Early NFL Betting Predictions for the 2016 Season
Even with the recent NFL draft shaking a couple of the outlook of some starting lineups in the league; the scope of the 2016 NFL odds has remained pretty much the same at the top and bottom of the league. Unsurprisingly, your perennial powerhouses in the Carolina Panthers, New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers lead the prospected top performers, while the backsliding duo of Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers, along with perpetual cellar-dwellers Tennessee Titans, are placed at the bottom of most projections. Below is a look at the early NFL betting predictions and picks for the 2016 Season.
Early NFL Betting Predictions for the 2016 Season
Arizona Will Win Finish with OVER 9.5 Wins
I know Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks are the trendy pick here, but my money is on the team from the desert to clinch a second-successive NFC West Crown. Bruce Arians has transformed the Cards a true powerhouse, winning 34 regular-season games in his three seasons at the helm, culminating in a 13-win campaign in 2015. This, mind you, was after he tallied 10 and 11 games in his previous two seasons. With the nearly the entire core of the team locked up heading into the new year and Arizona making solid changes to better up its challenged pass rush unit from last year; it’s hard to see the Cards finish the season with less than 10 wins.
Chicago Will Cash OVER 7.5 Wins
Despite their struggles last season, the Bears still ranked among the better offensive units in the nation, thanks to the decent QB skills of veteran signal-caller Jay Cutler. That offense, on paper, looks to improve even further, as dynamic 2015 Round 1 pick Kevin White will finally get a chance to show what he’s made of after missing the entire 2015-16 campaign due to injury. White will be joining a solid group of deeply-talented targets in WRs Alshon Jeffery, Eddie Royal, Marquess Wilson, Josh Bellamy, Marc Mariani, along with TEs Martellus and Khari Lee and RBs Jacquizz Rodgers and Jeremy Langford Bennett. Meanwhile, Chicago’s defense should also see an improvement, courtesy of the additions of Jerrell Freeman and Danny Trevathan via free agency plus Jonathan Bullard and Leonard Floyd in the draft. Add to the fact that the Lions have been regressing, the Vikings aren’t solid offensively and the Packers are still bugged by their long-standing defensive concern; we believe Chicago should be good for 8 or more wins.
Denver Will Win OVER 9 Games, Claim the AFC West Title
For all the talks about Peyton Manning’s old age and Denver’s pass-reliant offense since the future Hall-of-Famer set foot in Mile High, the remaining members have simply not been able to matchup to the Broncos. This, of course, includes a spirited fight by the 11-win Kansas City Chiefs, who couldn’t just beat Denver to the best record last year. So, even with Manning and Brock Osweiler gone, we believe the Broncos, who have won the last five straight AFC West titles, will remain as the team to beat in 2016. Derek Carr, Amari Cooper and the improving Oakland Raiders will unsettle the division with their improvements; Philip Rivers and his enigmatic San Diego Chargers offense will cause some divisional upsets; Alex Smith and the incredibly talented Kansas City Chiefs will come oh-so-close to topping the division once again; but when all is said and done, Denver and its historic defense will stand tallest. Oh, and keep in mind that rookie Denver QB Paxton Lynch is talented enough to exploit the veteran receiving talent in star WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in case Mark Sanchez fails to take advantage of the stellar weapons that surround him.
Los Angeles Rams Prime Candidates for UNDER 7.5 Wins
Like their basketball counterparts, the Los Angeles Lakers, have unwisely done in the past couple of season, the Rams focused most of their offseason energy in getting offensive improvements while neglecting their defensive concerns. The new season is therefore likely to see Los Angeles improve decently in the offense, but with the defense dragging down their agenda to improve wholesomely. Combine that with the fact that the Rams will be playing the league’s third-toughest schedule, it’s hard to see anything other than a tough start for this this newly-relocated franchise. With that, we don’t expect the Rams to go above the 7.5 win total.
P3hiladelphia Likely to Fall UNDER 7 Wins
Sam Bradford was one of the luckiest QBs last year, with the Eagles surrounding with just about everyone needed to make him a hit. Instead of soaring high, Bradford failed spectacularly, and as a result, the Eagles aren’t willing to fork out good money for him in 2016. If he does stay in Philly, will he perform highly? If history is any indication, we highly doubt that. Plus, the Eagles have seen an exodus of some key talents in the team, pointing towards a rebuilding season rather than a breakout year. That being said, I like Chase Daniel and rookie Carson Wentz as potential QB starters and the Eagles could see some decent improvements. Still, with Dallas, Washington and the New York Giants all stacked up with stellar talents in readiness for a bloodbath in the NFC East, there’s no way the broken-winged Eagles will be flying above 7 wins in 2016.
RB Ezekiel Elliott Rushes for 1000-plus Yards, Wins 2016 Offensive Rookie of the Year
Looking at the 2016 NFL draft, there are a number of offensive players who could easily transform into big impact players. It’s too early to tell which players will find themselves in the starting roles from Week 1, but so far, we like former Ohio State No. 1 running back as player to make the most meaningful impact among the 2016 offensive rookies. QB picks Jared Goff, Carson Wentz and Paxton Lynch will make some noise, but Elliot—who was the only RB to be selected in the first round this year—looks to have an edge on his competitors. Besides his proven collegiate career with Buckeyes, Elliot will be operating in arguably the best offensive line in the NFL at Dallas; the same offense that catapulted RB Demarco Murray into stardom as the league’s best rusher in 2014, and then made Darren McFadden look like a Pro Bowler in 2015. With Elliot coming with fresher legs, better route-reading skills and arguably more skills at his disposal than McFadden; clinching the 2016 offensive rookie of the year award should be within the strong realms of possibility for him.
CB Jalen Ramsey Win 2016 Defensive Rookie of the Year
Considered by many draft experts as the best player in this year’s rookie class, the Jags hit a home run when they selected Ramsey as their Round 1 pick. Per scouting records, Ramsey is versatile enough to play in any of the defensive secondary positions; something that could make him an instant impact in Jacksonville. And not to forget, Ramsey is an amazing athlete. With Jacksonville’s 2015 first round pick Dante Fowler returning from his ACL injury to join a host of high-potential young defenders like Miles Jack, Yannick Ngakoue, Tyrone Holmes and Sheldon Day, along with some already solid veterans; Ramsey will have the enabling environment that is sure to make him an instant sensation; in turn producing a very formidable 2016 Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate.