Will it be time for new champions or do the Patriots take the division once again?
It's time to take a look at the NFL win totals as we approach the 2020 season. It's going to be an interesting year, and my biggest piece of advice when it comes to these totals is you need to consider what happens if the biggest star gets COVID-19.
If you still think the team will be good, then go for it, but if you think it could hinder things, then either reduce your wager or skip it. You also need to consider that these wagers need 16 games to be played in order to be official, so if any team skips a week due to an outbreak, then you will get your money back.
We'll start with the AFC East, where everyone thought that the Bills were finally going to dethrone the Patriots, but then New England picked up Cam Newton. Now, the Pats have had eight players opt out including Dont'a Hightower, which is a huge loss on defense. Buffalo's D is pretty good, while Miami and New York hope to catch lightning in a bottle and strive for .500.
(Numbers courtesy of the Westgate's Superbook)
Over 9 Wins -120... Under 9 Wins EVEN
Offense: It's time to see if Josh Allen can take the next step after last year's playoff appearance. The issue in 2019 was a lack of weapons so Buffalo upgraded and traded a lot for Stefon Diggs from Minnesota. He joins John Brown and Cole Beasley at wide receiver. The running back committee added Utah's Zack Moss who figures to see work alongside Devin Singletary. The offensive line should be pretty strong too.
Defense: This side of the ball was not the issue, and, in some respects, they got a little stronger. Mario Addison is a big addition to the pass rush with Jerry Hughes. We'll see if Iowa's A.J. Epensesa can add anything after getting drafted this year. Josh Norman joins the secondary after showing his age a little at times in Washington. Even if he can return to a shell of his old self, that will help big time. DL Star Lotulelei and CB E.J. Gaines have both opted out.
Schedule Note: The Bills could come out flat in Week 15 at Denver. It's the only non-primetime game in a four-week stretch against the Niners, Steelers, and Patriots.
Prediction: Push. I see about nine wins. The schedule lines up nicely in some places, but the year is all about Allen, who must take the next step.
Over 6 Wins -130... Under 6 Wins -110
Defense: This team spent a lot of money this offseason to bring more experience to this unit. It all starts in the backfield with Matt Breida and Jordan Howard lending some credibility to a group that clearly needed it. The offensive line in front of them got an upgrade with an improved Ereck Flowers. Miami also drafted multiple offensive linemen to see if they can hit on any of them. Ryan Fitzpatrick figures to get the start with Tua Tagovailoa backing him up. I'm guessing the team would love for the Alabama signal-caller to sit on the bench all year, but who knows.
Defense: Miami will have one of the best pairings at cornerback with former Cowboy Byron Jones manning the side opposite Xavien Howard. Those two made the pick of Noah Igbinoghene a bit of a headscratcher since they had bigger needs. Other newcomers are Shaq Lawson from Buffalo up front as well as Elandon Roberts and Kyle Van Noy who each came over from New England. There should be some improvement here if everyone can jell.
Schedule Note: They play the Jets twice in a row in Weeks 10 and 12 with a bye sandwiched in between.
Prediction: Great number once again. I've got five wins at home plus one in Jacksonville for this improved bunch.
Over 9 Wins -135... Under 9 Wins +115
Offense: Newton could be the biggest free-agent acquisition in football if things work out for him in Foxboro. He's got big shoes to fill with Tom Brady heading to Tampa. The skill position guys leave a lot to be desired, though. It's the usual cast at running back, while the wide receivers will once again be led by Julian Edelman. The tight ends are highly underwhelming as a unit, and they hope to hit it big with one of their draft picks. New England has been hit hard by opt outs. On offense alone, RB Brandon Bolden, FB Danny Vitale, WR Marqise Lee, TE Matt LaCosse, and OLs Marcus Cannon and Najee Toran have decided to not play this season.
Defense: The defense will keep this team in a lot of tight games because of a stout secondary led by reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore and the McCourty twins. The linebackers added Brandon Copeland from the Jets and Shilique Calhoun from Las Vegas. Meanwhile, there are a lot of new pieces up front along the defensive line. If there's a staff, though, that I feel like can make it work, it would be New England's. Making up for the absence of LB Dont'a Hightower and S Patrick Chung, who have both opted out, won't be easy.
Schedule Note: New England has back-to-back games in Los Angeles against the Chargers and Rams in Weeks 13 and 14. The Week 15 game in Miami could be a banana peel after the Pats spend those two weeks on the West Coast.
Prediction: I'm going with the under here. The addition of Newton is big, but there are a lot of question marks that need to be answered, and the wave of opt outs won't help.
Over 7 Wins +110... Under 7 Wins -130
Offense: The weapons are there for some success, and the offensive line got a massive upgrade between the drafting of Mekhi Becton and the free agents they signed. All this is hopefully going to give Sam Darnold time in the pocket and Le'Veon Bell holes to run through. Bell had a little bit of a disappointing year last year, but so did this whole offense. They replaced Robby Anderson with Breshad Perriman, who had a resurgence with Tampa Bay last year. Denzel Mims brings a nice skill set at WR too.
Defense: I had a little bit of optimism for this side of the ball until they traded Jamal Adams and then C.J. Moseley opted out for a second body blow. The safety the Jets got in return — Bradley McDougald — is no slouch, but he won't make the same impact. Adams was the backbone of the secondary. There's some potential splashed throughout the front seven, but with Mosley no longer in the mix, will this group realize it given all of the question marks? I think it could be a rough year for Gang Green on defense.
Schedule Note: Week 10 in Miami could be a problem because it comes right after a home "Monday Night Football" game against the Patriots and before a bye week.
Prediction: I see 7 wins on the dot, with a lean to the under. I have them beating New England and Buffalo at home, so if you think they lose those two, then you love the under.
— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.