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

May 8, 2007 12:50 AM

Team: Miami

Last 2 years: 15-17

Projected wins: 7

Over / under: O -110

UN -110

Forecast: So who else wants to stab the Dolphins in the back? Nick Saban and Ricky Williams already have, though RW wants back. The Dolphins have a great defense and are usually very strong in September. We’re not excited about Norm Turner and the QB situation is anyone’s guess. .500 is possible. OVER.

Team: Minnesota

Last 2 years: 15-17

Projected wins: 6½

Over / under: O -130

UN +110

Forecast: The Vikings collapsed late last year when Brad Johnson had a QB meltdown. RB Adrian Peterson and a strong draft changed our thinking about the season. We now believe Vikings have enough talent to improve upon last year’s 6-10. UNDER.

Team: New England

Last year: 22-10

Projected wins: 11

Over / under: O even,

UN -120

Forecast: When Belichick doesn’t make the Super Bowl, expect a tough training camp and a re-committed Patriots team. Give me Tom Brady and I’ll bet on a double-digit win season. Again we’re doing a reversal. We’re now very optimistic after deal for Randy Moss. Now the Pats are the Super Bowl favorite. OVER.

Team: New Orleans

Last 2 years: 13-19

Projected wins: 9

Over / under: O even,

UN -120

Forecast: The Hilton must think last year’s 10-6 record and NFC title appearance were flukes. We don’t. The Saints should be stronger off last year’s postseason experience. I still think they were better than Chicago and would have given the Colts a tougher test. Hopefully, no sophomore jinx for Bush. OVER.

Team: NY Giants

Last year: 19-13

Projected wins: 8

Over / under: O -120,

UN even

Forecast: Tiki Barber has retired and Eli Manning’s leadership and ability is being questioned. Tom Coughlin somehow managed survive another year as coach. He has to be on thin ice. In this tough division, someone must goes down. Passing on popular local Rutgers RB Bryan Leonard was a mistake. UNDER.

Team: NY Jets

Last year: 14-18

Projected wins: 8

Over / under: O +140, U -160

Forecast: Mangini in a bottle may have been the best way to describe a miracle 10-6 regular season and playoff berth. Fabulous comeback by QB Chad Pennington, who many figured was damaged goods. The Jets won without Curtis Martin. They just won. So why not 9-7 at least? Certainly the price is nice. OVER.

Team: Oakland

Last year: 6-26

Projected wins: 5

Over / under: O -130,

UN +110

Forecast: Just win, baby" has turned from a demand to a polite request. Al Davis has its home run threat in rookie QB JaMarcus Russell, a steal in RB Michael Bush and slick deal to get WR Mike Williams and QB Josh McCown. The defense is top notch. Look for "Sinners" to follow last year’s Saints comeback. OVER.

Team: Philadelphia

Last year: 16-16

Projected wins: 9

Over / under: O -120,

UN even

Forecast: With sub QB Garcia resurrecting his career and now in Tampa, the franchise is back in the hands of Donovan McNabb. If healthy, they’re fine. Same health story for all-everything RB Brian Westbrook. Andy Reid has been through it all in Philly. He deserves better, but Eagles can snap in an instant. UNDER.

Team: Pittsburgh

Last year: 19-13

Projected wins: 9

Over / under: O -140,

UN +120

Forecast: It will take awhile for us to adjust to not seeing Cowher and that jaw on the sidelines. The Steelers were not the same without Bettis plus losing a coach and emotional leader in LB Joey Porter is not good. Plus All-Pro OL Faneca wants out. In a tough division, all these signs point south. UNDER.

Team: San Diego

Last 2 years: 23-9

Projected wins: 10½

Over / under: O -140,

UN +120

Forecast: Philip Rivers has now fully established himself as the QB and LT is the best player in the game, but losing Schottenheimer as coach has to be a jolt to the Bolts. Of course Marty could never win the big game, so maybe his departure is good. San Diego definitely has a cause. OVER.

Team: San Francisco

Last 2 years: 11-21

Projected wins: 7

Over / under: O +115,

UN -135

Forecast: The 49ers were one of the most improved teams in the NFL last year with the seasoning of QB Alex Smith and RB Frank Gore. Mike Nolan won four games in his rookie season, seven last year. The scale suggests 10 this season, but we think 8 or 9 is more likely. Still, the Niners are a playoff contender. OVER.

Team: Seattle

Last 2 years: 22-10

Projected wins: 9

Over / under: O +110,

UN -130

Forecast: The Seahawks dropped from 13 wins to 9 last year, mainly because RB Shaun Alexander was hurt much of the season. QB Matt Hasselbeck is solid and Mike Holmgren is off his finest coaching job, but Seattle could be getting stale. The Niners, Rams and Cards are closing the gap. UNDER.

Team: St. Louis

Last 2 years: 14-18

Projected wins: 7½

Over / under: O even, UN -120

Forecast: This may be the best bet on the entire board. QB Marc Bulger is vastly underrated and off a great year. RB Steven Jackson could rush for 2,000 yards if healthy and given enough carries. The Rams made a subtle acquisition last week, landing KC’s fleet kick returner Dante Hall. OVER.

Team: Tampa Bay

Last 2 years: 15-17

Projected wins: 7

Over / under: O -110,

UN -110

Forecast: Jon Gruden went from 11 wins in 2005 to 4 and still faces a clouded QB situation. It should be a healthy competition between Garcia, Phil Simms (recovering from injured spleen) and Bruce Gradkowski. Bucs must have a big year from RB Cadillac Williams. One tough division. UNDER.

Team: Tennessee

Last 2 years: 12-20

Projected wins: 7

Over / under: O even, UN -120

Forecast: Nobody gave the Titans a shot last year and they nearly made the playoffs because Jeff Fisher had faith in top draft pick Vince Young. Now Vince is the toast of Nashville. He’ll be expected to win games, but we believe in Vince. He and Fish will find a way to reach 8 again. OVER.

Team: Washington

Last 2 years: 15-17

Projected wins: 7½

Over / under: O +115, UN -135

Forecast: The Skins won just five games last year, but Joe Gibbs astutely benched aging Mark Brunell for Jason Campbell. The ex-Auburn QB is the future. If Clinton Portis can just stay healthy for a few games, Washington can be a playoff contender. Sean Taylor is an exceptional DB and Gibbs can still coach. OVER.