We are less than two weeks from the kickoff of the 2018 regular season, as the Eagles and Falcons will square off and get it going. That is the perfect time to take a look at some of the best (and worst), team prop bets, so that we can all cash in.
As a reminder, all lines are taken from BetDSI, where they will match any deposit, as part of their Welcome Package, up to $2,500 each using the code: FANTOM. Get in the game and take advantage of that amazing offer!
Texans over 8.5 wins
Prior to the 2017 season, the Texans finished the previous three years with a 9-7 record. Those years were without Deshaun Watson and Will Fuller. That was with J.J. Watt missing all but 3 games of the 2016 season, Whitney Mercilus missing 5 games in the 2015 season and Jadeveon Clowney playing just 31 games in that 3-year span. Now, with Watson back at 100%, the defense all healthy and ready to contribute and the schedule favorable, a 10-6 season should be the low-water mark for 2018. On paper, there are 7 games that are likely wins (both Indianapolis games, Buffalo, Cleveland and Miami at home and at the Jets and Washington. That leaves 9 games to get 2 wins and go over. Home dates with Dallas, the Giants and Tennessee should net out 2 wins, while they are likely to steal one road game at Philadelphia, New England, Tennessee, Jacksonville or Denver. Taking the Texans to win 9 games seems like a safe bet barring injuries to the defensive side of the ball or Watson.
Colts under 7 wins
It is great for the league to have one of their most talented players back, as Andrew Luck returns to the Colts. But after a 4-12 season, which followed back to back 8-8 campaigns, how much has the overall roster improved? Their backfield is banged up and is a whose who of college all-stars (Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines, Jordan Wilkins) and their second best weapon through the air is….Jack Doyle? Eric Ebron? Ryan Grant? And the offensive line, although improved, is not a strength of their team. And the defense? Well they are just not that good. They finished 30th in the league allowing 367 yards per game and by allowing 25.2 points per game. And then there is the schedule. At Philadelphia, New England, Jacksonville, Tennessee, and Houston, all likely losses. Home to Dallas, Houston and Jacksonville, all tough games and likely losses. That leaves 8 games to win 7 games for a push. Not likely. Bet the under.
49ers under 8.5 wins
I love Jimmy G as much as the next guy, but are the 49ers, who have not had a winning season since 2013, going to make the leap to 9 wins from a 5-11, 2-14 and 6-10 stretch? Granted, by having Jimmy G for an entire season it may naturally increase their win total by 3 games, however, the schedule is not favorable.
At the Chargers, Packers, Rams, Vikings, Chiefs and Seahawks. All tough games. Home to the Rams, Seahawks, Giants, Lions and Broncos in their schedule. No cupcakes. Considering the 6 road games, which I would bet are losses, can I envision them winning 9 of the remaining 10 games? No.
When your top running back is an un-proven Jerick McKinnon (who is also banged up), your best receiver is veteran Pierre Garcon and your top tight end George Kittle is also injured entering the year, that does not bode well for a still green quarterback. The 49ers will be improved. But 9 wins seems high.
Buccaneers under 6.5 wins
Lets start with the obvious. With Jameis Winston suspended for the first three games, will the Bucs actually have a chance against the Saints, Eagles or Steelers? No. So, in the remaining 13 games on the schedule, will they win half of them? Doubtful. And with two games against Atlanta and the Panthers, another against the Saints, at the Giants, Cowboys and Ravens, there are just not enough wins on the schedule to feel confident in taking the over.
Redskins under 7 wins
It is all about talent on the offensive side of the ball. The reason Alex Smith was so successful in Kansas City was that he could play it safe, utilize a solid ground game and use the weapons around him to make conservative reads. The Redskins do not have a Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce or Kareem Hunt. With their running game in shambles, the team signed Adrian Peterson in an attempt to breathe some life into their ground attack. But relying on oft-injured Jordan Reed and Josh Doctson as key playmakers makes their offensive outlook is ominous.
Their schedule also does them no favors. In addition to the always closely contested divisional games, the Redskins travel to Jacksonville, Tennessee and New Orleans, while hosting the Packers, Panthers, Saints and Falcons. Getting to 7 is just not happening.
Chiefs make playoffs +125
The Chiefs have made the playoffs in four of the last five seasons. In 2014, the only season they missed out, they finished 9-7 and finished in second place in the AFC West. Now, with Patrick Mahomes under center and Sammy Watkins on the outside, the offense should be more explosive. Yes, the defensive unit lost Marcus Peters, but with the Raiders an unknown under Jon Gruden and the Broncos in quasi-rebuilding mode, there are games to win within the division. While they get the Steelers, Patriots, Jaguars and Rams on the schedule, they also get the Bengals, Browns and Cardinals, which all should be wins.
While the AFC is top heavy with the Patriots, Steelers, Jaguars and Texans, the Chiefs should surely compete not only for the division title with the Chargers, but also for one of the two Wild Card spots.
All division winners finish with 9+ wins -260
Surprisingly enough, this is not as sure of a thing as you would expect. Since 2010, there have been four instances in which all division winners did not win at least 9 games. In 2010, the Seahawks finished 7-9 to win the NFC West. The very next year, the Broncos finished 8-8 to take the AFC West. The Packers finished 8-7-1 to win the NFC North in 2013, while the Panthers were under .500 at 7-8-1 and won the NFC South in 2014. Since then, no one has won a division with less than 9 wins and that trend should continue. Can anyone envision the Patriots, Jaguars or Texans, Chargers or Chiefs, Steelers or Ravens, Eagles, Packers or Vikings, Saints or Panthers or Falcons and Rams not win at least 9 games? Sure, teams will disappoint and underachieve thanks to an injury or down performance, but at the same time, teams will rise that we are not thinking about. This will make the fourth straight year that all division winners accomplish that feat.
Will any QB throw 40 or more touchdowns +120
This is a fun prop bet, especially when considering this means more offense in the league. Since 2010, 5 of the last 8 seasons have seen a quarterback throw for 40 or more touchdowns. With Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck and Deshaun Watson back healthy, the Saints potentially relying more on the passing game in the absence of Mark Ingram during their first four games and even the emergence of rocket-armed Patrick Mahomes, there are certainly plenty of options out there. And that does not even count the GOAT Tom Brady, Big Ben, Matt Ryan or Matthew Stafford. I will roll the dice and say someone goes over 40 in 2018.
Minnesota Vikings +975 to win the Super Bowl
So let me get this straight. The Vikings, who were one game away from hosting the Super Bowl last season, upgrade at quarterback, get Dalvin Cook back from injury and added Sheldon Richardson to their already stacked defensive line. While the Eagles and Rams are the only teams in the conference with better odds, the fact that they are a distant third to the Eagles does not add up. With the AFC down, the NFC representative in the Super Bowl, that survived the NFC Conference gauntlet, will be the favorite in the Super Bowl. Give me the Vikings to take the next step.
Houston Texans +2,000 to win the Super Bowl
As mentioned earlier, the Texans should be vastly improved from the team that struggled in 2017. The return of their injured talent should boost their performance on both sides of the ball. With the Jaguars the only threat in their division, they have a shot to do something special. And as they have the fifth best odds in the conference after the Patriots, Steelers, Jaguars and Chargers, there is serious value in the Texans putting it all together and finally advancing deep into the playoffs and to the Super Bowl. Remember, Deshaun Watson has plenty of big game experience. He also has a top defensive unit behind him, which if healthy, can carry them in the playoffs as well. At +2,000, the number is too good to pass up.
Rams don’t make playoffs +255
Another head scratcher for anyone that looks to take this bet. Jared Goff is a year older and has another off-season in the offensive system under his belt. They added Ndamukong Suh, Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib to the defense and speedster Brandin Cooks to the offense. They re-signed franchise running back and 2017 Offensive Player of the Year Todd Gurley to a massive deal. And with the Seahawks and Cardinals on the decline, the Rams are a very safe bet to make the playoffs.
Buccaneers make playoffs +550
As stated earlier, the Bucs will have a hard time getting to 7 wins, let alone making the playoffs. Without their starting quarterback for the first three games, a lack of a proven running game led by Peyton Barber and rookie Ronald Jones, and a defense that allowed a league high 378.1 yards per game in 2017, there are too many holes to fill to even have a chance at the postseason.
Will any team go a perfect 16-0 +1700
This is throwing away money. Yes, the Patriots accomplished the perfect regular season before losing to the Giants in the Super Bowl and other teams have come close, however, in the current iteration of the NFL, for two reasons, this will likely not happen.
The first is that as teams approach the end of the regular season, even if they are perfect, there will be a pressure to rest their stars for the playoffs. While it did not work for Peyton Manning and the Colts, there is no question teams will see this as an advantage to rest players and give them extra time off, even with byes, before the playoffs.
The second reason is parity. Is there a team entering the season that you honestly think can run the table? The NFC is a loaded with talented teams. Try seeding the NFC now using just the Eagles, Vikings, Packers, Lions, Falcons, Saints, Panthers, Rams, Seahawks and maybe even the 49ers, Cowboys and Giants. No one from that conference is going undefeated. And in the AFC, where there are fewer elite teams, can the Chargers or Chiefs run the table in their own division let alone their entire schedule? Same goes for the Texans and Jaguars. And given the holes on the conference champion Patriots and age at quarterback in Pittsburgh, the chances of a team going through the gauntlet of a 16-game season is slim and none. And slim went on vacation.
Will any team go winless at 0-16 +1700
You REALLY need to be all sorts of bad to go winless. Since 1944, only five teams had winless seasons: the 1960 Cowboys (0-11-1), the 1976 Buccaneers (0-14), the 1982 Baltimore Colts (0-8-1), the Detroit Lions (0-16) and the 2017 Cleveland Browns (0-16). Five teams in 74 years. And is there truly one team that you look at this year and say, “Yeh, they have no shot to win any games at all.” There is not. Think back to last year. The Browns were coming off a 1-15 season and the Jets had what many thought was the least talented roster in the league. While the Browns were historically bad and finished winless, the Jets finished with 5 wins. A year later, there is optimism in Cleveland with the addition of Baker Mayfield, Tyrod Taylor, Jarvis Landry and Carlos Hyde to the offense, not to mention the return of Josh Gordon. And just one season removed from thinking they may be on the wrong side of history, the Jets, backed by first round pick Sam Darnold, have grandiose visions of the playoffs. In 2018, with parity more evident than ever, no team will go winless.
Leading rusher has more than 1,650.5 yards +110
Love this prop bet as it certainly has intrigue. Since 2010, there have been only two players, DeMarco Murray in 2014 and Adrian Peterson in 2012, to eclipse 1,650.5 yards. Last years leading rusher, Kareem Hunt, totaled only 1,327 yards. With backfield committees, teams resting players down the stretch and offenses becoming more and more prolific in the passing game, it will very hard for a player to amass that large of a total in todays NFL. And looking back at the two men to accomplish the feat, Elliott did so behind an all-world offensive line, while AP is one of the top ten running backs of all-time. And when you look at the numbers of the best running backs in the league (Le’Veon Bell, Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott, David Johnson, Melvin Gordon, LeSean McCoy and Kareem Hunt to name a few), they have combined for 0, yes 0 seasons of 1,650.5 rushing yards. Safe to say this is a bet that will not cash.
San Francisco 49ers +1800 to win the Super Bowl
From a last place, 6-10 season to a Super Bowl. Is that what the 49ers are going to accomplish? In the loaded NFC? Where they will not only have to beat out the Rams in their own division, but then likely have to go on the road to Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Green Bay, Atlanta or Minnesota for a Wild Card, Divisional and Conference Title Game round of the playoffs? Oh and then go onto the Super Bowl and defeat whoever comes out of the AFC? Nope, do not see it happening.
Dallas Cowboys +2600 to win the Super Bowl
This is precious. When your top wide receiver is Allen Hurns or rookie Michael Gallup, that is problem number one. A banged-up offensive line to support Dak Prescott, who has something to prove in year three, is problem number two. A Head Coach that may be on the hot seat, is problem number three. Simply put, the Cowboys will need a lot of stars (get it) to align to finish with a better record than the Eagles, Packers, Falcons, Lions, Vikings, Rams, Saints and Panthers to make the playoffs. And like the 49ers as previously mentioned, can we see the Boys going on the road and winning playoff games? Nope. Just not happening this year, sorry Cowboy Nation.
Remember, all lines are taken from BetDSI, where they will match any deposit, as part of their Welcome Package, up to $2,500 each using the code: FANTOM. Get in the game and take advantage of that amazing offer!. Good luck to all and lets get that $$$!