Dying to place a little action on the NFL in April?
Well, the NFL win totals for next season are out and the Seattle Seahawks have come in at a very tempting number. Seattle, which hasn't won fewer than nine games since coach Pete Carroll's first two seasons when the Seahawks went 7-9 in 2010 and 2011, have been given an over/under win total of 8.5.
Seattle shocked many last season by going 10-6 after going 9-7 the previous season. On paper, it would certainly appear that the Seahawks could be better in 2019. A relatively young roster gained loads of experience last season, the running game led the league in rushing, the defense held its own without linebacker K.J. Wright for much of the season and quarterback Russell Wilson is still on the team.
Plus, Seattle's schedule shouldn't be considered easy, but it also isn't exactly frightening. Aside from two games against each NFC West foe; San Francisco (4-12 last season), Arizona (3-13) and the Los Angeles Rams (13-3), Seattle will host Tampa Bay (5-11), Baltimore (10-6), Cincinnati (6-10), New Orleans (13-3) and Minnesota (8-7-1). Away games outside of the division consists of trips to Atlanta (7-9), Philadelphia (9-7), Pittsburgh (9-6-1), Carolina (7-9) and Cleveland (7-8-1).
Seattle will play five games against teams that made the playoffs in 2018 and six against teams that finished with six wins or fewer. Should the Seahawks win five out of those six games, they would need just four wins against the rest of the field to finish over nine wins.
Sounds like a solid wager. However, one aspect that makes the NFL so great is that the previous season usually ends up offering few indicators of what will happen the following season.
San Francisco, which defeated Seattle at home last season, figures to be better in 2019 with the return of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who missed most of last season with a knee injury. Tampa Bay might improve if new coach Bruce Arians can turnaround quarterback Jameis Winston. Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Carolina, Atlanta and Cleveland are all capable of being playoff contenders in 2019.
Plus, that road schedule is treacherous given that four games will be played on the East Coast against the Panthers, Falcons, Steelers and Eagles, and a fifth road game will be at the Browns, who have the makings of a potential 10-win team after the acquisition of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
After further consideration, maybe under 8.5 wins looks like the smart bet.
It's a tough call. But, for now, let's go with over 8.5 given that the Seahawks with Wilson at quarterback have never won fewer than nine games. So, unless he goes down - Wilson has never missed a start - the smart money is on the over.