While THE WIFE sighs at the thought of football taking over the TV for the majority of weekends to come, football lovers rejoice at the triumphant return of the NFL. So let’s celebrate with some healthy debate and a Vegas twist. As I have done in the past, my 2021 NFL Season Predictions will focus on the NFL Over/Under win totals for the upcoming season. This year, I’m taking this to a new level by adding in division previews and predictions for all 32 teams.
The SportsChump – a longtime friend, writer, bartender, and Bucs – is back with his 11th 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.
Yours truly is the contest’s only two-time winner and I hope to complete the hat trick in 2021.
Before making some pigskin prognostication, let’s first provide the full list of NFL Over/Under win total projections, per Vegas. Feel free to comment with your favorite picks or head on over to the Chump’s site via the link above and make some predictions of your own.
Oh, and don’t forget the NFL has expanded the regular season to seventeen games.
Team – 2021 O/U
- Kansas City Chiefs – 12.5
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 12
- Baltimore Ravens – 11
- Buffalo Bills – 11
- Los Angeles Rams – 10.5
- San Francisco 49ers – 10.5
- Cleveland Browns – 10.5
- Green Bay Packers – 10
- Seattle Seahawks – 10
- New England Patriots – 9.5
- Los Angeles Chargers – 9.5
- Miami Dolphins – 9.5
- New Orleans Saints – 9
- Tennessee Titans – 9
- Indianapolis Colts – 9
- Dallas Cowboys – 9
- Minnesota Vikings – 9
- Pittsburgh Steelers – 8.5
- Arizona Cardinals – 8.5
- Washington Football Team – 8.5
- Denver Broncos – 8.5
- Chicago Bears – 7.5
- Carolina Panthers – 7.5
- Atlanta Falcons – 7.5
- Las Vegas Raiders – 7
- New York Giants – 7
- Jacksonville Jaguars – 6.5
- Cincinnati Bengals – 6.5
- Philadelphia Eagles – 6.5
- New York Jets – 6
- Detroit Lions – 4.5
- Houston Texans – 4
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In order by confidence, here is my top ten for 2021 NFL season:
2021 NFL Season Predictions: Team Over/Under Win Total Best Bets
10. Green Bay Packers – (10 wins – OVER)
If this is it for Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, expect fireworks. The reigning MVP is reportedly working on his relationship with the front office. Randall Cobb is back to join the rest of the offense. While the focus is always on Rodgers, this is a Packers defense that ranked 7th in yards allowed last season. This is a very balanced roster. Now, look at the division. Kirk Cousins is creating vaccine drama. The Lions have an enthusiastic new coach, but everyone knows Jared Goff is a wild card – and that was with a Rams team that had more talent. Then, there’s the Bears, a team that insists Andy Dalton is its starter. The ten win line is thanks to the overblown offseason Rodgers drama. Green Bay should do much better than ten wins.
KP’s Prediction: 13-4 and yet another deep playoff run
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9. Tennessee Titans – (9 wins – OVER)
The Titans feature AJ Brown, Derrick Henry, and Julio Jones on offense. Talk about a matchup nightmare for most teams. Ryan Tannehill has to be loving this. The addition of Jones makes Tennessee a legit title threat. Sure, Julio played in just nine games last season, but he did manage to play between 14-16 games from 2014-19. So, how did Tennessee address its 28th ranked defense from last year? The three top defensive signings include OLB Bud Dupree, CB Janoris Jenkins, and DE Denico Autry. Overall, I like the Titans to increase its win total from last year’s 11-5 regular season mark. We’ll see how the revamped defense performs, and whether it’s enough to vault Tennessee into the big game.
KP’s Prediction: 12-5 and a trip to the AFC Championship
8. Pittsburgh Steelers – (8.5 wins – OVER)
Eight and a half wins – really? Sure, the 2020 Steelers (12-4) faded down the stretch, but this was a very strong team for the majority of the season. Add in rookies RB Najee Harris and TE Pat Freiermuth, who I think will have a big impact. The WR core features JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, and Chase Claypool. Add in a talented defense that finished 3rd in the league in yards allowed last year (305.8 ypg). The real question will be whether Ben Roethlisberger can stay healthy and on the field. Even without Ben, this could easily be a nine win team. The schedule and division will be brutal, but with this much talent and quality coaching, the Steelers should remain in the mix throughout the season.
KP’s Prediction: 11-6 and two of the league’s top offensive rookies
7. Los Angeles Chargers – (9.5 wins – OVER)
The Chargers have been bitten by the injury bug over the last few years. Close losses hounded them a few years back, as well. Still, look at this roster! Can this team remain relatively healthy? If so, watch out. Let’s also assume that Justin Herbert can build off a very solid rookie season. Add in Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Austin Ekeler, and more on offense. Joey Bosa anchors the trenches, along with players like Derwin James and Chris Harris in the secondary. Rookies Rashawn Slater and Asante Samuel Jr. are nice additions, as well. Overall, this team has a real shot to compete with the Chiefs.
KP’s Prediction: 12-5, riding neck-and-neck with the Chiefs all year
6. Atlanta Falcons – (7.5 wins – UNDER)
Minimal free agent signings and losing Julio Jones to Tennessee is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of the Falcons. Calvin Ridley now anchors the WR core, with Russell Gage as the number two. A player like Olamide Zaccheaus could step in as the third best receiver. Rookie TE Kyle Pitts is a freak specimen that is likely to make an immediate impact on offense. Defensively, Atlanta was 29th in the league last year. The expectation is that the Falcons are going to need to win shootouts and Matt Ryan is going to need to have a monster season. I’ll be curious to see how Arthur Smith does as head coach, but overall, I don’t think this team has enough pieces to make noise in 2021.
KP’s Prediction: 5-12 and an increased focus on adding defense by the offseason
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – (12 wins – OVER)
The Super Bowl champs have the ageless Tom Brady, while also managing to resign all key players from last year’s team. The Bucs were 7th in total offense (384.1 ypg) and 6th in total defense (327.1 ypg allowed) last season. Honestly, the injury bug would be the only thing that could get in this team’s way. This is a stacked roster on both sides of the ball. Considering Tampa Bay only started to gel during the second half of last season, well… that’s the scariest part. Sorry Brady haters, but thirteen-plus wins and another deep playoff run seems likely.
KP’s Prediction: 14-3 and another deep playoff run
4. Washington Football Team – (8.5 wins – OVER)
Washington was 2nd in total defense last year (304.6 ypg allowed). That was even with gaps in the secondary and at the LB position. Rookie Jamin Davis is a legit ROY candidate. William Jackson III was a fantastic addition in the secondary. Landon Collins returns from injury. The issue was quarterback play and a lack of playmakers on offense. Add in veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and late season surprise Taylor Heinicke at the QB position, a clear upgrade over last year’s combo of Dwayne Haskins and a hobbled Alex Smith. Best of all, Washington added speed and playmakers on offense, most notably Curtis Samuel and rookie Dyami Brown. This team has a legit chance to repeat in the NFC East (this time with a winning record).
KP’s Prediction: 10-7 and a second straight division title
3. Arizona Cardinals – (8.5 wins – OVER)
How do some franchises address talented rosters that aren’t quite getting over the hump? Frequently, it’s bringing in seasoned veterans. That’s what Arizona did during the offseason, adding WR A.J. Green, DE J.J. Watt, CB Malcolm Butler, and K Matt Prater. There are reports that Butler is mulling retirement due to a personal issue. Still, there is a really nice balance of talent on this roster, both veterans and younger players. The WR group really pops off the page, with Green, Hopkins, Kirk, Isabella, and rookie Rondale Moore. Kyler Murray has his fair share of weapons to throw to. The division road will be tough, but anything short of double-digit wins would be a major disappointment.
KP’s Prediction: 10-7 and a playoff berth for Kyler Murray
2. Cincinnati Bengals – (6.5 wins – UNDER)
The headlines haven’t been kind to rookie WR Ja’Marr Chase. First, it was way too many drops during the preseason. Now, there are other rumors circulating surrounding his personal life. Whether true or not, it’s still a potential distraction. Joe Burrow is coming off a major injury and we can’t know if his body will hold up. This was a middle-of-the-road pass defense (19th last season) that lost a key piece in William Jackson III. Add in a brutal division that features the Steelers, Browns, and Ravens. The Bengals have offensive talent and should be competitive, but don’t expect it to reflect positively in the standings.
KP’s Prediction: 5-12 and an increased focus on adding talent in the trenches
1. Detroit Lions – (4.5 wins – UNDER)
When it comes to press conferences, take the over on the Lions, because Dan Campbell is already a legend in front of the mic. As for the team on the field, we’ll see what Coach Campbell can get out of his players. Last year’s Lions featured the NFL’s worst defense as far as yards allowed (419.8 ypg). There are a number of new faces on defense, but we’ll see how this unit meshes on the field. Offensively, Detroit had a lot of speed at the WR position, only to cut Breshad Perriman. Now, Tyrell Williams leads a unit that features a number of unproven players. Jared Goff (20 TD, 13 INT in 2020) can be erratic and inconsistent. He’s certainly no Matthew Stafford – and now has less talent around him. Overall, I think we all know this team likely needs a few years. For now, let’s just enjoy Dan Campbell.
KP’s Prediction: 4-13 and about a million Campbell cups of coffee consumed
Agree to disagree? OK, then… who ya got and why? Sound off in the comments section below!
Recap of all Teams/Divisions for the 2021 NFL Season
- AFC East Preview
- NFC East Preview
- AFC West Preview
- NFC West Preview
- AFC North Preview
- NFC North Preview
- AFC South Preview
- NFC South Preview
- NFL Top Ten Over/Under Win Total Bets
As always, thank you for visiting The Wife Hates Sports!
References: NFL.com Stats | OurLads Depth Charts
Image Credit: Screenshot via Green Bay Packers YouTube
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