By Marc Lawrence — Are we ready for a new king in the AFC East? Buoyed by the fact that Tom Brady served Bill Belichick divorce papers, New England may not even be the best team in the division this season. According to ESPN’s FPI rankings, the Buffalo Bills rank slightly atop the Patriots with a 41.0% while New England’s chances are down to 40.9%. This division is a toss-up for the first time since sliced bread was created. And for what it’s worth, the FPI rankings contend that Buffalo is one of four divisional favorites that did not win its division in 2019. The others are the Cowboys in the NFC East, Indianapolis Colts in the AFC South, and Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North. However, The addition of a seventh playoff team in each conference has changed the structure of the postseason, thus increasing the chances for the lower seeds – especially the No. 3 seed and the new No. 7 seed – come at the expense of the No. 2 seed. Don’t be surprised if Bill Belichick is coaching the extra playoff team in the AFC.
The pandemic, and the possibility of a season without fans in the stands, isn’t impacting the NFL’s ability to borrow says Forbes. Just look at the credit ratings on its $3.2 billion of new debt. The coronavirus pandemic – along with the possibility that having games this season with no fans could trim 30% to 40% of the league’s $17 billion in revenue – is not impacting the National Football League’s ability to borrow big chunks of money. Moreover, the NFL is the most-watched league in the U.S. We don’t anticipate the owners going broke anytime soon.
Grinding Out The Profits
From the complimentary PLAYBOOK ADVANTAGE publication for September: According to FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS, the NFL teams that suffered both the fewest and the most amount of injuries on offense in 2019 were the Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Redskins. They went 14-3 SU & 10-6-1 ATS and 3-13 SU & 6-10 ATS respectively. The bottom line: pay close attention to the injury list each week throughout the season.