Digging Beneath the Surface on 2020 NFL Expectations

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At the beginning of any pro, the football handicap is a most contrarian adage.  When it comes to NFL betting perception is NOT always reality.  If it was the Dallas Cowboys would be Super Bowl champions every season.  First among lessons to learn about successful NFL handicapping are illusions.  The NFL line is not based on “what Vegas thinks.”  Rather, the betting odds are set based on what oddsmakers like CashBet.ag know that the public believes.  A good team that gamblers ignore will consistently get bargain prices.  Bad teams that the public believes in will get poor value pricing.

Now is the time to sift through branding and capability.  Of potential and myth.  And of actual betting value compared to actual price.  Let’s take a look at what could be good and bad bet teams for 2020.

Kansas City Chiefs Bucking Trends and History 

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Kansas City opened as a +540 Betting on NFL choice to win the Super Bowl.  In the same way, the Chiefs are +248 favorites to win the AFC.  KC has a win total of 11.5.  Of great concern is the last repeat champion was the 2004 Patriots.  Last season Kansas City rode Patrick Mahomes wing with a prayer.  All three of their 2019 postseason games were stirring comebacks.  Counter to that is the fact that KC will be better this season.  That doesn’t guarantee a Super Bowl return.  Luck improved opponents and lost edge often prevent repeat championships.

The public betting handle always flows to the defending Super Bowl champion.  Patrick Mahomes adds to the hype.  The problem is not the Chiefs.  Instead, the issue is almost a certain poor value.  Kansas City will consistently command higher prices than is merited.  And KC will be a target of every team they face.  Owing to their Super Bowl championship status.

Los Angeles Rams a Classic Beaten Favorite

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In view of the Rams winning the 2018 NFC title their 8.5-win total entices some.  Los Angeles is a +4000 Pro football betting pick to win the Super Bowl.  And is a +1897 pick for the NFC title.  What a difference a year makes!  Namely Sean McVay was the hottest head coaching brand in 2019.  McVay was celebrated as the man that had reinvented football.  All of his assistants were coveted head coaching candidates.  But a combination of injuries and a tougher 2019 NFC West undermined Los Angeles.

Commencing with the 2020 season McVay and quarterback Jared Goff will be motivated.  Both bore the brunt of the Rams missing the 2019 playoffs. Remember that LA was still 9-7 straight up.  It’s not like the Rams were terrible.  Additionally, the defending NFC champion 49ers were the NFL’s top surprise.  San Francisco will be hard pressed to match their 2019 mark of 13-3.   Seattle will be challenged to repeat as a playoff team with their poor defense.

Green Bay No Longer Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood

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Green Bay is not the NFL gambling darling that they used to be.  To show the Packers are a +4000 choice to win the Super Bowl.  Green Bay is at +1820 for the NFC championship.  Their win total is nine.  Last April’s draft showed the Packers are thinking future instead of the present.  Green Bay ignored veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers desperate pleas for receivers.  To illuminate they insulted Rogers by taking quarterback Jordan Love in the first round.

From this point, Rodgers knows he is on borrowed time.  It also calls into question just how committed the Pack is to winning a title.  At the same time, gamblers are bailing on Green Bay.  After years as chalk, the Pack is not expected to roar back.

Mike Tomlin Man of Steel or Rusted Out?

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Pittsburgh opened with a football betting Win a total of 9.5.  Accordingly, the Steelers are +2550 for the Super Bowl and +1200 for the NFC title.  Pittsburgh has never been the same since their 2017 playoff loss to Jacksonville.  Two straight years out of the playoffs has not gone over well.  Naturally, Ben Roethlisberger missing 2019 with injury was catastrophic.  But the Steelers are still viewed as capable of more.   It is true that coach Mike Tomlin won the Super Bowl in 2008.  Two years later the Steelers made and lost the Super Bowl.  Since then its been a decade of frustration.

Pittsburgh is the most stable franchise in all of the pro sports. Tomlin is only the third Steelers head coach since 1969.  Compared to the rest of the NFL that is unprecedented.  In a similar way, the Rooney family has owned the team for nearly 100 years.  Pittsburgh fans are all over the United States.  For all that patience is running thin.  New England and Pittsburgh are tied with an NFL record six Super Bowl titles.  For that reason, fans are not going to tolerate much more mediocrity.  Even though that’s the case doubts are increasing.

This Time do Dallas Cowboys Meet the Hype?

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Above all the Cowboys are +1503 to win the Super Bowl and +700 for NFC.  Dallas has a 2020 win total of 10.  Definitely contributing to Cowboy’s optimism is new head coach Mike McCarthy.  He brings Super Bowl championship gravitas that Jason Garret never had.  Consequently, first-round draft pick CeeDee Lamb is a potential game-changer at the receiver.  So too is the NFC East looking weaker than normal.  Dallas has a clear path to the playoffs.  Yet its been 25 years since their last Super Sunday.  Things have never been the same since Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson divorced.

McCarthy has plenty of weaponry with the Cowboys.  Quarterback Dak Prescott may reach a new level under McCarthy.  Moreover, McCarthy should be refreshed after a year off to decompress.  Simultaneously he used his idle season to study every NFL team.   Fashion McCarthy saw almost every play of every team.  This has triggered new ideas and philosophies.  Jerry Jones could prove to be the perfect owner for McCarthy.  To bring to light Jones thrives with media attention.  McCarthy just wants to grind in the film room.  To exemplify this may be a perfect partnership.

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