2019 NFL season win totals were released this past weekend by Vegas sportsbooks and reported on ESPN. The Patriots lead the way with a predicted total of 11 wins while the Chiefs, Rams, and Saints follow with 10.5 wins.
At the bottom are the Arizona Cardinals and Miami Dolphins each with five wins. Most of the predictions are understandable, but here are three teams that should exceed or underperform their win totals:
Pittsburgh Steelers: OVER nine wins
The Steelers were the center of the NFL offseason with Antonio Brown forcing his way out of town and perhaps as a result of this drama and loss of Brown and Le’Veon Bell, their win total sits at nine games.
The Steelers’ win totals the last four years were 10.5, 10.5, 10.5, 8.5. The AFC North also changed perhaps more than any other division.
The Browns definitely improved with the acquisition of Odell Beckham Jr. and Olivier Vernon. The Ravens lost veteran leadership on defense and will have a new quarterback starting the season for the first time since 2007. The Bengals have a new head coach for the first time in 17 years.
The division is certainly in flux, and the Steelers return a pass rush led by TJ Watt that led the league in sacks, a top-ten offensive line, and of course, Big Ben Roethlisberger. In the Roethlisberger era (15 seasons), the Steelers have never had a losing season and have not had a .500 season since 2013. Take the over on Steelers’ wins and at worst push with nine.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: OVER six wins
Bruce Arians came out of retirement to coach the Bucs and get the best out of Jameis Winston. Winston is armed with a receiving corps that is perhaps the best in football, led by Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and O.J. Howard as well as job security for the 2019 season.
A more stable quarterback situation should be a positive for the Bucs, and Winston is in a contract year. Armed with the fifth overall draft pick, look for the Bucs to add an immediate contributor on a defense that was among the league’s worst in 2018.
Ex-Jets head coach Todd Bowles led strong defenses in Arizona under Arians and will undoubtedly improve the Bucs’ defense in 2019. Lock the Bucs in for a couple of humid September/October wins in Tampa and easily cash as Tampa Bay remains in the playoff hunt deep into the season.
Miami Dolphins: UNDER five wins
In the last five years, 35 teams have finished with a record of 5-11 or worse. If you pair the fact that the Dolphins have the worst Super Bowl odds according to vegasinsider.com with comments from owner Stephen Ross being “committed” to a rebuild, it becomes clear that the Dolphins primary goal in 2019 is not to win as many games as possible.
Ryan Fitzpatrick was signed to be the team’s starting quarterback and had some incredible moments with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2018, including being the first in NFL history to throw for 400+ yards in three straight games.
Fitzpatrick was also benched multiple times throughout the 2018 season and will now open 2019 with another squad. It is safe to say that the 2019 Dolphins’ season would be a failure if they won six games, so bank on the under and embrace the tank.