Arizona Cardinals – 2018 record (3-13) – ATS Record (7-8-1) – Over/Under Record (7-9)
- YPG Differential -117
- Point Differential -200
2019 ASA prediction – Play UNDER 5 Wins for Arizona Cardinals
This is really a tough call. The Cards have the lowest win total in the NFL this year set at 5, however there are so many unknowns with this team heading into the season. New coach, new system on both sides of the ball, new rookie QB, etc… With former Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury taking over the team, you can bet this will be a fast paced offense with mainly a shotgun look. New QB Kyler Murray reportedly has “crushed it” thus far according to teammates, the fact is he was a running QB in college and he’s pretty small (5’10 is generous). How will he hold up in the NFL? We’ve been told Kingsbury would like to average 90 or so offensive plays per game. To put that in perspective, no NFL team has ever averaged 80 plays per game for a season. If he accomplishes that, he can wear down opposing defenses, but also his own defense. If the offense plays at an extremely fast pace yet isn’t very successful, the Arizona defense will be on the field A LOT. That defense was actually the strength of this 3 win team last year finishing in the top 10 in YPP allowed. However, they faced almost 68 offensive plays per game (29th most in the NFL) which resulted in 26 PPG allowed (26th in the NFL) – not on par with their top 10 YPP numbers. Could we see a similar scenario this season? The schedule is tough highlighted by 4 road games in 5 weeks starting in late October & they close out the season @ Seahawks followed by @ Rams. The oddmakers released their full season NFL lines over the summer and had Arizona favored in ZERO games. That obviously changes as the season plays out but gives you an idea on how they feel about the Cards. It’s always tough to take an under when the total is set this low, however we’ll lean that way here. Light opinion UNDER for Arizona in 2019.
Los Angeles Rams – 2018 record (13-3) – ATS Record (7-8-1) – Over/Under Record (8-8)
- YPG Differential +63
- Point Differential +143
2019 ASA prediction – Play OVER 10.5 Wins for LA Rams
The Rams have won 11 & 13 games their last 2 seasons and we see no reason they won’t get to at least 11 again in 2019. There has been nothing fluky about LA’s run as their point differential the last 2 years was +149 and +143. The offense should be among the top few in the NFL again this season. Last season they finished in the top 3 in PPG, Total offense, and YPP. The Rams face a fairly light defensive slate with 9 of their opponents ranking in the bottom half of the NFL last season in total defense. Only 4 opponents this season ranked in the top 10 in total defense last year. Thus, we can expect LA’s offense to continue humming in 2019. Their defense took a step back in almost all key categories last year (total defense, YPP allowed, and PPG allowed) yet they still won 13 games. The continuity of another year under veteran defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, we wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Rams stop unit is better this year than last season. The schedule is conducive to winning early as they play only 2 teams in their first 8 games that had above .500 records last year. They do have one very tough stretch playing @ Atlanta, then in London vs Cincinnati the following week, followed by a bye, then @ Pittsburgh. With extra motivation from their 6-3 loss in the Super Bowl to the Patriots, we see the Rams getting to at least 11 wins again in 2019.
San Francisco 49ers – 2018 record (4-12) – ATS Record (5-11) – Over/Under Record (9-7)
- YPG Differential +16
- Point Differential -93
2018 ASA prediction – Play OVER 7.5 Wins for San Francisco 49ers
The Niners won just 4 games last season yet their total win projection puts them at almost .500 this year. Our prediction for San Francisco is 8-8 which pushes them over this number by a half game. First off, they were much better than their record last year. They actually outgained their opponents by 16 YPG despite their 4-12 record. The problem with this team was turnovers as they had a -25 differential on the season which was dead last in the NFL and by a wide margin. The 2nd worst turnover differential was Tampa at -18. The QB position was a huge problem after Jimmy Garoppolo went down in early September with an ACL injury. Nick Mullens & CJ Beathard combined to throw 17 interceptions in the 14 games they played in after the Garoppolo injury. Let’s not forget that Jimmy G led San Fran to a perfect 5-0 record to close out the season in 2017 after coming over from New England. He is 8-2 overall as a starter. It looks like he will be 100% ready once training camp hits so we’d expect the offense to be much better for the 49ers. The defense was actually fairly solid allowing just 5.4 YPP (10th in the NFL) so when the offense improves, which it will under head coach and top offensive mind Kyle Shanahan, this should be a fairly solid team. It’s important that San Fran gets off to a fast start to build confidence. We think that can do that with 6 of their first 8 games against teams that had losing records last year. A .500 record is definitely doable for the Niners this year.
Seattle Seahawks – 2018 record (10-6) – ATS Record (9-5-2) – Over/Under Record (9-7)
- YPG Differential +0
- Point Differential +81
2019 ASA prediction – Play OVER 8.5 Wins for Seattle Seahawks
Seattle was 10-6 last year but their numbers were closer to a team that should have finished around .500. The defense dropped off drastically and because of that the Seahawks gave up as many yards last season as their offense gained. The stop unit allowed 5.9 YPP in 2018 after allowing just 4.9 YPP the previous season. In the all important yards per pass attempt category, the Seattle defense allowed a full yard more at 7.0 yards per pass attempt after giving up just 6.0 in 2017. After struggling to run the ball and losing their first 2 games of the season to Denver & Chicago (64 & 74 yards rushing), Seattle went into run heavy mode and kept it up throughout the entire year. The led the league in rushing averaging 155 YPG and they were 2nd in rushing attempts averaging 33 per game. They had a solid run blocking line but struggled giving Russell Wilson time so we think they’ll probably go run heavy again this year. Also the loss of WR Baldwin is a big one as he was Wilson’s key target. Despite their average YPG differential of +0, the Seahawks actually conceivably could have had more than 10 wins at 5 of their 7 losses (including playoffs) came by 5 points or less. Their schedule isn’t easy with 5 trips to the east coast on the docket and the NFC West looks pretty good with the exception of Arizona. We’re torn with this number. We think they’ll be some regression with Seattle as their overall numbers just don’t match their record. That being said, Russell Wilson is simply a winner. In his 7 years as Seattle’s starting QB, he’s guided them to double digit wins 6 times and he’s never won less than 9. If that holds true again this year, they go OVER 8.5. We’ll call for a 9-7 year barely getting over this number.