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5 NFL Teams Likely to Go Under Their 2021 Win Total
Despite the 2021 NFL season being two months away, bettors are already looking ahead at early NFL win totals. Every year, we have teams that overachieve and underachieve.
If you can spot how teams will lean, you can profit from it by betting on NFL win totals. I’ve spotted five NFL teams that should go under their 2021 NFL win total.
Let’s dissect the five NFL teams most likely to go under their win total in 2021, and why.
New York Jets Under 6 Wins (-120)
The New York Jets are consistently at the bottom of the standings every season. They haven’t made the playoffs since 2010. That’s the longest active playoff drought in the NFL.
Just look how poorly they’ve played since 2010.
Last season, it looked like New York would finish winless but they won two of their last three games to go 2-14. The wins cost them a chance to draft Trevor Lawrence, but they still got their quarterback of the future in Zach Wilson.
New York did make a few other upgrades. On offense, they signed Corey Davis to give Wilson a number one target.
Davis, a top-five draft pick in 2017, underwhelmed for years before finally breaking out in 2020. He put up a career-high 945 yards and five touchdowns. Wilson and Davis should help a Jets offense that ranked last in yards and points.
Carl Lawson headlines the free-agent signings on defense. Perhaps the best move for the defense was hiring head coach Robert Salah. Salah led a top-five San Francisco 49ers defense in 2019 and 2020.
The Jets season doesn’t get off to too tough of a start. Before their Week 6 bye, they play Carolina, New England, Denver, Tennessee, and Atlanta. I could see them winning one of the first five games, but no more than two.
Following the bye week, the Jets have two winnable games against New England and Cincinnati. They’ll likely split the two games. The next four games will be a tough stretch.
They get Indianapolis, Buffalo, Miami, and Houston. New York vs. Houston could be a battle for the #1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft when it’s all said and done. That’s likely the only game they win in this stretch.
In their final six games, the Jets play Philadelphia, New Orleans, Miami, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, and Buffalo. A pair of home games against Philadelphia and Jacksonville should be good win opportunities. Maybe another win against New Orleans or Miami but I doubt it.
Ultimately, it’s going to come down to Wilson’s performance this season.
Detroit Lions Under 4.5 Wins (-140)
The Detroit Lions are going through a big transition in their franchise. They won just five games last season and finished last in the NFC North for the third straight year.
Longtime quarterback Matthew Stafford requested a trade after the season. Stafford knew his best chance to win a Super Bowl was with another team. The Lions honored his request, sending Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for Jared Goff, two first-round picks, and a third-round pick.
The Lions lost one of the 10 best quarterbacks in the NFL in the process. In return, they got a regressing Goff.
However, the losses don’t stop there. Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. left Detroit via free agency. Golladay posted 1,190 receiving yards and a league-high 11 touchdowns in 2019. Jones had nine touchdowns in three of his last four seasons with the Lions.
The Lions defense is where it really gets bad. They allowed the most yards and points last season. It really doesn’t look like they did much to upgrade that defense.
Head coach Dan Campbell enters his first season as head coach after five seasons as a tight end coach for the New Orleans Saints. He definitely has a tall task ahead, and by the looks of it, he may be in over his head.
“We’re gonna kick you in the teeth, and when you punch us back, we’re going to smile at you. And when you knock us down, we’re gonna get up. And on the way up, we’re going to bite a kneecap off.”— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 21, 2021
New @Lions HC Dan Campbell had quite the introductory press conference ? pic.twitter.com/cWJTSFtJAQ
Detroit’s schedule looks especially tough at the start of the season. They get three playoff teams in Green Bay, Baltimore, and Chicago in their first four games. No way they’re beating those teams or San Francisco.
In their next four games before their bye week, they play Minnesota, Cincinnati, the Los Angeles Rams, and Philadelphia. I could see them winning one of these games, probably against Cincinnati or Philadelphia.
Their schedule isn’t as tough post-bye, but they’ll probably be the underdog in every game. From week 10 to week 14, they play Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Chicago, Minnesota, and Denver. They get Chicago at home, so that’s probably their best chance in this stretch.
Finally, they close their season with Arizona, Atlanta, Seattle, and Green Bay.
Honestly, their best chance is Green Bay resting their starters in week 18. Maybe, Detroit gets a free win that way. Even then, they may not want to win if they’re in a spot to get the number one pick.
Overall, I have Detroit somewhere in the three to four-win total. Five is generous for a team that will likely pick in the top three of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Houston Texans Under 4 Wins (-115)
There is a lot going against the Houston Texans right now. They went from a consistent playoff threat to a bottom dweller in just one season. A lot of that has to do with the DeAndre Hopkins trade but I’m not getting into all that now.
Even with Deshaun Watson leading the league with 4,823 passing yards, the Texans finished just 4-12. To make matters worse, they didn’t have their first or second-round pick in this year’s draft.
Watson requested a trade following the down season. Now, he is dealing with off-field legal issues. Either way, there’s little chance he suits up for the Texans this season.
Without him, they’re likely to roll with journeyman Tyrod Taylor. Let’s look at Taylor’s three-year averages as a starter vs. Watson’s three years.
|Stat||Tyrod Taylor (2015-2017)||Deshaun Watson (2018-2020)|
Taylor is a little better when it comes to rushing, but that’s about it. His passing marks are well below Watson’s. Houston’s defense allowed the third-most yards last season, and they released their longtime leader J.J. Watt.
New head coach David Culley may need to work some miracles if Houston is going to go over 4 wins.
Let’s look at their schedule.
They actually could win their first game of the season against Jacksonville. Just for the hell of it, let’s give them the win. Over their next eight weeks, they play four playoff teams. The other games are against Carolina, New England, Arizona, and Miami. They may keep up with Carolina and New England but I wouldn’t count on it.
Their five games after the bye week are a tale of two stories. On one hand, they get three playoff teams who they likely won’t beat. However, the other two games are against the New York Jets and Jacksonville. They play New York at home, so why not give them the win.
Going into the final three games of the season, Houston needs to win all three to hit the over. They play the Los Angeles Chargers, San Francisco, and Tennessee. Does anyone think they’ll win any of those games?
I’m not sure if you can but you may want to just go ahead and parlay Houston going under four wins with them finishing as the worst team in the league.
Pittsburgh Steelers Under 8.5 Wins (-135)
This one may surprise some people, but I have been fading the Pittsburgh Steelers since the end of the 2020 season. They won their first 11 games last season but lost four of their last five games. Cleveland embarrassed them in a playoff game that wasn’t as close as the score shows.
Coming into the 2021 season, Pittsburgh is already looking shorthanded.
They lost James Conner in free agency. I’m not as concerned with that one because they drafted Najee Harris in the first round. He is as legit as it gets.
However, I am concerned that they lost three offensive linemen in the offseason. Harris is going to have a tough time running behind a bad offensive line.
Ben Roethlisberger is back for his 18th season but is that really a good thing? He struggled late in the season and carries a huge cap hit into this season. His retirement would’ve opened up a lot of money that Pittsburgh could’ve used to keep some of their free agents.
Pittsburgh defense should be at the top of the league once again, but is it enough to mask their weak offense?
In their first six games, Pittsburgh gets to play a trio of playoff teams in Buffalo, Green Bay, and Seattle.
The Seattle game is at home, so Pittsburgh should have a good chance in that one. Their other three games are at home with matchups against Las Vegas, Cincinnati, and Denver. I feel comfortable giving them two wins to send them into the bye week at 3-3.
Coming off the bye week, they have some winnable games against Detroit and Chicago. I don’t like their chances on the road against Cleveland and the Los Angeles Chargers. They also have a road game against Cincinnati. I think they beat either Chicago or Cincinnati, but not both.
The final six games of the season are brutal for Pittsburgh. Just look at all the great teams they have to play.
- Week 13: Baltimore
- Week 14: Minnesota
- Week 15: Tennessee
- Week 16: Kansas City
- Week 17: Cleveland
- Week 18: Baltimore
Pittsburgh usually plays Baltimore tough, so I’ll give them one win there. Also, they could get a home win against either Cleveland or Tennessee, but I think they lose the other games.
That means the Steelers will end the season with a 7-10 mark. That gives you a buffer just in case they pick up one unexpected win.
My prediction is a combination of being low on the Steelers and the fact that they have the toughest schedule in the league.
San Francisco 49ers Under 10.5 Wins (-125)
Personally, I don’t understand the hype surrounding the San Francisco 49ers. I know they went 13-3 in 2019 and advanced all the way to the Super Bowl, but do people really expect them to replicate that?
Last season, they dealt with a rash of injuries, leading to a 6-10 record. San Francisco traded up to the number three pick to select their quarterback of the future in Trey Lance. Right now, it looks like Jimmy Garoppolo will start the season but look for Lance to take over at some point.
Regardless, it’s a question the Niners need to answer.
The 49ers didn’t make any upgrades to their offense. Truthfully, they really didn’t need to. It’s going to come down to whether they can get more consistency out of Garoppolo.
Their defense weathered a ton of injuries to allow the fifth-fewest yards in the league. However, they ranked 17th in points allowed. Getting back those players should help those points allowed. Defensive coordinator Robert Salah left to coach the New York Jets. We’ll see how much of a difference that makes.
San Francisco’s season doesn’t start out too tough. They immediately open with a pair of road games in Detroit and Philadelphia. Philadelphia may put up a fight but the 49ers will likely win both. It gets a little tougher with Green Bay, Seattle, and Arizona. I’ll give them two wins, going into the bye week with a 3-2 record.
In their next six games, they get a mix of playoff teams and average teams.
They have plus matchups with Jacksonville and Chicago. It’ll probably be a toss-up when they play Arizona and Minnesota. I don’t think they’ll beat either Indianapolis or the Los Angeles Rams. That gives them a 3-3 record through this stretch.
They close the season needing five wins in their last six games. It looks promising when you see Cincinnati, Atlanta, and Houston on the schedule, but it goes downhill when you see Seattle, Tennessee, and Los Angeles. I’ll give them one additional win for the last three teams.
The schedule isn’t easy, and part of that is operating out of the brutal NFC West. Just one look at the division for 2021, and you can see why this win total feels a tad lofty.
A final 4-2 stretch gives them a 10-7 record. Honestly, that may be a little generous, but I wanted to play on the safe side there.
I should mention I do think the 49ers will be better than last season. However, their expectations are way too high. They have the fifth-best Super Bowl odds for crying out loud.
Which NFL Teams Are Most Likely to Hit the Under?
There are always going to be NFL teams that underwhelm and fail to live up to their preseason expectations. It can be because their expectations were too high to start with or they just didn’t play well enough.
I don’t have faith in Pittsburgh, but head coach Mike Tomlin always gets the most out of that team.
Lastly, the New York Jets could hit the over but seven wins is a lot for that team.
If you want to place even more football bets, check out the five teams I think will go over their win total. You can also check out these articles below.