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NFL Futures Bets: Largest projected win improvements

Sep 23, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) looks to pass during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 38-27. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Draft is still three weeks away, but CG Technologies on March 30 became one of the first bookmakers to release 2019 NFL season win totals. ; For a full-set of today’s odds, access our sports odds page at USA TODAY Sports.

Today, we’ll take a look at the teams expected to make the largest leaps by comparing their opening CG totals with their 2018 records. Some are predictable, but a few may catch you off guard and present some early perceived value.

NFL Projected Win Totals: Largest Improvements

San Francisco 49ers

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

2018 record: 4-12

2019 opening total: 8 wins (over -105, under -115)

For the second straight season, the Niners are projected to be one of the league’s most improved teams. Only this time better health fortune is expected – particularly with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who missed all but three games a year ago due to a knee injury.

Best Bet: Four wins is a sizable jump, but I’ll give a nudge to the over as a Kyle Shanahan/Jimmy G believer.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

2018 record: 5-11

2019 opening total: 8 (O even, U -120)

The Jags plummeted from the AFC title game to the bottom of the AFC South a season ago, but QB Blake Bortles is now gone, replaced by Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, and CG foresees bettors banking on a rebound season for J’ville.

Best Bet: The underachieving Jags certainly have the talent to bounce back, but the division is tough. Eight wins sounds just about right – a pass here.

New York Jets

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

2018 record: 4-12

2019 opening total: 7 (O -115, U -105)

The Jets have endured three straight seasons of five wins or fewer but CG is anticipating some over action on N.Y. with QB Sam Darnold entering his second season and the ballyhooed addition of free-agent running back Le’Veon Bell.

Best Bet: Darnold looks like the real deal, the Jets should receive a new-coach bump and the schedule doesn’t appear overly imposing. However, a three-win improvement sounds spot on so it’s another pass.

Green Bay Packers

Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY NETWORK

2018 record: 6-9-1

2019 opening total: 9 (over -125, under +105)

CG is bracing for a heavier-than-usual onslaught of Packers backers, opening the over at -125 on a projected 2 1/2–win improvement.

Best Bet: The Pack, which has finished 7-9 and 6-9-1 the last two years, hasn’t endured three straight losing seasons in more than three decades, so take the over and count on them at least improving to nine wins.

Arizona Cardinals

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2018 record: 3-13

2019 opening total: 5 (O +110, U -130)

Things can only go up in the desert – right? – with new coach Kliff Kingsbury and (maybe) a new quarterback in rookie Kyler Murray. The under, though, is still a hefty -130.

Best Bet: The division is tough, and Kingsbury has a lot to prove after finishing below .500 in six seasons coaching Texas Tech. Hit the under here.

Oakland Raiders

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

2018 record: 4-12

2019 opening total: 6 (O -120, U even)

Jon Gruden’s return season was a disaster last fall, but the Silver & Black have since traded for Antonio Brown and signed free agents Trent Brown, Tyrell Williams and Lamarcus Joyner and have the fourth pick in the draft. As a result, CG is anticipating some serious backing on the over.

Best Bet: Gruden’s crew is bound to improve – but the question is by how much? Despite an unforgiving division and some lingering question marks, bank on the over.


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