With there being only professional soccer in Belarus to bet on these days (and maybe a push-up challenge), I thought it would be a good time to look at some prop bets for the NFL season. I used both the FanDuel and DraftKings sportsbooks. As always, look at this as a fun assignment that you might want to throw a little action on if you have the cash. It's not as if there's a lot to do otherwise these days.
In case you were wondering if the season will start on time, you can dig deeper and find it's a 50/50 proposition in some places.
Better win total - Patriots (-110) or Buccaneers (-110)
I really like Tampa Bay here. The Buccaneers have a tougher division, but who exactly do the Patriots have on their roster past Bill Belichick? They're still the Patriots, which means they'll get everyone's best game when they play them. Put me down for a wager on the Patriots under nine games won (+100) for the season, as well.
Redskins over 5 wins (-120), Giants Over 6 wins (-115)
This is totally hedging, but I really think it's doubtful both teams finish in the under. There's a good chance both go over or at least one ties (a push) while the other goes over. The Redskins might be questionable on offense but on defense they've upgraded and are expected to draft Chase Young to bolster that side even more. There was a division-low 24 wins last season, and it's tough to see that low of a total again. The division had 31 and 32 wins the previous seasons and should get back to that level this season.
Dolphins over 6 wins (-105)
The Dolphins went 5-11 and likely were the most improved team in the NFL last season. Brian Flores was the big reason why. To refresh everyone's memory, the Dolphins started 0-7 while being outscored 176-71. The Dolphins finished the season 5-4, including a win in New England. It's likely they add another quarterback who as an insurance policy, which would only help their chances here. They also upgraded in several spots on defense in the offseason helping out these chances.
Browns over 8.5 wins (+116)
Remember how last season the Browns' over was a sure thing? The Browns improved at tight end, signing Austin Hooper, and on defense have signed seven new players the last couple weeks to improve the defense. All seven of those players were given short-term deals, suggesting the Browns are in "win-now" mode. The division is a dichotomy with the Ravens being a top-3 team in football but also with the Bengals who might be a bottom-3 team. Coaching changes and a full season from Myles Garrett should get the Browns over this win total.
PLAYER DRAFT PROPS
Jonathan Taylor under 37.5 draft spot (+103)
This number is the same on both sites, but the odds are better on DraftKings than FanDuel, so use that one if you have the choice. The best running back in the draft seems like a great value here considering Saquon Barkley went second overall only a few seasons ago. While a lot of teams are predicted to exercise caution drafting running backs this season, the tea leaves are tough to read on any draft and running backs could easily be drafted higher than experts think. Some team will get a steal on Taylor.
Tua Tagovailoa over 3.5 draft spot (-121)
Largely considered to be the top overall pick before his injury and Joe Burrow's emergence, Tua looks completely healthy and for sure will be a top-7 or eight pick. The problem is the unknown of draft day. Both the Dolphins and Chargers could trade up if they fall in love with Tua and give up enough to Detroit to get that spot. Interestingly, the over/under is 2.5 on Fan Duel but with the odds over 2.5 (-430), under 2.5 (+300).
Jalen Hurts under 69.5 (-134)
This is the line on Draftkings, and I'd recommend taking the small hit in the odds for the better number as Fan Duel has it at 61.5 but at -102. Three quarterbacks (Burrow, Tua and Justin Herbert) should go in the top 10 while Jordan Love should go somewhere in the mid-to-late first round.
Tom Brady over 4,299.5 passing yards (-112)
The odds are the same for the under, so it's a pretty even split at this total. At first glance this looks a bit ambitious; Brady was under this mark by almost 250 yards last season and will be 43 this season. However, Jameis Winston got 5,109 yards last season in this offense with these weapons, so who's to say Brady can't? Tampa Bay has 50 million reasons why it thinks Brady can do this, so I'll back them.
Lamar Jackson under 3,199.5 passing yards (-112)
I love to watch Jackson play as much as anyone. These props clearly state "the teams must play a full 16 game season for bets to stand," and I worry that Jackson will play the full 16 games. He didn't go over last season and while his receiving corps should improve (Hollywood Brown will be in season No. 2), he opens himself up to hits as much as any quarterback in the league. It is notable that he didn't play Week 17 against Pittsburgh, which could be the case again this season with high expectations for the Ravens.
Baker Mayfield over 23.5 touchdown passes (-112)
While he didn't accomplish this last season, he did in his rookie campaign despite playing only 14 games. The Browns got a great red zone target in Austin Hooper, and Jarvis Landry/Odell Beckham remain forces to be reckoned with on the outside and downfield. A new coaching staff plus Baker heading into his third season should be the recipe for him to hit the over.
Christian McCaffrey under 2,099.5 total yards from scrimmage (-112)
McCaffrey hit his goal of getting 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards (barely) last season. Now that he has that under his belt (he got 72 receiving yards Week 17 and needed 67) it's unlikely the Panthers push for him to get there again. In fact, they should be one of the teams looking to being "tanking for Trevor (Lawrence)" so they could shut him down at some point. Also, 2,000 yards from scrimmage is difficult enough to replicate and teams will focus on shutting CMC down with an inexperienced Teddy Bridgewater under center. I like the under on 15.5 total touchdowns (-128) as well for CMC.
JuJu Smith-Schuster over 1,099.5 receiving yards (-112)
JSS was way under this one last season due to missing four games and not having Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback. However, he had more than 1,400 receiving yards two seasons ago and will have Ben back at full capacity (reportedly). Despite three seasons under his belt, JuJu won't turn 24 until November. The key is the health of both him and Big Ben; Ben had no problem giving Antonio Brown a huge amount of targets despite matchups/double-teams, and I'd expect he gives Smith-Schuster the same attention.
Davante Adams over 9.5 receiving touchdowns (-112)
Adams fell far short of this number last season (five) but had 10, 12 and 13 the three previous seasons. Injuries (missing four games) were the culprit of poor numbers, though including the playoffs he finished the last five games with a line of 44-610-4 (which prorates to 140-1,952-13). Adams will turn 28 in December and is in the prime of his career.
Miles Sanders under 1,499.5 total yards from scrimmage (-112)
Sanders appeared to get stronger as last season went on, firmly establishing himself as the main running back for the Eagles. His last eight games (including the playoff loss) prorate to 1,526 yards, more than this over/under. However, the Eagles seem to utilize multiple running backs under coach Doug Pederson and Sanders suffered an MCL injury in that playoff loss. And 1,526 is cherry-picking the best eight-game stretch Sanders had making it the best-case scenario. I'll go under in a division where the defenses have improved this offseason.
TEAM TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS
Patriots - No (+166)
This really comes down to how much faith you have in Bill Belichick. As it stands, the Patriots seem content to give Jarrett Stidham the starting quarterback job (he's -350 to be the Week 1 starter) despite having thrown a whopping four passes in the NFL. Stidham has no one to throw to outside of Julian Edelman and at the very least has to be considered a downgrade from Tom Brady. It also seems unlikely the defense will get another 40 turnovers or allow a league-low 12.2 points per game.
Texans - No (-178)
It's pretty easy to fade Bill O'Brien at this point after the whole fiasco that was the DeAndre Hopkins trade. The division got better with the addition of Philip Rivers to the Colts, and Tennessee is still a formidable opponent that beat both New England and Baltimore in the playoffs and was playing its best football at the end of the season. The other huge factor to consider is the Texans somehow went 10-6 despite having a -7 point differential. A closer look shows they went 8-3 in games decided by seven points or less, a record that will be tough to repeat this season.
Cardinals - Yes (+280)
This might be the toughest division in football — the Cardinals were only NFC West team without a winning record last season. That said, they have a young quarterback in Kyler Murray who should improve in season two and added arguably the best wide receiver in football. Kenyan Drake seems to be an above-average running back who has averaged at least 4.5 yards per carry in each of his four professional seasons. Their win total is 7, an uptick of the 5.5 mark they had going into last season.
Any wagers you like that I missed? Hit up the comments section below.