Welcome to Bet Labs 2016 NFL preview series where we will look at all eight of the league’s divisions. As part of the preview, we will highlight each team’s chances of winning their respective division and take a look at their season win total.
To create our projections we simulated the 2016 NFL season 10,000 times using our NFL Strength of Schedule.
We began with the NFC East; now we head to the AFC East.
New England Patriots
2015 Record: 12-4
Home Games: HOU, CIN, SEA, LA, BAL
Away Games: AZ, CLE, PIT, SF, DEN
Tom Brady will sit out the first four games of the season as punishment for Deflategate. The oddsmakers don’t think much of the suspension to the All-Pro quarterback, as the Pats remain the favorites to win the AFC and the Super Bowl. The bookmakers have also made New England the odds on favorite to repeat as AFC East champions for an eighth straight season. Our simulation model agrees with Vegas, despite Brady’s suspension the Patriots will take the AFC East 64.5% of the time.
New England’s most likely result is a 10-6 season, which occurs 20.7% of the time in 10,000 simulations.
|Patriots O/U||Over%||Under%||Implied Odds|
The Pats have one of the highest win totals in football. Taking the over or the under likely means having an opinion on how well Jimmy Garoppolo will play. Currently bettors are taking the over as the juice has run up to -155 on over 10.5 wins. According to our simulations, to have value on taking the over at 10.5 a bettor would need odds of +132 or better.
2015 Record: 8-8
Home Games: AZ, SF, JAX, PIT, CLE
Away Games: BAL, LA, SEA, CIN, OAK
Rex Ryan’s first season in Buffalo ended in usual fashion for the Bills, another year without a postseason appearance. Buffalo now has the longest active playoff drought in major professional sports (16 years). 2016 doesn’t look much better as the team averages an 8-8 campaign (happens 20.9% of the time in the simulations).
|Bills O/U||Over%||Under%||Implied Odds|
The bookmakers also have Buffalo pegged for an 8-win season. Will Tyrod Taylor take a step forward as a passer, can Rex Ryan improve a defense that finished 24th in DVOA? If the answers to those questions are yes, then over 8 wins would be the play. If you can get Bills +129 or greater odds there is value taking the over.
New York Jets
2015 Record: 10-6
Home Games: CIN, SEA, BAL, LA, IND
Away Games: KC, PIT, AZ, CLE, SF
The Jets had the dubious honor of finishing last season as the only team with a winning record not to make the playoffs. The additions of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brandon Marshall and Darrelle Revis helped New York improve from 4-12 in 2014 to 10-6. The good times could be short lived. Ryan Fitzpatrick remains unsigned and the Jets are threatening to start Geno Smith, yeah that Geno Smith. In the simulations we assume a mix of Geno and Fitzpatrick at quarterback. The end result is an 8-8 season (20.0% of the time).
|Jets O/U||Over%||Under%||Implied Odds|
Last year the franchise earned its first winning season since 2010 but unless Fitzpatrick plays all 16 games it is hard to imagine more wins then losses for Gang Green. The team’s win total is set at 8, if you can get +139 or better odds there would be value taking the over.
2015 Record: 6-10
Home Games: CLE, TEN, PIT, SF, AZ
Away Games: SEA, CIN, SD, LA, BAL
It got ugly fast for the Dolphins in 2015. Coming into the season the organization had playoff aspirations after an 8-8 campaign in 2014 but a 1-3 start squashed those dreams and got head coach Joe Philbin fired. It has been seven consecutive seasons since the Fins have reached the postseason; the drought isn’t likely to end in 2016 either. Miami finished last season in the bottom of the league in both offensive and defensive efficiency. The Dolphins average a 7-9 record in 10,000 simulations of the 2016 season.
|Dolphins O/U||Over%||Under%||Implied Odds|
Still no clear value on season win totals as once again our simulations are in line with Vegas. Miami has an over/under set a 7 games, if you can get odds of +116 or better then there is value on the over.
Tom Brady had to miss the entire 2008 season for another team to win the AFC East. A four game suspension won’t be enough for the also-rans of the division to topple the Patriots.
|Team||Division Win Probability|
|New England Patriots||64.5%|
|New York Jets||14.1%|
Check back tomorrow when we review the NFC North.