Recently on the Off The Charts podcast, our panel of football experts – Matt Manocherian, Alex Vigderman, Bryce Rossler, and James Weaver – compared the Vegas over-unders on team win totals for what the Sports Info Solutions projection model came up with for each team.
They then drafted from each conference based on how much confidence they had in each projection. In other words, they selected the Vikings No. 1 and the Eagles No. 2 because they were most confident in the Vikings being under their 8.5 win projection and the Eagles being over their 10.5 win projection.
The results of the Draft are below along with highlights from the dialogue and reasoning for each pick.
If you’re interested in listening to the podcast episode, click the link at the top of the article.
|Team||Over/Under (Model)||Team||Over/Under (Model)|
|1. Vikings||8.5 (Under)||9. Panthers||7.5 (Over)|
|2. Eagles||10.5 (Over)||10. 49ers||11.5 (Over)|
|3. Giants||8.5 (Under)||11. Saints||9.5 (Over)|
|4. Lions||9.5 (Over)||12. Rams||6.5 (Under)|
|5. Bears||7.5 (Under)||13. Cardinals||4.5 (Under)|
|6. Buccaneers||6.5 (Under)||14. Commanders||6.5 (Either*)|
|7. Packers||7.5 (Under)||15. Cowboys||9.5 (Over**)|
|8. Falcons||8.5 (Over)||16. Seahawks||8.5 (Avoid***)|
* Panel was split on which to take though model projected “Under”
** Computer model projected “Over” but all panelists disagreed
*** Model projected “Under” but panelists agreed this is a tough team to project
Vikings – Under 8.5 wins (Model = 6 wins)
James: It’s pretty chalky considering what everyone thought of the Vikings at the end of last year and their line reflects the thought that their record last year was somewhat of a fluke. They were 19th in offensive EPA per play and 25th in defensive EPA per play and 11-0 in the regular season in one-score games.
Alex: Their floor is high. Six wins might be on the lower end of their range of outcomes but we’d say that to repeat what they did last year would be within their range of outcomes, but at the very high end.
Eagles – Over 10.5 (Model = 14.5)
Bryce: Our model has them with a win total of 14.5, which is probably a little high but this is a really talented team. Ten and a half seems super low with all the talent on their roster. They’re one of the best teams in the NFL, especially if Jalen Hurts continues on his upward trajectory.
Alex: The 10.5 is a reflection of a team that shows up and looks like a world beater for one season, so I buy the skepticism (of it only being 10.5). There’s a lot of theoretical uncertainty but the organization is pretty stable. It’s hard to think of ways they don’t get there with their roster.
Giants – Under 8.5 (Model = 8)
Alex: Our model has them just under 8 wins. It’s the same story as the Vikings. The Giants were all about running it back. Mostly, this is just a bet against Daniel Jones. He didn’t have the kind of improvement this past year that Jalen Hurts and Josh Allen had. We’re not talking about that level jump that some people might think of. They weren’t lucky the way the Vikings were lucky, but they’re due for the same level regression.
Lions – Over 9.5 (Model = 13)
Matt: The model has them for 13 wins, which I’m trying to wrap my head around, but the over under set at 9.5 and I like the over.
Bryce: I think that’s a very risky proposition. This isn’t a situation like the 49ers, where basically every spot on the roster is better than positional average, except quarterback. Jared Goff is probably a little bit better than a Brock Purdy, but we’ve done this song and dance before.
Alex: I think Bryce is arguing that Jared Goff has within his range of outcomes to be good enough to lead a double-digit win team. But it might not be something that he would choose as his expectation.
Bryce: Yeah, I also think within that range of outcomes, he could be a complete dumpster fire.
Bears – Under 7.5 (Model = 5.5)
Matt: Their line is 7.5. That seems unbelievably high to me. Our model has them at 5.5. That sounds more accurate. Another easy pick.
Alex: You’re out on Justin Fields, huh?
Matt: I didn’t say that. I’m out on his team. I’m not out on him.
James: Did this team do anything in the offseason to get better? Yeah, they got a DJ Moore, but I don’t know defensively. This team still isn’t great. I think it’s asking a lot for a four-win bump from what they were last year.
Buccaneers – Under 6.5 (Model = 4.5)
Alex: The division is not awesome, but I’m a little higher on the other teams in the NFC South. I think there’s a pretty high probability that the Bucs are the worst team in that division, and there’s enough range of outcomes for the other teams in the NFC South where a couple of them are actually kind of good that I think that’ll contribute a little bit. But it’s mostly just, like, the quarterback situation drops off a cliff and everybody else is just kind of a year older.
Packers – Under 7.5 (Model = 5.5)
Bryce: Rodgers is obviously gone, but he’s so far gone. As great as he was, he was so far gone last year and we have no idea what Jordan Love is.
The defense is weird because they have some really talented players at some really key positions, like Jaire Alexander and Rashawn Gary, but there’s a lot of holes in that defense in general. (They were) an eight-win team last year with Rodgers, and things don’t be seem to be getting better there.
James: I think this is a team where you can absolutely look alt win totals. If you think that the drop off is a lot, then you can take an under 4.5, under 5.5 at a better number. If you think Love can take off, then bet higher than 9 wins. I think the extreme outcomes for this team are the better value.
Falcons – Over 8.5 (Model = 9.5)
James: You have no idea what Desmond Ritter is. Defensively, though, this team’s putting some things together…. I kind of like the upside with this team, the division’s in flux, like the whole NFC is. Theme of the day.
Matt: My concern is the defense. I think the defense is trash. I have concerns about their strength being at safety. I don’t really know how you build a defense that way. I think that they have weaknesses at corner, in pass rush, and in run defense. So it’s hard to say that I find them to be very strong in defense in any meaningful regard.
Panthers – Over 7.5 (Model = 9.5)
James: I like the coaching staff that the Panthers brought in with Frank Reich and Josh McCown, and Ejiro Evero is a really good get…. I think bringing him in with having guys like Brian Burns and Jaycee Horn coming back from injury, this Panthers defense – last year 20th in EPA per play on defense – it’s not great, but I think they’re certainly upside there with the new scheme that Evero brings in.
Now obviously it’s not one of those rookie quarterback situations where you frankly just don’t know. But I think there’s a lot of good things in place that the Panthers could potentially get over this win total, especially with that division that they’re in.
Alex: I wish I liked their offense better. I think trading out DJ Moore for Adam Thielen is not inspiring a lot of confidence.
Bryce: I absolutely hate it. I’m not a believer in Bryce Young at all.
49ers – Over 11.5 (Model = 12)
Bryce: I don’t like betting on bad and or inconsistent quarterbacks, and the 49ers, I think, don’t even have their quarterback situation figured out this year, but that team is so talented. The defense is really, really good. Their offensive skill positions are really good.
They won 13 games last year, Brock Purdy starting in five of them. I’m not sure how much the quarterback situation even matters at this point. With Kyle Shanahan, plus the division is not very good. I’ll take it over 11.5, but I don’t think it’s a slam dunk.
Saints – Over 9.5 (Model = 10.5)
Alex: Again, the NFC South has a lot of uncertainty…. I feel probably the best about them in the division.
This is another team where I don’t expect them to win 12 games, but I think that they have decent quarterback play and pretty good skill position players.
I’m responsible for Total Points, and Total Points loves Derek Carr. Ipso facto, I love Derek Carr. Also, “love” is a very strong word.
Rams – Under 6.5 (Model = 4.5)
Matt: Aaron Donald represents one of the only bright spots remaining on their defense. I look at the Sonar Depth Chart that we have for them at The 33rd Team, and it’s really trash all around. The offensive line was garbage last year. I think the offensive line promises to be garbage again.
They tried to trade Stafford because he’s a shell of himself and is no longer a healthy, functioning NFL quarterback. So, for a lot of reasons I want the under on the Rams.
Bryce: I’m going to get you a shirt that says, “I am not scared of Aaron Donald.”
Cardinals – Under 4.5 (Model = 4)
Matt: Number one, pull up their depth chart. It is really, really ugly looking at a lot of positions. But even more so than that, I’m worried about this franchise.
I think this franchise has already reached rock bottom and they’re in the phase over the next year where they can’t even begin to climb out of rock bottom. I think that the sort of malice that’s gone on in this franchise is on that level.
Unlike the way that I like the over on the Texans wins because they don’t have to tank, I think this team is organizationally tanking this year.
Commanders – Under 6.5, Over 6.5 (Model = 5)
Alex (under): The Commanders have a couple of guys on both sides of the ball. And their quarterback situation is not great. And the Commanders are in that same category as the Panthers. It’s just that they have less upside, in my opinion.
I tend to lean towards whatever the quarterback situation is and kind of trust that. And so that’s why I’m on the low end for the Commanders.
Bryce: I would feel a bit worse about taking the Commanders under if I had any confidence that they would name Jacoby Brissett the starter, because I think Brissett is actually somewhat capable, whereas I think Sam Howell will be a dumpster fire.
James (over): I want to call out all of you Sam Howell haters, because I like the Commanders over this year. That defense last year was still 5th in EPA per play. And if they can do something with Taylor Heinicke the last three years and have a minimum 7 wins from each season, I like this team.
I like the weapons that they have. Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, both a solid 1-2 punch at receiver.
Brian Robinson came into his own at the end of last year, as well. It’s a new day in Washington. It’s a new day, and I think they break through the 6.5 wins this year.
Cowboys – Over 9.5 (Model = 8)
Bryce: I am an outspoken believer in Dak Prescott. I think they have strengths elsewhere on the roster. I really like CeeDee Lamb. The offensive line is not as dominant as they were during the first couple of years of Dak’s career, but they’re still pretty good. I think they have some difference-makers on defense.
Matt: I had a really hard time with them because that over/under was set at 9.5. And the model came out at just eight wins for them. So this was one of those situations where I was kind of a ‘stay away.’
James: When our model was run, this win total was definitely the one that I disagreed with the most. I was really surprised that it came out that low on the Cowboys.
Seahawks – No bet at 8.5 (Model = 7)
James: I’d kind of lean towards their over, mostly because of the fact that the NFC is garbage, and in terms of a staple, this is probably as close as it gets to a fringe, playoff, wildcard level team.
In the NFC West, we’re pretty low on the Rams and the Cardinals. The 49ers have some question marks at quarterback. For the Seahawks, if somehow Geno Smith can turn into a Top 10 quarterback again, then they certainly have the weapons there. I think I can see ‘Hawks going over this win total.
Matt: Playing the Rams a couple of times, playing the Cardinals a couple of times, if Geno can be as good as he was last year, certainly you would think that they hit it.