NFL junkies have been living on scraps since Super Bowl 52. Thankfully, the league released its 2018 schedule for fans and bettors to dissect. It’s early, and we still don’t know if Tom Brady (pictured above) will play, where Dez Bryant will land or which players will be drafted.
All of that is true, but based on current roster construction and by making a few assumptions (TB12 will play), we simulated the 2018 NFL season 10,000 times using the Bet Labs model that adjusts player and team statistics for strength of schedule. After crunching the numbers, here are the projected 2018 regular-season records for every team:
The New England Patriots have the highest projected win total at 11.8 games. The Super Bowl runner-up has won 12 or more games in eight straight years. Of course, all of that changes if Brady hangs up his cleats (+500 to retire).
The defending champion Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Minnesota Vikings, Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints are the other teams with double-digit win total projections. Each of these squads, except the Texans, won 10 or more games in 2017.
It is a quarterback-driven league, and many of the league’s worst teams have major question marks at the position. The Cleveland Browns have two chances to find a franchise quarterback in the first round of the draft, but how likely is that to happen? The Miami Dolphins will start either Ryan Tannehill, who is coming off back-to-back ACL injuries, or Brock Osweiler -– yikes!
Then there is Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. The last time Luck played all 16 games, the Colts notched 11 wins and won the AFC South in 2014. But the star quarterback has missed 26 games over the last three seasons. In our simulations we have Luck on the sideline. If and when he hits the field we will update.
Based on these projected win totals, here are the most likely playoff teams:
The Titans, Bills and Panthers fall out from last season, replaced by the Texans, Chargers and Packers.
The oddsmakers will release win totals for each team after the draft is over. Once the draft is complete, we will update our simulations and compare them to Vegas lines to pinpoint the best win total value bets. Check back in a week!