ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Football is back, folks, and so is Feldman’s Favorites!
Last year was a rousing success and we’ve returned to make even more money this time around. And by rousing success, I mean we scratched and clawed and grinded our way to a record of 63-62-7, just barely over. 500. But you know what they say, you don’t go broke making a profit!
Editor’s note: Technically, we did NOT make a profit when you factor in the bookie’s cut, but we’re going to choose to ignore that little fact.
If there’s one column you’re going to read from me this year, I’d say it would be this one. Last year, I didn’t lose a single preseason future, going 10-0-1. The year before with the same strategy, I went 8-3. Some would say that I’m due for regression, but I’m not one of those people.
What is my strategy? Literally picking every single game. I’m not joking. I go to a website like Playoff Predictors, take the time to pick every game, and see where I think every team is actually going to finish. It’s an inexact science, the good teams will get a ton of wins and the bad teams will get a ton of losses because it’s the preseason, but it’s worked well so far.
As I said last year, preseason unders are typically a better play than overs because people are optimistic to start the year and injuries can derail a season quickly.
Bills over 11 wins
The Bills are one of the most heavily bet teams this preseason and with good reason. They return almost all of their team, they’ve got an easier schedule than last year, and you know, they’re good.
The biggest concern I would have with this over is that they are due for a little bit of injury regression. Last year, they stayed pretty healthy other than a few weeks where they were short at linebacker. But they’ve got the depth to handle most injury concerns.
Plus, Bills preseason overs have been money with Sean McDermott, going 4-0.
Washington Football Team: Over 8.5 wins, win NFC East +220
The Football Team found a minor groove at the end of the season, making the playoffs and giving the eventual Super Bowl champs a bit of a scare in the first round.
They’ve got a competent QB now in Fitzmagic, a great defense led by a healthy Chase Young, and a good coach in Ron Rivera.
They were a quality 10-7 against the spread last season and I don’t see any signs of stopping. Plus, I really don’t like any other teams in the division. I was surprised to see the Cowboys were the favorite for the division.
Their schedule isn’t bad with the AFC West and NFC South and I trust their QB/coach to pull this one out.
Buccaneers win NFC South -210
I’m not in love with their win total over, but I think they’re on another tier than the other teams in the division. Maybe a few tiers up. They were deadly (obviously) at the end of last season once they found their groove and return all their starters.
The Saints are their only real challenge and I’ll bet on Brady over Winston. Plus, Michael Thomas will miss the first part of the season and that offense really struggled when he wasn’t 100% last year. With how much I’ve invested in Thomas in fantasy this year, he’ll probably never be healthy this season.
Chargers over 9.5 wins
I’m all in on the Justin Herbert bandwagon. Give that man a full offseason and a maybe competent head coach and watch out.
They get the NFC East to feast on and I really don’t think they’ll be underdogs in many games this season. Just look at Week one where they’re one-point favorites against a good WFT squad on the road.
They’ll take care of the Broncos and Raiders and earn themselves a playoff berth.
Titans over 9 wins, win AFC South -150
Sweeps of the Jaguars and Texans get them almost halfway to this number.
You don’t like them facing the NFC West, but I have a hard time believing they’re posting a sub-.500 season. The addition of Julio Jones should make them a more balanced team and I’ve got them firmly in the second tier of the AFC.
I’m also much happier betting on Ryan Tannehill than Carson Wentz, who is already starting the season with injury concerns.
Bengals under 6.5 wins
I feel like a lot has been said about the Steelers going from a very easy schedule last year to a very hard one this season, but the same holds true for the rest of the division.
Take a look at their schedule, try and find them some wins. They’re probably not getting more than one in their divisional games, if that. A lot of their “easy” games are on the road such as the Lions, Jets, and Raiders. Other than when they host the Jaguars, unless Joe Burrow can take a big leap and stay healthy, they won’t be favored in many games.
They lost Carl Lawson in the offseason and while it’s just the preseason, Ja’Marr Chase hasn’t dazzled by any means. I’m fine betting on the rebuild taking one more year.
Raiders under 7 wins
I’m not a fan of Derek Carr. I’m not a fan of Jon Gruden. I’m not a fan of being in a division with Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert. They also had the 28th best defense by Football Outsider’s DVOA, so I’m not a fan of that, too.
Last year, they went from 6-3 to 7-8 and out of playoff contention with their only win coming against the Jets. I have trouble believing they’ll be in it this year at all.
Lions under 4.5, Jaguars under 6 wins
Grouping these teams together because the main reason I want to bet against them, their head coaches.
Do you want to bet on Jared Goff away from Sean McVay with a team that seems to be tanking? I don’t.
Do you want to bet on Urban Meyer and a rookie QB taking that team from one win to seven? With a franchise that has only eclipsed six wins once in the past ten seasons? I don’t.
Panthers under 7.5 wins
I do like Matt Rhule, I do. But I don’t have a lot of faith in Sam Darnold and the schedule doesn’t set up super well for them.
They end with a brutal stretch: at the Cardinals, home WFT, at Dolphins, home Falcons, at Bills, home Bucs, at Saints, at Bucs. A 3-5 stretch there would be impressive. The schedule to start the year is pretty easy but don’t be surprised if such a young roster takes some time to mesh.
In addition to reading my weekly picks throughout the season, you can compete against me in our WROC’s Football Pick’em for weekly and season-long prizes. You can find all of my predictions in the VIP section which will be added once the season gets underway.