The NFL is renowned for parity. “Every team has a shot,” they say. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are teams like the Kansas City Chiefs (+275), which NFL odds say will have the best regular-season record, and teams like the Houston Texans (+240), which will be the worst.
But it doesn’t always go as expected. There are plenty of contenders on both sides that can give Kansas City and Houston a push for the best and worst records, respectively.
Who Could Have More Wins Than Kansas City?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+400)
The Buccaneers started slow last season going 7-5 in their first 12 games. But once the offense started to gel, Tom Brady and the Bucs were unbeatable as they won eight straight games including the Super Bowl.
This season, the Buccaneers bring back most of their key players and get the fourth-easiest schedule with games against the two East divisions and a weakened New Orleans. Tampa is a solid online bet to beat their 11.5 wins projection and finish with the best record.
Buffalo Bills (+800)
Buffalo Bills finished tied for the second-best record last season with a 13-3 record. But we could see regression as the division improved.
Still, the Bills play a beatable division along with the two South divisions. And other than the Chiefs in Week 5 and the Buccaneers in Week 16, the Bills should see themselves as the favorites in every game.
Dallas Cowboys (+2800)
As far as finding a solid underdog to emerge on top, look no further than the Cowboys. “America’s Team” has the second-easiest schedule, plays in the weakest division, and will have a rejuvenated Dak Prescott back and more.
Dallas Cowboys hasn’t won more than 10 games in any of its last three seasons, but so many things have gone wrong including injuries. But if things break right for Dallas like it did in 2017, winning a dozen games shouldn’t be out of the question.
Tennessee Titans (+3300)
The Tennessee Titans have always been a sexy underdog pick of seasons past but they may finally do it this season. Tennessee quickly addressed the passing game on both sides of the ball. Adding All-Pro receiver Julio Jones will raise the ceiling of their passing attack.
On defense, the Titans moved to sign several players onto the defensive line. If these upgrades pan out, Tennessee could further keep improving on its win totals and even emerge on top of the AFC.
Who Could Have Fewer Wins Than Houston?
Detroit Lions (+400)
It took a monumental cluster you-know-what to Houston to bump Detroit Lions up to 4-1 odds to win the fewest games in the NFL. But these are still the Lions we’re talking about, a franchise that perennially finds ways to lose games. And the signing of Dan Campbell couldn’t have been a more fitting microcosm to this team.
We admire Campbell’s enthusiasm, but the Lions will be terrible and the under 5.5 wins is already getting steamed in the sportsbook. Jared Goff is a downgrade from Stafford and that will cost them at least two wins. It’ll be a feat if they win more than five games this season.
New York Jets (+900)
The New York Jets had a legitimate shot at gaining the first overall pick to acquire a generational quarterback like Trevor Lawrence. But they blew that and are settling with Zach Wilson, who could be the next coming of Joe Montana or Aaron Rodgers.
Be that as it may, the Jets are a rebuilding franchise and have plenty of moving parts. This team will likely be “bad before they’re good.” The Jets are fortunate to have a manageable schedule, but nobody would bat an eyelash if they bottomed out and finished last.
Cincinnati Bengals (+1000)
As far as teams that could fall apart early, the “Bungles” are near the top of the list. The team elected to reunite Joe Burrow with his wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase instead of bolstering the offensive line with Penei Sewell.
The team drafted and signed reinforcements to the line. But if it fails to once again protect Burrow, who already has a peg leg, it’s straight to the bottom for them yet again.
Philadelphia Eagles (+1200)
The Philadelphia Eagles have plenty going for them this season: they have the easiest schedule and play in a sub-par division. But who’s their quarterback? If the team is truly invested in Jalen Hurts, it wouldn’t have signed Joe Flacco.
And even if the offense works, the Eagles still have a porous defense to deal with. Not to mention the Cowboys, Redskins, and Giants have all improved. While they’re still beatable, they are all a tier above Philadelphia.