Each and every season, there are a number of NFL teams that really underachieve, some of which underachieve from an SU perspective, and some of which are massive ATS underachievers. Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the teams that we think could be money burners to your bankroll in 2013.
1: New England Patriots – Sorry, Patriots fans. We just don’t see it. QB Tom Brady is going to be a Hall of Famer, but he really doesn’t have a great supporting cast around him offensively. We look at all of the men that were here last year that aren’t back. WR Wes Welker, TE Rob Gronkowski, TE Aaron Hernandez, and RB Danny Woodhead, four of the top five receivers from last season, are all gone at this point. Sure, Gronk is going to come back at some point, and yes, WR Danny Amendola could turn out to be a 100+ catch receiver when push comes to shove. However, we have a real concern over this team this year, and the numbers, in our eyes, are going to be a heck of a lot higher than what New England truly has the ability to cover.
2: Kansas City Chiefs – There has been a heck of a lot of talk about Kansas City being potentially a playoff contender this year. However, we aren’t all that sure. Remember that last season, the Chiefs were considered to be prospective sleepers as well, and they went 2-14 SU and 5-11 ATS. QB Alex Smith is coming to town along with Head Coach Andy Reid, and that figures to be the panacea to get the job done… right? We aren’t so sure. We think that Smith was a product of the system that Head Coach Jim Harbaugh put into place for him in the Bay Area, and we don’t think that he is going to succeed in KC the same way that most do. In the end, we think that the AFC West is a lot better than it has been these last few years. Don’t buy into all of the hype of the Chiefs.
3: Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Bucs are another one of these teams that are thought to be underrated this season. Yes, picking up DB Darrelle Revis is going to help out quite a bit if he turns out to be fully healthy after tearing his ACL last season. However, Revis isn’t a quarterback. He isn’t worth more than perhaps a half point or so on a weekly basis, and even that might be a lot. QB Josh Freeman is still nothing more than an average quarterback, and he is going to be expected to get through a division that features two of our Top 10 ATS teams to watch out for, the Saints and the Falcons, a combined four times over the course of the season. We don’t think that Tampa Bay is doing much better than the 7-9 SU record that it put together last year, and if that’s the case, it isn’t going to be a 10-5-1 ATS team.
4: Seattle Seahawks – We know that we’re going to catch a heck of a lot of flak for this, especially for the run that the Seahawks made in the postseason this past season as well. QB Russell Wilson was fantastic in his first season, but we think there is going to be a revolution of defense this year. Teams are going to spend more time trying to figure out how to stop these young, mobile quarterbacks, and it count be a detriment to the Seahawks. Seattle is still the second best team in the NFC West as we see it, and we think that it is going to have a tough time covering a lot of spreads, especially at home, where the perception is there that home field advantage should be worth more than just a field goal.
5: Minnesota Vikings – You had to see this one coming. The Vikings got over 2,000 yards on the ground from RB Adrian Peterson last year, and they simply can’t expect that again this year. Look at what happened to RB Chris Johnson after he ran for 2,000+ yards. In the end, QB Christian Ponder just doesn’t have the weapons to throw the ball to, and even if he did, he isn’t one of the best 20 quarterbacks in this league in all likelihood. Most believe that this is a team that is due for a drop off from last season, but we think the fall could be a heck of a lot harder than what most believe.
6: Philadelphia Eagles – The Eagles aren’t going to go 3-12-1 ATS once again this season for sure, but many think the bad ATS mark of last season is going to cause there to be some weak numbers at the start of this season. Had Andy Reid still been in charge of this team, it would have been a different story. However, with a new coach in Head Coach Chip Kelly and a new mentality coming to the City of Brotherly Love, many think the reset button is going to be hit. It might be a bit, but this is still a team that isn’t all that great.
7: Jacksonville Jaguars – We give Jacksonville credit for starting to rebuild the team the right way, but in the end, this is still an awful team for 2013. The Jags still don’t have a quarterback, and that’s ultimately going to be their death. At the end of the season, we might see Jacksonville covering some big time spreads, but at the start of the year, we don’t think it’s going to be all that pretty. It’s trite, but the Jaguars will be awfully bad in 2013.
8: Washington Redskins – The caveat that we’re going to put on this is that we have to see QB Robert Griffin III playing in the preseason and prepared to start in Week 1 before we say that the Skins are going to be an ATS nightmare. We actually think they’re going to be a darn good ATS team if QB Kirk Cousins is under center to start off the year, because we think that he is extremely underrated. The idea of RGIII putting together as good of a season as he did last year is insane, especially off of an ACL injury at the end of the playoffs. Head Coach Mike Shanahan isn’t going to get this team to an 11-5 ATS mark this year again like he did in 2012.
9: Indianapolis Colts – Call us skeptics if you must, but we don’t believe that the Colts are going to be as good as they were last year. This offense could be awesome, but there are still going to be some growing pains. Indy allowed 387 points last season, and it did so with a defense that really isn’t all that great. If Indianapolis is going to be an 11-5 ATS team again this year, it is going to need another tremendous step forward. However, to go from 2-14 to 11-5 was already monumental. Doing it again would be nearly impossible.
10: Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins are supposedly going to be the hot new thing this year, but we aren’t so sure where all of that is coming from. We know that this defense is outstanding, and drafting DE Dion Jordan should help that as well. However, this offense is something totally different. RB Reggie Bush is gone, and that makes two straight seasons that the team has lost its best offensive weapon. Sure, picking up WR Mike Wallace will help out a lot, but QB Ryan Tannehill might ultimately just not be all that great. We’ll see as we go forward this year, but we aren’t believers in the Fins.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.