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Reply To: NFL WEEK 1 – Previews, Articles, Info, etc, Sunday 9/13/15

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32 Key Betting Notes for 32 NFL Teams

Find yourself slacking in your handicapping ahead of Thursday’s opening NFL game? We’ve got you covered. Here’s a preview of the key betting notes you need to know for each NFL division in 2015.

AFC East

New England Patriots (2014: 12-4 SU, 9-7 ATS)

After Deflategate, do you think Bill Belichick is going to even think about taking his foot off the accelerator? Pats have never been a great cover team, but after SpyGate hit the fan, NE covered its first eight games the following season.

Buffalo Bills (2014: 9-7 SU, 9-7 ATS)

Buffalo has been Playoff-AWOL for the last decade and a half, and the Bills still don’t have a quality QB. What will happen when defenses bring seven defenders in the box to stop the running game?

Miami Dolphins (2014: 8-8 SU, 7-9 ATS)

Besides Suh, there is a raft of young new bodies on both sides of the ball, and it may take a while to sort itself out. Schedule is top-heavy with mediocre opponents early, tough ones later.

New York Jets (2014: 4-12 SU, 6-9-1 ATS)

The NYJ have some new names – Brandon Marshall, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Stevan Ridley – who have had some success, and if they get with the program, Todd Bowles could improve on last year’s 4-win season. Rex Ryan took the Jets to two AFC title games, but was just 26-38 in his last four years as boss man.

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens (2014: 10-6 SU, 8-8 ATS)

Baltimore had trouble in the secondary last season, and as training camp gets under way it’s uncertain whether that issue has been fixed. And QB Joe Flacco is the typical box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get.

Cincinnati Bengals (2014: 10-5-1 SU, 8-7-1 ATS)

If receivers stay healthy, we may finally get a definitive judgment on QB Andy Dalton. Dalton has two quality RBs (Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard), playoff experience and coaching staff stability. All the elements appear in place for another solid season.

Cleveland Browns (2014: 7-9 SU, 9-5-2 ATS)

Well, there’s that nagging quarterback thing, They’re stuck with Johnny Manziel, and Brian Hoyer has departed. That leaves journeyman Josh McCown. Ouch. Adding to the problems is the fact that the team needs to rid itself of the stink of that 2014 seven-game season-ending losing streak.

Pittsburgh Steelers (2014: 11-5 SU, 9-7 ATS)

Mike Tomlin says the Steelers offense could be the best in the league. He has a point. Pittsburgh managed to keep the entire offense together after averaging more than 411 yards in total offense last season. Ben Roethlisberger is still a tough-as-nails QB who appears to have several good seasons left.

AFC South

Houston Texans (2014 – 9-7 SU, 9-6-1 ATS)

QB Brian Hoyer has an experience edge on Ryan Mallett in the battle between New England castoffs, but there’s no evidence that either can get the Texans into double-digit win territory. Depth also appears to be a problem.

Indianapolis Colts (2014 – 11-5 SU, 10-5-1 ATS)

Indy should get halfway to 10 wins in division games alone, which means they have a big leg up in the division. (Over the last two years, Houston, Jacksonville and Tennessee are a combined 27-69.) Don’t expect too many in-division issues. Plus, Andrew Luck kills it in the dome during the regular season.

Jacksonville Jaguars (2014 – 3-13 SU, 6-9-1 ATS)

Numbers don’t lie, and the Jags have won only seven times in the last two seasons. They would love to smell .500 by Christmas, but there doesn’t appear to be enough overall talent – even in the weak AFC South.

Tennessee Titans (2014 – 2-14 SU, 3-12-1 ATS)

OK, now the Titans get to see what they have in rookie QB Marcus Mariota. Early indications out of camp are that the kid can play. The defense figures to be better, too, now that legend Dick Lebeau is on board as a coach.

AFC West

Denver Broncos (2014: 12-4 SU, 8-8 ATS)

New coach Gary Kubiak is under intense pressure to get this team to the Super Bowl, and the fact is that there are fewer top-quality players around this time. Among the missing are TE Julius Thomas, who fled in a contract spat; and O-lineman Ryan Clady, who will miss 2015 as he rehabs from ACL surgery.

Kansas City Chiefs (2014: 9-7 SU, 10-6 ATS)

They just can’t seem to get over the Peyton Manning (KC is 1-13 against him) roadblock. And a brutal schedule includes a trip to Green Bay and only seven home games due to a London obligation. Hard to see KC making up a three-game deficit and making a legit run at the division title.

Oakland Raiders (2014: 3-13 SU, 8-8 ATS)

New season, new coach, new hope in Oakland, where Jack Del Rio is the latest to take a crack at cleaning up the squalor that this franchise has become. QB Derek Carr will have a pair of solid wideouts in vet Michael Crabtree and rookie Amari Cooper, and Latavius Murray should be among the better RBs in the AFC.

San Diego Chargers (2014: 9-7 SU, 7-9 ATS)

San Diego has missed the playoffs four of the last five years, and didn’t appear to make much of an effort last season. Also, there will be uncertainty all year as the front office ponders a 2016 move to Los Angeles.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys (2014: 12-4 SU, 10-6 ATS)

The Cowboys have two clear weaknesses coming into the 2015 season. Head coach Jason Garrett is extremely poor, and he’s one of the worst game managers in the entire league. His decisions often fail to give Dallas their best chances at winning, so his poor skills often prevent the team from reaching their full potential. Dallas also has a bad defense, especially in the secondary where they are extremely vulnerable against good passing offenses. If Dallas fails to have a strong running game to control the clock on offense, then their poor defense may be too much to overcome in 2015.

New York Giants (2014: 6-10 SU, 7-9 ATS)

There are a lot of positive signs that point to a monster season by the Giants in 2015. New York’s offense was simply awful early on last year as they were learning a completely new system. But the Giants were explosive down the stretch, averaging 29.2 points per game over their last six games. QB Eli Manning threw for 4,410 yards with a 30/14 TD/INT ratio. If the team stays healthy, the Giants will have a potent offense this season.

Philadelphia Eagles (2014: 10-6 SU, 9-7 ATS)

Philadelphia is a team on the rise. Running back DeMarco Murray was a big coup, especially for a run-orientated offense. As of now, it’s unclear who will be the Eagles’ quarterback, but insiders believe a healthy Sam Bradford will get the nod. Head coach Chip Kelly runs unique offensive schemes and he’s typically one step ahead of opposing defenses. The Eagles’ defense may be one of the most improved this season, especially since they shored-up their secondary. Philadelphia should be a good team once again in 2015.

Washington Redskins (2014: 4-12 SU, 5-11 ATS)

Things don’t look any better for 2015. Head coach Jay Gruden is in his second year, and he still has a lot to fix. QB Robert Griffin III is fragile, and he’ll be playing behind a terrible offensive line once again. The Redskins’ defense needs a lot of work, especially their secondary which ranked No. 31 in yards per pass attempt allowed. Washington may improve their record by a game or two, but they need a major overhaul to get back into the playoffs, especially in such a tough and competitive division.

NFC North

Chicago Bears (2014: 5-11 SU, 7-9 ATS)

Unfortunately for Bears’ fans, quarterback Jay Cutler remains. Cutler is a maddening quarterback because he has the physical skills to succeed, but his mental game is atrocious. Chicago’s defense was putrid as they gave up 27.6 points per game last season. Even though the Bears will play a smarter brand of football under Fox, it may not translate into a better win/loss and pointspread record in 2015.

Detroit Lions (2014: 11-5 SU, 7-9 ATS)

Detroit’s offense was highly inconsistent throughout the 2014 season, and its lack of a running game made its play calling too predictable. If improvement doesn’t happen, the Lions won’t be as fortunate as last season. Detroit’s defense was ranked No. 1 for the majority of last year, but they lost Ndamukong Suh to the Dolphins. His absence has to hurt Detroit’s defense to some degree.

Green Bay Packers (2014: 12-4 SU, 9-6-1 ATS)

Green Bay’s offense is explosive and one of the best in the league. As long as QB Aaron Rodgers is healthy and under center, the Packers are a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Green Bay has dominated the NFC North, going an incredible 20-4-1 SU against division opponents over the last four seasons. The Packers’ out of division road games are all easily winnable and, since they are 12-3-1 SU at home during the past two years, 2015 will be another terrific season for the Green Bay Packers.

Minnesota Vikings (2014: 7-9 SU, 10-6 ATS)

Head coach Mike Zimmer is in his second year, and he showed his defensive chops by turning the Vikings’ defense around by 8.6 points per game from the year before. Minnesota has strong coaching minds on both sides of the ball (offensive coordinator is Norv Turner), so the players have the foundation to have another solid season. The future is bright for Minnesota, but they may be a year or two away from making the playoffs.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons (2014: 6-10 SU, 7-9 ATS)

Atlanta parted ways with head coach Mike Smith after back-to-back losing seasons. Atlanta made a shrewd hire in Dan Quinn, who was Seattle’s defensive coordinator the past two seasons. Quinn will turn Atlanta’s defense around quickly, especially since there’s speed and talent to run his scheme. The Falcons also have offensive weapons all over the field, but 2014 was a lost season due to injuries. Atlanta has a fresh start in 2015, and if it can stay healthy, it will have a much-improved record.

Carolina Panthers (2014: 7-8-1 SU, 8-8 ATS)

Head coach Ron Rivera is an exceptional defensive mind and Carolina is a tough out in just about every game because of their stop unit. The Panthers’ defense will be formidable once again, especially since they have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. If the offense helps out just a little bit, the Panthers should have a winning record in 2015.

New Orleans Saints (2014: 7-9 SU, 6-10 ATS)

The new-look Saints will have a breakout season in 2015. The team failed to make the playoffs after going 7-9 SU last season, but make no mistake about it, the Saints will be significantly better this season. New Orleans made smart draft moves and solidified its offensive line, making that unit one of the best in the league on paper. Sean Payton and Drew Brees are an excellent combination and the Saints are a formidable team because of them. New Orleans should cruise into the playoffs and is a legitimate Super Bowl contender in 2015.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014: 2-14 SU, 7-9 ATS)

Tampa Bay has had serious quarterbacking issues over the last few years, and they took QB Jameis Winston with the overall No. 1 pick. He’s young and it remains uncertain if Winston will ever become a true franchise quarterback. The Bucs have a horrendous offensive line and a defense that has gaping holes all over the field. There is not much to like about the Buccaneers right now, and 2015 figures to be another long and losing season in Tampa Bay.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals (2014: 11-5 SU, 11-5 ATS)

A repeat of an 11-5 SU season is stretching it, but there’s no reason the Cardinals can’t have another winning season in 2015. However, if Palmer misses any significant time, it’s highly unlikely the Cardinals can duplicate what they did last year. The Cardinals are overvalued to a degree because of last season’s results, so regression against the pointspread seems quite likely.

San Francisco 49ers (2014: 8-8 SU, 6-9-1 ATS)

San Francisco was much worse than its 8-8 SU record last year indicated as its eight losses came by an average of 10.6 points. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s play noticeably declined as the offense only averaged 19.1 points. But those are the very reasons expectations are low coming into this season. The 49ers will hold a lot of value in the pointspread throughout the 2015 season.

Seattle Seahawks (2014: 12-4 SU, 9-6-1 ATS)

The Seahawks have the unenvious title of Super Bowl losers coming into the 2015 season. Seattle was on the brink of back-to-back Lombardi Trophies, but a superb defensive play – or a bonehead offensive one – prevented that from happening. Teams in Seattle’s position normally regress and that may happen to the Seahawks as well. A major loss was defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who left to be the head coach in Atlanta. The final win/loss record may not reflect Seattle’s overall talent in 2015.

St. Louis Rams (2014: 6-10 SU, 7-9 ATS)

Can the St. Louis Rams finally get over the hump and live up to their preseason hype? The answer to that question should be a unanimous “Yes”. St. Louis is ready to win this season, and if the team stays healthy, the Rams will have their first winning season in 12 years. St. Louis has a scary good defense that held seven opponents to 20 points or less last season.