NFL OVER/UNDER PROJECTED WINS, PART 1 c/o LV Hilton

May 1, 2007 3:21 AM

Team: Arizona

Last 2 years: 10-22

Projected wins: 7

Over/under: OVER -140, UNDER +120

Forecast: Zona always manages to disappoint its fans, who rightly expect a lot with QB Matt Leinart having WRs Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin as keys to a potentially explosive offense. Ex-Cards coach Dennis Green might now say, "The Cards are what we thought they were." UNDER.

Team: Atlanta

Last 2 years: 15-17

Projected wins: 7½

Over/under: OVER -165, UNDER +145

Forecast: Obviously money suggests that the Falcons are good for at least 8-8. They need to do a lot better than that or else Michael Vick may wind up a wide receiver. Backup QB Matt Schaub is gone, as is foot-in-mouth coach Jim Mora Jr. It’s Vick’s show and he better run with it. OVER.

Team: Baltimore

Last 2 years: 19-13

Projected wins: 9

Over/under: OVER -130, UNDER +110

Forecast: The Ravens went from 6 wins in 2005 to 13 last year. Ray Lewis and Steve McNair are warriors, but they’re a year older and the AFC North Division is tightening up from top to bottom. Last year may have been Baltimore’s shot. Jamal Lewis is gone and Billick’s plan may be growing stale. UNDER.

Team: Buffalo

Last 2 years: 12-20

Projected wins: 6

Over/under: OVER -115, UNDER -105

Forecast: How far Buffalo goes is now firmly in the hands of J.P. Losman, now that RB Willis McGahee has departed. WR Lee Evans had a breakout year and QB Losman showed signs that he can play in the NFL. The cold and snow are worth several home wins in December so we’ll say 7 is reachable. OVER.

Team: Carolina

Last 2 years: 19-13

Projected wins: 9

Over/under: OVER +120, UNDER -140

Forecast: Finally, an under with lower price! Patience is running out with Delhomme, evidenced by the trade for Houston QB David Carr. When the Panthers are successful, they run the football, play strong defense and let Steve Smith do his thing. Too many variables to go against the crowd. UNDER.

Team: Chicago

Last 2 years: 24-8

Projected wins: 10

Over/under: OVER -120, UNDER even

Forecast: Lots of defections could end the Love-y affair in Chicago. The Bears still should have enough to get to at least 10 wins living in the NFC Central. We do not see a Super Bowl repeat appearance, but can side with public sentiment in total victories. OVER.

Team: Cincinnati

Last 2 years: 19-13

Projected wins: 9

Over/under: OVER -130, UNDER +110

Forecast: Off two straight years of blowing a playoff berth, Carson Palmer and the Bengals will really feel the heat this year. Chad Johnson’s dance act will get old quick if Cincy doesn’t get off to a good start. The talent base is still intact, but so is that criminal rap sheet. 9 is low for arrests. OVER.

Team: Cleveland

Last year: 10-22

Projected wins: 5½

Over/under: OVER -150, UNDER +130

Forecast: The identity of the Browns is a strong running game. They haven’t had that since Ernest Byner nearly 10 years ago and nothing remotely close to approaching the days of Jim Brown, Ernie Davis and Leroy Kelly. Cleveland passed on Adrian Peterson in the draft, but maybe Quinn could turn out to be mighty in the AFC North. OVER.

Team: Dallas

Last 2 years: 18-14

Projected wins: 9

Over/under: OVER -120, UNDER even

Forecast: Wade Phillips will bring a calm, Texas style that hard liner Parcells never could. Tony Romo was the heartbreak kid after muffing the center snap in Seattle, but he should shake it off and have a solid year. Who knows about T.O.? But, there’s plenty in the cookie jar to get excited about. OVER.

Team: Denver

Last 2 years: 22-10

Projected wins: 9½

Over/under: OVER +110, UNDER -130

Forecast: Mike Shanahan gambled on pulling Plummer for rookie Cutler, but the move should pay off this season. Whether the Broncos exceed 9½ could come down to how they do against Kansas City. We will lean toward a 10-win season, counting of course on Denver’s usual home field advantage and cold December weather. OVER.

Team: Detroit

Last 2 years: 8-24

Projected wins: 6

Over/under: OVER +115, UNDER -135

Forecast: How does GM Matt Millen keep his job? All those insane draft picks! There’s only one way to look at the Lions picture as long as Millen is around. Never mind the fact they can’t win a road game. UNDER.

Team: Green Bay

Last 2 years: 12-20

Projected wins: 7½

Over/under: OVER +130, UNDER -150

Forecast: The Packers improved from 4-to-8 wins, enough incentive to make Brett Favre want to play another year in Green Bay. Heck, if the Pack just match 2006, they win the +130 wager. Ahman Green is gone, but he was on the downside anyway. The NFC North is not strong, even with conference champ Chicago. OVER.

Team: Houston

Last 2 years: 8-24

Projected wins: 6½

Over/under:OVER +115, UNDER -135

Forecast: The Texans break into a new era, having had David Carr at QB their first eight seasons in the NFL. Now the ball is in the hands of Matt Schaub, who finally escaped the Michael Vick regime in Atlanta. It’s Schaub’s team now so if he can get the team behind him and stay on his feet, Texas could surprise. OVER.

Team: Indianapolis

Last 2 years: 26-6

Projected wins: 10½

Over/under: OVER -135, UNDER +115

Forecast: Not a hard choice here. The money is right. Anything less than 11 wins would be considered a subpar regular season for the Super Bowl champs. There’s always the chance of a letdown, but not likely with Peyton Manning at the helm. We see at least a dozen wins, if not a repeat trip to the Super Bowl. OVER.

Team: Jacksonville

Last 2 years: 20-12

Projected wins: 8½

Over/under: OVER -160, UNDER +140

Forecast: The price tells you this is the worst projected win total. No value taking the over and going the other week just seems silly. The Jaguars are the classic ”˜under-achiever’ coming off a 12-win season in 2005. Three words can sum up 2007: Maurice Jones Drew. If the ex-UCLA star can just say healthy, 10 wins at least. OVER.

Team: Kansas City

Last 2 years: 19-13

Projected wins: 8

Over/under:OVER+130, UNDER -150

Forecast: We really like this +130 price. The QB situation is up in the air between the unhappy Trent Green and the ”˜comeback kid’ Damon Huard. Give me Larry Johnson and there has to be a way to win at least eight, which would be a push. The great KC fans at Arrowhead can push us to 9. OVER.

Next week: Miami to Washington.