For the first time, the NFL will be debuting an 18-week season in 2021, meaning that each team will be playing 17 games instead of the usual 16. What this means when looking at win totals is that they are going to be set higher than they have been in previous years. With the additional game, it is more important than ever to dive deep into the schedules and details to find some solid futures plays on win totals.
In this article we will look at a few of the NFC win total futures that are my best bets for the upcoming season using the current lines on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Los Angeles: Over 10.5 (+105) on DraftKings
Los Angeles is one of the preseason favorites to win it all this season, currently tied for fifth best odds to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
Sean McVay’s club finished 2020 with a 10-6 record after a 9-7 record the previous season. Both of those seasons, they were able to finish with a winning record despite having a pedestrian quarterback in Jared Goff. This season, McVay will have Matthew Stafford under center which should bring this offense to a whole new level. Stafford comes to LA after suffering through some challenging years in Detroit including last season when his top wide receivers consisted of Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola and Quintez Cephus. This year he gets to throw to Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, one of the best wide receiver duos in the NFL.
On top of that, the defense is still one of the best in the NFL. With Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, LA has two of the best defensive players in the league. Their schedule this season also gifts them the AFC South and the NFC North. Their season opens at home in a primetime game against Chicago and then heads to Indianapolis who has a starting quarterback who may or may not be back from his foot injury. LA also gets games against Detroit, Houston and Jacksonville who are projected to be some of the worst teams in football.
With a revamped offense, a top 5 defense, and a schedule that includes some very favorable games, I see this club as an 11 or 12 win team this season.
Atlanta Falcons: Over 7.5 (-130) on DraftKings
The Falcons finished last season at the bottom of their division with a 4-12 record. On the surface, that would lead you to believe that they are a bad team. When you look a little deeper, you realize that Atlanta lost seven games by five or less points and some of those were games where they blew big leads.
The defense was their Achilles Heel, and they did address the back end of the defense by signing free agent safety Erik Harris and drafting Richie Grant as well. With a 17-game regular season, winning four more games than last season certainly seems attainable. The addition of Mike Davis, taking over the backfield for the shell of Todd Gurley they had last season, is an upgrade that will take some pressure off of Matt Ryan. Ryan did lose Julio Jones, but Jones has missed a lot of time with injuries, and they countered that by drafting rookie sensation Kyle Pitts.
Their schedule is not easy, but they do get Detroit and Jacksonville along with playing the AFC East and NFC East divisions who have beatable teams. With a few wins in the division, I see the Falcons being a 9-win team to cash in on this play.
New York: Over 7 (-130) on DraftKings
This one is my favorite futures bet in this article. The New York and their quarterback Daniel Jones are constantly overlooked and a win total of seven jumps out to me.
This line tells me that Vegas agrees with most people’s thoughts that Jones is not a good quarterback and that the Giants can not win with him. Last season, Jones only threw for 11 touchdowns while throwing 10 interceptions. That is sure to improve this year. A big factor in the poor play last season was that Jones was running for his life in most games, since the young offensive line had extreme growing pains. Rookie first rounder Andrew Thomas took a while to settle in but showed improvement in the second half of the season. They also hired Rob Sale as the offensive line coach after having success in the college ranks, producing two offensive linemen drafted in 2020 out of Louisiana-Lafayette.
Additionally, New York also gets Saquan Barkely back after missing almost all of the 2020 season and adds Kenny Golladay to the receiving corps, who gives Jones a bigtime receiving weapon. Jones ranked third in the league in passing grade on throws of 20 or more yards and adding Golladay to the mix will only help.
Joe Judge’s club will also have a much easier schedule in 2021 than they had in 2020 with a strength of schedule that ranks 25th of 32 teams based on opponents winning percentage from 2020. Playing some inferior opponents should help them get back over the hump and return to a team who finishes 2021 with at least nine wins.
Those are three of my best bets for the NFC win totals futures for the 2021 NFL Season. Tune in next time for a look at the AFC.
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