Originally written on Sons of Roto  |  Last updated 11/17/14

It's Peyton F'ing Manning
Photo Credit: Jeffrey Beall

In 2011, somewhere between 800 and a 100 billion dollars was gambled on the NFL. I don’t know what this tells you, but it tells me that the people in our great nation like having a little action on their football. And guess what? So, does this guy.

Last year my wife took half. This left me owning two things. My dog and my bookie. Messy divorce aside, in 2011, I hauled in five thousand dollars gambling on the NFL and I wasn’t working with a power broker’s bankroll. I say this not to brag, but merely to establish some credibility with the loyal contingency we have here at Sons of Roto. While I excel at picking spreads from week to week, I also fare well with prop bets and season bets. But enough with the semantics. Let’s make money on Vegas’ over/under total wins for some NFL teams.

More after the jump:

Denver Broncos OVER 8.5 wins
Peyton Manning has quarterbacked for 13 seasons. In eleven of those seasons he’s had more than eight wins. In fact, in the 11 seasons where he’s had more than eight wins, he’s actually had at least 10 wins. What has to be of concern to the wagering nation here is Peyton Manning’s neck. Well, let me assure you, you need not worry. His neck is more than fine. How do I know? I watched his preseason opener against the Bears. In his seven pass attempts, one thing was clear. Manning was throwing heat. What reassured me, and what should reassure you, was Peyton Manning’s nineteen yard strike on a third and 17 to Eric Decker. The nineteen yard missile to Decker prolonged an opening drive that went all the way down to the five yard line. Manning was eventually picked on the drive but it was because Brandon Stokley dropped a wide open pass on the goal line. Last year, Tim Tebow and Kyle Orton led the Broncos to eight wins. This year, I’m banking Peyton Manning can do one better. If he does, you win this wager. Enough said.

St. Louis Rams UNDER six wins
Last year the league beat the Rams worse than Ike beat Tina. The Rams lost 14 of their 16 games. In the event that you disagree with my betting opinion here and think the Rams can be significantly better this year, we’ll look at their 2012 schedule. Week One at Detroit. We can simply agree that’s a loss. Week Two, home against the Redskins. The Redskins have Robert Griffin III and a solid running game, they also have an underrated defense. I don’t care that it’s the Rams home opener, they’ll be outmatched and will concede a loss. Week Three, at Chicago. Yup, another loss. Week Four, home against the Seahawks. The Rams could feasibly get a win here, but realistically, a loss is more likely the case. My verdict, Rams lose. Week Five, home against the Cardinals. Here the Rams squeak out a win. Week Six, at Miami. The Dolphins are solid in that heat at home. It will still be hot in early October and the Dolphins will have just enough defense to put together a win. Another Rams loss. Week Seven and Eight are weeks Rams fans will threaten the ticket windows at Edward Jones Dome demanding for their money back. These are weeks angry Midwesterners will douse their plasmas in whatever they can get their hands on at the Anheuser Busch brewery. Why? The Rams see the Packers and Patriots come to town. These are games the Rams lose by twenty. Easy.

Week Nine will be a good week for the Rams. Why? It’s their bye week. Week 10 the Rams travel to San Francisco, a place they lost last year 26 to nothing. So, what can we expect? How about another Rams loss. Week 11, the Rams play host to the New York Jets. Here I have the Rams pulling off a small upset. Rams win. Week 12, at Arizona. While I think the Rams can beat the Cardinals at home, I think they lose on the road which leaves us with another Rams loss. Week 13 brings the 49ers to town. Do I even have to say it? Week 14 at Buffalo. This game will be closer than people think, but Buffalo pulls out the win primarily due to weather and home field. Rams lose. Week 15, Minnesota at home. I’ll give the Rams a win here. Minnesota will be quite the horror show this year as well, which I’ll get into later. Week 16 at Tampa Bay. This year, Tampa Bay will resemble the 2010 team that won ten games not the team that won six last year. If that’s the case, the Rams lose to the Bucs. Week 17 at Seattle. Seattle is one of the toughest places to play. On top of that, it’s a divisional game. Seattle wins big.

I have the Rams going 3-13. Not far off from their 2-14 record of last year. Bottom line, I don’t care who you have running the ball or playing quarterback when you have one of the worst offensive lines in the league and a weak defense, your season will feel like you’ve been pissing razor blades for 16 weeks. Maybe, the Rams win more than three games, but if you see them winning six, you really don’t know your NFL. Take the Rams winning less than six games and don’t look back.

Minnesota Vikings UNDER six wins
If we can agree that the Vikings, in all likelihood, will lose their matchups against division rivals, then we could mark the Vikings down for six losses. But for the sake of this article, I’ll be generous and say that the Vikings steal one of these games. Now that we’ve reviewed their divisional contests giving the Vikings one win, we can take a look at their other ten games. In the Minnesota home opener they play host to the Jaguars. A game I actually think the Vikings win. In Week One, the Vikings travel to Indianapolis to play the Colts. I think this game will be close, but in the end Andrew Luck outduels Christian Ponder. Week Three, the Vikings get the 49ers at home. The 49ers have only gotten better from last year and will run the ball all over the Vikings' anemic defense. Smackmouth football gets the Niners a 17-point win. Week Five, the Vikings get the Titans at home. Although the Titans aren’t elite, they’re just mediocre enough to beat the Vikings.

Week Six sees the Vikings travel to Washington. I’ve been to a few stadiums in my day and none were louder than FedEx field. If RG III is still healthy come Week Six, the Redskins should win by 10. Week Seven, the Vikings get the Cardinals. I’ll give the Vikings a win here. Week Eight, the Vikings see the Buccaneers at home. The Bucs are a better team than the Vikings this year, but I can honestly see this game going either way. In the end, I have to give this game to a more talented Tampa Bay team. Week Nine, the Vikings travel to Seattle. Seattle will win eight games this year and most of them will be at home. Why? The best home field advantage in the league belongs to Seattle (Kansas City being a close second). Seattle gets the win. Week 15, the Vikings travel to St. Louis to play the Rams. Above I said that the Rams would win this matchup, so I have to stick with my guns here. Sam Bradford outduels Ponder in a battle of lower-tiered quarterbacks. Week 16, the Vikings travel to Houston. Unless, Houston has home field locked up, they’ll be playing for something. Odds are, with the Patriots in the AFC, Houston will be vying for home field advantage into December. Vikings lose in embarrassing fashion.

Let’s be honest, the Vikings weren’t much last year with a healthy Adrian Peterson. This year, AP comes back from not only a torn ACL, but also a torn MCL. Typical recovery time is twelve months, which means AP shouldn’t be AP until late December. While Toby Gerhart is a nice backup, he won’t be able to carry the running game. What looms over the Vikings season like a cloud about to rain **** is the fact that Christian Ponder doesn’t have any weapons outside of injury-prone Percy Harvin.

And get this. Ponder is publicly saying the Vikings can make the playoffs in 2012. This coming from a quarterback who plays in the NFC North on teams not named the Packers, Lions or Bears. So, now we can add a delusional quarterback to the Vikings list of woes. I have the Vikings winning three games. Maybe they win four. No way they win more than six. When I really think about it, I haven’t seen money this easy since I saw Rodney Dangerfield and Joe Pesci on screen together for the first time. For those who got that movie reference, your knowledge of classic eighties movies is appreciated. Good luck and happy gambling.



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