When it comes to the NFL offseason, the excitement tends to come in spurts. There’s the end of the old league year and the beginning of the new that opens free agency. There is the occasional trade between teams, and then the NFL draft.
Following the draft, there will really be anything new that could impact a season unless someone suffers a season-ending injury during offseason workouts. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.
But rather than wait for the draft to post projected win totals for the 2019 season, a couple of sportsbooks already have. Some of the totals are bound to change depending on how teams draft. But that just means gamblers can take advantage of certain projections now—before they go up.
For example, take the projected win total BetOnline.ag has posted for the Dallas Cowboys:
- Regular Season Wins, Dallas Cowboys
o Over 8 ½ wins -120
o Under 8 ½ wins +100
Just 8 ½ games? Really? Oddsmakers know that the Cowboys have won more than that in each of the last three years (13, nine, and ten), right? Of course, they do. Oddsmakers have an extensive, intricate, and detailed process by which they calculate win totals.
So, while seemingly low, you have to think that they know something.
But, at the same time, they could simply be wrong, too. However, before we dismiss the projections as rubbish and bet the farm on the over, let’s take a look at who the Cowboys are going to play in 2019. Dates and times are not set yet, but we do know who they will play:
- Home: NY Giants, Philadelphia, Washington, Green Bay, Minnesota, Buffalo, Miami, LA Rams
- Road: NY Giants, Philadelphia, Washington, NY Jets, New England, Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans
Both games against the Giants and Redskins can probably be considered wins. The Giants have been a dumpster fire for a few years now and look to be an even bigger one in ’19. Whether it is Case Keenum or Colt McCoy at quarterback for the Redskins, Dallas should take both of those as well.
Miami, Detroit, and Buffalo will not be pushovers, but they are not expected to be very good in ’19 either. That gives them seven wins with games remaining against the Eagles (twice), the Packers, Vikings, Rams, Jets, Patriots, Bears, and Saints.
The Rams and Patriots can probably go ahead and go in the ‘loss’ column as can one game against the Eagles (which means the other is a win giving the Cowboys eight). A case could be made for the Cowboys to beat the Vikings, Bears, Packers, Jets, and Saints.
They probably will not win all five. But they will not lose all five, either.
Realistically, the Cowboys will go 2-3 or 3-2 against those five giving them a record of 10-6 or 11-5.
Dallas hasn’t really done anything to get markedly better in the offseason other than getting rid of offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. Fans will hope that means the offense will be better this season. As long as the defense remains healthy, it should be as good if not better in ’19 as well.
So, 8 ½ wins? Take the over before that number jumps up to 9 ½ or ten after the draft.