and Cincinnati Bengals.
The Bengals recently drafted Heisman Trophy winner, Joe Burrow, with the #1 pick and released Andy Dalton after almost a decade at QB. The Dallas Cowboys quickly snatched up Dalton as a backup/insurance policy for Dak Prescott.
Contenders: KC, NOLA, SF, and Baltimore
It’s not surprising to see the two best teams in the NFL at the top of the win totals chart. So, which of those teams can go 12-4 or better? It will be an interesting prop bet because the Chiefs and Ravens meet in Week 3.
The Chiefs face a difficult schedule and have a giant target on their backs as the defending champs. In their first four games, they face the Texans, Ravens, and Patriots. They also go head-to-head with the NFC South this season, which means games against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Bucs, and a game against Drew Brees and the Saints. Could that NOLA/KC game be a preview of the 2021 Super Bowl?
Top 4 NFL Win Totals
Kansas City Chiefs 11.5
Baltimore Ravens 11.5
New Orleans Saints 10.5
San Francisco 49ers 10.5
The Ravens have the benefit of facing the mediocre NFC East, but they also have to deal with NFC North smashmouth football games against heated rivals such as the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns.
The Niners find themselves in a precarious position. Will they be able to build on their Super Bowl appearance and return to the Big Game? Or will they fizzle out like the LA Rams did last season and become a team that goes from a Super Bowl berth to bubbling the playoffs?
Playoff Bound: Old Empires
The next batch of teams includes perennial postseason squads that are trying to refocus their identities.
Bill Belichick gets to rebuild a Tom Brady-free New England Patriots on the fly, yet he could still squeak out 10-plus wins in a soft AFC East that includes the LOL Jets and the inept Miami Dolphins.
But beware of those pesky Buffalo Bills. Will this be the season that the Pats finally get knocked out of first place in the AFC East?
Speaking of Tom Brady — now that Brady and Rob Gronkowski have reunited on the Tampa Bay Bucs, the Bucs have seen their Super Bowl odds spike. Oddsmakers list their win total at 9.5 games.
NFL Upper-Middle Class Win Totals
Seattle Seahawks 9.5
Tampa Bay Bucs 9.5
Green Bay Packers 9.5
Dallas Cowboys 9.5
Philadelphia Eagles 9.5
Buffalo Bills 9
Minnesota Vikings 9
New England Patriots 9
Pittsburgh Steelers 9
It seems like bookies pick the Seattle Seahawks to finish 8-8 or worse every year. But somehow, even with injuries and not a ton of talent, Russell Wilson finds a way to get the Seahawks into the postseason with marginal holdings.
The Minnesota Vikings took a step backward last season. Can they continue their advance up the ladder? Or will the Vikes fade back into the depths of NFL mediocrity?
Legit or Bubble Bust?
The Tennessee Titans made a much-needed quarterback change at midseason. With Ryan Tannehill under center, the team got hot at the right time. It also helped that they had Derrick Henry in the backfield. In the last two seasons, Henry put up a couple of monstrous games that make fantasy nerds go berserk whenever they see his DFS stats.
NFL Middle Class Win Totals
Tennessee Titans 8.5
Chicago Bears 8.5
Cleveland Browns 8.5
Indy Colts 8.5
LA Rams 8.5
LA Chargers 8
Las Vegas Raiders 7.5
Denver Broncos 7.5
Atlanta Falcons 7.5
Houston Texans 7.5
The LA Rams had a tough 2019. Now that they’ve dumped Todd Gurley and his hefty contract, can the team overachieve again without their stud running back? Oddsmakers think they’re on the cusp of getting over the hump with a win total at 8.5 games.
The Raiders moved to Las Vegas and will be playing games in their new stadium in Sin City. Despite all the pomp and circumstance, the Raiders were just a meh team last season. Can Chucky and the Raiders pull off a winning season during their first year in Las Vegas? Or is it just fools gold and they’re doomed to finish 6-10?
Bounce Back or Theme from the Bottom?
The New York Jets drafted a couple of potential All-Pro players with lineman Mekhi Becton and WR Denzel Mims. They also added a couple of talented secondary players to bolster their pass defense. The Jets were one of the hottest teams in the NFL in the second half of the season. Seriously. I’m not kidding. You can stop laughing now because the Jets went 6-2 over their final eight games.
The NY Giants will get to see what life is like without Eli Manning. Manning and the G-Men were a point of controversy over the past two seasons. Now that Manning is officially retired, the team can see what their #1 draft pick, Daniel Jones, can really do without Eli Manning lurking over his shoulder.
The Bottom Feeders
Detroit Lions 6.5
Arizona Cardinals 6.5
NY Jets 6.5
NY Giants 6.5
Miami Dolphins 6
Carolina Panthers 5.5
Cincinnati Bengals 5.5
Washington Redskins 5.5
Jacksonville Jaguars 4.5
The Carolina Panthers opted for a reboot. They hired a new coach with Matt Rhule (Baylor). They also sent Cam Newton packing after they signed QB Teddy Bridgewater to a lucrative free-agent contract.
Carolina’s loss becomes Washington’s gain. The Redskins hired Ron Rivera to become their next head coach. Players love playing under Riverboat Ron. If anyone can instill a winning culture in a short time, it’s Rivera. But the franchise is cursed and doomed so long as Daniel Snyder owns the team.