There is no love lost for the City of Angels in the second part of my NFL season win total bets analysis, which focuses on teams I expect to fall short of their market win total line. Once again, I combined my power rankings win total projections and research done on each team to identify my four best NFL win totals to bet under.
These odds were pulled from MyBookie. Odds and totals can move frequently, so now is the time to get them in if you have a good one.
Los Angeles Rams: UNDER 10.5 Wins (-150)
While the Rams offense was a thing of beauty for the better part of last season, things did start to slow down at the end of the campaign. And entering 2019, there are several concerns for Sean McVay, Jared Goff and the unit to address. None is bigger than the health of Todd Gurley. While all reports indicate he has been performing well in training camp, his role in the offense will inevitably have to decrease to preserve him. Another question is how Cooper Kupp will rebound from last year’s ACL tear. And then there’s the question of how large his role will even be with the Rams reportedly working on more tight end sets as opposed to three-wide. Despite being full of stars, the defense gave up points aplenty last season.
My numbers project the Rams to be around 8.5 wins, thus yielding a full two-game edge to the under on the market line. Los Angeles will certainly see their fair share of stout competition all season long. The Seahawks and 49ers pose significant challenges in the NFC West and taking on the entire NFC South and AFC North divisions is daunting. While I fully expect the Rams to be an above-average and competitive team again this season, I do believe they are far from a lock for 11 wins. Combining the expected regression with a difficult schedule, there is a reason to bet this under.
Los Angeles Chargers: UNDER 10 Wins (-130)
The Chargers certainly are not lacking in talent on either side of the ball. Philip Rivers is a man on a championship mission, and he has a plethora of pass catchers at his disposal, led by Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and tight end Hunter Henry. The defense possesses playmakers at every level, in ends Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, linebackers Thomas Davis and Denzel Perryman, and secondary stalwarts Casey Hayward and Adrian Phillips. So how can I justify being bearish on the Chargers win total of 10? Look no further than the number of red flags and uncertainty that has developed during the offseason. Los Angeles will likely be without star running back Melvin Gordon for at least the beginning of the season, as he continues his contract holdout. The team has suffered some critical injuries in lineman Russell Okung and safety Derwin James. Add in the schedule elements of playing in an improved AFC West and the crossover against the NFC North and the Chargers won’t have many easy wins.
Washington Redskins: UNDER 6 Wins (-160)
Honestly, I’m not sure how anyone could confidently back the Redskins to do anything this year, much less actually win six games. And even if they did, the worst you would be looking at is a push. The strength of the team will be the defense, which boasts standouts like Ryan Kerrigan, Josh Norman and Landon Collins. Considering the dire state of the offense, Washington will need to rely heavily on the defense to win games ugly. Case Keenum is poised to begin the year under center. His best receiving options are Jordan Reed and Paul Richardson. Derrius Guice is expected to be the majority of the offense, but it remains to be seen if his body can handle a significant workload. Washington could conceivably be 0-5 right out of the gates, with matchups against the Eagles, Cowboys, Bears, Giants and Patriots.
Miami Dolphins: UNDER 4.5 Wins (+110)
A win total of 4.5 shows that the betting market understands the Dolphins will be terrible. From my viewpoint, 4.5 is more the team’s ceiling this year than a median. Ryan Fitzpatrick is the starting quarterback, but for how long? Running back Kenyan Drake is a capable playmaker, but will the offensive line hold up long enough for them to showcase the talent? It is a valid question to ask, as the unit was ranked dead last among all offensive lines by Pro Football Focus. They also traded away their left tackle Laremy Tunsil, showing their commitment to tank and start from scratch. The rest of the analysis lies in the schedule. Whether it is against their improved AFC East division foes, against any of the AFC North or NFC East teams, or even in their remaining unique matchups against the Colts and Chargers, can you really get behind this rebuilding team to win five times? I sure can’t, and plus money makes me all the happier to take the under.
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