The Most Underrated NFL Teams

We typically do not like to bet on Over/Under total wins for the NFL because we suspect it may cloud our judgement when evaluating who to take on a week to week basis. However, we have found that there is some value in analyzing the Vegas numbers versus our internal numbers. As our faithful subscribers, the Prolievers, are well aware, we love going against public sentiment.  These win totals aren’t solely rooted in the analytics of how a team will perform, but also have a bias toward what the global gambling market is feeling. This is similar to the way the lines on any given Sunday reflect a public bias. Also, it is hard not to think about football 24/7 when the season is so close we can already taste the Bud Lights and chicken wings.  So without further ado, here are our most underrated NFL teams for 2019.

We Get No Respect

It may come as no surprise that the teams we see as over-performing against the public view haven’t exactly been world beaters as of late. These are the teams that are often evaluated by the guy who thinks he’s an expert sitting next to you at the bar as “oh, (insert any team that isn’t the Patriots or his favorite team), they stink”.  By the way, the Patriots are still cheaters in his view as well.  But I digress…

 

3rd Most Underrated Team
Arizona Cardinals
2018 Record: 3-13
2019 O/U Win Total: 5
PM 2019 Win Projection: 6

 

No one is arguing that the Cards are going to win the Super Bowl in 2019, but we certainly do not see a repeat of 3 wins. Top draft pick/Heisman Trophy winner, QB Kyler Murray is now in town ready to start turning things around. New head coach Kliff Kingsbury is also in town and that means one thing; the Cards will be slanging it.  The use of a hurry up / spread offense, with quick throws to the seams should give Murray plenty of opportunity to show off his strong arm and elite decision making skills. The Cards were at or near the bottom in just about every offensive category. We expect some reversion to the mean and a bounce back season from David Johnson.  If they can squeak out a win or 2 without Patrick Peterson, they should have some opportunities to reach that 6 or 7 win mark.

 

2nd Most Underrated Team
New York Giants
2018 Record: 5-11
2019 O/U Win Total: 6
PM 2019 Win Projection: 7

 

We’re not going to sugarcoat it, the Giants are not a very good football team, however, they are not as bad as everyone assumes. Our numbers had them as essentially the most average NFL team in 2018 despite the fact that they only won 5 games. They took a lot of tough losses, in fact, they were 4-8 in games decided by one score. Throw in the fact that we expect Saquon Barkley to somehow improve on his Pro Bowl rookie season and you probably have a slightly below average NFL team, which probably amounts to 7 or 8 wins, especially if the ball bounces their way. Cross-conference games against the AFC East should help as well.

 

Most Underrated Team
Detroit Lions
2018 Record: 6-10
2019 O/U Win Total: 6.5
PM 2019 Win Projection: 8

 

The Lions have the most value on either end of the spectrum (Over and Under Totals Bets). Last year was a major transition with Matt Patricia taking over as head coach and beginning to steer the ship in his direction. Now that he’s got his guys in place, we have no doubt that there will be improvement, that’s why the 6.5 O/U seems ridiculous to us. A stronger focus on the run game with Kerryon Johnson and some exciting opportunities for two TE sets with newcomers Jesse James and TJ Hockenson should help to keep Stafford upright and healthy throughout the season. A downright scary defensive line anchored by Trey Flowers and Snacks Harrison will help slow down opponents’ run game as well as the secondary by getting pressure with minimal rushers and blitz packages. The fact of the matter is we see the rest of the NFC North taking a step back and the Lions should be in contention for the division title, let alone just winning 7 games.


Leave a comment