NFL Win Totals That Look Completely Off Based on Last Year's Actual Production
Now that the NFL Draft is over, we've got a pretty good understanding of what teams are going to look like in 2017.
Except for the Jets. What the hell are the Jets doing?
But with the end of the draft came the start of over-under win total talk. Yesterday, oddsmakers at South Point Casino published team win totals for the upcoming NFL season. And some of the over-unders have us at numberFire scratching our heads.
As some of you know, we use a metric here called nERD, which tells us the number of points we'd expect a team to win by against an average one on a neutral field. A nERD of, say, 3.02 means we'd expect that team to beat an average team by a little over a field goal. One that's -8.04 is, well, not good.
Teams change a lot over an offseason, and that'll alter win totals from one year to the next. But the disparity in team record year over year can also be due to dumb luck. Like how the Chargers only won five games last year despite having a win probability of 70% or greater in 8 of their 11 losses.
While the Chargers picked in the top-10 in the NFL Draft this past week, nERD actually had them as the 15th-best team in football. Not bad.
And Vegas sees that they're not as bad as their record showed, too, giving them an over-under win total of 7.5 in the upcoming season.
Though this is far from exact, here's a look at team nERD from last season and projected win totals for this year.
|New England Patriots||11.86||11|
|Green Bay Packers||4.23||10|
|New Orleans Saints||2.59||8.5|
|Kansas City Chiefs||2.10||9|
|Los Angeles Chargers||0.64||7.5|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||0.43||8|
|New York Giants||0.37||9|
|New York Jets||-6.70||5.5|
|San Francisco 49ers||-9.88||4.5|
|Los Angeles Rams||-11.32||5.5|
If you're more of a visual learner, take a look at the chart below. Any team above the trendline is one that appears to have too high of a win total, and teams below it appear to have too low of one:
If you're looking to utilize this data in some way, here's how I'd do it: take a look at the nERD ratings from last season, and ask yourself if that team will be better or worse in 2017. Then, peep and see if the win totals match that feeling.
The Jets, for example, had the fourth-worst nERD in football and currently have one of the most depleted offensive rosters we've seen in a long time. The fact that they have a 5.5-win over/under -- one that's similar to Jacksonville, a team that improved the defense even further this offseason -- is kind of shocking.
For a quick reference -- and without factoring in offseason moves, which is important -- teams who appear to have too low of win totals include New England (11), Atlanta (10), Arizona (7.5), and Buffalo (6).
Is it September yet?