Vegas has recently released their over/unders for number of regular season wins for each NFL team. Some of them seem particularly juicy, well I wouldn't touch some of the others with Visanthe Shiancoe's pole.
But since I so desperately aspire to be a gambling junkie, I'm gonna let all my Crodies in on the 10 sure bets on the lot. There will be actual money put down on these teams from Sir Dirkness. And I expect to be atleast 5 bucks richer by season's end. Without further ado...
Top 10 NFL Over/Unders for 2011:
1. Miami Dolphins +/- 7.5 wins ~ UNDER
First off, Chad Henne is their quarterback (who I, at first, believed in until I heard that he publicly complained about facing competition for his job). So this year, Henne is hearing "We want Orton" chants at training camp, which Henne claimed "hurt his feelings" (not that there's anything wrong with that). Oy. I'm not ripping the guy for being sensitive, but that's not what I want to hear from my team's QB. Outside of that, the Dolphins lost Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, AND Tyler Thigpen and added almost nobody of note (Reggie Bush has been zung).
Potential pitfall: Anchored by Jake Long, the Dolphins' offensive line might have one of the best in the NFL.
Projected record: 5-11
2. New Orleans Saints +/- 10 wins ~ OVER
I absolutely love the Saints this year, who are flying so far underground that no radar can pick them up because of the Eagles and Packers in the NFC. The Saints drafted Mark Ingram to solidify their running game (and Sproles), and beefed up their defensive interior with Aubrayo Franklin and Shaun Rogers. And they were the most active team in organizing offseason activities, an unknown X-factor impacting the 2011 season. This team might go 10-6, but they aren't going 9-7 or worse (barring an injury to Brees).
Potential Pitfall: Their cornerbacks are the only potential position of weakness I can find on this team.
Projected record: 13-3
3. Washington Redskins +/- 6.5 wins ~ UNDER
Rex Grossman. John Beck. Tim Hightower. Ryan Torain. Santana Moss. Jabar Gaffney. These are the key skill position contributors for the team (I could've just stopped after Beck). They play in perhaps the toughest division in the NFL. And nobody there seems to be responding to Mantanahan just yet.
(Note: This is the most lopsided action of any over/unders for the 32 teams).
Potential Pitfall: They play each of the NFC West teams. So they might win 4 games?
Projected Record: 4-12
4. San Diego Chargers +/- 9.5 wins ~ OVER
Shitty, I know, but I think the Chargers are pissed off about last season. I don't think they believed anybody could top them in the AFC West, and their play from last season proved so. I think they play this season with something to prove from the get go. Vincent Jackson returns, and the quiet additions of Bob Sanders, Takeo Spikes, and Travis LaBoy could be huge. And this is my best effort at a reverse jinx.
Potential Pitfall: All together now.....NORV TURNER! While he may not be our only hope, he certainly is our best hope, Obi Wan.
Projected Record: 11-5
5. San Francisco 49ers +/- 7.5 wins ~ UNDER
The Alex Smith suckfest continues. I can't imagine how tired 9ers fans are of this guy. It's his 7th year in the league! And he hasn't been good for any of them! And he's not even really in competition for his job right now! And....that's enough. This reeks of a team that inserts a rookie QB by midseason, in this case, Colin Kaepernick (he ain't gonna get it done). Initially, I hesitated due to Jim Harbaught, but then I remembered college coaches never do good in the NFL.
Potential Pitfall: Again, the NFC West conundrum, where it seems like any of the teams could put a few pieces together and win 8 games.
Projected Record: 5-11
6. Indianapolis Colts +/- 9.5 wins ~ OVER
This feels like easy money. Almost like it's too good to be true. I'm almost skeptical because Vegas knows more than everybody else most of the time. However, do you know the last season the Colts finished with under 10 wins? It was 2001. Really the only question is...
Potential Pitfall: Peyton Manning's injury. He has yet to practice this year, and will most likely not play in a single preseason game. I think this slows down their juggernaut offense, but doesn't completely kill it. The pieces are more of the same from last season, which should help. It's hard to imagine the Colts not in the playoffs.
Projected Record: 10-6
7. Minnesota Vikings +/- 6.5 wins ~ OVER
I believe in Donovan F. McNabb (as my QB rankings would lead you to believe). I'll always bet on players that have a lot to prove, in which case, McNasty has more than just about anybody in the league. His receivers aren't great, but they never were in Philly either (but he does have good TE's, ala the Pheagles). Oh, and they have this Adrian Peterson dude. Their D ain't great (because Jared Allen sucks now), but it doesn't have to be to reach 7 wins.
Potential Pitfall: The dreaded bad start/rookie QB combo that might occur with Christian Ponder waiting in the wings (at which point they would have no shot at 7 wins).
Projected Record: 8-8
8. Buffalo Bills +/- 5.5 wins ~ OVER
Call it a love of the bumpkin QB, but I can't get enough of the Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kyle Orton, or Shaun Hill trio (the most underrated QB's in the league). I think Chan Gailey goes mad scientist this year with Brad Smith, CJ Spiller, and Tyler Thigpen at his disposal (all taking snaps at QB). Prediction: You might see a freshly unwrapped, innovative, dazzling offense out of the Bills this season, a system that stems from Gailey's time in KC with the Thigboner. Sorta Vermeil-esque.
Potential Pitfall: Well, they're the Biffalo Buffs, and they haven't smelled success in a while. I'll be damned if they're not better than the Dolphins though.
Projected Record: 9-7
9. Green Bay Packers +/- 11.5 wins ~ UNDER
It's hard to sustain success in the NFL. Everybody will be gunning for the defending champs. Not to mention, they didn't even win 12 games last season. The big question is if the time off from the Lockout will help them or hurt them. In one corner, they didn't have the coaches in their ear, preaching to forget about being champs all offseason. In the other corner...
Potential Pitfall: There has been less time for other teams in the NFL to make significant strides, leading one to believe that the Pack would still be the best team in the league.
Projected Record: 11-5
10. Detroit Lions +/- 7.5 wins ~ OVER
My team for 2011. I like Stafford at QB (and I like Shaun Hill even more at backup QB). I like the backfield combo of Best and Harrison. I like the pickups of Justin Durant and Stephen Tulloch at LB. And I LOVE the combo of Ndominant World Order (NwO) and Piggie Fairley in the middle of that defense (even though Fairley is hurt, he should be back for Week 1). My only hesitation is that 7.5 wins is a pretty high number. I must not be the only one on the bandwagon.
Potential Pitfall: Well, they're the Detroit Lions! There's a definite mental hurdle they'll need to clear, preferably early in the season.
Projected Record: 10-6
Sorry I'm not home right now, I'm walking in the spiderwebs,