NOTE -- This is the "public"
version of the article.
Our 2016 Recommendations/Opinions Report for all
32 teams is available as a "Bonus" for Subscribers to one or more of
our Football Newsletters and/or our Premium Selections Service and are included
in the "Subscribers" version of this article.
on becoming a Premiums Selections or Newsletter Subscriber which includes access
to Recommendations & Opinions for all 32 teams, CLICK
2016 Season Win Totals Recommendations
and Opinions are NOT YET FINAL
As Of August 9, 2016 We have
posted Recommendations/Opinions on a total of 8 teams --
5 Full Recommendation(s)
2 Strong Opinion(s) 1 Weak Opinion(s)
As Of July 13, 2016 We have
posted Recommendations/Opinions on a total of all 2 teams --
2 Full Recommendation(s)
0 Strong Opinion(s) 0 Weak Opinion(s)
NFL 2016 Total Wins Recommendations
Over the weeks leading up to the
start of the 2016 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 May 1, 2016 "Current" Totals/Lines As of July 13,
Open Open Open Curr Curr Curr
TEAM Wins OVER UNDR Wins OVER UNDR
----------------------- ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
Arizona Cardinals 10 Even -120 10 -120 Even
Atlanta Falcons 7 -110 -110 7 -135 +115
Baltimore Ravens 8 1/2 Even -120 8 1/2 +110 -130
Buffalo Bills 8 -110 -110 8 -110 -111
Carolina Panthers 10 1/2 Even -120 10 1/2 -120 Even
Chicago Bears 7 1/2 +110 -130 7 1/2 +115 -135
Cincinnati Bengals 9 1/2 -130 +110 9 1/2 -140 +120
Cleveland Browns 4 1/2 -150 +130 4 1/2 -130 +110
Dallas Cowboys 9 -130 +110 9 -120 Even
Denver Broncos 9 1/2 Even -120 9 1/2 +130 -150
Detroit Lions 7 -120 Even 7 -125 +115
Green Bay Packers 10 1/2 -140 +120 10 1/2 -165 +145
Houston Texans 8 1/2 -150 +130 8 1/2 Even -120
Indianapolis Colts 9 -110 -110 9 -130 +110
Jacksonville Jaguars 7 -130 +110 7 1/2 -110 -110
Kansas City Chiefs 9 -140 +120 9 1/2 -130 +110
Los Angeles Rams 7 1/2 Even -120 7 1/2 +120 -140
Miami Dolphins 7 Even -120 7 -110 -110
Minnesota Vikings 9 -110 -110 9 1/2 -130 +110
New England Patriots 10 1/2 -110 -110 10 1/2 -150 +130
New Orleans Saints 6 1/2 -120 Even 7 Even -120
N Y Giants 8 -130 +110 8 -120 Even
N Y Jets 8 -110 -110 8 +130 -150
Oakland Raiders 8 -135 +115 8 1/2 -110 -110
Philadelphia Eagles 7 -110 -110 7 Even -120
Pittsburgh Steelers 10 1/2 Even -120 10 1/2 -110 -110
San Diego Chargers 7 +115 -135 7 -140 +120
San Francisco 49ers 6 -110 -110 6 +150 -170
Seattle Seahawks 10 1/2 -120 Even 10 1/2 -135 +115
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7 -110 -110 7 -125 +105
Tennessee Titans 5 1/2 -150 +130 5 1/2 -160 +140
Washington Redskins 7 -120 Even 7 -140 +120
The following teams have had their Total Wins INCREASE since the Opening --
Jacksonville from 7 to 7 1/2
Kansas City from 9 to 9 1/2
Minnesota from 9 to 9 1/2
New Orleans from 6 1/2 to 7
Oakland from 8 to 8 1/2
The following team(s) have had their Total Wins DECREASE since the Opening
The Westgate 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 values 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 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 they summed
to 260. In 2012 they summed to 258. In 2011 the number summed to 260. In 2010 they
summed to 257 1/2. In 2009, they summed to 256.5. In 2008, that number summed to
252.5. In prior seasons 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 Totals, 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.
For 2016 the total wins sums
to 260 for the Opening numbers. Since then, as noted above, 5 teams have had
their Total Wins increase by 1/2 win each with 0 teams having a decrease of 1/2 win,
thus the "current" Total Wins for 2016 has increased to 262 1/2.
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.
there is an imbalance with a bias towards the OVER. With 262 1/2 projected wins there
are also just 249 1/2 projected losses (see the "Projected Standings,"
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.
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. Again 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.
In 2016 once again the bias is
again towards the OVER with the Total Wins summing to 260 at the Opening Totals and
even more to the OVER with the "current" 262 1/2 --- 6 1/2 games more than
the 256 the league as a whole can win, thus providing "numerical" value
in playing the UNDER.
Going even further, using the "Current -- July
13, 2016" Total Wins, above, if one were to bet EVERY TEAM TO GO OVER their
total bu 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 271 to
WIN or PUSH betting EVERY team to go OVER their Total, a variance of 30 games (271-241)
from the 256 being played (this would result in 17 wining plays and 15 pushes --
the 17 wins resulting from the 17 teams with 1/2 wins and the 15 pushes resulting
from the 15 teams that are lined at whole numbers).
Obviously 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 ticket drops to 239, or an overall record of
239-273, a spread of 34 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 17 wins and 15 pushes
since, obviously, only the 17 teams with "half games" would not result
in those Pushes).
"Globally" there is value in 2016 in playing the
UNDER with the Total Wins projected at 262 1/2 (i.e. a league record of 262 1/2 -
249 1/2) which is 5 1/2 games 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 division.
doing this exercise we get the following projections.
Based on the "Current"
Win Totals listed above, here is how the Projected 2016 Standings look, Division
AFC EAST NFC EAST
-------------- ------------ -------------- ------------
New England 10.5 - 5.5 Dallas 9.0 - 7.0
Buffalo 8.0 - 8.0 N Y Giants 8.0 - 8.0
N Y Jets 8.0 - 8.0 Philadelphia 7.0 - 9.0
Miami 7.0 - 9.0 Washington 7.0 - 9.0
AFC NORTH NFC NORTH
-------------- ------------ -------------- ------------
Pittsburgh 10.5 - 5.5 Green Bay 10.5 - 5.5
Cincinnati 9.5 - 6.5 Minnesota 9.5 - 6.5
Baltimore 8.5 - 7.5 Chicago 7.5 - 8.5
Cleveland 4.5 - 11.5 Detroit 7.0 - 9.0
AFC SOUTH NFC SOUTH
-------------- ------------ -------------- ------------
Indianapolis 9.0 - 7.0 Carolina 10.5 - 5.5
Houston 8.5 - 7.5 Atlanta 7.0 - 9.0
Jacksonville 7.5 - 8.5 New Orleans 7.0 - 9.0
Tennessee 5.5 - 11.5 Tampa Bay 7.0 - 9.0
AFC WEST NFC WEST
-------------- ------------ -------------- ------------
Denver 9.5 - 6.5 Seattle 10.5 - 5.5
Kansas City 9.5 - 6.5 Arizona 10.0 - 6.0
Oakland 8.5 - 7.5 L A Rams 7.5 - 8.5
San Diego 7.0 - 9.0 San Francisco 6.0 - 10.0
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 with Divisional realignment in 2002, there are now eight Divisions, each with
exactly four teams. This represents a dramatic change from the prior alignment which
featured five Divisions of five teams each and one Division of six teams.
teams within a Division play 14 similar games -- 6 vs their other 3 Division rivals,
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 are
based upon a team's finish the previous season so that a team will play the team
that finished in the same Divisional position in the other 2 Divisions within the
Thus, in 2016 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 West
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 (Denver). Miami, which finished last in the AFC East in 2015 will
also play the last place finishers from the AFC South (Tennessee) and the AFC West
(San Diego). The second place New York Jets' two "uncommon opponents" are
Indianapolis and Kansas City while third place Buffalo will face Jacksonville and
Major Changes in Bookmaker
Approach to NFL Over/Under Season Win Totals In the Past Decade or so
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
sum to 260.
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 yields a result of just 252 total wins -- 4 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 23 of the 32 teams
bettors must lay a vig to play the OVER (using the Current July 13, 2016 Lines).
For 6 teams is there a "plus" price on the OVER with 3 teams being priced
at "Even Money" for the OVER.
Compare that to playing the UNDER
and we see that there are only 14 teams that require the bettor to lay a vig to play
the UNDER while the other 18 teams are either priced with a "plus" price
(14 teams) or are at Even Money (4 teams) to play the UNDER.
Thus for 2016
there are both a numerical value and a price value in looking to play UNDERs!
that for 5 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 (Buffalo, Jacksonville,
Miami, Oakland and Pittsburgh).
look at the past 18 seasons of NFL Season Win Totals (571 team seasons from 1998
through 2015) there have been 270 OVERs, 279 UNDERs and 22 PUSHes -- nearly a 50/50
split that has averaged basically one-half more UNDER than OVER per season for the
18 seasons, a pretty remarkable testament to the NFL as a league of parity. As we
know, the closer results come to being 50/50, the better the Sports Books generally
In 2016 if you play EVERY team to go OVER, 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 Current (June
27) Win Totals and Vigs -- you would be risking a total of $ 3,865 to win $ 3,385
(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 Even Money).
To play every team to stay UNDER you would be risking 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).
As noted above, what we
have seen more and more in recent seasons is a major shift in setting season Total
Recognizing 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 going 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.
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
In 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. But in 2016 there is a significant gap between the 24
teams that carry a 'minus vig' on playing the OVER ($3,100) and the 14 teams that
carry a 'minus vig' to play the UNDER ($1,760).
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
Therefore, we have seen a tradeoff involving the number of projected
wins and the vigorish attached.
The approach 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 312 teams to make
the Playoffs in those 26 seasons. Of those 312 teams, 255 of them had at least 10
wins and another 45 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, 81.7% of all Playoff teams won
at least 10 games and 96.2% of all Playoff teams won at least 9 games. Only 3.8%
of all Playoff teams over the past 26 seasons made the Playoffs with fewer than 9
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 an especially appealing number).
Remember that 9 wins for a
Playoff team should at least get you a 'push' on the Over 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.
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 6.4 teams
(53.3 %) make it to the Playoffs the following season after a Playoff appearance.
That is, of the 12 Playoff teams from 2015 (Arizona, Carolina, Cincinnati, Denver,
Green Bay, Houston, Kansas City, Minnesota, New England, Pittsburgh, Seattle and
Washington) only 6 or 7 of them can be expected to again make the Playoffs in 2016.
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 4 seasons. Only in 2003 did as few as 4 teams repeat while in 1999,
2005, 2006 and 2008 just 5 teams repeated from the previous season. Thus, 6 or 7
teams from 2015 can be expected to make the Playoffs in 2016 with 5 or 6 teams failing
to do so, based on the 25 season averages.
(Note that 7 Playoff teams
from 2012 again made the Playoffs in 2013 and that was repeated again in 2014 when
7 of the teams that made the Playoffs in 2013 made them again in 2014).
over the past 4 seasons -- 2012 through 2015 -- of a possible 48 total teams that
could have repeated making the Playoffs (12 per season), 30 of those teams did repeat.
That "recency rate" of 62.5 % might be suggesting that the NFL has been
drifting further away from the relative parity that has existed over the previous
4 seasons when 24 of 48 possible teams repeated (50.5 %).
Could we indeed
be entering an era of 'non-parity' but rather of 'haves and have nots?' It's a very
small sample size but the results over the past 4 seasons might be part of a case
that answers that question with a "yes."
You might wish to focus
your OVER plays on teams you think might make the Playffs this season after having
missed out last season, some of which may have relatively low Totals because of their
failure to make the 2015 Playoffs. Over the past couple of decades there has been
a high degree of parity in the NFL although the above numbers for the past 4 seasons
appears to lessen that degree.
Over the past 3 seasons (2013 through 2015)
20 different teams have made the Playoffs, filling the 36 available spots. Put another
way, 62.5 % 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 this season.
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.
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.
Atlanta, Baltimore, 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 12
teams that did not make the Playoffs in 2013, 2014 or 2015, 1 team (Atlanta) last
made the Playoffs in 2012 and 1 team (the New York Giants) last made the Playoffs
2 other teams (Chicago and the New York Jets) last made the Playoffs
Thus, 24 of the NFL's 32 teams, 75.0%, have made the Playoffs at
least once in the past 6 seasons.
Only 8 teams (Buffalo - 1999, Cleveland
- 2002, Jacksonville - 2007, Miami - 2008, Oakland -- 2002, St Louis -- 2004, Tampa
Bay -- 2007, Tennessee -- 2008) have not made the Playoffs in any of the last 6 seasons.
And in 2010 Tampa Bay went 10-6 but missed the Playoffs due to tie breakers! The
New York Jets were also 10-6 in 2015 but also missed the Playoffs due to tie
It is easier to decide on teams to play UNDER the total
for several reasons.
Most 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. 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.
Let's look at the opposite of the statistics
that define likely Playoff teams.
Between 1990 and 2015 there have been 801
individual team seasons. 180 of those teams, or 22.5%, have won 5 or fewer games
in a season. And 120 of those 180 teams (66.7 % of that group but 15.0% of the overall
801 total) have won just 4 or fewer games. Usually, the LOWEST Over/Under Season
Win Total will be either 5 or 5 1/2 games although Cleveland has been priced this
season a 4 1/2 games.
Using the historical percentage of 22.5% it is projected
that 7 teams should win 5 or fewer games in 2016. Note that for 2016 only 1 team,
Cleveland, is currently projected to win fewer than 5 1/2 games (4 1/2) and only
2 teams (Cleveland and Tennessee) are projected to win 5 1/2 games. Only 1 other
team (San Francisco, at 6 wins) is projected to win fewer than 7 games, meaning that
just 3 teams are projected at fewer than 7 wins even though historically 7 teams
win 5 or fewer games and on average 10 teams win fewer than 6 games!
that in each of the last 5 seasons and in 8 of the last 9 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 (14 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 2015 and that another 2 or 3 teams will win
exactly 5 games.
Last season (2015) 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.
teams to make the Playoffs in 2016 note that no teams has a Season Win Total of 11
or higher. The most highly regarded teams have projected Totals of 10 1/2 -- Carolina,
Green Bay, New England, Pittsburgh and Seattle.
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 exactly 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.
In 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.
In 2011 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 them 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 last season.
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.
In 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
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 will qualify for the Playoffs. For example,
from 1990 through 2001 every team played at least half of their games against Division
rivals. Now a team 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
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
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 year earlier.
Last season 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
Remember, there 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 be the case.
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.
a team's schedule, as noted earlier Divisional teams have 14 common opponents (including
the two games against each other) and just two "unique" games 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.
In looking at our 2016
Recommendations and Opinions note that they are presented within each of the 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 group.
Unless otherwise indicated our
Recommendations can be viewed as full, one unit plays.
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.
Also -- 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 2016 ================================================================ Recommendations
and Opinions for all 32 NFL Teams are availiable as a
subscribers to any of our 2016 Football Newsletters or our 2016 Premium Selections
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