By Mark Franco

When looking at season win totals each year I tend to offer more under than over selections. In 2012 I hit four out of my five NFL season win totals for a very nice profit. Here is a look at my top three selections with a short explanation as to what I see playing out for the following teams.


Jets under 4.5 (-200)  

This is not a good team. Josh McCown hasn't been able to stay healthy when he does start and the options behind him are Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg, The schedule starts with two games on the road (at Buffalo and at Oakland) and also features the AFC West and the NFC South. The Jets close with the Broncos and Saints on the road, the Chargers at home and the Patriots on the road. The Jets won't win four games this season, let alone five. This is a completely talentless team for the most part. The juice is big, but lay it and cash.

Buccaneers over 8.5 (-130)  

I’m all-in on the Jameis Winston breakout season and the defense played a lot better in the second half of the season. If that continues, Tampa Bay should be in the playoff race all season. Love the addition of DeSean Jackson, who gives Jameis Winson another weapon.

Vikings over 8.5 (+100)  

The final undefeated team from 2016 comes in with lower expectations after falling apart down the stretch, but a hot start wouldn't be surprising for the Vikings this year again. Sam Bradford should improve in his second season in this offense, especially with an actual offseason to prepare. Any Mike Zimmer defense is going to be dangerous, but this unit remains absolutely loaded.


By Mark Franco

When looking at season win totals each year I tend to offer more under than over selections. In 2012 I hit four out of my five NFL season win totals for a very nice profit. Here is a look at my top three selections with a short explanation as to what I see playing out for the following teams.


Lions under 7 (-105 at Stations)  

Losing your best player to early retirement in Wide receiver Calvin Johnson does not bode well for a team that had its problems on offense the last couple of years. The Lions offense ranked 20th last season and their running game was almost not existence ranking dead last in the league. Third-down conversion percentage for the Lions offense was just 37% in the NFL a year ago. The Lions have a tough road schedule with games at the Colts, Packers, Texans, Vikings, Saints, Giants and Cowboys. I don’t see them getting to 7 wins on the season.

Texans over 8 ½ (-105 at South Point)  

The new look Houston Texans have added pieces on offense starting with Quarterback Brock Osweiler. The Texans drafted Wide receiver Will Fuller, Center Nick Martin, Wide receiver Braxton Miller and Running back Tyler Ervin with their first four picks and I expect all of them to have an impact on the offense. The Texans road schedule is manageable with their only tough games being at New England without Tom Brady in week three, at the Vikings, at the Broncos and at the Packers. Another nine win season is reasonable for Houston.

Raiders over 8 ½ (- 115 at South Point)  

The Silver and Black could be back after a seven win season in 2015. I see no reason why they can’t at least get two more wins this year. Head Coach Jack Del Rio has made a big impact on this team and with the weapons they have on offense I’m looking for the Raiders to even have a shot at the playoffs. They have very winnable out of division road games at the Titans, Ravens, Jaguars, and Bucs. Nine wins seems attainable.



WIN: Pittsburgh Steelers – Under 10 (-120)

The Steelers have been a force in the AFC but I see them slipping a bit this season. Big Ben took a beating all of last year and now will have to deal with new offensive coordinator Todd Haley and my thinking is it will take some time for that offense to gel. They are so weak on the offensive line they used their first two draft picks on a guard and tackle and those young kids will need time getting to know the NFL and successfully protect Big Ben. They have tough road games outside of their division in Denver, Oakland, Tennessee, NY Giants and the Dallas Cowboys.

WIN: Chicago Bears – Over 9 (-130)

The Bears would have been a playoff team last year if not for the season ending injuries of QB Jay Cutler and RB Matt Forte which lead to a five game losing streak. The Bears brought WR Brandon Marshall to town from Miami and he will have a very productive year reuniting with Cutler from their days in Denver. They drafted a pass-rushing machine in Shea McClellin out of Boise State and a speedy WR from South Carolina in Alshon Jeffrey. The Bears have a favorable schedule and could beat out the Packers for the NFC North Title.

WIN: Atlanta Falcons – Over 9 (-140)

The Falcons made it to the playoffs for back to back season for the first time in franchise history last year. With the weapons they have the Atlanta offense will be one of the best in football and they have added offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter the former head coach of Arizona State and Pat Hill from Fresno State as their offensive line coach. Even more important is the hiring of top notch defensive coordinator Mike Nolan who will no doubt make improvements with the Falcons defense. They also picked up CB Asante Samuel who solidifies their secondary.

WIN: St. Louis Rams – Over 6 (-120)

Jeff Fisher taking over this Rams franchise will do wonders for a club that has simply been one of the worst in the league the last several seasons. He will put his stamp on the defense and bring this team to the next level. In the weak NFC West the Rams will be a scrappy team with a solid running game and should improve in the passing game with QB Sam Bradford starting his third season at the controls. The Rams were busy in the draft getting a total of 10 players after making some very smart trades. While this team is still a few years away from making the playoffs I see them improving enough to win at least six games if not seven games.

LOSS: San Diego Chargers – Over 9 (+100)

Every year we see teams that have miss the playoffs as the Chargers have done the last two seasons make a run at the Super Bowl. In the weak AFC West I see the Chargers winning the division as they are the better team than the Broncos even with QB Payton Manning at the helm. They used the draft to upgrade their defense with their top three picks all being on the defensive side of the football. While I am not a big Norv Turner fan this team has enough weapons behind QB Phillip River to make a serious run in the AFC. I like the Chargers to beat the Raiders on opening weekend and that will propel them to get 10 or more wins on the season.


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