The 2020 season is now just four months away. The draft is complete and most of the rosters are set for camp (whatever that looks like now). After the first-ever remote draft, a few teams’ odds have shifted considerably, while many teams experienced at least some movement for the 2020 expected win totals.
I’m giving you my top four picks for the 2020 season win projections, according to the DraftKings Sportsbook’s odds.
New England Patriots under 9 wins (-115)
It may be the end of an era in New England. I can’t imagine the Patriots are going to just mail in the season, even if it meant they would have a decent shot to get Trevor Lawrence. Bill Belichick has too much pride to toss away a season. Alas, what’s their move at this point? Do they really have confidence in Jarrett Stidham to lead the offense?
After an 8-0 start, the Patriots went 4-4 down the stretch, before losing at home in the Wildcard to the Titans. If you take the same team from last season and insert Jarret Stidham, you’re looking at a record closer to 7-9 and 8-8. Their receiving options are limited, Sony Michel hasn’t been great since their last Super Bowl performance, and the defense fell apart down the stretch. It doesn’t bode well for 2020.
Las Vegas Raiders under 7.5 wins (-120)
The Raiders had some real positive takeaways from their 2019 season. The offense rebounded from 2018, Josh Jacobs looked great, and the defense appeared to show up from time to time.
As the 2020 season looms, the Raiders made an odd pick in the first round, selecting a corner many had graded in the third round, and took the first receiver off the board with the speedy Henry Ruggs. It’s likely Ruggs will account for some deep plays this season, but his opportunities in college were very limited and gave many experts doubts as to how productive he could be in the NFL.
The other interesting factor with Ruggs is Derek Carr. Carr had one of the lowest depth-of-target numbers in the league. I think the AFC West is very strong, so I just don’t envision the Raiders making it to .500.
Dallas Cowboys over 9.5 wins (-125)
Dallas finally got rid of Jason Garrett. For the first time, Garrett couldn’t clap his way out of this situation, but in a strange twist of events, Dallas went on to hire the Packers former coach, Mike McCarthy. McCarthy took a lot of flak for his late years with the Packers, but he has since claimed he is embracing analytics moving forward.
In the draft, the Cowboys took the best player on the board with their pick, Ceedee Lamb. Lamb was viewed by many scouts as the top or number two receiver in the class. With Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup already proving to be a very powerful one-two punch, Lamb should make the Cowboys even more potent on offense.
Though the defense doesn’t appear to be much better, the coaching change and addition of more weapons is leading me to believe we will be seeing a renaissance from 2019’s top offensive unit. I think the Cowboys are going to be winning a lot more of those close games, and I think they have a great shot to go far this season.
Houston Texans under 8 wins (-150)
The Texans got a lot worse this offseason. It’s crazy to think about how this team was crushing the Chiefs in Kansas City for a half in the divisional round and now, they decided they need to get rid of their best weapon aside from Deshaun Watson.
Bill O’Brien has the most power of any coach in the NFL as far as roster control is concerned and he managed to turn a top-five receiver and a fourth-round pick into a washed running back on an albatross contract and a second-round pick that turned into a defensive tackle from TCU.
What do the Texans look like in 2020? The answer is, “Not great.” The Titans didn’t really improve, but the Colts brought on a great defensive end and upgraded their quarterback position. The Texans didn’t draft an offensive lineman until the fourth round, so I don’t feel good about Deshaun Watson’s chances for staying healthy in 2020 either.