Mike Kern answers these questions and more. Pick your favorites.
OK, time for some NFL props (see below for places to place your bets). Because hopefully it gives you something to keep rooting for even when maybe the weekly stuff isn’t treating you as well as, well, you’d like.
Anyone who knows me understands that I always try to be the voice of reason, the cautious guy. So when everyone is talking another Super Bowl here in Philly, I tend to at least tap the breaks. But while I’m not saying the Birds are going to have a second parade in three years, or even get back to the sport’s biggest stage, I do think they’re going to have a really good season. Barring, of course, a disaster that would mostly come from Carson Wentz going down again. Because there is no Nick Foles around any more to provide a safety net.
That being said, I will take the Eagles to go over 9.5 wins, at -$195. I know that’s a lot to lay, but I find it hard to believe that they’re not going to win at least 10. They should go no worse than 4-2 in the division, and might do even better. I’m not saying they’re going to get to 12 or 13, but I’ll take my chances with reaching double digits.
Along those same lines, and using the same logic/reasoning, you could also take a look at them winning the division (-$125) or making the playoffs (-$220). No team has repeated in the NFC East in like a decade and a half. And it’s either going to be them or the Cowpokes. So there is that.
If you think they will get past the Falcons in Week 2, you could bet that their first loss will not come until Game 4, at Green Bay on a short week. You can get +$460 for that. Since they’re probably not going to win them all.
I’m taking Carson Wentz to throw over 30.5 touchdown passes, at even money. I know, that means he has to stay on the field. But if he does, I think that’s well within his reach. Again, you don’t have to play a lot on all these. Just enough to keep you more than a little interested, right?
You could take the Birds to win the whole thing, at +$1450. Other teams I might put a little something on are New Orleans, at +$1150, and Kansas City, at +$850. Hey, anyone can take the Patriots.
I’m also thinking Jacksonville might bounce back this season, now that it has Foles. So I would take the Jags at +$165 to make the playoffs, and to go over eight wins at minus $110. Let’s no Nicky boy.
You might also want to at least think about the Saints to go over 10.5 wins, at +$110. And the Pats to go over 11, at -$135. Just saying. So when was the last time the Pats “only” won 10?
If you want to get more adventurous, and who doesn’t, you could take Kansas City and the Eagles to meet in the Super Bowl, at +$3200. Why not? It would make for a great storyline. Or you could take either the Chiefs to beat the Birds in that game, or the other way around. They’re both paying off at +$6000. And really, is that scenario that farfetched?
As for which team will finish with the best record, the Pats are +$500, KC is +$750 and the Rams and Saints are both +$850.
How about this one? I’ll take Miami, Cincinnati, Oakland, Arizona, Detroit, the Giants and Washington all not to make the playoffs, at +$120. I know it only takes one team to screw that up, but honestly the only one I can see having a chance is the Raiders. So we’ll take a calculated shot.
And, we’ll go with KC, New England, New Orleans and the Rams all to make the postseason tournament, at +$160. Again, three out of four won’t cut it. My luck it’ll be the Pats.
Do you have a feel for who will be the regular-season MVP? Patrick Mahomes is +$550, but it’s hard to repeat. Aaron Rodgers is +$950, but who knows? He could be great. But usually to win this award your team has to be pretty good too. Tom Brady is +$1100, but he is going on 75 by now. Doesn’t mean he can’t. Just means I wouldn’t back him. He might win a seventh Supe though. Carson Wentz is +$1200. I think he’ll have a bounce back year. Just not sure if it will be that close to the first 13 games of 2017 or not. And that’s what it will probably take. Drew Brees, another ancient one, is +$1300. Baker Mayfield is +$1500, but he’s probably not all there yet. An interesting hedge could be Deshaun Watson, at +$2700. He’s a longshot for a reason, but if Houston has a really breakout kind of run and he’s the guy doing the leading, not impossible. If you really need to have something on it there’s obviously different ways to go. I might take a flyer on Watson. Risk a little for a big return.
Coach of the Year? The favorite is Cleveland’s Freddie Kitchens, at +$1000. I’m not taking him at that. But I might try Green Bay’s Matt LaFluer, at +$1100, or even San Fran’s Kyle Shanahan, at +$1300. It could all depend on Jimmy Garafolo. Who, by the way, is the fave for Comeback Player of the Year, at +$340. LeVeon Bell is +$500, and Wentz +$750. Cam Newton is +$1700. I lean toward either of the first two. Cam is enticing, but his health is usually a question.
For Rookie of the Year, it’s hard to get past Kyler Murray, who has the lowest odds at +$175. But unless he gets hurt, and he might, he’s going to play and he’s probably going to put up some numbers, even though he’s on a team that figures to struggle. That’s why the Cards had the first draft pick.
Time to buckle up and start enjoying the ride.
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