2020 NFL schedule: 5 team win totals to bet
On Thursday, the NFL released all 32 team schedules for the 2020 season. Now that we know exactly when each game will be played, we can better determine where teams might slip.
Let's look at five of the most intriguing franchises in 2020 and predict their win totals.
Kansas City Chiefs, Over/Under win total: 11.5
Schedule (bold font indicates home game): Texans, Chargers, Ravens, Patriots, Raiders, Bills, Broncos, Jets, Panthers, BYE WEEK, Raiders, Bucs, Broncos, Dolphins, Saints, Falcons, Chargers
The reigning Super Bowl champions lost four games last season, all while Patrick Mahomes was either sidelined or playing at less than 100% because of injury. If Mahomes is fully healthy in 2020, it’ll be difficult to find an opponent who can match up against him.
The first true test is a road game at Baltimore in Week 3 on Monday Night Football. The Chiefs handed Lamar Jackson and company one of the Ravens’ only two regular-season losses in the same week last season, but the tables may turn inside M&T Bank Stadium.
Deshaun Watson vs. Patrick Mahomes week 1— Rob Kimbell (@RobKSports) May 8, 2020
Deshaun Watson vs. Lamar Jackson week 2
Patrick Mahomes vs. Lamar Jackson week 3
A trip to Buffalo to confront its top five defense could present a challenge in Week 6. The Saints in New Orleans in Week 15 is another marquee matchup to look out for, in what could be Drew Brees’ final season.
The Chiefs’ high-octane offense of last year is fully intact, plus they added running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the 2020 draft. The team may fall once or twice, but don’t expect many losses this season.
San Francisco 49ers, Over/Under win total: 10.5
Schedule (bold font indicates home game): Cardinals, Jets, Giants, Eagles, Dolphins, Rams, Patriots, Seahawks, Packers, Saints, BYE WEEK, Rams, Bills, Redskins, Cowboys, Cardinals, Seahawks
The 2019 Super Bowl runner-up landed arguably the toughest schedule of any NFC team in 2020. To kick off the season, the 49ers host a burgeoning Cardinals team, whose offense got a boost with DeAndre Hopkins joining the unit. The Rams might be the weakest opponent in the NFC West this year, but even so, they should still give the Niners at least one hard-fought battle.
Jimmy Garoppolo and Bill Belichick meet face-to-face in Week 7 at Gillette. The Niners should best the Tom Brady-less Pats, but the next game in Seattle is a toss-up.
In Week 10, the Saints will be eager to repay the 49ers for their 48-46 home loss in Week 14 of last season and should get the job done.
To close out the season, San Francisco takes on Dallas and the Cardinals, both on the road, and welcomes Seattle to Levi’s Stadium. The Niners will be lucky to come out unscathed during that stretch. This team will be battle-tested but slip up enough times to hit the Under.
Baltimore Ravens, Over/Under win total: 11.5
Schedule (bold font indicates home game): Browns, Texans, Chiefs, Redskins, Bengals, Eagles, Steelers, BYE WEEK, Colts, Patriots, Titans, Steelers, Cowboys, Browns, Jaguars, Giants, Bengals
The Ravens piled up a 12-game win streak heading into the 2019 postseason and looked primed for a Super Bowl run, until the upstart Titans played spoiler in the Divisional Round. Jackson, the unanimous MVP in 2019, won't be satisfied with another short-lived playoff appearance.
Fortunately for him, his team drew one of the easier schedules in 2020, which should send the Ravens straight to another postseason berth, especially with the new playoff format. It won't be as simple as it was last year, though, as the AFC North got more competitive in the offseason.
Wow! Ravens have FIVE primetime game in 2020:⁰⁰Mon., Sept 28: Chiefs at Ravens ⁰Sun., Nov. 15: Ravens at Pats— Sarah Ellison (@sgellison) May 7, 2020
Thurs., Nov. 26: Ravens at Steelers⁰Thus. Dec. 3: Cowboys at Ravens⁰Mon., Dec. 14: Ravens at Browns
That’s the Lamar Jackson effect for you.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is back from injury, the Browns loaded up in free agency and hired Vikings coordinator Kevin Stefanski as their head coach, and the Bengals added fresh, young talent.
In 2019, the Ravens led the league in margin of victory (13.7), but opposing defenses have had an entire offseason to figure out Jackson ahead of the 2020 season. The Steelers and Browns are capable of beating the Ravens, at least once. The Chiefs and Cowboys at home, and Eagles and Colts on the road are also dangerous.
The Ravens will lose four but still hit the Over.
New England Patriots, Over/Under win total: 9
Schedule (bold font indicates home game): Dolphins, Seahawks, Raiders, Chiefs, Broncos, BYE WEEK, 49ers, Bills, Jets, Ravens, Texans, Cardinals, Chargers, Rams, Dolphins, Bills, Jets
In the oddest shakeup of the NFL offseason, six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady left New England after two decades with the team to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Now the Bucs are projected to win more games (9.5) than the Patriots, as Belichick is left with a shell of his former dynasty.
The Pats not only lost Brady, but Phillip Dorsett, the third-leading receiver (397 yards, five touchdowns) on the Pats' struggling offense last season. Their top-ranked defense took the greatest hit. Linebacker Jamie Collins and tackle Danny Shelton signed with the Lions, and Elandon Roberts and Kyle Van Noy moved on to Miami.
Let's talk Patriots.— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) May 8, 2020
We know they played a super-easy schedule in 2019.
A "record setting" defense looked much better early in the year because of garbage offenses.
They went 1-2 vs top-10 offenses in 2019.
In 2020, they face FOUR top-10 offenses in their first six games. pic.twitter.com/iD9GOXC9zW
The Pats own the most difficult schedule of 2020 and will likely see another team win the AFC East for the first time since 2008.
Cincinnati Bengals, Over/Under win total: 5.5
Schedule (bold font indicates home game): Chargers, Browns, Eagles, Jaguars, Ravens, Colts, Browns, Titans, BYE WEEK, Steelers, Redskins, Giants, Dolphins, Cowboys, Steelers, Texans, Ravens
The Bengals only have to win three games to improve upon their league-worst record from 2019. In Zac Taylor's second year as head coach, he's ushered in a new group of talent, including LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, Clemson wideout Tee Higgins, former Texans nose tackle D.J. Reader, Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes, and Saints safety Vonn Bell.
And so a mere one week after the draft, No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow is now in line to be the Bengals’ opening-day starter.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 30, 2020
Chances are the Bengals will still fall to the bottom of the AFC North, but they can notch a win against the Browns at home, and can handle the Jaguars in Cincy, as well as the Redskins on the road.
Week 13 could offer a Burrow-Tua Tagovailoa showdown, if Tua takes the starting job in Miami by then. The home game against second-year quarterback Daniel Jones and the Giants in Week 12 is also winnable, as is the road matchup in Houston in Week 16.
Nonetheless, six games is a lot to ask from a team that could only pull off two victories the season before and is now entrusting the offense to a rookie quarterback. Lean toward the Under.