The 2020 NFL season is just over a month away. Since the NFL released their schedule in May, win totals have been available for betting across the market for the last two months. Here are three favorite AFC Win Totals based on those betting lines.
Top Three Favorite AFC Win Totals
1) New York Jets Under 7 Wins
The 2019 New York Jets finished the season with a 7-9 record. With Las Vegas oddsmakers setting their win total at 7, the market expects another 7-9 finish in 2020. Jets backers may use the excuse that Sam Darnold missed three games in which the Jets did lose all three of those games and that they finished the 2020 season with a 6-2 record. Yes, losing Darnold for three games hurts, but even with him under center, there is a good chance they still lose all three of those games (Browns, Patriots, Eagles). As for the 6-2 record to finish the season, let’s take a look at the teams and the quarterbacks they faced during that stretch: Giants (Daniel Jones), Washington (Dwayne Haskins), Raiders (Derek Carr), Bengals (Andy Dalton), Dolphins (Ryan Fitzpatrick), Ravens (Lamar Jackson), Steelers (Mason Rudolph), and Bills (Matt Barkley). Not exactly the greatest competition.
New York has the third-hardest schedule based on Las Vegas forecasted season win totals, per Sharp Football Stats. On top of that, the Jets are only favored in three games this upcoming season, and none of them are more than three points. The only bright spot for this team a year ago was their defense. They played pretty well under Gregg Williams in 2019, but expect a step backward after they decided to trade their star safety Jamal Adams to the Seattle Seahawks. I can’t see the Jets coming out of the 2020 season with more than seven wins. Not happening.
2) Los Angeles Chargers Under 7.5 Wins
Vegas has pegged the Chargers win total at 7.5. As an over bettor, you are expecting a three-win improvement from the Chargers after finishing the 2019 season with a 5-11 record. After losing their Pro Bowl quarterback and running back this off-season, don’t expect that to happen. 2005 was the last time the Chargers started a season without Philip Rivers under center, and now they are depending on veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor and rookie quarterback Justin Herbert to lead them into 2020. While losing a long time starting quarterback is hard in itself, they also lost running back Melvin Gordon. Gordon left via free agency and signed with the division rival Denver Broncos. Replacing Gordon will not be an easy task and he accounted for a total of 47 touchdowns over his four years in Los Angeles.
Not enough has changed in Los Angeles this year, and with minimal practices and no preseason games, it will be too hard to create a connection on the offensive side of the ball. Not to mention the AFC West will be one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL. Both Oakland and Denver are on the rise and then of course the team has to face Patrick Mahomes and the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs twice.
3) Cleveland Browns Over 8 Wins
The 2019 Cleveland Browns were the most hyped team coming into the season, and boy did they fail to live up to those expectations. 2019 served Baker Mayfield and the Browns a nice slice of humble pie. Mayfield took a step back in his sophomore season as his completion rate (59 percent), touchdown rate (4.1 percent), and yards per attempt (7.2) all declined from his rookie season. In his defense, he did face the hardest passing schedule last season. In 2020, it is the exact opposite for Mayfield and the Browns. The Browns are forecasted to face the easiest passing schedule in the league in the upcoming season.
Another positive for the Cleveland Browns is the system new head coach Kevin Stefanski brings over from Minnesota. Stefanski likes to build a system where he makes every play look like a run play and capitalizes on the play-action pass. That is good news for Baker because he excelled on play-action plays. 37.7 percent of Baker’s yards came off the play-action pass last season, which was fifth highest in the league.
A healthy Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, and new tight end Austin Hooper should make for a dynamic passing attack for Baker and the Cleveland offense. Not to mention they will have one of the best young running backs in the leagues, Nick Chubb, paired with an explosive Kareem Hunt in the backfield that should thrive in Stefanski’s new system.
New England Patriots Under 9.5 Wins
Kansas City Chiefs Over 11.5 Wins
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