The NFL offseason hype machine is approaching its craziest time with training camp right around the corner. Preseason heroes get fans seeing everything through rose-colored glasses. For many, it's the best part of the season until reality sets in.
Injuries and disappointing performances can quickly derail the optimism. Even bad teams can be entertaining if they score a lot or play exciting games. But the combination of playing poorly and struggling to score can be excruciating.
We previously projected the best prop bets for teams that could lead the league in scoring. There's great value on the other side of the coin, too.
Our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook have the Houston Texans(+400), Detroit Lions (+600), and the New York Jets (+800) as the lowest-scoring teams in the league. I agree with those being the "favorites," but we want more value.
We've identified three teams who could struggle more than anticipated and be a huge value for bettors. Let's break it all down.
Philadelphia Eagles (+1400)
Freshly off a 4-11-1 season where both Carson Wentz and Doug Pederson lost their jobs, the Eagles decided to change directions at each position. The offense slugged their way to 26th in points but few changes were made. Jalen Hurts and Nick Sirianni are now in charge of the unit.
It's hard to be overly excited about the team. Sirianni wasn't known as the mastermind behind a decent but unspectacular offense in Indianapolis. The whole situation reminds me of Zac Taylor getting the job with the Cincinnati Bengals after serving under Sean McVay.
He'll be working with one of the youngest groups of playmakers in the league. Hurts needs massive improvement pre- and post-snap as well. The receivers have the exciting DeVonta Smith and intriguing youngsters Travis Fulgham and Jalen Reagor, but none of those guys are proven yet.
There's a ton of projection here. If Hurts can't make the next step or Sirianni struggles with his young group, this ship will sink quickly.
Washington Football Team (+1800)
There's a lot to like about the Washington Football Team's roster. They bolstered the offense with Curtis Samuel and Dyami Brown this offseason and the defense is loaded with quality starters. This team could win the Super Bowl if they had the right quarterback.
However, they have Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick produced nice numbers in Miami as a strange bridge quarterback on a rebuilding team. He also served a rare role as the rotational passer last year in tandem with Tua Tagovailoa.
I don't blame Washington for signing Fitzpatrick after missing out on other options. They should've traded up like Chicago did for Justin Fields, though. Fitzpatrick's magic will run dry even with these playmakers and leave the team scrambling at some point.
His bad spells are downright ugly due to his diminished physical traits and dangerous aggressiveness. Washington only has the uninspiring bench duo of Tyler Heinicke and Kyle Allen as alternates when Fitzpatrick wears out his welcome.
This is an unlikely pick to finish last since they have enough talent around the quarterback and on the defensive side to make the job easier for whoever is slinging passes. But it also wouldn't be totally shocking if their offense completely fails.
Las Vegas Raiders (+2200)
A lot of credit must be given to the Raiders for their accomplishments with a mediocre cast in 2020. Derek Carr was quite good, and the emergence of Darren Waller and Nelson Agholor were major storylines. But 2021 brings uncertainty outside of Waller.
A rebuilt offensive line leaves room for improvement, too. The running game was one of the worst in the league last year and doesn't look promising entering this campaign. The team has wasted way too many assets on running backs who can't overcome a bad line.
Falling from 10th to 32nd is unlikely unless an injury to Carr happens. Marcus Mariota is also injury prone. So this is a longshot pick based on a bad surrounding cast, possibility of an injury, and a horrible defense.
But at +2200, this is the type of bet we want because they're really one move away from cratering.
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