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Ahhh, the NFL season has arrived. In 3 short days, the Philadelphia Eagles start their Super Bowl defense against the Atlanta Falcons on a Thursday night. A few short days after that, there will be a full NFL slate followed by 2 Monday Night Football games. To kick off the season, let’s start with the most important part: gambling. I’m going to tell you in a 2-part over/under my 3 locks for the AFC and the NFC.**
Team 1: Oakland Raiders
2017 Record: 6-10 | 2018 Projected: 8 | Over/Under: -105/-125| My prediction: 5-11
The first article I ever wrote for the website was about how I didn’t want Jon Gruden to leave Monday Night Football because he made Monday’s much better. Well, now he’s out of the booth after 10+ years and is back to coaching. Things have been up and down so far. Gruden has brought along a great staff and still has some talent from a team that went 12-4 2 years ago. However, the bad outweighs the good. First of all, are we even sure that Jon is a good coach? Was he ever a good coach? He had 1 Super Bowl win, and that was 15 years ago. The game is quite a bit different now than it was back then. As well, Gruden traded away Khalil Mack on Saturday because of the steep price tag for Mack. Well, guess what, Gruden just got $100M guaranteed. If they weren’t willing to give one of their star players in their prime, $90M then that looks bad for the players. (See: David Carr’s Reaction) I think it gets worse before it gets better for the Raiders. I’m taking a lock on the UNDER at 8 wins for -125.
Team 2: Cincinnati Bengals
2017 Record: 7-9 | 2018 Projected: 6.5 | Over/Under: -165/+135| My prediction: 9-7
I can only imagine the amount of shit I will get for giving them as a lock. Yes, I am a homer, but I also have never been overly confident about the Bengals (pretty typical for a Cincinnati fan). However, I’m looking at this division and feeling pretty good about what we have. The Bengals started last year 0-3 and finished 7-6 to end up 7-9. In their first 2 games, they didn’t score a touchdown. Then lost another and gave the ax to the offensive coordinator. With Bill Lazor here for a full year, I like Andy Dalton to step it up 10%. Another thing, the offensive line was so bad last year, they addressed that by trading for Cordy Glenn (please stay healthy) and drafting Billy Price in the 1st round. John Ross had one touch last year in which he gained 12 yards then fumbled. He played like 3 snaps last year. Well, he’s back healthy. Watch out for more highlights like this. I also like some of the improvements along the defensive side of the ball. Vontaze Burfict has been suspended again (I think, maybe) but there are replacements. Re-upping Geno and Carlos Dunlap help; drafting Jesse Bates III, Sam Hubbard and Malik Jefferson will add much-needed depth. I’m betting the OVER at -165; this team is too talented to finish anything less than 9-7.
Team 3: Tennesee Titans
2017 Record: 9-7 | 2018 Projected: 8 | Over/Under: -130/EVEN| My prediction: 10-6
This is a team that won a playoff game the previous year with a spectacular comeback over the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round. The team was able to do all of this without any sort of decent play from Marcus Mariota. Well, I still believe in Mariota as a quarterback and expect him to have a bounce-back year. The coaching situation with Munchak last year wasn’t good for his development and that was obvious. He needed someone he could relate to a little bit more, here comes – Mike Vrabel. Another thing I like to see when I look for teams to improve is “did they change coaches?.” Vrabel looks like a good hire to me. After leading the Texans defense in the past few years, he comes over to Tennesee to instill some sort of guidance into the organization. Do they have too many Patriot players? Yeah, a little too much for my liking. You can’t copy the Patriots, you can only hope to be the cheaper, Kroger-esque version of them. However, I think it’ll produce here. The addition of Dion Lewis should be a nice complement to letting Derrick Henry take the reigns of the backfield. The defense was right around league average in total defense and should improve with additions of Malcolm Butler. I feel like they did enough to improve by 1 win, even in a tough AFC South division. I will be taking the OVER at -130.
Please tune in tomorrow for more money making as we give best bets for the NFC over/under.
**All odds were found from: Odds Shark