Over the weeks leading up to the
start of the 2020 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 7, 2020 "Current" Totals/Lines As of July 10,
. TEAM Wins.....OVER.....UNDR.....Wins.....OVER.....UNDR
----------------------- ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
Arizona Cardinals 7 1/2 -110 -110 7 1/2 -105 -115
Atlanta Falcons 7 1/2 +110 -130 7 1/2 Even -120
Baltimore Ravens 11 1/2 -120 Even 11 1/2 -110 -110
Buffalo Bills 9 Even -120 9 Even -120
Carolina Panthers 5 1/2 -150 +130 5 1/2 -135 +115
Chicago Bears 8 Even -120 8 +110 -130
Cincinnati Bengals 5 1/2 -140 +120 5 1/2 -140 +120
Cleveland Browns 8 1/2 -120 Even 8 1/2 -130 +110
Dallas Cowboys 10 -120 Even 10 -115 -105
Denver Broncos 8 Even -120 8 +105 -125
Detroit Lions 6 1/2 -150 +130 7 -110 -110
Green Bay Packers 9 Even -120 9 Even -120
Houston Texans 7 1/2 Even -120 7 1/2 -110 -110
Indianapolis Colts 9 -150 +130 9 -150 +130
Jacksonville Jaguars 4 1/2 Even -120 4 1/2 Even -120
Kansas City Chiefs 11 1/2 -120 Even 11 1/2 -120 Even
Las Vegas Raiders 7 1/2 Even -120 7 1/2 Even -120
Los Angeles Chargers 8 -115 -105 8 -135 +115
Los Angeles Rams 8 1/2 +110 -130 8 1/2 +120 -140
Miami Dolphins 6 -120 Even 6 -130 +110
Minnesota Vikings 9 Even -120 9 Even -120
New England Patriots 9 Even -120 9 1/2 -135 +115
New Orleans Saints 10 1/2 -110 -110 10 1/2 Even -120
N Y Giants 6 1/2 +110 -130 6 1/2 +110 -130
N Y Jets 7 Even -120 7 +110 -130
Philadelphia Eagles 9 1/2 -110 -110 9 1/2 Even -120
Pittsburgh Steelers 9 1/2 Even -120 9 1/2 Even -120
San Francisco 49ers 10 1/2 -120 Even 10 1/2 -120 Even
Seattle Seahawks 9 -120 Even 9 1/2 +120 -140
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9 1/2 -120 Even 9 1/2 -120 Even
Tennessee Titans 8 1/2 -130 +110 8 1/2 -130 +110
Washington Redskins 5 1/2 +110 -130 5 -130 +110
The following 2 team(s) have had their Total Wins INCREASE since the Opening
Detroit from 6 1/2 to 7
Seattle from 9 to 9 1/2
The following 1 team(s) have had their Total Wins DECREASE since the Opening
Washington from 5 1/2 to 5
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 above
a certain level 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.
For 2020 the total number of projected
wins for all 32 teams summed to 263 for the Opening numbers.
In 2019 the total
number of projected wins for all 32 teams summed to 259 1/2 for the Opening numbers. 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 Opening numbers.
In seasons prior to 2008 it was not unusual
for the "projected" wins to total in the mid to upper 260's.
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
For 2020 the total wins sums to 263 for the Opening numbers.
Since then, as noted above, 2 teams have had their Total Wins increase by
1/2 win each with 1 team having a decrease of 1/2 win, resulted in a net increase
of 1/2 win. Thus the "current" Total Wins for 2020 has increased from 263
to 263 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 263 projected wins there are also just 249 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.
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 totaled slightly more than the possible total wins of 256.
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 bias 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.
In 2018 there was again a slight bias towards the OVER with
257 1/2 the total projected wins based on the Opening Totals.
(2019) again saw a bias towards the OVER with 259 1/2 the total projected wins based
on the Opening Totals.
For 2020 there is a more significant bias towards the
OVER with the Total Wins summing to 263 both the Opening Totals and 263 1/2 for the
"Current Totals" --- 7 and 7 1/2 games more than the 256 the league as a
whole can win, thus providing an overall "numerical" value in playing the
Remember, as well, that the possibility of regular season games ending
in ties presents the potential for just 255 total wins if there is 1 tied game, 254
wins if there are 2 ties, etc.
Going even further, using the "Current
-- July 10, 2020" 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 287 wins overall
to cash every ticket, or a league record for 256 games of 287-225, a variance of
62 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 273 wins to WIN OR PUSH betting EVERY team to goy OVER their Total, a variance
of 34 games (273-239) 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 13
pushes resulting from the 13 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 241, or
an overall record of 241-271, a spread of 30 games. To WIN or PUSH EVERY TEAM staying
UNDER its Total would require a total of 254 wins, a variance of only 4 games (254-258)
from the total 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 value in 2020 in playing
the UNDER with the Total Wins projected at 263.5 (i.e. a league record of 263.5 -
248.5) which is 7.5 wins more than the maximum number of possible wins, 256.
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.
By doing this exercise
we get the following projections.
Based on the "Current"
Win Totals listed above, here is how the Projected 2020 Standings look, Division
AFC EAST NFC EAST
-------------- ------------ -------------- ------------
Buffalo 9.0 - 7.0 Dallas 10.0 - 6.0
New England 9.0 - 7.0 Philadelphia 9.5 - 6.5
N Y Jets 7.0 - 9.0 N Y Giants 6.5 - 9.5
Miami 6.0 - 10.0 Washington 5.0 - 11.0
AFC NORTH NFC NORTH
-------------- ------------ -------------- ------------
Baltimore 11.5 - 4.5 Green Bay 9.0 - 7.0
Pittsburgh 9.5 - 6.5 Minnesota 9.0 - 7.0
Cleveland 8.5 - 7.5 Chicago 8.0 - 8.0
Cincinnati 5.5 - 10.5 Detroit 7.0 - 9.0
AFC SOUTH NFC SOUTH
-------------- ------------ -------------- ------------
Indianapolis 9.0 - 7.0 New Orleans 10.5 - 5.5
Tennessee 8.5 - 7.5 Tampa Bay 9.5 - 6.5
Houston 7.5 - 8.5 Atlanta 7.5 - 8.5
Jacksonville 4.5 - 11.5 Carolina 5.5 - 10.5
AFC WEST NFC WEST
-------------- ------------ -------------- ------------
Kansas City 11.5 - 4.5 San Francisco 10.5 - 5.5
Denver 8.0 - 8.0 Seattle 9.5 - 6.5
L A Chargers 8.0 - 8.0 L A Rams 8.5 - 7.5
L V Raiders 7.5 - 8.5 Arizona 7.5 - 8.5
Strength of Divisions Based on Projected Wins of all 4 Teams
1 NFC West 36
2t AFC North 35
AFC West 35
4t NFC North 33
NFC South 33
6t AFC East 31
NFC East 31
8 AFC South 29 1/2
NFC = 133 AFC = 130 1/2
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 Conference 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
games and 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 2020, 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 AFC West and all 4 teams in the NFC West. New England, which finished
first last season in the AFC East, will also play the first place finishers in the
AFC North (Baltimore) and the AFC South (Houston). Buffalo, which finished second
in the AFC East in 2019 will also play the second place finishers from the AFC North
(Pittsburgh) and the AFC South (Tennessee). The third place New York Jets' two "non-common
opponents" are Cleveland and Indianapolis while last place Miami will face Jacksonville
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 West
and NFC West The AFC North will face the AFC South and NFC East The AFC South
will face the AFC North and NFC North The AFC West will face the AFC East and
The NFC East will face the NFC West and AFC North The NFC North
will face the NFC South and AFC South The NFC South will face the NFC North and
AFC West The NFC West will face the NFC East and AFC East
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. In 2019 they summed to 259 1/2
and the betting action adjusted them to 260 1/2. And for 2020 they summed to 263
but as of July 10, 2020 there was a net increase of 1/2 win to 263 1/2.
also noted 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 conclude 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 17 of the 32
teams bettors must lay a vig to play the OVER (using the Current July 10, 2020 Lines).
For 6 teams is there a "plus" price on the OVER with 9 teams being priced
at "Even Money" for the OVER.
Compare that to playing the UNDER
and we see that there are 20 teams that require the bettor to lay a vig to play the
UNDER while the other 12 teams are either priced with a "plus" price (9
teams) or are at Even Money (3 team) to play the UNDER.
Thus for 2020 there
is a "numerical value" to playing the UNDER (263 1/2 'projected' wins are
7 1/2 more wins than the maximum of 256).
But what about the "price
value"? That discussion follows next.
Note 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 (Baltimore, Detroit, Houston) or a split of -115/-105 (Arizona,
look at the past 22 seasons of NFL Season Win Totals (699 team seasons from 1998
through 2019) there have been 325 OVERs, 342 UNDERs and 32 PUSHes -- nearly a 50/50
split that has averaged basically one-half more UNDER than OVER per season for the
22 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
-- 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 Even Money).
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 -- 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).
Had 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).
In 2019 had you played EVERY team to go OVER its Total, using $100 as a standard
unit of play -- using the "Current" (July 10, 2019) Win Totals and Vigs
from the 2019 study -- you would have risked 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).
Had you played every team to stay UNDER you would have risked
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 Even Money).
For 2020 if you
play EVERY team to go OVER its Total, using $100 as a standard unit of play -- using
the "Current" (July 10, 2020) Win Totals and Vigs as per above -- you would
be risking a total of $ 3,625 to win $ 3,275 (by wagering $ 2,125 to win $ 1,700
on the 17 teams with minus vig, $ 600 to win $ 675 on the 6 teams with "plus"
vig and $ 900 to win $ 900 on the 9 teams at Even Money).
To play every team
to stay UNDER you would be risking a total of $ 3,625 to win $ 3,335 (by wagering
$ 2,425 to win $ 2,000 on the 20 teams with a "minus" vig, $ 900 to win
$ 1,035 on the 9 teams with a plus vig and $ 300 to win $ 300 on the 3 teams at Even
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). On a per team basis the vig to play an Over averaged - 129 vs
the average vig on an Under was nearly identical at -128.
For 2017 the cost
to play OVER the Total for the 20 teams that carried a "vig" on the OVER
($2,570) was considerably greater than the total cost to play the UNDER for the 16
teams that had a "vig" attached to the UNDER ($2,080). On a per team basis
the vig to play an Over averaged - 129 vs the average vig on an Under was nearly
identical at -130.
For 2018 the cost to play OVER the Total for the 21 teams
that carried a "vig" on the OVER ($2,755) was considerably greater than
the total cost to play the UNDER for the 16 teams that had a "vig" attached
to the UNDER ($1,980). On a per team basis the vig to play an Over averaged - 131
vs the average vig on an Under was roughly a nickel lower at -124.
the cost to play OVER the Total for the 18 teams that carried a "vig" on
the OVER ($2,300) was considerably greater than the total cost to play the UNDER
for the 17 teams that had a "vig" attached to the UNDER ($2,180). On a
per team basis the vig to play an Over averaged - 128 vs the average vig on an Under
was identical at -128.
And as the above chart shows, for 2020 the cost to
play OVER the Total for the 17 teams carrying a "vig" on the OVER ($2,125)
is slightly greater than the total cost to play the UNDER for the 20 teams that
have a "vig" attached to the UNDER ($2,425) On a per team basis the vig
to play an Over averaged - 125 vs the average vig on an Under was lower at -121.
over time, from a "vig" standpoint it has become slightly 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 360 teams to make
the Playoffs in those 30 seasons. Of those 360 teams, 296 of them had at least 10
wins and another 52 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 96.7% of all Playoff teams won at least 9 games. Only
3.3% of all Playoff teams over the past 30 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, including from the previous season. 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 2019 (Baltimore, Buffalo, Green Bay, Houston,
Kansas City, Minnesota, New England, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle
and Tennessee) only 6 or 7 of them can be expected to again make the Playoffs in
2020. 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 8 seasons. Only in 2003 and again in 2017 did as few
as 4 teams repeat while in 1999, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2018 just 5 teams repeated
from the previous season. Thus, 6 or 7 teams from 2019 can be expected to make the
Playoffs in 2020 with 5 or 6 teams failing to do so, based on averages from the past
BUT -- 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 in 2018 only 5 teams from 2017 made the Playoffs. One might have concluded
that the results of the past few seasons suggest "parity" is back in vogue
in the NFL on a season to season basis.
BUT -- ONCE AGAIN -- things turned
in 2019 as 7 of the 12 Playoff teams from 2018 repeated in 2019.
ONE FINAL 'BUT' -- Keep in mind that with an expanded Playoffs beginning this season
(2020), with an additional Wild Card in each conference, both the number of Playoff
teams to repeat from season to season should start to show an increase as well as
the number of wins it takes to make the Playoffs. It would not be surprising at all
if the 2 additional Playoff teams have 8 or 9 wins. It's unlikely a team with 7 wins
will make the Playoffs as a Wild Card and that if there is another 7 win team to
make the Playoffs it will, as in the past, be the Division winner of a weak Division.
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%
with just 9 of a possible 24 repeating in the 2017 & 2018 seasons (37.5%).
course these are small sample sizes and last season (2019) more than half of the
2018 Playoffs field repeated with 7 of 2018's 12 teams making the 2019 Playoffs
will be interesting to see how many of 2019's dozen Playoff teams repeat making the
Playoffs this season. And, as just noted -- it will be 'easier' for teams to repeat
beginning this season (2020) with the Playoffs field expanding from 12 to 14 per
You 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 2019 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.
another way of looking at 'parity' is to look at the recent composition of Playoff
teams vis-à-vis how many of the NFL's 32 teams have made the Playoffs in recent seasons.
the past 3 seasons (2017 through 2019) 21 different teams have made the Playoffs,
filling the 36 available spots. Put another way, 65.6 % 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 (2015 through 2019) 29 of the 32 teams
have made the Playoffs (90.6% of the 32 teams). Only Cleveland, the New York Jets
and Tampa Bay have not made the Playoffs during this span. More on this shortly.
back to the 2011/2012 seasons here are the teams that did repeat and did not repeat
from one season to the next, working backwards from 2018-2019
Indianapolis, the L A Chargers and the L A Rams were the 5 teams that made the 2018
Playoffs but did not make the 2019 Playoffs. Those teams were replaced by 2019 'newcomers'
Buffalo, Green Bay, Minnesota, San Francisco and Seattle.
The 7 teams that
made the Playoffs in both 2018 and 2019 are Baltimore, Houston, Kansas City, New
England, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Seattle.
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.
5 teams that made the Playoffs in both 2017 and 2018 are Kansas City, New England,
New Orleans, Philadelphia and the L A Rams.
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.
4 teams that made the Playoffs in both 2016 and 2017 are Atlanta, Kansas City, New
England and Pittsburgh.
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
The 6 teams that made the Playoffs in both 2015 and 2016 are
Green Bay, Houston, Kansas City, New England, Pittsburgh and Seattle.
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.
8 teams that made the Playoffs in both 2014 and 2015 are Arizona, Carolina, Denver,
Green Bay, New England, Pittsburgh and Seattle (although note that Carolina made
the 2014 Playoffs as Division winner of the NFC South with a 7-8-1 record).
City, New Orleans, Philadelphia, 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.
The 7 teams that made the Playoffs in both 2013
and 2014 are Carolina, Cincinnati, Denver, Green Bay, Indianapolis, New England and
Seattle (although note that Carolina made the 2014 Playoffs with a 7-8-1 record as
winner of the NFC South).
Atlanta, Baltimore, Houston, Minnesota and
Washington were the 5 teams that made the 2012 Playoffs but did not repeat in 2013,
replaced by Carolina, Kansas City, New Orleans, Philadelphia and San Diego.
7 teams that made the Playoffs in both 2012 and 2013 are Cincinnati, Denver, Green
Bay, Indianapolis, New England, San Francisco and Seattle
New Orleans, the New York Giants and Pittsburgh were the 4 teams that made the Playoffs
in 2011 but missed them in 2012, replaced by Indianapolis, Minnesota, San Francisco
The 8 teams that made the Playoffs in both 2011 and 2012 are
Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Green Bay, Houston, New England and Seattle
(although note that Seattle made the 2011 Playoff as winner of the NFC West with
a 7-9 record).
4 of the teams that made the Playoffs in 2017 ended
lengthy droughts. Buffalo had last made the Playoffs in 1999, the Rams in 2004, Jacksonville
in 2007 and Tennessee in 2008.
Here are the seasons that each franchise last
made the Playoffs, shown both in chronological order and in alphabetical order --
(12) -- Baltimore, Buffalo, Green Bay, Houston, Kansas City, Minnesota, New England,
New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Tennessee 2018 ( 5) -- Chicago,
Dallas, Indianapolis, L A Chargers, L A Rams 2017 ( 4) -- Atlanta, Carolina, Jacksonville,
Pittsburgh 2016 ( 4) -- Detroit, Miami, New York Giants, Oakland 2015 ( 4)
-- Arizona, Cincinnati, Denver, Washington 2014 ( 0) -- none 2013 ( 0) -- none 2012
( 0) -- none 2011 ( 0) -- none 2010 ( 0) -- N Y Jets (despite winning 10 games
in 2015 the Jets did not make the Playoffs) 2009 ( 0) -- none 2008 ( 0) --
none 2007 ( 0) -- Tampa Bay (despite winning 10 games in 2010 the Buccaneers did
not make the Playoffs) 2006 ( 0) -- none 2005 ( 0) -- none 2004 ( 0) --
none 2003 ( 0) -- none 2002 ( 0) -- Cleveland (despite winning 10 games in
2007 the Browns did not make the Playoffs)
The last time these franchises
made the Playoffs (in alphabetical order) --
Arizona -- 2015 Atlanta --
2017 Baltimore -- 2019 Buffalo -- 2019 Carolina -- 2017 Chicago -- 2018 Cincinnati
-- 2015 Cleveland -- 2002 Dallas -- 2018 Denver -- 2015 Detroit -- 2016 Green
Bay -- 2019 Houston -- 2019 Indianapolis -- 2018 Jacksonville -- 2017 Kansas
City -- 2019 L A Chargers/San Diego -- 2018 L A Rams -- 2018 Las Vegas Raiders/Oakland
-- 2016 Miami -- 2016 Minnesota -- 2019 New England -- 2019 New Orleans
-- 2019 N Y Giants -- 2016 N Y Jets -- 2010 Philadelphia -- 2019 Pittsburgh
-- 2017 San Francisco -- 2019 Seattle -- 2019 Tampa Bay -- 2007 Tennessee
-- 2019 Washington -- 2015
Note 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.
It is often easier to decide on
teams to play UNDER the total for several reasons.
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 replacement 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 2019 there
have been 929 individual team seasons. 210 of those teams, or 22.6%, have won 5 or
fewer games in a season. And 137 of those 210 teams (65.2 % of that group and 14.7%
of the overall 929 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. For 2020
Jacksonville is the low team at 4 1/2 wins with Washington the lone team at 5 (although
it opened at 5 1/2).
Using the historical percentage of 22.6% it is projected
that 6 or 7 teams should win 5 or fewer games in 2020 with 4 or 5 of those teams
winning 4 or fewer games. As just noted, for 2020 only 2 teams -- Jacksonville and
Washington -- have Win Totals below 5 1/2.
Last season (2019) saw
8 teams win 5 or fewer games with 4 teams winning 5 games (Arizona, Carolina, Miami,
L A Chargers), 1 winning 4 games (New York Giants), 2 winning 3 games (Detroit, Washington)
and 1 winning 2 games (Cincinnati).
In 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).
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))!
Note that in each of the last 9 seasons and in 12 of the last 13 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
Since Divisional realignment in 2002 (18 seasons) in each season
at least 3 teams have won 4 or fewer games and at least 6 teams have won 5 or fewer.
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 (2019) saw
4 teams win 4 or fewer games and another 4 teams win exactly 5 games.
most likely prospects to win 5 or fewer games would generally be teams projected
at 7 or 7 1/2 wins or less.
In considering teams to make the Playoffs
in 2020 note that only Baltimore and Kansas City have Season Win Totals of 11 or
higher with each listed at 11 1/2. The next 2 highest teams each have a Wins Total
of 10 1/2 (New Orleans, San Francisco). 1 Team -- Dallas -- is at exactly 10. 4 teams
are at 9 1/2 (meaning they would need to win 10 or more games to cash the OVER and
thus likely make the Playoffs) -- Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Tampa Bay. 4
teams -- Buffalo, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Minnesota -- would also need to win 10
games to cash an OVER ticket but would PUSH with 9 wins. If things go according to
form -- which they never do -- then all of these 13 teams with Season Win Totals
of 9 or more would make the Playoffs.
REMEMBER -- There are 2 more teams that
will make the Playoffs beginning in 2020, increasing from 2 to 3 the number of Wild
Cards in each Conference in addition to the 4 Division winners.
1 team won 14 games (Baltimore). 3 teams won 13 games (Green Bay, New Orleans, San
Francisco). Eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City won 12 games as did New England
for a total of 2 teams. Seattle was the only team to win 11 teams whereas Buffalo,
Houston and Minnesota each won 10 games. Each of those 10 teams made the Playoffs.
Of the 3 teams to win 9 games only Philadelphia and Tennessee made the Playoffs.
The L A Rams also won 9 games but did not make the Playoffs.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 the Baltimore Ravens, 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.
The Playoffs field
has been expanded beginning in 2020 to included 8 Division winners plus 6 Wild Cards
for a total of 14 teams. Between 2002 and 2019 the Playoffs field included 8 Division
winners and 4 Wild Cards instead of 6 and 6. Thus we might still see a team 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.
With the addition
of one more Wild Card in each Conference beginning in 2020 it's possible, if not
likely, that an 8 win team will earn at least one Wild Card.
With the added
two teams It is possible -- though extremely unlikely -- 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.
In 2015 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 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.
In looking at our 2020 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
As a 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 - 140. For teams for which the opinion is lukewarm 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 2020 ================================================================ Recommendations
and Opinions for all 32 NFL Teams are available as a
subscribers to any of our 2020 Football Newsletters and/or our 2020 Premium Selections
For information on becoming a Premiums Selections or Newsletter
Subscriber which includes access to Recommendations & Opinions for all 32
teams, CLICK HERE
Subscribers to our Premium
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Totals Recommendations and Opinions CLICK