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Free Picks: Two NFL Regular Season Win Total LOCKS
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Free Picks: Two NFL Regular Season Win Total LOCKS

If you’re a futures player and enjoy over/under win totals for the NFL, there are 2 totals that I love. I know playing the long game doesn’t seem like they are worth the squeeze, but not having to worry about backdoor covers makes these worth the play.

Las Vegas Raiders – Under 7 (-110)

Sorry Raider Nation. If it weren’t for the Texans this year, I would argue they could have the worst record in the league (+1600.)  Honestly, that alone could be worth the squeeze for a season long bet, but that’s a different discussion. The Raiders finished 8-8 last year and their roster hasn’t gotten better from last year.

Let’s address the obvious. Their defense actually declined from 2019 to 2020. They allowed almost 4 more points per game in 2020 than they did in 2019. Yannick Ngakoue is a nice addition, but he hasn’t been the same since he left Jacksonville with other playmakers around him. With no other key additions and minimal contributions from rookies like Trevon Moehrig, you can’t really depend on that defense to get crucial stops. They gave up 30 ppg a game last year, and we should expect similar production this year.

The most important group on any football team is the offensive line. This position group has gotten worse from last year. They traded Trent Brown to New England. They gave Denzelle Good a raise and re-signed Richie Incognito after initially releasing him. Starting center and guard are no longer with the team. The group will rank in the bottom fourth as a collective unit this year. I would be wary of drafting Josh Jacobs earlier than the 4th or 5th round in fantasy this year.

Lastly, we’ve seen the Derek Carr trajectory with other QBs in the past. 30 year-old average quarterback nearing the end of a contract. There is no reason to expect an improved Carr from last year. He’s relatively young compared to other quarterbacks, but he’s not mobile and his OL isn’t good as stated.  He has limited weapons aside from Waller, and it’s going to be difficult to move the ball on the ground.  Double digit interceptions this year is very possible. They averaged less points scored per game than they allowed last year, which usually doesn’t result in a .500 record. I have them finishing the season at 4-13.

Kansas City Chiefs – Over 12.5 (+120)

How is this plus money?! I understand the sentiment that the Super Bowl loser usually has a hangover the next season, but the Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes. I almost don’t need to say anything else honestly. Patrick Mahomes has 9 total regular season losses in 3 years. 12-5 regular season record would increase his losses by more than 50%. I am a firm believer that wins and losses aren’t a quarterback stat, but it is when we’re talking about TB12, Aaron Rodgers, and Patrick Mahomes.

Whether you are a fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or not, I think we could all admit that the Super Bowl would have been a different game if the offensive line for the Chiefs was healthy. They have rebuffed the O-line, and Mahomes will have plenty of protection this year. 

The Chiefs also benefit from poor competition within their division as highlighted above. I expect the Chargers to be better in Justin Herbert’s second year and take a game from Kansas City, but the Chiefs will finish 5-1 within the division. Patrick Mahomes and company have 4 tough games this year against the Ravens, Titans, Bills, and Packers. Lamar Jackson has proven so far that he can’t win against Mahomes and the Bills and Packers travel to Kansas City. Even if they split those 4 games, that’s only 3 losses total between those 4 tough games and losing 1 game against the Chargers.

Last year was about running it back. This year we’re going to see scorched Earth via Patrick Mahomes. That defense is highly underrated and has proven they can get key stops when needed. With an extra game this year, repeating last year’s win total is very likely.  The Chiefs will finish with a 14-3 record.

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