We’re now starting to get an idea about what teams the sportsbooks like for the 2019 NFL season. DraftKingsSportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook have joined CG Technology in releasing their projected win totals for the upcoming year.
So, between the three oddsmakers, we now have some confidence about how each team’s season will go.
2019 NFL win totals
Odds updated 4/14/19
Last year’s elite retain respect
A look at each company’s list reveals a mix of a couple of surprises interspersed with a good number of expected projections.
The defending champion Patriots lead the way with a projected 11-win total after hitting that mark last season. Notably, the last time New England managed less than 11 wins was way back in 2009. That season, they sported a 10-6 record in Tom Brady’s comeback from an ACL tear. The Pats ultimately bowed out with a 33-14 loss to the Ravens in the Wild Card round.
There’s a three-way logjam at second with the remaining members of last season’s final four — the Chiefs, Rams and Saints. All three teams have their projection set at 10.5 wins. Notably, each squad comfortably surpassed that number in 2018. The Chiefs co-led the AFC with 12 victories, while the Rams and Saints were atop the NFC with 13 victories apiece.
Then, the team Kansas City shared top billing with, the Chargers, are bumped down to around 9.5 or 10 projected wins as wagering opens.
Offseason moves have varying degree of impact
Other projected totals of note upon first glance include:
- The Browns jump from a projected six wins in 2018 to a projection of 9.5 for the upcoming season. Not only did Cleveland and rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield exceed expectations last season by forging a 7-8-1 record, they did anything but rest on their laurels this offseason. The additions of Odell Beckham, Jr., Olivier Vernon and Sheldon Richardson figure to take both sides of the ball to the next level.
- The Steelers check in at a relatively modest (by their standards) nine wins after trading away Antonio Brown and officially losing Le’Veon Bell. Pittsburgh has a pair of considerably talented pieces in JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner to help cushion those losses. However, the loss of the combined talent level of the two departed players, the roster’s depleted depth and last season’s 9-6-1 mark all play into current expectations.
- The Raiders rivaled the Browns for offseason headlines by snagging the best available receiver this side of Beckham in Brown via trade. Prior to that, they added personnel guru Mike Mayock ahead of a draft where they’ll have three first-round draft picks at their disposal. Oakland also continued its offensive makeover with the addition of productive second-tier pieces Isaiah Crowell and Tyrell Williams. Yet, all that maneuvering only nets two additional wins in the eyes of the oddsmakers. After finishing 4-12 in the first season of Jon Gruden 2.0, Oakland opens with a projected six-win total.
- Dark days appear to be on the horizon in South Florida. The Dolphins netted a 7-9 record under Adam Gase’s final season in 2018. New skipper Brian Flores arrives with plenty of endorsement from both coaches and players on the defending champion Patriots, where he spent 15 seasons honing his craft. However, with questions up and down the roster — including at the all-important quarterback position following a divorce from Ryan Tannehill — Miami brings up the rear with a meager projection of 4.5 wins.
The first episode of the final season of Game of Thrones, the last piece of TV monoculture, airs this Sunday on HBO.
Even if you’ve never watched the show, you likely have a friend that has droned on and on as to why you should. You know the general main characters. You’ve seen the memes. You know winter is coming.
Over the years, the show has prided itself on doing the unexpected. Any major character could die at any time. New characters rise. Old characters fall. The show’s popularity and unpredictable nature has led to a surge of Thrones props and wagering in the U.K.
Who will sit on the Iron Throne?
One of the main top prop bets taking action is who will rule Westeros and sit on the Iron Throne by season’s end.
Bran Stark, aka the Three-Eyed Raven, is the odds-on favorite at Paddy Power Sportsbook at -110. This shows some vulnerability in the market and how the public is betting the show.
Bran has no interest in sitting on the Iron Throne. He’s the Three-Eyed Raven. He’s made it clear to his family and to anyone else who will listen that he is the Three-Eyed Raven. He can’t rule Westeros as the Three-Eyed Raven. That’s not what Three-Eyed Ravens do.
Anyway, more logical choices follow Bran. As listed on Paddy Power:
|GoT Character||Odds to Rule Westeros|
|Any child of Jon Snow||+300|
|The Night King||+1100|
Given Thrones‘ treatment of women over its run, having a female lead ultimately sit on the Iron Throne would be a welcome final conclusion. Daenerys Targaryen at +400 has been asking anyone she makes eye contact with to bend the knee, she’s got a legit claim via birth right, and she definitely wants to rule. Sansa Stark (+650) has grown in prominence and into a leader. And if Thrones has taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. With that in mind, only a fool at this point should rule Cersei out at +1200. While not listed, who would doubt Lyanna Mormont’s ability to rule as well?
The most shocking omission from the full list though: no one. No, not that no one. If Dany’s whole deal is to “break the wheel,” and if the real battle is between the good and the dead, it’s absolutely within the story structure and reason that nobody sits on the Iron Throne by the end of the series. If I was market making, I’d list “no one” among the favorites. Come on, Paddy Power, do I have to do all of the heavy lifting for you?
Props are also offered on characters likely to die before the series ends. Underscoring the volatile nature of the show, Jon Snow is both a favorite to sit on the Iron Throne and to die (-120). Cersei Lannister is a heavy favorite to meet the lord of light at a whopping +5000.
TV prop bets not offered in the US, and may never be after GoT ends
While Oscars betting was offered at New Jersey online sportsbooks for the first time this year, wagering on TV shows has historically not been an option in the US. This is mostly rooted in fear that insider info will leak out. Given the tight accounting practices with Oscar ballots, they’re less at risk than other scripted shows (though they’re not immune to leakage rumors).
Vegas offered action on shows like Survivor in earlier seasons, but that practice has mostly since ceased.
The reality is, with the rise of streaming and binge watching, GoT may be the last scripted TV show that even can be wagered on. The way people consume content doesn’t make it practical anymore.
So enjoy the show, and betting on TV in general, while you can.