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We are only a few weeks away from the start of the 2020 NFL season (hopefully) and new markets are beginning to emerge at various sportsbooks. Can any team, in these uncertain times, go undefeated or winless this season?
The last team to complete an undefeated 16-0 regular season was the New England Patriots back in 2007. However, with all the proven facts that the Patriots were “spying” and found to be cheating at various times over the past decade -- that accomplishment has an asterisk next to it for many NFL fans (sans those calling Boston home).
The high powered Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs are led by arguably the best quarterback in the NFL in Patrick Mahomes. The San Francisco 49ers may hold the league’s most dominant defense, while the Baltimore Ravens have the reigning league MVP under center in Lamar Jackson. Can any of these clubs find a way to go undefeated? If you think any team can match the perfection of the 1934 Chicago Bears, 1942 Chicago Bears, 1972 Miami Dolphins and the 2007 New England Patriots then you're in luck as you can bet on it at odds of 12/1 at DraftKings Sportsbook.
WILL ANY NFL TEAM TO GO 16-0?
If you are looking to back one specific team at the window, as opposed to getting all 32 teams on the market above, don’t worry! There are several teams the oddsmakers are willing to accept wagers on. If you're a big believer in Tom Brady wearing orange and pewter and taking the NFC by storm with dynamic weapons in the passing game, you can find Tampa Bay at odds of 100/1 in support of the 43-year-old Brady guiding a second franchise to a perfect regular season.
TEAM TO GO 16-0
On the other end of the spectrum, there is also a market for any bettor looking to get down on an NFL team struggling to find its way during the COVID-19 pandemic and go winless in 2020. Since 1944, only five teams have posted winless seasons in the NFL: 1960 Dallas Cowboys (0–11–1), 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0–14), 1982 Baltimore Colts (0–8–1), 2008 Detroit Lions (0–16) and the 2017 Cleveland Browns (0–16). If you believe a sixth team will join the NFL record books and earn the right to draft Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence or Ohio State’s Justin Fields in the 2021 Draft, you can find a return of $1600 for every $100 wagered on the “Yes” at DraftKings.
WILL ANY NFL TEAM GO 0-16?
Currently, oddsmakers are only willing to accept wagers on two NFL teams to accomplish the dubious distinction: the Jacksonville Jaguars (20/1) and the Washington Football Club (50/1). I have to admit Washington's odds of 50/1 are tempting, but I do find value in 16/1 that one club could go winless, especially if they are hit hard by injuries as well as possibly being handcuffed by the coronavirus at key positions.
TEAM TO GO 0-16
For those looking to dive in even deeper there are outright markets offering “Teams with Most Regular Season Wins and Losses” as well.
In the “Most Wins” market, one team that screams value is the Buffalo Bills at odds of 30/1. The sharps in Vegas already wagered that the Bills will end the Patriots consecutive streak of AFC East titles at 11. If the Patriots take a step back and emerging signal-caller Josh Allen can improve his accuracy, the Bills could easily post double-digit wins in a weak division with the Jets and Dolphins. Among the favorites, I believe there is value in the Ravens (4/1) and Saints (9/1), who play two of the league's easiest projected strengths of schedules.
When the Jets traded away safety Jamal Adams, they instantly became a weaker team. The club also lost star linebacker C.J. Mosley when he decided to opt-out of the 2020 season over COVID-19 concerns. I also believe that the Jets will struggle to find victories in the first half of the season which could lead the team to actively shop running back Le’Veon Bell mid-season. The reports are that Bell is in the best shape of his career and primed for a big season. The Jets, however, will have one of the league’s worst defenses due to the losses of Adams and Mosley in addition to the lack of any elite pass rusher. At odds of 12/1, my eyes are drawn to the Jets as a team that finishes with the worst record in 2020 leaving Gang Green faithful screaming for Gase to be fired from their couches. I can hear WFAN’s Joe Benigno screaming already.