NFL Betting Predictions on Teams Not Making the 2017 Playoffs

Posted by Kenny Bell on Thursday,June 8, 2017 11:12, EST in

Every year like clockwork since the NFL went to its current playoff format, at least four teams who made the playoffs one season don’t the next. Teams like the Patriots, Steelers, Packers and Seahawks seem like locks to return in 2017, but here are three clubs who won’t with their current NFL odds win totals.

NFL Betting Predictions on Teams Not Making the 2017 Playoffs

Houston Texans (8.5)

The Texans are the two-time defending AFC South champions and they won those titles with some terrible quarterback play from the likes of Brian Hoyer and Brock Osweiler, to name two. I like Houston’s defense plenty, but I’d frankly rather have either of those two quarterbacks than 2017 projected starter Tom Savage. Savage, entering his fourth season in Houston, is getting the majority of the reps with the Texans’ first-team offense in OTAs and he said that the change is helping him “a lot” to build chemistry with the team’s receiving corps. Houston really has no choice but to start Savage. After missing out on grabbing Tony Romo and refusing to sign Jay Cutler, GM Rick Smith put all the eggs in the basket to move up 13 spots and select Clemson quarterback DeShaun Watson in this year’s draft. Maybe Watson will be good eventually, but he’s not ready to start Week 1. Watson does have a powerful arm and isn’t afraid to try to hit his deep targets. That was proven over the last two seasons when he threw 19 interceptions on balls further that 15 yards. The NFL is a different game from college, though.

Miami Dolphins (7.5)

Clearly oddsmakers agree with me that the Dolphins overachieved at 10-6 last year and making the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Arguably the team’s best offensive lineman is hurting. Center Mike Pouncey (hip) could open training camp on the active/PUP list. Pouncey is recovering from an April stem cell procedure that will sideline him through the offseason. His camp status is questionable, and the Dolphins “aren’t fully certain” when he’ll return to action. Miami doesn’t plan to take any chances with

Pouncey after missing all but five games last year. A three-time Pro Bowl honoree, Pouncey had started 40 of a potential 48 contests in those three years before missing 11 in 2016. Pouncey could sit out the entire preseason. The team is also counting on injury-prone tight end Julius Thomas to be a big contributor. Miami’s coaches believe they will get the Denver Broncos-version of Thomas, who scored 24 touchdowns in two seasons, as opposed to the player who struggled with injuries and inconsistency the past two years in Jacksonville. I tend to doubt that.

Detroit Lions (7.5)

Detroit was a wild-card team last season despite losing its final three regular-season games and then was dominated in Seattle in that playoff game. Already there has been bad news regarding a key offensive lineman as left tackle Taylor Decker underwent shoulder surgery on Monday. Decker hurt the shoulder in practice last week. As has become custom, coach Jim Caldwell refused to offer details, but it is notable he would not commit to Decker being ready for Week 1. The coach did say he expects Decker to return this year. If the injury sidelines Decker into the season, it will be a massive loss for an offensive line which looked poised to take a step forward after adding RT Rick Wagner and RG T.J. Lang. The Lions have “a lot of in-house answers” to replace Decker, Caldwell said, but none of them is more than a stopgap solution to take over for a player the team believes has Pro Bowl potential. There are also injury worries about center Travis Swanson. He missed five games last season with a brain injury, though he’s taken part in all football activities this off-season. The Lions also have no running game to speak of.