Over the weeks leading up to the
start of the 2019 NFL Season we shall be reviewing each NFL team and offering Recommendations
and Opinions on whether or not that team is likely to exceed or fall short of the
number of wins posted at most of the Sports Books located both within the State
of Nevada and around the World.
For purposes of this article the source used
is the Westgate Race & Sports Book in Las Vegas, Nevada.
As we reach conclusions
on each team we shall post them on the "Subscribers" version of this Web
Page that is available ONLY TO SUBSCRIBERS to one or more of our weekly Football
Newsletters and/or our Premium Selections Service.
For information on becoming
a Premiums Selections or Newsletter Subscriber CLICK HERE.
As Posted at the Westgate Race & Sports Book, Las Vegas, NV
Totals/Lines As of April 28, 2019 "Current" Totals/Lines As of July
. TEAM Wins.....OVER.....UNDR.....Wins.....OVER.....UNDR
----------------------- ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
Arizona Cardinals 5 -110 -110 5 -130 +110
Atlanta Falcons 8 1/2 -110 -110 8 1/2 -130 +110
Baltimore Ravens 8 1/2 -120 Even 8 1/2 +110 -130
Buffalo Bills 6 1/2 -160 +140 7 -130 +110
Carolina Panthers 8 Even -120 7 1/2 -140 +120
Chicago Bears 9 -120 Even 9 -130 +110
Cincinnati Bengals 6 -130 +110 6 -120 Even
Cleveland Browns 9 -130 +110 9 -125 +105
Dallas Cowboys 9 +110 -130 9 -110 -110
Denver Broncos 7 -110 -110 7 -120 Even
Detroit Lions 6 1/2 -130 +110 6 1/2 -140 +120
Green Bay Packers 9 -110 -110 9 Even -120
Houston Texans 8 1/2 +120 -140 8 1/2 +125 -145
Indianapolis Colts 9 1/2 -140 +120 10 +120 -140
Jacksonville Jaguars 8 +110 -130 8 +115 -135
Kansas City Chiefs 10 1/2 Even -120 10 1/2 +120 -140
Los Angeles Chargers 9 1/2 -140 +120 9 1/2 -140 +120
Los Angeles Rams 10 1/2 Even -120 10 1/2 +120 -140
Miami Dolphins 5 Even -120 5 Even -120
Minnesota Vikings 9 Even -120 9 -110 -110
New England Patriots 11 -150 +130 11 -150 +130
New Orleans Saints 10 1/2 -110 -110 10 1/2 +120 -140
N Y Giants 6 Even -120 6 +110 -130
N Y Jets 7 1/2 -110 -110 7 1/2 -110 -110
Oakland Raiders 6 -110 -110 6 -130 +110
Philadelphia Eagles 9 1/2 -150 +130 10 Even -120
Pittsburgh Steelers 9 -110 -110 9 -125 +105
San Francisco 49ers 8 -120 Even 8 -120 Even
Seattle Seahawks 8 1/2 -120 Even 8 1/2 -140 +120
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6 1/2 Even -120 6 1/2 Even -120
Tennessee Titans 8 +110 -130 8 +110 -130
Washington Redskins 6 1/2 Even -120 6 1/2 +120 -140
The following 3 team(s) have had their Total Wins INCREASE since the Opening --
Buffalo from 6 1/2 to 7
Indianapolis from 9 1/2 to 10
Philadelphia from 9 1/2 to 10
The following 1 team(s) have had their Total Wins DECREASE since the Opening
Carolina from 8 to 7 1/2
The Westgate generally uses a
20 cents line in setting a spread for the Overs and Unders. This means that for
a team on which the Over is priced at - 140 the Under is priced at + 120. Likewise
a team on which the opinion is evenly divided the line would be - 110 on the Over
and - 110 on the Under. As the 'favoritism' for an Over or Under increases the
20 cents spread may also increase.
In approaching an analysis of
playing individual teams to go Over or Under their respective win totals, several
global perspectives need to be looked at first.
One key thing to keep in mind
is that the public is usually geared to thinking in the positive -- i.e. that things
will happen rather than that they won't. In other words, much as the public tends
to prefer Favorites over Underdogs in betting the pointspread, and tends to prefer
betting Over the Total Points as opposed to Under the Total Points in individual
games, the Team Over/Under wins are geared more to betting the Over rather than the
Under, be it in terms of the number of wins or the "vig" attached to the
Over vs the Under.
In seasons prior to 2007 there had been huge biases towards
the OVER that resulted in the best values by far being found in playing the UNDERs.
In recent years the public -- especially the so-called "Wise Guys"
part of the public -- has become more enlightened about sports betting in general,
and Over/Under Season Wins in particular.
In 2018 the total number of
projected wins for all 32 teams summed to 257 1/2 for the Opening numbers. In
2017 the total number of projected wins for all 32 teams summed to 258 1/2 for the
Opening numbers. In 2016 the total number of projected wins for all 32 teams summed
to 260 for the Opening numbers. In 2015 the total number of projected wins for
all 32 teams summed to 262 1/2 for the Opening numbers. In 2014 the total number
of projected wins for all 32 teams summed to 258 for the Opening numbers. In 2013
the total number of projected wins for all 32 teams summed to 260 for the Opening
numbers. In 2012 the total number of projected wins for all 32 teams summed to
258 for the Opening numbers. In 2011 the total number of projected wins for all
32 teams summed to 260 for the Opening numbers. In 2010 the total number of projected
wins for all 32 teams summed to 257 1/2 for the Opening numbers. In 2009 the total
number of projected wins for all 32 teams summed to 256 1/2 for the Opening numbers. In
2008 the total number of projected wins for all 32 teams summed to 252 1/2 for the
In seasons prior to 2008 it was not unusual for the "projected"
wins to total in the mid to upper 260's.
A look at the "vig" attached
to the Overs and Unders shows that there has been a shift in that rather than having
the public play OVER inflated Win Total numbers, the public must now pay an unusually
high "vig" to play OVER more realistic (and slightly lower) Win Totals.
More about this shortly as this has become a major change/development.
2019 the total wins sums to 259 1/2 for the Opening numbers. Since then, as
noted above, 3 teams have had their Total Wins increase by 1/2 win each with 1 team
having a decrease of 1/2 win, thus the "current" Total Wins for 2019 has
increased to 260 1/2.
Barring any games that end in ties, there can only
be 256 wins accumulated by the league as a whole, 256 being the total number of regular
season games to be played.
Thus there is an imbalance with a bias towards
the OVER. With the CURRENT 260 1/2 projected wins there are also just 251 1/2 projected
losses (see the "Projected Standings," below).
There was a slight
bias towards the UNDER in 2008 which means that on a global basis there was slight
value in betting the OVER as the Opening Projected Current Wins summed to just 252
1/2 -- 3 1/2 wins less than the 256 games that are played in a season.
In each season since then the bias has been towards the OVER which
means the "value" was globally on betting the UNDER!
In 2009 and
again in 2010 there were slight biases the other way meaning that the global value
was in betting the UNDER as the Total Projected Wins totalled slightly more than
the possible total wins of 256.
In 2011 there was a bias towards the OVER
with 260 projected wins (providing some value to playing the UNDER) as was also the
case in 2012 when 258 total wins were projected and in 2013 when the Total projected
wins summed to 260.
In 2014 there was a slight initial bias to the OVER with
the projection of 258 Total wins. Similarly, in 2015, the bias was towards the OVER
with the projection of 262 1/2 total wins. And again in 2016 there was a bais towards
the OVER with the Opening Wins summing to 260. In 2017 there was a small bias towards
the OVER with the projection of 258 /12 total wins.
Last season (2018) again
saw a slight bias towards the OVER with 257 1/2 the total projected wins based on
the Opening Totals.
Now, in 2019, once again the bias is towards the OVER
with the Total Wins summing to 259 1/2 at the Opening Totals and a bit more to the
OVER with the "current" 260 1/2 --- 4 1/2 games more than the 256 the league
as a whole can win, thus providing a slight "numerical" value in playing
Remember, as well, that the possibility of regular season games
ending in ties presents the potential for just 254 wins if there is 1 tied game,
252 wins if there are 2 ties, etc.
Going even further, using the "Current
-- July 10, 2019" Total Wins, above, if one were to bet EVERY TEAM TO GO OVER
their total by simply the minimum amount possible (1/2 game for teams lines at 1/2
wins and 1 game for teams lined at whole numbers), it would take 286 wins overall
to cash every ticket, or a league record for 256 games of 286-226, a variance of
60 games. If you were to bet EVERY TEAM OVER the total and those teams with whole
numbers for their projected wins landed exactly on those numbers and teams with 1/2
wins went over by the minimum of 1/2 game you are still looking at a total number
of 267 wins to WIN OR PUSH betting EVERY team to go OVER their Total, a variance
of 22 games (267-245) from the 256 being played (this would result in 19 wining plays
and 13 pushes -- the 19 wins resulting from the 19 teams with 1/2 wins and the 15
pushes resulting from the 15 teams that are lined at whole numbers).
this is impossible but compare this scenario to betting UNDER for EVERY TEAM in which
case the total number of wins needed to cash every UNDER ticket drops to 235, or
an overall record of 235-277, a spread of 42 games. To WIN or PUSH EVERY TEAM going
UNDER its Total would require a total of 254 wins, a variance of only 4 games (254-258)
from the total number of 256 games to be played (this would result in the same 19
wins and 13 pushes since, obviously, only the 19 teams with "half games"
would not result in those Pushes).
"Globally" there is slight value
in 2019 in playing the UNDER with the Total Wins projected at 260 1/2 (i.e. a league
record of 260 1/2 - 251 1/2) which is 4 1/2 wins more than the maximum number of
possible wins, 256.
One way to get an overview of what the linesmaker
expects is to recast the above table in the form of projected standings, division
By doing this exercise we get the following projections.
Based on the "Current"
Win Totals listed above, here is how the Projected 2019 Standings look, Division
AFC EAST NFC EAST
-------------- ------------ -------------- ------------
New England 11.0 - 5.0 Philadelphia 10.0 - 6.0
N Y Jets 7.5 - 8.5 Dallas 9.0 - 7.0
Buffalo 7.0 - 9.0 Washington 6.5 - 9.5
Miami 5.0 - 11.0 N Y Giants 6.0 - 10.0
AFC NORTH NFC NORTH
-------------- ------------ -------------- ------------
Pittsburgh 9.0 - 7.0 Minnesota 9.0 - 7.0
Cleveland 9.0 - 7.0 Chicago 9.0 - 7.0
Baltimore 8.5 - 7.5 Green Bay 9.0 - 7.0
Cincinnati 6.0 - 10.0 Detroit 6.5 - 9.5
AFC SOUTH NFC SOUTH
-------------- ------------ -------------- ------------
Indianapolis 10.0 - 6.0 New Orleans 10.5 - 5.5
Houston 8.5 - 7.5 Atlanta 8.5 - 7.5
Jacksonville 8.0 - 8.0 Carolina 7.5 - 8.6
Tennessee 8.0 - 8.0 Tampa Bay 6.5 - 9.5
AFC WEST NFC WEST
-------------- ------------ -------------- ------------
Kansas Citys 10.5 - 5.5 L A Rams 10.5 - 5.0
L A Chargers 9.5 - 6.5 Seattle 8.5 - 7.5
Denver 7.0 - 9.0 San Francisco 8.0 - 8.0
Oakland 6.0 - 10.0 Arizona 5.0 - 11.0
Strength of Divisions Based on Projected Wins of all 4 Teams
1 AFC South 34 1/2
2 NFC North 33 1/2
3t AFC West 33
3t NFC South 33
5 AFC North 32 1/2
6 NFC West 32
7 NFC East 31 1/2
8 AFC East 30 1/2
AFC = 130 1/2 NFC = 130
By looking at the projected standings we can often spot teams that look out
of place. Such teams are not necessarily those that are predicted to win Divisions
but rather may be teams projected to finish second or teams projected to finish last.
that Divisional realignment in 2002 created eight Divisions, each with exactly four
teams, producing 4 Division winners and 2 Wild Card teams from each Confernece in
the Playoffs. This represented a dramatic change from the prior alignment which featured
five Divisions of five teams each and one Division of six teams and sent 3 Division
winners and 3 Wild Cards from to the Playoffs from each Conference.
from the 6 games against their Divisional rivals, all teams within a Division play
8 of their 10 non-Divisional games against the same 8 opponents -- 4 games against
a specific Division within their conference and 4 "interconference" games
against a specific Division in the other Conference. The other 2 games Conference
gamesand are based upon a team's finish the previous season such that a team will
play the team that finished in the same Divisional position in the other 2 Divisions
within the same conference.
Thus, in 2019, for example, all 4 teams in the
AFC East, in addition to the 6 Divisional games against one another, will play all
4 teams in the NFC East and all 4 teams in the AFC North. New England, which finished
first last season in the AFC East, will also play the first place finishers in the
AFC South (Houston) and the AFC West (Kansas City). Miami, which finished second
in the AFC East in 2018 will also play the second place finishers from the AFC South
(Indianapolis) and the AFC West (L A Chargers). Third place Buffalo's two "non-common
opponents" are Tennessee and Denver while the last place New York Jets will
face Cleveland and Oakland.
Here are the 8 common Non-Division teams to be
faced by all four teams within the same Division --
The AFC East will face
the AFC North and NFC East The AFC North will face the AFC East and NFC West The
AFC South will face the AFC West and NFC South The AFC West will face the AFC
South and NFC South
The NFC East will face the NFC North and AFC East The
NFC North will face the NFC East and AFC West The NFC South will face the NFC
West and AFC South The NFC West will face the NFC South and AFC North
Major Changes in Bookmaker
Approach to NFL Over/Under Season Win Totals In the Past Decade or so
As referenced above, for many
seasons after the concept of Season Win Totals was introduced there was a built in
value in playing teams UNDER their season win totals as the sum of all team's projected
wins would be significantly greater than the total number of games that would be
played during an NFL season.
For example, 32 teams playing a 16 game schedule
results in a total of 256 regular season games. Often the total projected wins for
the 32 teams would sum to the mid to upper 260's. In fact, between 2002 (the first
season of 32 teams with the addition of the Houston Texans) through 2006 the sum
of Projected Total Wins was been between 261 and 267. In 2007 we saw the sum drop
to 257 1/2, just a game and a half more than the number of games to be played, but
still with the slightest of edges towards playing the UNDER. But in 2008 the sum
was just 252 -- actually creating an edge to the OVER. And in 2009 and 2010 the sum
was virtually right on the 256 games that will be played during the regular season.
For 2011 the Total Wins summed to 260, for the 2012 season the Opening Totals sum
to 258, for 2013 they summed to 260. In 2014 they summed to 258 and they summed to
262 1/2 in 2015. In 2016 the Opening Totals summed to 260. In 2017 the Opening Totals
summed to 258 1/2 and in 2018 they sum to 257 1/2. For 2019 they summed to 259 1/2
and the betting action adjusted them to 260 1/2.
As also boted above, in 2008
this shift towards lower Projected Total Wins continued to a point where there was
a numerical edge in playing the OVER. Summing the 32 Projected Win Totals yielded
a result of just 252 1/2 total wins -- 3 1/2 fewer than the number of games to be
played. But rather than blindly conclued that there was now an edge in playing the
OVER, closer inspection showed that any such edge was all but wiped out by the "vig"
attached to playing the OVER.
A look at the first chart above ("Opening
and Current Totals") shows that for 18 of the 32 teams bettors must lay a vig
to play the OVER (using the Current July 10, 2019 Lines). For 10 teams is there a
"plus" price on the OVER with 4 teams being priced at "Even Money"
for the OVER.
Compare that to playing the UNDER and we see that there are
only 17 teams that require the bettor to lay a vig to play the UNDER while the other
15 teams are either priced with a "plus" price (12 teams) or are at Even
Money (3 team) to play the UNDER.
Thus for 2019 there are both a numerical
value and a price value in looking to play UNDERs!
Note that for 3 teams you
would have to lay some "vig" on both the OVER and the UNDER where the prices
are -110 each way or a split of -115/-105 (Dallas, Minnesota and the New York Jets).
look at the past 21 seasons of NFL Season Win Totals (667 team seasons from 1998
through 2018) there have been 312 OVERs, 326 UNDERs and 29 PUSHes -- nearly a 50/50
split that has averaged basically one-half more UNDER than OVER per season for the
21 seasons, a pretty remarkable testament to the NFL as a league of parity. And to
the abilities of the oddsmakers. As we know, the closer results come to being 50/50,
the better the Sports Books generally fare.
In 2016 if you played EVERY team
to go OVER its Total, using $100 as a standard unit of play (risking more than $100
to win $100 when laying vig or laying $100 to win $100 or more when playing even
money or 'plus' teams) -- using the then Current (June 27, 2016) Win Totals and Vigs
from the 2016 study -- you would have risked a total of $ 3,865 to win $ 3,355 (by
wagering $ 2,965 to win $ 2,300 on the 23 teams with minus vig, $ 600 to win $ 755
on the 6 teams with "plus" vig and $ 300 to win $ 300 on the 3 teams at
Had you played every team to stay UNDER its Total you would have
risked a total of $ 3,585 to win $ 3,455 (by wagering $ 1,785 to win $ 1,400 on the
14 teams with a "minus" vig, $ 1,400 to win $ 1,655 on the 15 teams with
a plus vig and $ 400 to win $ 400 on the 4 teams at Even Money).
if you played EVERY team to go OVER its Total, using $100 as a standard unit of play
(as just described) -- using the then Current (July 3, 2017) Win Totals and Vigs
from the 2017 study -- you would have risked a total of $ 3,770 to win $ 3,395 (by
wagering $ 2,570 to win $ 2,000 on the 20 teams with minus vig, $ 700 to win $ 895
on the 7 teams with "plus" vig and $ 500 to win $ 500 on the 3 teams at
Had you played every team to stay UNDER you would have risked
a total of $ 3,680 to win $ 3,410 (by wagering $ 2,080 to win $ 1,600 on the 16 teams
with a "minus" vig, $ 1,500 to win $ 1,710 on the 15 teams with a plus
vig and $ 100 to win $ 100 on the 1 team at Even Money).
In 2018 if you played
EVERY team to go OVER its Total, using $100 as a standard unit of play (as just described)
-- using the then Current (July 17, 2018) Win Totals and Vigs from the 2018 study
-- you would have risked a total of $ 3,855 to win $ 3,310 (by wagering $ 2,755 to
win $ 2,100 on the 21 teams with minus vig, $ 1,100 to win $ 1,210 on the 11 teams
with "plus" vig and $ 0 to win $ 0 on the 0 teams at Even Money).
you played every team to stay UNDER you would have risked a total of $ 3,580 to win
$ 3,485 (by wagering $ 1,980 to win $ 1,600 on the 16 teams with a "minus"
vig, $ 1,500 to win $ 1,785 on the 15 teams with a plus vig and $ 100 to win $ 100
on the 1 team at Even Money).
For 2019 if you play EVERY team to go OVER
its Total, using $100 as a standard unit of play (as just described) -- using the
"Current" (July 10, 2019) Win Totals and Vigs as per above -- you would
be risking a total of $ 3,700 to win $ 3,370 (by wagering $ 2,300 to win $ 1,800
on the 18 teams with minus vig, $ 1,000 to win $ 1,170 on the 10 teams with "plus"
vig and $ 400 to win $ 400 on the 4 teams at Even Money).
To play every team
to stay UNDER you would be risking a total of $ 3,680 to win $ 3,370 (by wagering
$ 2,180 to win $ 1,700 on the 17 teams with a "minus" vig, $ 1,200 to win
$ 1,370 on the 12 teams with a plus vig and $ 300 to win $ 300 on the 3 teams at
As noted above, what we have seen more and more in recent seasons
is a major shift in setting season Total Wins. so that the sum of projected wins
is closer to the actual number of 256 possible wins, barring tie games.
that the public generally prefers to bet the OVER, and recognizing that over the
long run there will be nearly the same number of teams going OVER their Total Wins
as will be staying UNDER, the Sports Books attaching more of a "minus"
vig to playing the OVER results in a greater bottom line as the public remains willing
to pay that vig to play the OVER.
What the Books may give up in terms of perhaps
one additional OVER winner they will more than make up for in the added "net"
vig they will collect on the OVER losers.
Interestingly for 2011 there
was more "minus vig" on more teams attached to playing the UNDER rather
than the OVER, in contrast to the prior few seasons (and in 2012, 2013, 2014 and
again in 2015), perhaps largely due to the uniqueness of 2011 created by the prolonged
lockout that eliminated all activities for nearly all 5 months of the off-season.
2012 and again in 2013 we saw a return to attaching a much greater overall vig to
playing the OVER than to playing the UNDER which continued in 2014 and again in 2015
although the gap in "minus vig" between OVERs and UNDERs has been reduced.
In 2016 there was a significant gap between the 23 teams that carried a 'minus vig'
on playing the OVER ($2,965) and the 14 teams that carried a 'minus vig' to play
the UNDER ($1,785).
For 2017 the cost to play OVER the Total for the 20 teams
that carried a "vig" on the OVER ($2,570) was considerably greated than
the total cost to play the UNDER for the 16 teams that had a "vig" attached
to the UNDER ($2,080).
For 2018 the cost to play OVER the Total for the 21
teams that carried a "vig" on the OVER ($2,755) was considerably greated
than the total cost to play the UNDER for the 16 teams that had a "vig"
attached to the UNDER ($1,980).
And as the above chart shows, for 2019 the
cost to play OVER the Total for the 18 teams carrying a "vig" on the OVER
($2,300) is slightlyy greated than the total cost to play the UNDER for the 17 teams
that have a "vig" attached to the UNDER ($2,180).
Thus, over time,
from a "vig" standpoint it has become even more attractive to seek out
UNDERs as we are more likely to get them at Even Money or better, even though we
may be playing UNDER a number that could be a half game lower than in the past (no
way of knowing this, of course, as every season sets up uniquely, but the half game
is a reasonable estimate based on the decline in the overall total of projected wins
from the mid 260's to the mid 250's to 260 range).
At the same time, it becomes
imperative to proceed cautiously when considering an OVER play as we must now pay
a higher price than in the past to back the OVER, even though we may be playing OVER
a number that is roughly a half game lower than it might have been in the past (for
the same reason as just mentioned for the UNDERs). As noted before, the reverse
was the case for the unique 2011 season.
Therefore, we have seen a tradeoff
involving the number of projected wins and the vigorish attached.
we outline and discuss below regarding Playoff teams, combined with the detailed
history we will provide, is still a valid way of looking for teams to play OVER their
Totals while at the same time our similarly outlined approach to playing UNDERs offers
greater returns due to the increased "plus" vigs.
Some Approaches To Playing
Season Win Totals
In the past, our general approach
was twofold -- to look for teams that figure to struggle and thus teams to be played
Under their Total, taking advantage of the built in value in the Under. But there
is also a strategy geared towards finding teams that may be played Over their Total.
This strategy involves looking for teams that you expect to make the Playoffs and
has a total wins listed of 9 games or less.
In most seasons it will take at
least 10 wins to qualify for a Wild Card. In fact, since the NFL adopted its present
Playoff format of 12 teams (6 division winners and 6 Wild Cards beginning in 1990,
since modified in 2002 with Realignment to 8 Division winners and 4 Wild Card teams
but still producing 12 Playoff teams each season) there have been 348 teams to make
the Playoffs in those 29 seasons. Of those 348 teams, 286 of them had at least 10
wins and another 50 teams had exactly 9 wins. Only 12 teams made the Playoffs with
8-8 records or worse (including San Diego, winner of the AFC West at 8-8 in 2008,
7-9 Seattle, winner of NFC West in 2010, 8-8 Denver, winner of the AFC West in 2011,
8-7-1 Green Bay, winner of the NFC North in 2013 and 7-8-1 Carolina, winner of the
NFC South in 2014).
Looked at another way, 82.2% of all Playoff teams since
1990 won at least 10 games and 96.6% of all Playoff teams won at least 9 games. Only
3.4% of all Playoff teams over the past 29 seasons made the Playoffs with fewer than
Thus in looking to play teams OVER their posted wins total the best
strategy is to look for team with a good chance of making the Playoffs and whose
win totals are 9 or less. Generally these teams will have win totals between 7 and
9 (with 8 1/2 and 7 1/2 especially appealing numbers).
Remember that 9 wins
for a Playoff team should at least get you a 'push' on the Over (on teams with Win
Totals between 7 and 9) and you have roughly a 4 in 5 chance of cashing your ticket
should your team make the Playoffs since teams making the Playoffs have won at least
10 games over 80% of the time.
In looking at teams you may expect to make
the Playoffs use history as a guide. Since the NFL expanded to include 12 teams in
the Playoffs in 1990 only an average of 6.3 teams (52.5 %) make it back to the Playoffs
the following season after a Playoff appearance. That is, of the 12 Playoff teams
from 2018 (Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, the L
A Chargers, the L A Rams, New England, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Seattle) only
6 or 7 of them can be expected to again make the Playoffs in 2019. Only three times
-- in 1995, 2012 and 2015 -- did as many as 8 of 12 Playoff teams make the Playoffs
for at least a second straight season, although 2 of the 3 occurrences were in the
past 5 seasons. Only in 2003 and again in 2017 did as few as 4 teams repeat while
in 1999, 2005, 2006, 2008 and last season (2018) just 5 teams repeated from the previous
season. Thus, 6 or 7 teams from 2018 can be expected to make the Playoffs in 2019
with 5 or 6 teams failing to do so, based on averages from the past 27 seasons.
-- AT THE SAME TIME -- be aware that the number of only 4 Playoff repeaters from
2016 to 2017 marked the first time that fewer than 6 teams repeated since 2008 when
5 teams that made the Playoffs in 2007 made them again in 2008 and then last season,
2018, only 5 teams from 2017 made the Playoffs. One might conclude that the results
of the past few seasons suggest "parity" is back in vogue in the NFL on
a season to season basis.
As far as "recent trends" it is interesting
to note how 'parity' and 'non-parity' can swing back and forth. Between 2010 and
2015 of the 72 possible Playoff teams that could have repeated from one season to
the next from those 6 seasons a total of 43 of them did (6 once, 7 three times and
8 twice) for a "repeat rate" of 59.7%. But in the seasons of 2016 through
2018 of the 36 possible Playoff-repeating teams only 15 did (4 once, 5 once and 6
once) for a "repeat rate" of 41.7%.
Of course these are small sample
sizes and one could also look at the fact that over the past two seasons of the total
of 24 teams that could have repeated in making the Playoffs in 2016 to 2017 and from
2017 to 2018 only 9 of the 24 did so (37.5%).
It will be interesting to see
how many of 2018's dozen Playoff teams repeat making the Playoffs this season. Another
season of 6 or fewer repeated could strengthen that argument that 'parity' is returning.
might wish to focus your OVER plays on teams you think might make the Playoffs this
season after having missed out last season, some of which may have relatively low
Totals because of their failure to make the 2018 Playoffs. Over the past couple of
decades there had been a high degree of parity in the NFL which seemed to reverse
for a few seasons but may be returning as just discussed.
Yet another way
of looking at 'parity' is to look at the recent composition of Playoff teams vis-a-vis
how many of the NFL's 32 teams have made the Playoffs in recent seasons.
the past 3 seasons (2016 through 2018) 24 different teams have made the Playoffs,
filling the 36 available spots. Put another way, 75.0 % of the NFL's 32 teams have
made the Playoffs over just the past 3 seasons. The OVER Season Wins Total becomes
more of a value if you are able to identify those teams that did not make the Playoffs
last season but may have made them 2 or 3 seasons ago and appear to be improved entering
Over the past 5 seasons (2014 through 2018) 28 of the 32 teams
have made the Playoffs (87.5% of the 32 teams).
Atlanta, Buffalo, Carolina,
Jacksonville, Minnesota, Pittsburgh and Tennessee are the 7 teams that made the 2017
Playoffs but did not repeat in 2018. Those teams were replaced by the following teams
which did not make the 2017 Playoffs but did so in 2018 -- Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas,
Houston, Indianapolis, the L A Chargers and Seattle.
Only Kansas City, New
England, New Orleans, Philadelphia and the L A Rams made the Playoffs in both 2017
Dallas, Detroit, Green Bay, Houston, Miami, the New York
Giants, Oakland and Seattle are the 8 teams that made the Playoffs in 2016 that did
not make them in 2017, replaced by Buffalo, Carolina, Jacksonville, the L A Rams,
Minnesota, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Tennessee.
Only Atlanta, Kansas City,
New England and Pittsburgh were the 4 Playoff teams from 2016 that made the Playoffs
again in 2017.
Arizona, Carolina, Cincinnati, Denver, Minnesota and
Washington are the 6 teams that made the Playoffs in 2015 that did not make the Playoffs
in 2016, replaced by Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, the New York Giants and Oakland.
Bay, Houston, Kansas City, New England, Pittsburgh and Seattle made the Playoffs
in both 2015 and 2016.
Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit and Indianapolis
are the 4 teams that made the Playoffs in 2014 but missed the Playoffs in 2015, replaced
by Houston, Kansas City, Minnesota and Washington.
Arizona, Carolina, Denver,
Green Bay, New England, Pittsburgh and Seattle made the Playoffs in both 2014 and
2015 (although note that Carolina made the 2014 Playoffs as Division winner of the
NFC South with a 7-8-1 record).
Kansas City, Philadelphia, New Orleans,
San Diego and San Francisco are the 5 teams that made the Playoffs in 2013 but missed
them in 2014, replaced by Arizona, Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit and Pittsburgh as teams
that made the Playoffs in 2014 after having missed the Playoffs in 2013.
Cincinnati, Denver, Green Bay, Indianapolis, New England and Seattle are the 7 teams
that made the Playoffs in both 2013 and 2014.
Houston, Minnesota and Washington were the 5 teams that made the 2012 Playoffs but
did not repeat in 2013. Detroit, New Orleans, the New York Giants and Pittsburgh
were the 4 teams that made the Playoffs in 2011 but missed them in 2012.
of the teams that made the Playoffs in 2017 ended lengthy doughts. Buffalo had last
made the Playoffs in 1999, the Rams in 2004, Jacksonville in 2007 and Tennessee in
Only 8 teams have not made the Playoffs in any of the past 3
seasons and just 4 teams have not made the Playoffs in the past 5 seasons. Those
teams, and the season in which they last made the Playoffs, are as follows, shown
in order of their most recent season to make the Playoffs --
Arizona -- 2015 Cincinnati
-- 2015 Denver -- 2015 Washington -- 2015 San Francisco -- 2013 N Y Jets
-- 2010 (despite winning 10 games in 2015 the Jets did not make the Playoffs) Tampa
Bay -- 2007 (despite winnint 10 games in 2010 the Buccaneers did not make the Playoffs) Cleveland
-- 2002 (despite winning 10 games in 2007 the Browns did not make the Playoffs)
that the 2007 Cleveland Browns, 2010 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the 2015 New York Jets
all had 10 wins but missed the Playoffs due to Wild Card tie-breakers.
is often easier to decide on teams to play UNDER the total for several reasons.
developments during the season tend to be negative, generally in the form of
extended or season-ending injuries. In looking for teams to play UNDER it is often
a good strategy to look for teams that don't have much depth at several positions,
especially at QB and other skill positions or specific units such as offensive line,
defensive backfield, etc. A change in coaching staff or replacing of key players
from the prior season can often lead to a slow start out of the gate.
look at the opposite of the statistics that define likely Playoff teams.
1990 and 2018 there have been 897 individual team seasons. 202 of those teams, or
22.5%, have won 5 or fewer games in a season. And 133 of those 202 teams (65.8 %
of that group and 14.8% of the overall 897 total teams) have won just 4 or fewer
games. Historically, the LOWEST Over/Under Season Win Total had been either 5 or
5 1/2 games although Cleveland was at 4 1/2 wins in 2016 and the Browns, along with
the New York Jets, were held at 4 1/2 wins for 2017. Arizona and Cleveland were the
low teams in 2018 at 5 1/2 wins with Arizona and Miami tied for lowest 2019 expectations
at 5 wins.
Using the historical percentage of 22.5% it is projected that 6
or 7 teams should win 5 or fewer games in 2019 with 4 or 5 of those teams winning
4 or fewer games. As just noted, for 2019 only 2 teams -- Arizona and Miami -- have
Win Totals below 6 as both the Cardinals and Dolphins are at 5.
(2018) 7 teams won 5 or fewer games with 3 teams winning 5 games (Jacksonville, New
York Giants, Tampa Bay), 3 winning 4 games (New York Jets, Oakland, San Francisco)
and 1 winning 3 games (Arizona).
In 2017 4 teams won exactly 5 games (Chicago,
Denver, the N Y Jets and Denver) and another 4 teams won 4 games or fewer -- Houston
(4), Indianapolis (4), the New York Giants (3) and Cleveland (0-16))!
that in each of the last 8 seasons and in 11 of the last 12 seasons at least 7 teams
have won fewer than 6 games.
In each season since 1990 there have been at
least 2 teams that won 4 or fewer games and at least 4 teams that won 5 or less.
Divisional realignment in 2002 (17 seasons) at least 3 teams have won 4 or fewer
games and at least 6 teams have won 5 or fewer.
Thus we can expect that 3
or 4 teams will win 4 or fewer games in 2019 and that another 2 or 3 teams will win
exactly 5 games.
As just noted, last season (2018) saw 4 teams win 4 or fewer
games and another 3 teams win exactly 5 games.
The most likely prospects to
win 5 or fewer games would generally be teams projected at 7 or 7 1/2 wins or less.
considering teams to make the Playoffs in 2019 note that only New England has a Season
Win Total of 11 or higher (11). The next 3 highest teams each have a Wins Total of
10 1/2 (Kansas City, L A Rams and New Orleans). 2 Teams -- Indianapolis and Philadelphia
-- are each at exactly 10. Only 1 team is at 9 1/2 (meaning it would need to win
10 or more games to cash the OVER and thus likely make the Playoffs) -- the L A Chargers.
A whopping 6 teams -- Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Green Bay, Minnesota and Pittsburgh
-- would also need to win 10 games to cash an OVER ticket but would PUSH with 9 wins.
In 2018 2 teams won 13 games (L A Rams and New Orleans) with 3 teams winning
12 (Chicago, Kansas City, L A Chargers). Eventual Super Bowl Champion New England
won 11 games as did Houston, a total of 2 teams. Winning 10 games and making the
Playoffs were 4 teams (Baltimore, Dallas, Indianapolis, Seattle). Of the 3 teams
to win 9 games only Philadelphia made the Playoffs. Pittsburgh and Tennessee also
won 9 games but did not make the Playoffs.
In 2017 a total of 10 teams won
10 or more games with 4 teams, including eventual Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia,
leading the pack with 13 wins (Minnesota, New England and Pittsburgh were the others)
in the regular season. No team won 12 games but 3 teams -- Carolina, the L A Rams
and New Orleans -- each won 11 games. Atlanta, Jacksonville and Kansas City each
won 10 games. All 10 of the double digit win teams made the Playoffs as did a pair
of 9 win teams, Buffalo and Tennessee, both of which were the AFC Wild Card teams.
The NFC South produced both NFC Wild Cards with 11-5 New Orleans edging 11-5 Carolina
for the Division title and joining Atlanta as a Wild Card.
In 2016 a total
of 10 teams won 10 or more games, led by eventual Super Bowl Champion New England
which went 14-2 in the regular season. Dallas won 13 games and both Oakland and Kansas
City won 12 games with Kansas City winning the AFC West Title due to tie breakers.
All 10 of the double digit win teams made the Playoffs as did a pair of 9 win teams.
Houston won the AFC South with a 9-7 record while Detroit, also9-7, captured the
second NFC Wild Card.
In 2015 a total of 11 teams won 10 or more games with
Carolina having the best record at 15-1. Arizona won 13 games and a trio of teams
-- Cincinnati, Denver and New England -- each won 12 games. Of the 11 double digit
win teams only the 10-6 New York Jets failed to make the Playoffs, losing the AFC
East title to New England and losing out on a Wild Card to Pittsburgh. 2 Division
winners -- Houston in the AFC South and Washington in the NFC East -- each made the
Playoffs with a record of 9-7.
In 2014 12 teams won 10 or more games with
5 of those teams winning a league high 12 games. Of the 12 double digit win teams
only Philadelphia failed to make the Playoffs. The Eagles were 10-6 but lost the
NFC East title to Dallas and missed out on the Wild Card as both Arizona and Detroit
went 11-5 but not winning their Divisions and thus earning the two NFC Wild Cards.
The other Playoff team was Carolina, which won the weak NFC South with a 7-8-1 record.
In 2013 there were 11 teams that won 10 or more games with 5 of those teams
winning at least 12 games. Only 10-6 Arizona failed to make the Playoffs as the 2
NFL Wild Card teams won 12 games (San Francisco) and 11 games (New Orleans). Only
one team won exac
tly 9 games last season and that team, San Diego, made the Playoffs as an AFC Wild
Card. The other team to make the Playoffs with fewer than 10 wins was Green Bay whose
8-7-1 record was good enough to win the Division title in the NFC North.
2012 there were 13 teams that won 10 or more games with 4 of those teams winning
at least 12 games. Only 10-6 Chicago failed to make the Playoffs, losing out on tie-breakers
to Division rival Minnesota. No team that made the Playoffs in 2012 won fewer than
10 games. Only 1 team won exactly 9 games in 2012 and that team, the New York Giants,
failed to make the Playoffs. 7 teams won 5 or fewer games in 2012.
there were 9 teams that won 10 or more games, including 6 that won at least a dozen
(tying 2003 for the greatest number of teams to win at least 12 games since the Playoff
format was revised in 1990). 7 teams won 5 or fewer games in 2011. One AFC team that
won 9 games, Tennessee, failed to make the Playoffs although 8-8 Denver did make
the Playoffs as winners of the AFC West (winning the tie breaker versus both Oakland
and San Diego, each of whom were also 8-8). In the NFC only one team finished 9-7
and that team, the New York Giants, not only made the Playoffs but went on to win
the Super Bowl. No other NFC team won 9 or more games and missed the Playoffs that
In 2010 there were 13 teams that won 10 or more games and 6 teams
that won 5 or fewer. The New York Giants and Tampa Bay became only the seventh and
eighth teams to win at least 10 games and not make the Playoffs.
In 2009 there
10 teams that won at least 10 games (all made the Playoffs) and 8 that won 5 or less.
2008 there were 10 teams that won at least 10 games and 8 teams that won 5 or less.
The New England Patriots became just the sixth teams since to win at least 10 games
and not make the Playoffs. In fact, the Patriots were 11-5 but lost the AFC East
title to Miami, also 11-5, on tie breakers. Unfortunately for the Pats Indianapolis
earned the first AFC Wild Card with a 12-4 record and theBaltimore, also 11-5 like
the Patriots, earned the second Wild Card on tie breakers.
In 2007 there were
8 teams with 5 or fewer wins and 10 teams with 10 or more wins. 10-6 Cleveland became
the fifth team since 1990 to win 10 games and not make the Playoffs. The previous
4 such teams also won exactly 10 games -- San Francisco and Philadelphia in 1991,
Miami in 2003, Kansas City in 2005).
Obviously 2002's Divisional realignment meant that a different type of
analysis was needed to project how a team will fare in total wins over the course
of a season and what number of wins will be needed to make the Playoffs. Realignment
radically altered scheduling dynamics and how teams would qualify for the Playoffs.
For example, from 1990 through 2001 every team played at least half of their games
against Division rivals. Beginning in 2002 a team now plays only 6 of their 16 games
against Division foes so by definition Divisional games are not as important as they
had been in the past in regards to making the Playoffs is concerned. Division games
still are important in determining Division winners.
Also, the Playoff field
is now comprised of 8 Division winners and 4 Wild Cards instead of 6 and 6. Thus
we might see teams in a relatively weak Division reach the Playoffs by winning the
Division with a record of just 8-8 as Denver did in 2011 and as San Diego did in
2008. In 2013 Green Bay won its Division with an 8-7-1 record. And in 2010 Seattle
became the first team with a losing record (7-9) to make the Playoffs because they
played in the incredibly weak NFL West which had a woeful 13-27 record in non-Divisional
play. Seattle's woeful 2010 record was only slightly better than the 7-8-1 record
fashioned by Carolina in winning the 2014 NFC South.
Since the Playoffs field
was expanded to 12 teams in 1990 only a dozen teams have made the Playoffs with fewer
than 9 wins -- 10 with 8 wins and 2 with 7, the 7-win teams having won Division titles.
The 8 win teams were a mixture of Division winners and Wild Cards.
It is possible
that a team could finish second in a division with a 10-6 or 11-5 record but not
make the Playoffs, such as was the case with 11-5 New England in 2008. In losing
QB Tom Brady in the first half of their 2008 season opener, the Patriots -- who had
gone 16-0 in the regular season in 2007 -- still managed to win 11 games but lost
the AFC East on tie breakers to Miami and also lost out for the second Wild Card
on tie breakers to Baltimore (Indianapolis earned the first Wild Card with a 12-4
record that was second to Tennessee's 13-3 in the AFC South). Under the circumstances
in which an elite QB was lost, not in the pre-season but in the regular season opener
-- Bill Belichick may have performed the greatest single season coaching job in NFL
history, even topping the 16-0 regular season of a season earlier.
the 10-6 New York Jets finished second to New England in the AFC East and lost a
Wild Card on tiebreakers. In 2014 Philadelphia finished second in the NFC East at
10-6 but missed the Playoffs. A season earlier, in 2013, Arizona finished third in
the NFC West with a 10-6 record yet did not make the Playoffs.
are now 4 second place teams in each conference, not just 3. Prior to 2002 it was
possible for the top two finishers in EACH of the 3 Divisions to make the Playoffs.
Such is no longer the case.
In 2002, for example, the New York Jets made the
Playoffs with just a 9-7 record by virtue of being the AFC East champions. However,
no team with more than 9 wins missed the Playoffs in 2002. In 2003 only one 10 win
team -- Miami -- failed to make the Playoffs and no team with 9 or fewer wins made
the Playoffs. The same was true in 2005 when Kansas City's 10 wins did not get them
into the Playoffs but also no team with 9 or fewer wins made the field either. In
2006 the New York Giants made the Playoffs with just 8 wins. In 2007 Cleveland missed
the Playoffs despite 10 wins but no 9 win team failed to make the Playoffs. In 2008
11-5 New England missed the Playoffs while 8-8 San Diego made them. The 2008 New
York Jets also missed the Playoffs despite their 9-7 record being better than that
of the Chargers. And in 2010 both the Giants and Tampa Bay missed the Playoffs with
10-6 records while NFC West champion Seattle made them with a 7-9 record. In fact,
18 other teams had the same or a better record than Seattle while just 13 teams had
a weaker record. In 2011 Denver won the AFC West with an 8-8 record but Tennessee,
second place finisher in the AFC South, missed the Playoffs with a 9-7 record. In
2012 Chicago missed the Playoffs with a 10-6 record. Such was also the case in 2013
when Arizona finished 10-6 but missed the Playoffs as did 10-6 Philadelphia in 2014
and the New York Jets in 2015.
In analyzing a team's schedule, as noted
earlier, teams in the same Division have 8 common opponents plus two games against
each of their 3 Division rivals with just two "unique" opponents based
upon the prior season's standings.
Our Recommendations and Opinions are
available as a FREE BONUS to Subscribers to our Premium Selections Service or to
one or more of our Weekly Newsletters. A link to information about those offerings
is included at the very top of this Article and is repeated below.
at our 2019 Recommendations and Opinions note that they are presented within each
of 3 categories in the chronological order in which we have reviewed the teams. The
3 categories we use are "Recommendations," "Strong Opinions"
and "Weak Opinions." Unless otherwise indicated, all Recommendations and
Opinions are weighted and rated equally within each of the 3 groups.
means of comparing how to consider the plays within each category you might wish
to view our "Recommendations" as full, one unit plays, the "Strong
Opinions" as half-unit plays and the "Weak Opinions" as either quarter-unit
plays or no plays at all.
In cases where the OVER or UNDER we prefer is so
highly priced with the attached "vig" that we cannot fully recommend a
play because of that high vig we would likely classify that play as a Strong Opinion
rather than a Recommendation, worth at most a half unit play. Generally these will
be plays where the OVER is priced at more than -125 or the UNDER is priced at more
than - 150. For teams in which the opinion is luke warm and/or the attached vig is
too high, those opinions will be classified as Weak Opinions and would be the least
attractive plays to make and, if made, would be rated as a quarter unit play.
-- and this may be of interest to some -- do note that there may be hedging opportunities
late in the season if some of our Recommendations and/or Opinions are to be decided
in the final week or two.
Our Logical Approach to, Analysis of and Recommendations/Opinions for 2019 ================================================================ Recommendations
and Opinions for all 32 NFL Teams are availiable as a
subscribers to any of our 2019 Football Newsletters and/or our 2019 Premium Selections
For information on becoming a Premiums Selections or Newsletter
Subscriber which includes access to Recommendations & Opinions for all 32
teams, CLICK HERE