# Predicting 2018 Vegas win totals for all 32 NFL teams

— -- With the NFL down to its final four, 28 of the league's 32 teams are already thinking about next season. That also means 28 of the league's 32 fan bases are focusing on the offseason to come and what to expect from their team in 2018.

Of course, it's too early to have a strong sense about what each team's roster construction will look like. We don't know who will retire, where players will end up in free agency or who will end up drafting who when. All of that is true, but it doesn't make guessing or projecting any less fun.

So let's do that. I'm going to run through each team and project what I think their over/under will be in Las Vegas for the 2018 season. To do this, I'm using their performance from the 2017 season (and years past), applying whatever I learned from living in Las Vegas for a year and talking to bookmakers during my time at Grantland and making various assumptions about what each team will do during the offseason. These aren't the numbers I would project for each organization in 2018, but instead my guess as to what the actual lines might be come April.

For the uninitiated, an over/under bet on a team's win total is a bet on whether a team will finish with more wins than the listed total. The Patriots, for example, were posted with a 12.5-win total in 2017. An over bet would have required them to win 13 games, which they successfully accomplished. An under bet would have won if the Patriots had won 12 or fewer games.

Games that end in a tie count as losses.

If a team matches its over/under (as the Titans did by going 9-7 with a nine-win over/under), the bettor is returned whatever he/she bet without any profit or loss.

The typical bet is -110, meaning bettors?need to bet \$110 on either side of the over/under to win \$100. That will be the default line for the bets listed below, but a few bets will have juice weighted toward one side of the line or the other. The 2017 Patriots, for example, were listed as even money over 12.5 wins and -120 on the under. That means a \$120 bet on the over would have paid \$120, while a \$120 bet on the under would only have paid \$100 if it won.

Let's get to the teams, in order from lowest projected over/under to highest. You won't be surprised with where we start or end.

## New York Jets

As bad as the Browns were, they weren't the team that headed into 2017 with the lowest expected over/under total. The Jets eventually fell all the way to a 3.5-win expectation, and while they made it to four wins by Week 9, Todd Bowles' team won just one of its final seven games as the schedule stiffened. Gang Green exceeded expectations, but their quarterback situation still consists of Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg, whose existence the Jets actively disavow. Unless the Jets make a major upgrade under center, they're still going to have one of the league's worst projections.

## New York Giants

The most popular organizations in the league -- teams such as the Cowboys, Giants and Steelers -- often will have inflated totals in Vegas because the books know that their fans are more likely to bet the over. If the Giants had the same talent but wore the Bills' uniforms, they would hit the board at 5.5 wins. Big Blue only posted 4.1 Pythagorean wins this past season, and while they probably won't suffer as many injuries as they did during a snakebit 2017 campaign, it's unclear who will actually be playing quarterback in 2018. If new general manager Dave Gettleman uses the second overall pick on a passer, the Giants will probably be using 2018 to rebuild and retool.

## Los Angeles Chargers

The league's most perennially frustrating team did just enough to get into playoff contention, only for the Bills to keep the Chargers from the postseason with a win in Week 17. Los Angeles's biggest problem -- kicker -- is fixable this offseason, but this might be the best version of the Chargers we'll see for a while. Outside of

## Jacksonville Jaguars

New England's opponent in the AFC Championship Game could hit the board with a higher total if it upgrades at quarterback. This line assumes the Jaguars come back with

## Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons brought back virtually their entire personnel core, but they didn't get remotely similar results with a revamped staff of assistants; after outscoring teams by 8.4 points per game in 2016, they only topped their opposition by an average of 2.4 points in 2017. They only hit 10 wins by virtue of a pair of breathless last-second victories in September, including a drop in the end zone by the Bears in Week 1 and the

## Baltimore Ravens

Nine wins weren't enough to get the 2017 Ravens into the playoffs, with a 1-4 record in games decided by seven points or less keeping out the league's seventh-best team by DVOA. Baltimore's 10.4-win Pythagorean expectation suggests it is likely to improve in 2018, but can a defense still stocked with post-peak players force 34 takeaways again? The Ravens also caught an easy schedule in 2017 with the AFC South and an

## Carolina Panthers

The Panthers enter an uncertain offseason as Jerry Richardson prepares to sell the team, which might impact their ability to upgrade during the spring. It would be nice to bring back

## Dallas Cowboys

No number is more likely to be inflated in Vegas than that of America's Team. The Cowboys should get a full season from

## Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs have posted winning records in each of their five seasons with coach Andy Reid, which would make this nine-win line conservative if it weren't for the likelihood of

## Los Angeles Rams

If your friend tells you that they knew the Rams were going to break out in 2017, keep in mind that their Vegas over/under before Week 1 was at six wins with heavy juice (-160) on the under. Very few people saw this year's 11-5 breakout coming, and while the Rams are returning many of their big names, their secondary will be a question mark if they can't resign

## Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings are one win away from a home Super Bowl, have \$60 million in cap space waiting for this offseason and should return the core of a team that won 13 games. So why would their win total be at 9.5 wins? It's because of the quarterback position, as all three of the passers on the roster are due to become unrestricted free agents this offseason, with offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur likely leaving town for a head-coaching gig. The Vikings have the financial flexibility to do whatever they want, so they could franchise

## New Orleans Saints

The Saints' defense came to life in 2017, and young stars such as? Marshon Lattimore and Sheldon Rankins should continue to improve in 2018, but it's hard to believe it will remain a top-10 unit. Teams that improve as much as the Saints did -- they jumped from 31st to eighth in defensive DVOA -- often decline the following season. It's difficult to imagine Alvin Kamara being as productive as he was on a per-touch basis next season, and Drew Brees will be 39 years old. Age gets every quarterback eventually, and Brees threw shorter passes and relied more heavily on his receivers in 2017 than ever before. The Saints should still be good, but there's certainly risk here.

## Los Angeles Chargers

The league's most perennially frustrating team did just enough to get into playoff contention, only for the Bills to keep the Chargers from the postseason with a win in Week 17. Los Angeles's biggest problem -- kicker -- is fixable this offseason, but this might be the best version of the Chargers we'll see for a while. Outside of

## Jacksonville Jaguars

New England's opponent in the AFC Championship Game could hit the board with a higher total if it upgrades at quarterback. This line assumes the Jaguars come back with

## Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons brought back virtually their entire personnel core, but they didn't get remotely similar results with a revamped staff of assistants; after outscoring teams by 8.4 points per game in 2016, they only topped their opposition by an average of 2.4 points in 2017. They only hit 10 wins by virtue of a pair of breathless last-second victories in September, including a drop in the end zone by the Bears in Week 1 and the

## Baltimore Ravens

Nine wins weren't enough to get the 2017 Ravens into the playoffs, with a 1-4 record in games decided by seven points or less keeping out the league's seventh-best team by DVOA. Baltimore's 10.4-win Pythagorean expectation suggests it is likely to improve in 2018, but can a defense still stocked with post-peak players force 34 takeaways again? The Ravens also caught an easy schedule in 2017 with the AFC South and an

## Carolina Panthers

The Panthers enter an uncertain offseason as Jerry Richardson prepares to sell the team, which might impact their ability to upgrade during the spring. It would be nice to bring back

## Dallas Cowboys

No number is more likely to be inflated in Vegas than that of America's Team. The Cowboys should get a full season from

## Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs have posted winning records in each of their five seasons with coach Andy Reid, which would make this nine-win line conservative if it weren't for the likelihood of

## Los Angeles Rams

If your friend tells you that they knew the Rams were going to break out in 2017, keep in mind that their Vegas over/under before Week 1 was at six wins with heavy juice (-160) on the under. Very few people saw this year's 11-5 breakout coming, and while the Rams are returning many of their big names, their secondary will be a question mark if they can't resign

## Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings are one win away from a home Super Bowl, have \$60 million in cap space waiting for this offseason and should return the core of a team that won 13 games. So why would their win total be at 9.5 wins? It's because of the quarterback position, as all three of the passers on the roster are due to become unrestricted free agents this offseason, with offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur likely leaving town for a head-coaching gig. The Vikings have the financial flexibility to do whatever they want, so they could franchise

## New Orleans Saints

The Saints' defense came to life in 2017, and young stars such as? Marshon Lattimore and Sheldon Rankins should continue to improve in 2018, but it's hard to believe it will remain a top-10 unit. Teams that improve as much as the Saints did -- they jumped from 31st to eighth in defensive DVOA -- often decline the following season. It's difficult to imagine Alvin Kamara being as productive as he was on a per-touch basis next season, and Drew Brees will be 39 years old. Age gets every quarterback eventually, and Brees threw shorter passes and relied more heavily on his receivers in 2017 than ever before. The Saints should still be good, but there's certainly risk here.

## Los Angeles Chargers

The league's most perennially frustrating team did just enough to get into playoff contention, only for the Bills to keep the Chargers from the postseason with a win in Week 17. Los Angeles's biggest problem -- kicker -- is fixable this offseason, but this might be the best version of the Chargers we'll see for a while. Outside of

## Jacksonville Jaguars

New England's opponent in the AFC Championship Game could hit the board with a higher total if it upgrades at quarterback. This line assumes the Jaguars come back with

## Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons brought back virtually their entire personnel core, but they didn't get remotely similar results with a revamped staff of assistants; after outscoring teams by 8.4 points per game in 2016, they only topped their opposition by an average of 2.4 points in 2017. They only hit 10 wins by virtue of a pair of breathless last-second victories in September, including a drop in the end zone by the Bears in Week 1 and the

## Baltimore Ravens

Nine wins weren't enough to get the 2017 Ravens into the playoffs, with a 1-4 record in games decided by seven points or less keeping out the league's seventh-best team by DVOA. Baltimore's 10.4-win Pythagorean expectation suggests it is likely to improve in 2018, but can a defense still stocked with post-peak players force 34 takeaways again? The Ravens also caught an easy schedule in 2017 with the AFC South and an

## Carolina Panthers

The Panthers enter an uncertain offseason as Jerry Richardson prepares to sell the team, which might impact their ability to upgrade during the spring. It would be nice to bring back

## Dallas Cowboys

No number is more likely to be inflated in Vegas than that of America's Team. The Cowboys should get a full season from

## Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs have posted winning records in each of their five seasons with coach Andy Reid, which would make this nine-win line conservative if it weren't for the likelihood of

## Los Angeles Rams

If your friend tells you that they knew the Rams were going to break out in 2017, keep in mind that their Vegas over/under before Week 1 was at six wins with heavy juice (-160) on the under. Very few people saw this year's 11-5 breakout coming, and while the Rams are returning many of their big names, their secondary will be a question mark if they can't resign

## Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings are one win away from a home Super Bowl, have \$60 million in cap space waiting for this offseason and should return the core of a team that won 13 games. So why would their win total be at 9.5 wins? It's because of the quarterback position, as all three of the passers on the roster are due to become unrestricted free agents this offseason, with offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur likely leaving town for a head-coaching gig. The Vikings have the financial flexibility to do whatever they want, so they could franchise

## New Orleans Saints

The Saints' defense came to life in 2017, and young stars such as? Marshon Lattimore and Sheldon Rankins should continue to improve in 2018, but it's hard to believe it will remain a top-10 unit. Teams that improve as much as the Saints did -- they jumped from 31st to eighth in defensive DVOA -- often decline the following season. It's difficult to imagine Alvin Kamara being as productive as he was on a per-touch basis next season, and Drew Brees will be 39 years old. Age gets every quarterback eventually, and Brees threw shorter passes and relied more heavily on his receivers in 2017 than ever before. The Saints should still be good, but there's certainly risk here.