While THE WIFE sighs and groans at the thought of football taking over the TV for the majority of weekends to come, sports lovers rejoice at the triumphant return of the National Football League.  What better way to celebrate football’s return with some healthy debate and a Vegas twist?  Let’s focus on the NFL Over/Under win totals for the upcoming season, shall we?

The SportsChumpa longtime friend and Buccaneer apologist – is back with his 9th Annual Over/Under Contest, challenging his readers to predict the upcoming regular season win totals of NFL teams, specifically extracting a top ten and assigning confidence points to each.

Before making some pigskin prognostication of my own, let’s first provide the full list of NFL Over/Under win totals, per Vegas.  Feel free to comment with your favorite picks (below) or head on over to the Chump’s site via the link above and make some picks of your own.

Team – 2019 Vegas NFL Over/Under Win Totals

New England Patriots – 11

Kansas City Chiefs – 10 ½

Los Angeles Rams – 10 ½

New Orleans Saints – 10 ½

Indianapolis Colts – 10

Philadelphia Eagles – 10

Los Angeles Chargers – 9 ½

Chicago Bears – 9

Cleveland Browns – 9

Green Bay Packers – 9

Pittsburgh Steelers – 9

Minnesota Vikings – 9

Dallas Cowboys – 9

Atlanta Falcons – 8 ½

Baltimore Ravens – 8 ½

Seattle Seahawks – 8 ½

Houston Texans – 8 ½

Tennessee Titans – 8

San Francisco 49ers – 8

Jacksonville Jaguars – 8

Carolina Panthers – 7 ½

New York Jets – 7 ½

Denver Broncos – 7

Buffalo Bills – 7

Detroit Lions – 6 ½

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 6 ½

Washington Redskins – 6 ½

Cincinnati Bengals – 6

New York Giants – 6

Oakland Raiders – 6

Arizona Cardinals – 5

Miami Dolphins – 4 ½

At first glance, while I love the Saints this year, New Orleans will face stiff competition in an improved division.  I like the Seahawks, but their schedule is brutal on paper.  The Browns and Packers have a ton of talent, but each team worries me due to the presence of first-time head coaches.  The Cowboys, meanwhile, are a question mark due to the Ezekiel Elliott holdout.  But as you’ll soon see, the Melvin Gordon contract dispute doesn’t scare me as much.

The following is the official Top Ten NFL Over/Under Win Total predictions for the 2019 regular season (in order by confidence).

2019 NFL Preview: Ten Over/Under Predictions

10. Indianapolis Colts – (10 wins – UNDER)

The Andrew Luck retirement announcement is the story of the year.  Talk about a ripple effect as the Colts were considered by many to be a major Super Bowl contender.  Luck’s short notice left Indy reeling and unable to easily add quality depth at the quarterback position.  Heck, reports state the Colts are considering Brock Osweiler, among others (below).  As a result, the AFC South looks wide open and is likely to be the weakest division in the NFL.  Sure, the Colts have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball, but can Jacoby Brissett (career 59.1% completion percentage, 13 passing TD, 7 INT) carry this team to the postseason and at least 11 wins?  That’s highly unlikely.

KP’s Prediction: 9-7 and an early playoff exit

9. Washington Redskins – (6 1/2 wins – UNDER)

The Redskins have one of the stronger defensive front sevens in football and should give opposing offenses fits.  Offensively, well… that’s a completely different story.  Washington lost a major piece when Trent Williams decided to hold out.  His replacements have struggled, which likely means an ineffective run game headlined by Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice, the latter of which is returning from an ACL injury.  In the passing game, there are no proven receivers and Jordan Reed suffered yet another concussion during the preseason.  If Case Keenum struggles, it could be rookie Dwayne Haskins that replaces him.  Growing pains are likely to occur.  If that’s not enough, the Redskins have a non-conference matchup versus the Patriots, as well as road games against the Vikings, Bills, Panthers and Packers.  This could be a long season and if so, a likely coaching change heading into next year.

KP’s Prediction: 6-10 and the dismissal of Jay Gruden

8. Oakland Raiders – (6 wins – UNDER)

Mike Mayock is now the GM and HC Jon Gruden opens the second season of his monstrous deal.  A number of changes have been made to the roster and a lot of youth (e.g. Josh Jacobs, Clelin Ferrell and Hunter Renfrow) will be expected to make an immediate impact.  Yes, there is a ton of speed and talent in the passing game, but will Derek Carr be able to get Antonio Brown the ball enough?  Will Antonio Brown play 16 games with no drama and an appropriate helmet?  It looks like a steep road ahead, especially playing in a tough division and having to travel to Minnesota, Indianapolis, Green Bay and Houston.  Positive momentum will be the key in Oakland.

KP’s Prediction: 5-11, a few shocking victories and a lot of angry, contorted Chucky faces

7. Cincinnati Bengals – (6 wins – UNDER)

There is a talent gap between the Bengals and the rest of its division.  A.J. Green is injured and his status is uncertain, leaving the inconsistent Andy Dalton to rely heavily on younger talents such as Joe Mixon, Tyler Boyd, John Ross III and Damion Willis.  Zac Taylor replaces long time head coach Marvin Lewis and while some fresh ideas are needed, no one really knows just what these Bengals will do.  Maybe six wins is reachable, but it’s difficult to see when six games are against the likes of the Ravens, Steelers and Browns.  A 5-11 first year for Taylor seems more likely.

KP’s Prediction: 5-11 and some additional changes to the roster in the upcoming weeks

6. Baltimore Ravens – (8 1/2 wins – OVER)

Many aren’t high on the Ravens and that’s a bit surprising to me.  This looks like a Wild Card team.  Lamar Jackson may not be the passer that others are, but his athletic ability will give defenses fits.  Baltimore will throw a ton of looks at opponents, thanks to his unique talents.  While many avoid Ravens RB’s in Fantasy, Mark Ingram is a step up from backs of recent seasons.  Baltimore also boasts a very well-rounded defense, with a secondary that will be difficult to throw on.  Good luck passing with Jimmy Smith, Earl Thomas and Tony Jefferson roaming the secondary, among others.  This team is likely to wear opponents down and a 9-7 (or better) season is a good bet.

KP’s Prediction: 10-6 and a top three rushing offense in the NFL this season

5. Denver Broncos – (7 wins – OVER)

With Joe Flacco, it always starts with one question: Elite or not elite?  Now with the Broncos (and John Elway in the front office), Flacco has another chance to prove his doubters wrong.  He was a steady quarterback and a consistent performer throughout his time in Baltimore.  The Broncos clearly needed that after some inconsistent QB play since Peyton Manning retired.  Meanwhile, on defense, Denver has a number of monster performers, including Von Miller and Derek Wolfe.  Bradley Chubb will take another big step this year and add another top performer on defense.  Kareem Jackson is a nice addition to the secondary, too.  Throw in a steady run game led by Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman and it’s hard to imagine this not being at least a .500 team.

KP’s Prediction: 8-8 and a near miss on the playoffs

4. Los Angeles Chargers – (9 1/2 wins – OVER)

Many will shy away from the Chargers due to the Melvin Gordon contract holdout and the Derwin James foot injury.  But Los Angeles proved it was a team that could win when Gordon was absent due to injury.  Besides, there is speculation that Gordon has minimal negotiation room and might be available to the team in time for Week 1.  Either way, this is an extremely talented and well-balanced roster.  Philip Rivers is getting up there in age and desperately seeking a deep run in the postseason.  The return of TE Hunter Henry will help the offense and if he, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams can stay healthy, watch out.  Let’s not forget the talent on defense that includes the likes of Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram and Thomas Davis.  Call me crazy, but I still see this team winning at least ten games. 

KP’s Prediction: 11-5 and playoff bound

3. Buffalo Bills – (7 wins – OVER)

This is my wild card selection (not playoff Wild Card), as many have the Bills finishing under .500 this season.  There was growth from Josh Allen during his first season in Buffalo.  Allen can beat you with his arm (when he’s accurate) and his feet.  He now has additional receiving targets in Cole Beasley and John Brown.  Yes, Frank Gore and LeSean McCoy are older veteran backs and possible question marks, but rookie Devin Singletary could surprise some people if given the chance.  Seriously, keep him in mind as a late pick in your Fantasy Football draft.  The Bills also added a number of pieces (and depth) to its offensive line.  Give Allen more protection and the completion percentage numbers should rise.

KP’s Prediction: 8-8 and some hope for the future   

2. Carolina Panthers – (7 1/2 wins – OVER)

Cam Newton is expected to play week one, despite an injury during Carolina’s third preseason game.  Last year’s shoulder injury derailed him and the Panthers, but prior to that, Cam was having a solid season, as was the often-used Christian McCaffrey.  DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel will have to perform well for the team to be well-balanced offensively.  The defense, meanwhile, should be solid yet again, especially with the addition of veteran Bruce Irvin and rookie Brian Burns.  This will be a very competitive division, but in the end, that shouldn’t prevent Carolina from at least reaching the .500 mark.

KP’s Prediction: 9-7 and a DROY Award for Brian Burns

1. Atlanta Falcons – (8 1/2 wins – OVER)

Like the Panthers, the Falcons have a lot of talent, while playing in what should be a competitive division.  Carolina and New Orleans have balanced rosters, while Tampa Bay adds the offensive-minded Bruce Arians as its coach.  The Falcons have a high-flying offense led by Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, among others.  On defense, Takkarist McKinley and Vic Beasley will give opposing lines fits.  Deion Jones is a tackling machine and the secondary features a number of talented players.  If this team can stay healthy, a winning season is a very solid bet.

KP’s Prediction: 9-7 and a tie for second place in the division (with Carolina)

Agree to disagree?  Which NFL Over/Under win totals would you take?  Sound off in the comments section below and as always, thank you for visiting The Wife Hates Sports!