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NFL strength of schedule based on win totals

We take a look at strength of schedule based on win totals on an NFL schedule grid.

Quarterback Derek Carr #4 of the Las Vegas Raiders leads his team onto the field during the NFL game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Allegiant Stadium on December 17, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Chargers defeated the Raiders in overtime 30-27. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The NFL schedule is out and we have a lot of games to dig into while we wait for training camp and Aaron Rodgers news. So I got out my trusty Google spreadsheet and made some schedule charts based on win totals from DraftKings Sportsbook.

Right now those win totals are slightly in flux due to Aaron Rodgers rumors, so it is difficult to get a strong win total on the Packers or the Broncos, as they are the odds on favorite to get Rodgers if he somehow is traded. The Packers win total was at 10.5 before the news and now it is off the board. For this exercise I’ve given them 9.5 wins. If Rodgers officially leaves, that total will fall further.

As you can see above (click for a larger picture), the Raiders have the toughest schedule based on their opponent’s win totals while the 49ers have the easiest schedule based on win totals. While Houston has enough problems, their second toughest schedule just seems mean.

The Raiders strength of schedule would look better if the Denver Broncos didn’t get a bump from 7.5 wins to 8.5 wins based on the Rodgers rumors, so keep that bit of information in mind. It sure will be nice when we have some clarity on that situation, but until we do, we’ll have to hold multiple concepts in our mind at the same time. I’m not a fan.

Here are the win totals from DraftKings Sportsbook. I highlighted the Packers since that’s not officially from the sportsbook, as they are waiting on more clarity to post new win total lines.

You likely have your own thoughts on these win totals, but they are accurate to the extent they can be at this point. Predicting wins is tough. Last season the Falcons lost half their games by seven or fewer points and this season we get an extra game and the same number of bye weeks. Half the teams will have an extra road game for goodness sake! But, I believe this schedule grid is as close as we can come to an accurate strength of schedule at the moment. And I wish Houston and Tampa Bay would have to play each other’s schedules instead!

Oh, and if you want a schedule grid for your own use, you can grab that here.