Written by: The Blitz Team
We are just a couple weeks removed from the federal government fully legalizing sports betting. Of course, it will still be up to the state governments to decide if they will allow it within their borders. Either way, most people have the understanding that gambling on sports will eventually happen regardless. For this month’s All32 Series, we’ve decided to take a look at if fans should go with the over or the under on their team’s wins in 2018. Check out what our team members think what you should do!
**Odds per https://www.oddsshark.com/nfl/nfl-over-under-win-totals per BetOnline**
(Note: as of this reading the odds may have changed, so check the closest legal betting outlet)
Chicago Bears — 6.5 Wins
The Chicago Bears rebuild has flown under the radar now for a few years as they continually have improved their offensive line and defense. In the NFL Draft this year they selected linebacker Roquan Smith, who many believe can win Defensive Rookie of the Year; Iowa’s James Daniels, the best pure center in the draft; and Anthony Miller, one of the draft’s most underrated receivers. I expect the Bears, under new head coach Matt Nagy, to run the ball effectively and use Mitch Trubisky in a role similar to one that Alex Smith was in in Kansas City — an above average game manager. I believe the over under of 6.5 is disrespectful to this up-and-coming team that I see having a viable shot at the playoffs this year though the wild card. Assuming they can win the games they should and possibly sneak one or two from teams that are supposedly better than they are, I expect the Bears to go 9–7 at best and 8–8 at worst this year. This is one of my favorite overs in all the NFL.
-Nick Van Fossen
Detroit Lions — 7.5 Wins
This is the hardest team in the league to project a win total for in my opinion. One of my favorite quarterbacks in the league is Matt Stafford. I love his toughness and ability to throw the ball in tight windows with pressure in his face. I like the fact that they drafted Kerryon Johnson too. He does have some injury history, but he is a bruising running back that fits the physical playing style that new head coach Matt Patricia is sure to employ. Golden Tate is a very underrated receiver, and Marvin Jones flashes some major playmaking ability in the red zone. Kenny Golladay, aka Babytron, is a major breakout candidate in his second season. They have had some constant offensive line issues over the last decade, but the fact that Matt Stafford is able to get the ball out quickly has them helped out. The question is whether or not they can improve the running attack, as they have not had a 100 yard rusher in a game since Reggie Bush did it on Thanksgiving in 2013.
Defensively, I expect them to be better this year, as Matt Patricia is sure to focus on improving the unit. Their secondary has some major question marks outside of Darius Slay. They will need Jalen Tabor, Glover Quin, and Tavon Wilson to step up in a major way if they are going to compete with Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins in the AFC North. I wish the Lions could have added another pass rusher to go on the other side of Ziggy Ansah; can they get enough of a pass rush to help out their secondary? That is a question that will need to be answered early in the season. Jarrad Davis looked good last year, and I think he will take another step forward in his development this season.
Overall, I go back and forth whether or not the Lions will win 7, 8, or 9 games. For this exercise, I will give them 7 wins. With Aaron Rodgers coming back healthy and the Vikings’ acquisition of Kirk Cousins, the Lions will have their work cut out for them. The Bears also improved a ton, and I expect them to at least split with the Lions this year. Even though I really like the Lions’ offensive unit, I still think they are a year away from being contenders in the NFC North again. I really hope Matt Stafford proves me wrong.
Green Bay Packers — 10.5 Wins
The Packers offseason was centered around adding more talent to their skill positions on both offense and defense. They addressed their secondary by adding two of my favorite players in the draft, Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson, and also brought in veterans like Muhammed Wilkerson and Jimmy Graham. In addition to adding more veterans, the Packers now have a semi-reliable run game for the first time in years that they can rely on in times of need. This Packers team is centered around arguably the best QB in the league, Aaron Rodgers, and he is good enough to ensure the team wins games they’re supposed to keep them in games they may not be favored in. I think what the Packers did this offseason will allow them to take another step forward and make them contenders again. Last season, before Rodgers went down with a broken collarbone, the Packers looked like they were on their way to challenge anyone in the NFC for a shot at the Super Bowl. I believe that they addressed the positions of need and added better playmakers on both sides of the ball. I expect the Packers, barring injury, will have a chance to win every game they play this year. They are primed and ready to make a run at another Super Bowl. Watch out.
Minnesota Vikings — 10.5 Wins
After have one of the best seasons in franchise history, the Minnesota Vikings look to improve on their unbelievable run from the previous year. The Vegas over/under in the 2018 season for the Vikings is 10.5, and I would without a doubt bet the over. In the 2018 offseason, the Vikings did lose all 3 of their quarterbacks but added one of the best free agents in Kirk Cousins. They also added Sheldon Richardson to one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. Dalvin Cook, who was on pace to be a rookie of the year candidate before an ACL injury cut his season short, will return and will become a great backfield weapon. Despite having to play a first place schedule, which includes the Eagles, Rams, and Saints, the Vikings’ schedule sets up perfectly for them this season. With one of the best defenses in the NFL, an offense that will feature one of the best wide receiver duos in the league in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, and one of the top quarterbacks in the league in Kirk Cousins, barring injuries, expect the Vikings to pick up where they left off last year and make a strong run to Super Bowl 53.