Caesars William Hill has announced its opening win totals for the 2021 NFL season and there are few surprises when it comes to the Jacksonville Jaguars. As expected, the Jaguars come near the bottom of the list.
While the entire landscape of the NFL is set to change dramatically over the next two weeks due to the impending NFL Draft, opening win totals at least give us an idea of how teams are viewed entering the final major phase of the offseason.
In this year's opening odds, the Jaguars were given a win total of 6. Considering the Jaguars went 1-15 last year, a 6-win season (it would be a 6-11 record) would likely be a sign in the right direction for the Jaguars, even if six wins would disappoint fans with bigger ideas. Still, that win total is only better than two of the league's other 31 teams.
Below are William Hill's full-opening win totals for the 2021 season.
The Lions and Texans being projected at the very bottom of the win total list is far from surprising. Those are likely the only two teams once could say the Jaguars are confidently better than today, though the Jaguars could reasonably be a better team than the Falcons, Eagles, Bengals, Panthers, and Bears as long as Trevor Lawrence plays up to the standard of a No. 1 overall pick.
With that said there should be zero understatements about the gravity of the rebuild facing the Jaguars. They have a few talented players in place such as Josh Allen, Laviska Shenault, James Robinson, D.J. Chark, Myles Jack, and others, but the Jaguars were the worst team in the NFL with those same players last season.
Yes the Jaguars will be getting a massive upgrade at quarterback in Lawrence, but he is still going to be a rookie passer. We have seen in recent years that No. 1 overall quarterbacks do not always bring instant winning ways to their teams -- no No. 1 overall pick at the position has had a winning record as a rookie since Andrew Luck in 2012.
The Jaguars will also have a rookie head coach in Urban Meyer who will be taking his first foray into the NFL this season. Meyer is an extremely accomplished and talented coach, but the Jaguars should likely expect some bumpy patches during the regular season.
With that said, Lawrence is seen as the NFL's best quarterback prospect since Luck and Meyer has won at every stop of his career. Projecting the Jaguars to turn around the franchise in the near future isn't exactly outlandish, though six wins may sound appropriate for the Jaguars in 2021.
With this in mind, the Jaguars won't be facing an immensely tough schedule in 2021 by any means. Plus, the entire AFC South is a question mark. The Titans lost Arthur Smith, Jonnu Smith, and Corey Davis, while the Colts have made a big gamble on Carson Wentz and the Texans are still reeling during their rebuild.
As a result, perhaps the Jaguars do hit the ground running in the Meyer/Lawrence era. It shouldn't be expected, but it also may not be the most surprising outcome possible.