The NFL announced in late March that it plans to add a 17th game to the regular season schedule. The full schedule release is not expected until mid-May, but in the meantime, DraftKings Sportsbook unveiled their 2021 NFL season win totals.
Considering the NFL Draft and schedule release have yet to happen, picking win totals is not a simple matter. However, you might find value for some teams if you think their situation will improve or regress. It comes down to how much you think a number might move or is already over- or under-valued.
Los Angeles Rams, Win total: 10.5
The Rams made a huge splash early in the offseason when they traded Jared Goff and draft picks to the Lions for Matthew Stafford. This is an upgrade over Goff, but the Rams salary cap situation resulted in them having to part ways with the likes of defensive end Michael Brockers, linebacker Sam Ebukam, cornerback Troy Hill and safety John Johnson. Aaron Donald keeps that defense competitive, but they took a big hit on depth. Injuries can be tricky to factor into projections, but the Rams seem like the team that will get pumped up this offseason only to fall flat.
San Francisco 49ers, Win total: 10.5
The 49ers also made a huge splash this year, trading two future first round picks to move from No. 12 to No. 3 in the 2021 NFL Draft. They’re going to draft a quarterback with the pick, but continue to insist Jimmy Garoppolo is their guy for the coming season. The 49ers did a great job retaining key talent, re-signing Trent Williams, Jason Verrett, K’Waun Williams, and Kyle Juszczyk among others, but betting this comes down to the QB situation. Are you comfortable taking the over with a Justin Fields or Mac Jones or Trey Lance? Are you comfortable taking either the over or under with Jimmy G?
Pick: Over if you think they keep Garoppolo for one more season. Staying away if they’re starting a rookie Week 1.
Seattle Seahawks, Win total: 9.5
The Russell Wilson drama has overshadowed the offseason for Seattle. It seems highly unlikely he’s going anywhere, and the additions of center Ethan Pocic guard Gabe Jackson should assuage some of his concerns. The team also added tight end Gerald Everett and re-signed running back Chris Carson. Losing Shaquil Griffin is a big blow to the defense and is one reason I’m hesitant on this. That being said, Wilson consistently gives this team a puncher’s chance and ten wins is very possible.
Arizona Cardinals, Win total: 8
I wouldn’t put money on long term futures beyond 2021, but the Cardinals have loaded up this offseason to make an immediate move up the standings. The team added a ton of talent, signing defensive end JJ Watt, wide receiver A.J. Green, guard Brian Winters, and cornerback Malcolm Butler, while also trading for center Rodney Hudson. They’re all great additions for 2021, but not much beyond that. They added over 30 talent that could put them over the top in 2021, but is not a recipe for long-term success. Injuries and general skill break-down is a concern and Kliff Kingsbury’s coaching acumen remains questionable, but for 2021 win totals, I’m willing to bet on them taking at least a small step forward.
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