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 Steelers No. 1 and the Patriots No. 2 because they were most confident in the Steelers being over their 8.5 win projection and the Patriots being under their 7.5 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)|
||8.5 (Over)||9. Titans||7.5 (Under)|
|2. Patriots||7.5 (Under)||10. Jaguars||9.5 (Under)|
|3. Chiefs||11.5 (Over)||11. Texans||6.5 (Under)|
|4. Raiders||6.5 (Over)||12. Dolphins||9.5 (Over)|
|5. Jets||9.5 (Under)||13. Ravens||9.5 (Over)|
|6. Broncos||8.5 (Under)||14. Colts||6.5 (Under)|
|7. Chargers||9.5 (Over)||15. Bengals||11.5 (Over)|
|8. Bills||10.5 (Over)||16. Browns||9.5 (Over)|
Steelers – Over 8.5 (Model = 10.5)
Matt (over): The line that we were given was 8.5. The model projects them for 10.5. A lot of my methodology was where did my intuition match the largest differences that our model presented. And this was one of those spots.
Bryce: Does the model know Kenny Pickett is the quarterback?
Matt: The model sees everything.
The TJ Watt injury affected their performance during the season last year, but the model just looks at the depth chart and says, who are the players who are going to get the most snaps and who’s going to make the most impact? And if we expect him to play a full season, that’s a pretty big impact on the defense. It’s not like we’re betting on Kenny Pickett advancing as a passer.
James: And the schedule’s pretty easy. They play the NFC West and the AFC South this year. The team-level metrics go back on a 7-game weighted rolling average. So, the last 7 games for the Steelers last year resulted in a 6-1 record in taking care of some of their opponents in their division and gaining momentum into the season. So you’ll see that with this team and as well as a few other teams, that a good end of 2022 translates to a potentially higher win total in 2023
Patriots – Under 7.5 (Model = 4.5)
Alex (under): So I am #trustingtheprocess and taking the New England Patriots under 7.5. Idiot. James is shaking his head and he’s responsible for my decision here.
I don’t necessarily believe that they would get three games under, but having some amount under I would believe in terms of division competition. The division got better with Aaron Rodgers moving to the Jets. I think the Dolphins are risky because of Tua, and he’s one injury away from that team looking totally different. The Bills are pretty solid, obviously. So I’d be nervous about betting (the Patriots).
And so the competition in the division is tough. And the team has made a lot of lateral moves the last couple of years. And really, I don’t necessarily see Mac Jones taking a big step forward with the rest of the offense around him.
James: I was shaking my head in disgust because they were going to be my first pick. Their schedule is brutal and I don’t know how much I consider Bill O’Brien an upgrade at offensive coordinator.
Chiefs – Over 11.5 (Model = 12.5)
Bryce (over): This one’s easy. I’m taking Chiefs over 11.5
Matt: That’s a great pick as long as Mahomes doesn’t get injured.
Bryce: The model had them at 12.5, so one win over what the Vegas total is. I don’t have any really intricate reasoning for this beyond they have Patrick Mahomes, and that James’ betting model thinks they’re actually a win better than the Vegas total would suggest. It’s hard to see them losing six games with Patrick.
Alex: Yeah, I don’t think we need to belabor that point too much.
Raiders – Under 6.5 (Model = 8)
** We went against the model here**
James (Under): This has already seen some sentiment in the market, being bet down from 7.5 at -181 to 6.5 -135 at Pinnacle.
I just can’t trust any of the moves they made in the offseason. Bringing in Jimmy G. I don’t know if, like, they’re trying to stand in limbo. And I just don’t trust McDaniel as the coach.
Matt: This is one I was back and forth on. I probably would have gone over mostly because of the model. And because 6.5 isn’t a lot, but it’s hard to be inspired about where the Raiders are right now.
Jets – Under 9.5 (Model = 7)
James (under): This was the model’s second-biggest discrepancy. We have them around 7 wins.
Obviously the finish to last year is a reason why the model brought down; scoring 6, 6 and 3 points in your last three doesn’t exactly scream competence.
Aaron Rodgers, obviously, he can scare you. He can scare you by being a Top 3-5 quarterback in this league. And he can scare you by not wanting to play football anymore. And from last year playing in Green Bay, he wasn’t as great.
Matt: The counterpoint is that the model is taking into account that the Jets stunk at the end of last year, but it is also taking into account that they have Aaron Rodgers performing at basically last year’s level, correct, which is not top quarterback in the league, but it was sort of good.
Broncos – Under 8.5 (Model = 6.5)
Bryce (under): They were what, like a 5-win team last year? I get that Sean Payton’s in the building now. You no longer have a circus clown running the show. That’s probably good for at least a win. Their off season moves… Well, first of all, they didn’t have a first-round pick, so there’s not a lot of immediate impact talent coming through in the draft because they gave up so much for Russell Wilson, who I’m famously not a believer in.
I think the offensive line got a little bit better, but I think that Wilson neutralizes a lot of the opportunity for those guys to make an impact in pass protection.
I don’t see this team being four wins better than what they were last year. Even with Payton on board, I can’t get behind Russell Wilson.
Chargers – Over 9.5 (Model = 10)
Alex (over): I feel nervous because they’re the Chargers and something always goes wrong. But we talked last week about where Herbert stands in terms of the pantheon of current quarterbacks; and the skill position players are good; the offensive line is not as good as it has been in the past, but looks all right at this point in time.
The defense has some interesting players and some guys that you’re not sure what to get, but just a change in coaching philosophy and a division that’s maybe a little bit has, as I mentioned before, like the division could be very good, but also does definitely have some vulnerability to it.
At the end of the day, I’m sort of banking on Herbert being the quarterback that he has shown to be at least capable of in stretches.
Bills – Over 10.5 (Model = 13)
Matt (over): I feel really good about betting on the Bills to go at least 11-6.
There is a scenario I think this year where things really sort of fall apart in Buffalo. I just think it’s not a likely scenario. And so, like, maybe there’s some really bad cases for them, I just think that more of the cases end up with 11 wins or more, than the bad cases. So I like the over here a lot, the model likes the over here a lot at 13.
I’m sort of concerned about whatever’s been going on with Stefon Diggs and how that figures into everything. But I’m mostly encouraged. I think they’re a well-run team, a smart team, well-coached, well-managed and I’m expecting a bit more balance and diversification of the offense this year.
Titans – Under 7.5 (Model = 6.5)
Matt (under): Their line was 7.5, our model projects them for 6.5. And our model nailed it.
They’ve got 16 quarterbacks on the roster. They all stink. I don’t care that they signed an old receiver to try to make up for their past sins.
They’ll try hard, which is like the worst thing about this. And they’ve hit this number before, but I think they stink and I’m happy to take the under on them.
Alex: Yeah, the Titans have been teetering on dropping out into irrelevance, and Derrick Henry has sustained production that I think a lot of people were not assuming would happen. And he’s the exception to the rule of being able to drive team-level production with running back production.
Jaguars – Over 9.5 (Model = 9)
Alex (over): As Matt so eloquently pointed out – the Titans: not good. The Texans: not good. The Colts: I guess we don’t really know, but probably not great. And so that drives a lot of it, but also just the Trevor Lawrence advancement year-over-year.
The defense has some guys on it. I don’t know if I expect them to do a ton in the playoffs, but I expect that given the situation they find themselves in that they’re going to have a pretty strong regular season.
Texans – Under 6.5, Over 6.5 (Model = 6)
Bryce (under): They were a three-win team last year. They added quite a bit of talent this year, but it’s young talent.
Matt (over): I do like their secondary.
Bryce (under): Yeah. I think Stingley is going to be great. Desmond King’s an underrated player. I like Jimmy Ward and Jalen Pitre. I’m a little bit concerned about their front six. I like Stroud going forward, but I don’t know if he’s going to an amazing Year 1 player. I just have a hard time seeing them being four wins better than last year.
Matt (over): Well, all they got to do is steal some games against the other crappy teams in their division. I think that the division’s terrible. I think that the young players that they brought on should be able to help them relatively quickly.
I talked about how I like their secondary. I think they finally have some better management in the building there and so I’m bullish on them. I think they can keep games close on the strength of their secondary and what Demeco Ryans can cook up front. Offensively, it’ll be a slog, but I’m really betting on them having the schedule that can help get them there and just the fact that they’re still going to be trying to win games late in the year when other teams might have otherwise laid down.
Dolphins – Over 9.5 (Model = 10)
James (over): If the Patriots aren’t gonna win games, the Jets aren’t gonna win games, and the Bills are gonna win the amount of games that they should win, that means the Miami Dolphins are gonna win a lot of games in that division.
I think bringing in Vic Fangio was a huge get for them, as well as bringing in Jalen Ramsey to solidify the defense. You have Jalen Phillips, who took a step forward last year, with Bradley Chubb there as well on the D line. And the Dolphins offense, obviously a lot of it comes down to Tua’s health. But, if they stay healthy, the Miami Dolphins can very much go over a win total of 9.5
Bryce: I think Tua is mid, but there’s a ton of talent everywhere else on this team, and I think the coaching on the offensive side of the ball is phenomenal, so I don’t think it’ll matter whether or not Tua himself is a world beater.
Ravens – Over 9.5 (Model = 10.5)
James (over): With the Ravens, it obviously, as it has the past two or three years after his MVP season, comes down to Lamar. Can he stay healthy and take a step forward in this offense?
Obviously this division is no joke, I already talked about the Steelers and then the Bengals and Browns are bona fide teams that can push for playoffs and if things go right, play for a Super Bowl. Luckily, with the division, with the schedule breakdown, just like how the Steelers get the NFC West and the AFC South, the Ravens also get the AFC South and the NFC West.
Colts – Under 6.5 (Model = 5)
Bryce (under): Our model’s got them at five. I myself am a bit skeptical of them, particularly that secondary. I’m a believer in Anthony Richardson long term. I think there’s potential for Year 1 to look kind of ugly for him.
I know it’s a weak division. They might steal some games. I don’t know. Quarterback is such a driving force and Richardson is definitely not the most polished coming out of school. I think it’s hard for them to get seven wins. I think they’re going to get passed on, and I don’t know how well they’re going to be able to pass.
Matt: I have no idea what to think of that team this year. I thought they had a nice draft. I think they’re kind of in a rebuilding mode. I think that Richardson is less of a project than people think he is, but still a great project.
Bengals – Under 11.5 (Model = 12)
Alex (under, despite the model projecting over): I acknowledge that the team is good and that I don’t expect them to tank relative to expectations. We just talked about the Steelers potentially being an over candidate; the Ravens being an over candidate; Browns, who knows what to expect with Deshaun Watson, but theoretically could pick things up after last year. So the schedule might be kind of tough.
I’m still not entirely sure that the way that Joe Burrow plays quarterback is conducive to consistent success because of the sacks and that kind of stuff. And there’s still a little bit of uncertainty about what that offensive line is going to look like. And the defense has kind of been picked apart a little bit.
I still think they’ll be good, but I’m not sure if they’ve sort of hit their ceiling already
Matt: I’ll take it further. I love the Bills over 10.5. If you had set them at 11.5, I don’t love it. The Bengals were set at 11.5. But if you switched them, I get just as excited to take the over on the Bengals.