18 August 2007

NFL Previews: AFC East

Time to try my hand at predicting the outcome of the upcoming football season. Last year I made picks on the win totals for sixteen teams and went 7–9. I also picked the Colts (along with a few others) as a decent bet to win the Super Bowl and said the odds on the Eagles taking the NFCE looked worth a wager. I also picked Tampa as a surprise sleeper team, so what you read below is probably mostly crap. Enjoy!

All the numbers, by the way, are from Sportsbook.com. Not that I endorse gambling, mind you. Don't do it, it's terrible. And if you do, let me know, because get a referral bonus if you sign up there.

Boston Patriots

Total wins: 111/2
I'm not buying into this one. Buying up stars didn't work for the Redskins, either. This feels like a ten-win team. I think they'll split with NYJ and drop one more to either Buf or Mia; that's four in the division. Tough break in their AFCN schedule: they get Bal and Cin on the road. If they drop one of those and win the two home games that's three. Their NFCE games are the opposite: they get the two tough ones (Phi, Was) at home, but I think one of those two finds a way to beat them. Same with @Dal and @NYG, giving them two. And I think they'll beat SD at home and lose @Ind, bringing the total to ten. Not a popular call, I'm sure, but I'm making it: under.

Division champ: 1–6
Easily. By default. Lame odds, though, so skip it.

SB champ: 5–2
I just don't see it this year. Even with Thomas the LBs are still old, I'm not sure about Maroney as a feature back, abd I can't imagine Moss making it through a whole year without pissing off half the team. They'll make the playoffs, and maybe even win a game, but I just can't see them winning it all this year.

Week one: –6 @NYJ
I think they'll open strong, though, and the Jets look pretty shaky in the preseason. Pats.

Full disclosure: I grew up outside Boston and my mom's family's all from there. But there's no bias here, I'm a Jets fan for God's sake.

Buffalo Bills

Total wins: 6
This team won seven games last year and should improve. I'm thinkin' 8–8. Say they take three in the division, either they split everybody or sweep Mia and lose two to NE; that's three. They get Cin and Bal at home, I'll give 'em one of those, plus @Cle makes two. Drawing @Was and @Phi in the NFCE sucks, but at least they get NYG at home late in the season when the Giants are out of the playoffs and hating Coughlin; should be a gimme, that's one. Can't see 'em beating Den, but @Jac's winnable, there's another, that's seven. Okay, so not improved, maybe. Still, that's more than six: over.

Division champ: 12–1
Stranger things've happened, but I doubt it.

SB champ: 100–1
Three-digit odds are so tempting, aren't they? A hundred times twenty bucks, that's like... still not worth it.

Week one: +4 vDen
I could see them losing a heartbreaker by a field goal here, so they could definitely cover. But I can't see betting on this one.

Full disclosure: My buddy D—'s a Bills fan. He died a thousand deaths in the early 90s. Not literally. That was before I knew him.

Miami Dolphins

Total wins: 7
More than Buf? Seriously? Old defense, old QB, questionable receivers, competitive division. Oh, and one of their home games is in London. Sorry, guys. I'll give 'em two in the division, and that's charitable. Say they split Buf and take one from either NYJ or NE. They could pick up a road win @Pit or @Cle, but they get Bal and Cin at home late in the season when they'll be out of it and those two should be fighting for playoff spots. They could beat Dal or NYG. Hell, maybe both. Oak and @Hou suck, too, so let's give 'em a split. That's six, and I'm being nice. Under.

Division champ: 11–1
I still can't figure out why their odds are better than Buf's in all these categories.

SB champ: 55–1
Hell no.

Week one: +3 @Was
I think Was open the season by shellacking these poor guys. Skins, and I think that's one of the best bets for week one.

Full disclosure: Fuck the Dolphins. I don't know anybody that likes this team.

New York Jets

Total wins: 8
Last season was a nice surprise and terrific fun, but I think they played over their heads all season. Time for a market correction. I think they're bound for the middle of the pack. I'll give 'em four in the division: split with NE, sweep either Buf or Mia but probably not both. AFCN? Maybe two. They get Cle at home late, which is a treat, but @Cin and @Bal hurts. Maybe they'll take one of those and lose to Pit. They could split Phi and Was at home, split @Dal and @NYG. They close out the season with @TN and KC, both of which I think might be on a downward slide late in the season, so they could win ten, but I doubt it. A split there gives them nine, and not a very confident nine. I think eight is about right. Don't bet this one.

Division champ: 5–1
I think they have the best shot to take out NE but I don't think they're ready yet. Can we bet on the 2008 season? I think they'll win the AFCE next year. Seriously, write it down, y'heard it here first.

SB champ: 40–1
A guy can dream, can't he?

Week one: +6 vNE
I have not changed my mind since writing what I wrote above. NE's winning this by two touchdowns. I can't wait to hear Joe Beningo the next day.

Full disclosure: I love the Jets very dearly, more than any other team in any other sport. I am very biased. Ten years of this shit has taught me to expect disappointment at all times.

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