It didn’t always look like it was going to happen over the last few months. But with the Chiefs and Texans playing Thursday night, it is safe to say that the NFL season is here. Hopefully, the NFL’s coronavirus protocols work, and we will crown a new Super Bowl champion in a few months.
But for many teams, Super Bowl glory is not realistically in the cards. Their goal may be just to be better than they were last year, and when they can, do better than the other guy. If that sounds like something you want to bet on, BetRivers.com is offering odds on few head-to-head win total competitions:
- Chicago Bears -121
- Denver Broncos +100
Despite their struggles at quarterback with Mitchell Trubisky, the Bears still finished the season with an 8-8 record. Once the Broncos inserted Drew Lock into the lineup, they went 4-1, but overall, they finished 7-9.
Between the two, the Broncos look a lot better on offense than the Bears do. Their defense may not be as good as Chicago’s, but the offense will be good enough to make sure Denver wins more than the Bears.
- LA Rams -155
- LA Chargers +127
This one is easy. The Rams are going to have one of the better defenses in the NFL this season. While the offense may have a hard time running the ball, the passing game should be good enough to put the Rams in a position to win quite a few games.
But the outlook is not so good for the Chargers. Tyrod Taylor may be a little more efficient than Philip Rivers was last year, but it remains to be seen if he can generate any more offense than Rivers did. Defensively, they are going to be strong up front. But they are going to have a hard time replacing Derwin James in the secondary.
On the strength of the offense alone, take the Rams.
- Pittsburgh Steelers -106
- Philadelphia Eagles -117
Pittsburgh was an 8-8 team last season despite losing Ben Roethlisberger early in the year and making do with Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges. With Big Ben back behind center, the offense should be a lot better. If the defense doesn’t take a step backward, the Steelers could win quite a few games.
If the Eagles are going to win more than the Steelers, they can’t follow their usual pattern—struggle early but then make a charge down the stretch. But with all the injuries during camp alone, it doesn’t look good for the Eagles. They need to get off to a strong start, and it doesn’t look like they can.
Take the Steelers.
- Indianapolis Colts -143
- Buffalo Bills +118
Last year, the Colts were a 7-9 team in large part due to inconsistencies on offense. But most of those issues should go away with Philip Rivers behind center. With their offensive line and running game leading the way, the Colts will be a much better team than they were last season.
It is hard to say that about the Bills. Last season, they were a team that led with their defense and did enough on offense to win ten games. Adding Stefon Diggs should help, but only if Josh Allen can connect with him.
While they may be the best team in the AFC East this year, the Bills are not going to win ten games again—but the Colts will. Take Indianapolis.