The Redskins won eight games in 2016, and were a missed chip shot field goal away from a ninth win. The offseason started rocky to say the least, but since the new league year opened in March, Washington worked through a solid free agency period and just wrapped up a strong draft.
Still, in the eyes of Las Vegas, it hardly mattered.
Oddsmakers at the South Point Race and Sports Book released win totals for every team in the NFL. The wiseguys set the over/under for Redskins wins at 7.5, charging a little bit more to bet the over ($120) than even odds to bet the under.
Basically, Vegas expects Washington to be just about where they were last year, winning seven or eight games. At -$120, Vegas is hedging that the ‘Skins will get to eight wins, but only slightly.
Looking at the information, it seems just about right. DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon left the Redskins via free agency, as did Chris Baker.
Offensively, Terrelle Pryor will be expected to pick up much of the lost production from Jackson and Garçon. Pryor went just over the 1,000 yard mark in 2016 on a bad Cleveland team, the same as Garçon and Jackson. The team will need a solid year from 2016 first-round pick Josh Doctson to truly offset the 2,000 yards of production from Garçon and Jackson. Players like Jamison Crowder and Jordan Reed will remain vital.
Defensively, the addition of Jonathan Allen is the most significant move made. The defensive line has long been a source of struggle for Washington, and Allen will immediately improve the group, even as a rookie. Elsewhere on Greg Manusky’s unit, additions like Zach Brown and D.J. Swearinger should help a unit that ranked near the bottom in 2016, along with second-round pick Ryan Anderson.
The Redskins should again be chasing a playoff spot, like they did in 2016. Vegas may not be as optimistic as Redskins fans, but it appears eight wins is the baseline expectation for 2017. A ninth win likely means a Wild Card spot, in most seasons anyway.
Elsewhere in the NFC East, the Cowboys landed at 9.5 wins, the highest total in the division but a steep drop from last year’s 13 victories. The Giants were next with 9 wins, two wins less than the 11 the team won in 2016.
Some Redskins fans may get irked that the Eagles actually have a higher win total than Washington. South Point set the Eagles win total at 8.5, a full game higher than the ‘Skins. The two teams meet to open the season in September, and Washington has won five straight in the series.
It’s only May, but training camp will be here in just two short months. Place your bets.