Week 2 of the 2019 NFL preseason is behind us, and it’s the right time to lay the odds on the win totals. The preseason displays could cause some slight odds and line changes, so let’s take a look at our best picks at the moment.
Keep in mind that you cannot predict the eventual slump in performances or injury problems that often decide the future of many NFL teams. However, you have to consider the team’s depth, as well as the strength of schedule and the offseason activity.
Miami Dolphins Under 5.5 (-160)
There’s no way Miami will win six games in 2019. The Dolphins were pretty lucky to win seven games last season, and they look like a bad team who wants to tank in 2019 and get the No. 1 pick at the 2020 NFL Draft.
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The Dolphins lack quality in each line, and with Josh Rosen and Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, they will have a tall task against the other teams in the AFC East. The Pats will be keen to get a payoff for the last season’s defeat, while both the Bills and Jets possess plenty of talent among their roster.
Miami was 29th in the league in total defense and 31st in total offense last year, and I think they cannot improve this season. Likewise, they will meet the Chargers and Colts and will match up with the AFC North, so I’m taking the Dolphins in the under with confidence.
Los Angeles Chargers Over 9.5 (-145)
The Chargers went 12-4 last season and kept their talented core, so I’m pretty sure they won’t fall below ten victories in 2019. Philip Rivers played very well over the last two seasons, and he can count on a pretty good receiving corps, while Melvin Gordon is a huge force in the backfield.
Although the AFC West is one of the toughest divisions in the league, the Chargers will play four of their first six games at home, and those two road contests will come against Detroit and Miami. Hereof, I expect them to get off to a flying start.
Last year, the Chargers won seven of their eight outings on the road including victories at Kansas City and Seattle. The head coach Anthony Lynn is doing a great job in LA, so the Chargers seem like a sure shot in the over.
Cincinnati Bengals Under 6.5 (-165)
The Bengals have a new head coach and coordinators, but I don’t think they can surpass six wins from the 2018 NFL season. On a paper, their defense is arguably one of the worst in the league, while Cincy’s offense is still far away from the top level.
In 2018, the Bengals were the worst team in football with 413.6 total yards allowed per game. Also, they were 30th in the league with 28.4 points allowed per contest. I just don’t see Zac Taylor improving the things in Cincinnati and leading them to seven wins in 2019.
Likewise, the Bengals’ strength of schedule seems terrifying with three road games at Seattle, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh in the first four rounds. With Cleveland aiming the top of the AFC North and Pittsburgh and Baltimore both relying on a solid defense, the Bengals will finish bottom of their division with six or fewer wins.
Jacksonville Jaguars Under 8.5 (-160)
The Jaguars had a disappointing 2018 season, finishing bottom of the AFC South with a 5-11 record. They signed Nick Foles in the offseason, but I doubt their chances to win nine games in 2019.
Firstly, the competition in the AFC South is pretty stiff. Houston, Tennessee, and Indianapolis all look like strong playoff contenders, so the Jaguars will have a tall task against their divisional rivals. Second, they will have a few difficult home matchups, facing New Orleans, Kansas City, and LA Chargers.
The Jaguars played good defense last year, allowing 311.4 total yards (5th in the league) and 19.8 points per game (tied-4th). However, their offense was a big issue. Jacksonville was the second-most inefficient team in the league, tallying 15.3 points per game.
Detroit Lions Under 6.5 (-140)
The Lions went 6-10 in 2018 and have a tough assignment to improve that record in 2019. Matt Patricia’s team will have to improve a lot to grab seven wins this season, especially in the NFC North where all other teams will battle for the playoff spot.
Detroit will have a mountain to climb to earn a couple of wins in the divisional play, while the Lions will welcome the Kansas City Chiefs and LA Chargers in their first two games at home. Also, the Lions will visit Denver, Oakland, and Philadelphia.
Matthew Stafford will lead the Lions’ offense, but the one-time Pro Bowl is not surrounded by top-notch players. Last year, Stafford tossed for just 3777 yards which are his season-low since 2010. Patricia will mostly rely on his defense, but I don’t think it would be enough for seven wins in the NFC North.