Gone Camping! NFL Over/Unders Part 1
It’s one of those things that you’re always aware of, but it’s hard to remember. And when it comes, you chastise yourself for ever letting it slip your mind in the first place. Like a birthday trip home reminds you you’re old, or attempting to schedule a podcast reminds you that it is actually the week of your anniversary (Dude’s note: this happened to Daniel a few weeks ago and then to me this past week.). Sure enough, these are things that you know you know, but sometimes it takes that little something extra to remind you of those most important things in life. Friday morning, it happened to be my twitter feed (@dpalm66 – go ahead and follow. I’ll wait.) with one little message:
@AdamSchefter: Jets signed their second first-round pick, Sheldon Richardson. He will be in camp today. But so far no Dee Milliner.
HOLY TRAINING CAMP BATMAN! Goodbye line drives, pop-flys and discussions about steroids. Hello 9 routes, zone runs and, well, avoiding discussions about steroids. Most importantly, with my annual (quarterly) Vegas trip on the horizon, it came up that there was money to be made. And by god, I intend to make it, or at least entertain you while I lose it. Without further adieu (ado?) (Dude’s note: Adu.), here’s a great guide to NFL over/unders for the upcoming season. For the sake of simplicity and keeping my word count sub-Simmonsesque, I’ll be just going off the raw bet numbers, not taking odds into effect.
Home of the reigning Super Bowl champs, I can’t help but think that this is going to be more of the same for the AFC North. The division seems to annually beat each other into submission, but the champion comes out battle tested, if not worse for wear. The Steelers are alarming to me at 9 wins, because I think that’s the ideal number if you could promise me Ben Roethlisberger would A. play 16 games this year and 2. stay away from coeds. Since neither one is highly likely, that means we’re going to get at least 2 games of Bruce Gradkowski/Landry Jones/John Parker Wilson. His last season playing a full schedule was 2008, and that coupled with a insufficient offensive line and a questionable running game, I have to go under for the Steelers.
Conversely, the Bengals have the best interior defensive lineman in football (Geno Atkins), one of the best deep threats in the game (AJ Green) and well, Marvin Lewis. All in all, this is a team on the upswing, who has made the playoffs two years in a row, and who’s young core is learning how to win together, so I have to look at the over for the former Bungals.
Next up: the Champs. Everybody claims that this is the year that this team takes a dive, that they fall from the perch they’ve put themselves on for years. I’d remind them that Ozzie Newsome has built two Super Bowl Champions, and I’m not going to be the one to bet against him now. Also, fellow DYC contributor Chad Floyd was my roommate for a year, and may or may not have brainwashed me with Ravens propaganda. Ravens. Over. Book it.
The Replacement Browns, remain the Replacement Browns. Under.
Green Bay 10
Holy crap, are these teams going to beat the living hell out of each other. I can honestly preface this by saying STAY AWAY! Gambling on these teams is like begging to lose money, but if you didn’t have a gambling and/or football problem, you wouldn’t still be reading. I don’t like new coaches, I don’t like defenses losing a hall of fame linebacker and I don’t like the fact that they still have only one trustworthy receiver who isn’t Brandon Marshall. Did you know Jay Culter threw 19 touchdown passes last year? Did you know Marshall caught 11 of them? Under.
Let me start my Packer section by saying I love Aaron Rodgers. I think he’s the best quarterback in the NFL and I think he alone is worth 10 wins. All that said, Greg Jennings is gone, and while his production was down last year, he was a threat you had to game plan for, and I am unsure as how Randall Cobb steps up as an every down receiver bringing this team under.
The Lions have a young, strong armed quarterback with the best receiver in the league. No one denies this. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (thank YOU google!) is either the dirtiest player in the game or a throwback player who reminds us of a tougher brand of football, and the difference all depends on if the team is winning. I say they do some of that this year, and take them over.
Bet against Purple Jesus if you want, but he would win 8 games with me under center. Which might actually be an upgrade over Ponder. Over.
Kansas City 7
San Diego 7.5
Wait, so we’re letting Peyton Manning play the rest of this division 6 times, and if he wins 6 other games, you can win this bet? Over.
Kansas City’s biggest advantage over their opponents is their running game, so of course they hired a coach who doesn’t believe in calling running plays. PERFECT. Still, there’s enough talent on this roster that I think that even Andy Reid and his legion of Tommy Bahamas shirts will squeeze out a .500 season, so over.
As far as RAYDURRS nation goes, I can promise Al Davis isn’t walking through that door, and I can also promise Dennis Allen will remain underwhelming as a coach. Debatable upgrade at quarterback leaves me woefully taking the under here.
And I’ll spare you my Te’o jokes and just remind you that San Diego has to play 5 playoff teams from last year, not including the two games against the Broncos. Yeah. Under.
San Francisco 11.5
St. Louis 7.5
Remember that PED joke I made like a thousand words ago? Yeah, no one in Seattle laughed. With the worst kept secret in the NFL being the Seahawk defensive players’ touting of better living through chemistry (seriously, Richard Sherman’s “It is what it is” defense, was topped in ridiculous apologies by a certain New York City Mayoral candidate. And then, only barely!), the lost games and the improving division all equal a resounding under.
No Steven Jackson means we might finally see what can happen if Jeff Fisher takes the reins off of Sam Bradford, and lets him throw to…Chris Givens and Austin Pettis? Ugh. Look, I’m as high on the young kid Tavon Austin as anyone, but small receivers on teams without a complimentary weapon on offense scare me. I’d push if I could, but I can’t, so go under here.
Arizona finally got a quarterback for Larry Fitzgerald, a new coach in Bruce Arians, and a potentially breakout running back in Rashard Mendenhall. I always thought his drop in production with the Steelers was more a product of an aging and broken down offensive line (Big Ben last played a full scheduele in 2008), so running behind Levi Brown and co. should be an upgrade to the tune of taking the over here.
I’m not ready to rationally discuss the Niners yet after that NFC title game, but I’ll just say that losing Crabtree hurts, but not enough for me to bet against a full season of Colin under center. Or in shotgun. Or pistol. You know what I mean. Over.
See you mutts tomorrow with Part 2. Oh, and big picture? NFL training camp means we’re closer to this: