The NFL regular season is finally here! Later tonight, the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play host to America’s team, the Dallas Cowboys, to officially kick off the 2021-22 NFL season. And while the regular season is now nearly underway, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t still value on the board for future’s bets.
We here at TheSportsGeek have spent the last several weeks giving you sharp betting advice on a myriad of different potential plays, including the betting odds to win the Super Bowl, each conference, all of the division titles, and more. If you are looking to make some of those bets, make sure that you stop by TheSportsGeek’s NFL betting page, where we not only offer you high value betting advice, but we also give you helpful hints and tips on how to pick where to bet.
One of my personal favorite pages is our page where we tell you what makes a great real money online betting site for NFL action. Knowing where to bet is just as important as knowing what to bet, and you can check that page out here!
Last time we saw that @Buccaneers defense… 😤
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— NFL (@NFL) September 9, 2021
In this article, we are going to take a look at the betting odds on which team will be the last team to win a game this season. There are odds out there for teams to go winless, but with the addition of a 17th regular season game, and the fact that only 2 teams ever have gone winless in a 16-game season, those bets are going to be high variance long shots.
Instead, we are going to make a bet that will have a for sure winner, as one of these teams is going to be the last to win a game this year! And even if a team does find a way to navigate through a 17-game regular season without picking up even a single win, our bet will still pay out anyway! That’s like getting your cake and eating it too! With that, let’s jump right into the betting odds for the last winless team in the NFL!
The Betting Odds
Before we get too deep into breaking down this bet, let’s first take a look at the betting odds. For argument’s sake, I am including any team that is +1200 or worse to be the final winless team in the NFL this year. Teams that are longer shots than that aren’t realistically going to have much of a shot of winning this bet, so I won’t waste your time by breaking down their odds.
Detroit Lions (+250)
Houston Texans (+450)
Las Vegas Raiders (+1000)
Philadelphia Eagles (+1000)
New York Jets (+1000)
Cincinnati Bengals (+1100)
Indianapolis Colts (+1200)
Some bettors like to take the favorite on bets like this, as they are, in theory, the most likely to cash your ticket. On the other hand, other bettors only like to make future’s plays like this one that pay out big odds, so they are going to look further down the board for higher risk, but equally higher reward, betting plays.
To best serve all of you out there, I am going to break this article down into 3 distinct categories and give you a team to bet from each tier. First, we will look at the favorites, then the contenders, and finally, we will wrap things up by looking at the longshots. To kick things off, we will head to Detroit, the betting favorite, to win it all, or should I say lose it all?
Based on the betting odds, 2 teams stick out as the clear favorites, the Detroit Lions and the Houston Texans. There are a lot of similarities between these squads, and a team from this top tier of favorites is very likely the team that is going to win this bet. The books see the Lions as the worst of the worst, but in my opinion, these teams are in a dead heat in the race to the bottom of the standings. So, which team should you bet?
Detroit Lions (+250)
In my opinion, the Detroit Lions are the worst franchise in NFL history. They are one of only 4 current NFL franchises to have never even played in a Super Bowl, let alone win the Big Game, and they have a history of wasting all-time great talent.
We all know about how both Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson decided to retire in their primes rather than be forced to continue to play in the football purgatory that is Motown. And you can now add Matthew Stafford to the list of Lion’s greats that never could get the job done in Detroit, as the longtime Lion’s signal caller was traded away in the offseason to the Los Angeles Rams.
On the surface, I didn’t hate the deal that the Lions made for Stafford, as Stafford was close to the end of his career anyway, and they got a hefty return of draft picks as well as a legit starting quarterback in former number 1 overall draft pick Jared Goff. And while that move was likely a good one for the Lion’s future, it is hard to argue that it didn’t make them worse this year.
The Matthew Stafford-Jared Goff trade had the NFL world talking 👀 pic.twitter.com/TIGudqEOFk
— ESPN (@espn) January 31, 2021
Even with Stafford leading the team, the Lions have only averaged just over 4 wins a season in the last 3 years, so it wasn’t like they were going to the Super Bowl anyway. The Stafford era in Detroit featured 3 trips to the playoffs, all as wild cards and all ending in 1st round losses. The last time that the Lions won a playoff game was 1991.
Where Are The Wins?
As this isn’t a bet on which team will have the worst record, but rather a bet on which team will be the last to win a game, I figure the best way to go about it is to go week by week and see where the potential wins are at for each team.
Week 1 vs. San Francisco
Week 2 at Green Bay
Week 3 vs Baltimore
Week 4 at Chicago
Week 5 at Minnesota
Week 6 vs Cincinnati
I won’t waste your time looking at the first 5 weeks of games for the Lions as they aren’t beating any of those teams. They could give the Vikings a game, but to see them win a divisional game on the road would be a stretch. That leaves us with the week 6 home game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Bengals aren’t going to be a great team this season, as their win total is set at 6.5 wins. Road games are always going to be tough for any team, especially for a young team like this Bengals squad with 2nd year pro Joe Burrow leading the way. But I love what Cincy did in the draft by bringing in Burrow’s favorite target from college in Ja’Marr Chase, and I see the Bengals as a team on the rise. I’ll call this game a coin flip and keep looking further down the schedule to find other potential wins for the Lions.
Week 7 at Los Angeles (Rams)
Week 8 vs Philadelphia
Week 9 Bye
Week 10 at Pittsburgh
Week 11 at Cleveland
Week 12 vs Chicago
Week 13 vs Minnesota
Week 14 at Denver
Week 15 vs Arizona
Week 16 at Atlanta
Week 17 at Seattle
Week 18 vs Green Bay
As you can see, wins are going to be tough to come by for the Lions this season. I don’t see this team winning many road games, but if they are going to win on the road, it will be week 14 at Denver or week 16 at Atlanta. Another potential win comes in week 8 at home against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The 2021 schedule is here! Sync directly to your calendar now and never miss a game: https://t.co/3CWi443Egp pic.twitter.com/EJLPxLZiPN
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) May 13, 2021
The Eagles are only expected to win 6.5 games, and home games are going to be the best chance for wins for Detroit. I will list that game as another coin-flip type of game. I would have really liked Detroit against Philly if it came the week after their bye, rather than the week before it, but at this point, the schedule is what it is.
Houston Texans (+400)
It is hard to find a team in NFL history that had a worse offseason than the Houston Texans did this year. They fired their head coach after 4 games last year, decided not to hire interim coach Romeo Crennel this year, hired new head coach David Culley, which was so unpopular with the team that franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson demanded a trade.
BREAKING: The Texans are releasing JJ Watt pic.twitter.com/zilbhxv9fA
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) February 12, 2021
They then let the face of the franchise in JJ Watt leave when they released him to sign with the Arizona Cardinals to join former teammate DeAndre Hopkins, and after Watson demanded a trade, he was then caught up in a sexual assault scandal that has made it impossible to trade him. They got nothing at all for Watt, basically nothing for Hopkins, and Watson is sitting at home with no real value until his legal issues are dealt with, leaving the Texans with the worst team in the NFL. Houston holds the dubious distinction as being the only team that are currently betting underdogs in every game this season.
Where Are The Wins?
So, if the Texans are the worst team in the NFL, why aren’t they the favorites for this bet? The schedule. The Texans have the lowest win total of any team in the league right now at 4 wins, half of a game lower than the Lions, and 2 full games lower than the next closest team, the New York Jets. But if the Texans are going to win a game this season, and they might not, it is likely to come fairly early in the season.
Week 1 vs Jacksonville
Week 2 at Clevland
Week 3 vs Carolina
The Texans have very winnable games in week 1 at home against Jacksonville and week 3 at home against Carolina. Jacksonville had the worst record in the NFL last season at 1-15, and a road game in week 1 is never an easy task. Oh, and did I mention that the Jags are going to have a rookie QB starting that game in Trevor Lawrence?
Lawrence was the number 1 overall draft pick in last year’s draft, and he has looked fantastic in the preseason, but a rookie QB on the road is always a recipe for disaster, so even though the Jags are currently -3-point favorites, I see that game as a coin flip at best.
That is how I see the week 3 game against the Panthers as well, as Carolina won’t be very good this season either. The Panthers decided not to re-sign Teddy Bridgewater and instead opted to make a big splash in the trade market by sending a slew of draft picks to the Jets in exchange for former 1st rounder Sam Darnold. Darnold is still only 24 years old, but the Jets were just 2-10 in his 12 starts last year, and his career stat line of 45 TDs against 39 INTs and a quarterback rating of 76.8 has people calling him a bust as he hits his 4th year in the league.
The Houston Texans 2021 Schedule Release is being served 🍚
Experience gameday together » https://t.co/aKFLCi7IZ9 #WeAreTexans | @FriedRiceArt pic.twitter.com/Gd9mOuloIB
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) May 12, 2021
As bad as the Texans are this year, I don’t think they are 0-17 bad, and the 2 most winnable games on this schedule come in week’s 1 and 3. They also have a winnable game in week 12, when they host the New York Jets and their rookie QB Zach Wilson. The Texans are winning 1 of those games for sure, and likely 1 of the early games.
What’s The Bet?
If I had to make a call based on the roster’s alone, on which team is better between the Texans and the Lions, I would lean towards Detroit. But when I look at the schedules for both teams, I see the Texans winning more games than the Lions. I would actually be fairly surprised if the Texans didn’t hit week 4 with at least 1 win on their resume, and my gut says that win comes in week 3 against Carolina at home.
With the Lions opening 3 games coming against the 49ers, Packers, and Ravens, all teams that are expected to compete for the postseason, Detroit isn’t going to find a win early in the season, making the Lions the team to back. I puked in my mouth a little bit at the thought of needing the Texans to do anything good this season to win a bet, but they are going to win a game before the Lions do, so I will make my bet on Detroit to be the last winless team in the NFL this season.
Detroit Lions Last Winless Team
To see any of these teams be the last winless team would mean that the Lions and Texans are both going to have to win games early in the year. While I don’t think that is going to happen, it certainly could happen, and that opens the door for opportunities to find bigger payouts further down the board. Let’s take a look at the 2nd tier of teams that could end up being the last team to win a game this season.
Las Vegas Raiders (+1000)
It is surprising to see the Raiders so high up this list, as they just missed out on the playoffs last season with an 8-8 record. The season starts out rough for the Silver and Black, with week 1 coming at home against Baltimore and week 2 coming on the road at Pittsburgh. But in week 3, Las Vegas hosts the Miami Dolphins, and they are almost for sure going to be the betting favorites in that game.
Your full 2021 schedule » https://t.co/sjN5FY913e@Vegas I #RaiderNation
📺: Schedule Release ’21 | 5pm | @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/J5NLxdPTDv
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) May 12, 2021
Other winnable early season games for the Raiders include at home against the Bears in week 5 and at home against the Eagles in week 7. The Raider’s bye week comes in week 8, and I see them hitting their bye week with at least 2 or 3 wins.
New York Jets (+1000)
I hated what the New York jets did in the offseason. Moving on from Sam Darnold wasn’t a terrible idea, as the former 3rd overall pick just hasn’t been the guy that they had hoped they were getting when they drafted him out of USC, but taking Zach Wilson 2nd this year, is a major gamble. Wilson played his college ball at BYU and isn’t used to playing high level competition like other young quarterbacks such as Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields.
That massive step-up in competition isn’t going to go well for Wilson, and while he may develop into an elite passer at some point, he is going to take more than his fair share of lumps early in his NFL career. New York is painfully weak at the skill positions, and there is an overall lack of talent on this roster. The reason the odds for the Jets aren’t on the same level as the Texans and Lions is because New York has winnable games against Carolina in week 1, Denver in week 3, and Atlanta in week 5.
Which game on the schedule has you like this? pic.twitter.com/7gWinw0U6I
— New York Jets (@nyjets) May 13, 2021
But each of those games come on the road, making the Jets clear underdogs, despite having a shot at winning. The 2nd half of the season is easier for New York, but I don’t see them as betting favorites in a game until week 8 at home against the Bengals. They also have home games later in the year against the Jaguars and Eagles and winnable road games at Indianapolis and Houston. That 6-win total feels spot on, but if the Jets don’t hit their stride early in the year, they could win this bet.
Philadelphia Eagles (+1000)
Similar to the Raiders, I don’t see the Eagles really belonging on this list. I liked what I saw out of Jalen Hurts last year when he finally got a shot to play, and I absolutely loved the move to draft Devonta Smith to give him a reliable target to throw the ball to. But that being said, the Eagles aren’t going to be a great football team, and they seem to be a year or two away from contending for the playoffs again.
Our full 2021 schedule is here. Plan accordingly.@Hyundai | #FlyEaglesFly
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— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) May 12, 2021
The schedule starts out tough for Philly, which is why they are so high up this list, with a road game at Atlanta in week 1, followed by the 49ers at home, Cowboys on the road, and home against Kansas City. What the Eagles do have going for them, though, is a soft division, as a 9-8 record is going to be enough to win the dreadfully bad NFC East Division. The week 8 showdown against the Lions in Detroit could end up being the deciding factor in this bet, but I highly doubt it, as the Eagles are very likely to have at least a couple of wins in their pocket when they head to Motown.
What’s The Bet?
What would an article about being bad at football be without a play on the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets! Of all of the risky draft picks this year, I see Zach Wilson being at the top of the heap, and nothing says early season struggles like having a starting QB that was last seen playing games against teams like Western Kentucky, Texas-San Antonio, and Troy. This kid has a lot of growing up to do, and he better do it fast, or the losses are going to really stack up for the Jets.
New York Jets Last Winless Team
In this final section, we are going to take a look at the longshots that I think have a shot at being the last winless team in the NFL. These teams probably aren’t going to be the last winless team, as teams like the Lions, Texans, and Jets are in far worse shape, but in the NFL, anything can happen, and if these teams are the last man standing, the payouts are going to be huge!
Cincinnati Bengals (+1100)
I am a big Joe Burrow fan. He was an all-time winner in college at LSU, helping the Tigers put together one of, if not the, single greatest college football seasons ever. He was taken 1st overall by the Bengals last season and showed signs of greatness before blowing his knee out and missing the 2nd half of the year.
IT’S HERE! 💥 The Legends Pack – 2021 Schedule Edition
NO FEES on single game tickets: https://t.co/6cOJ2vIIDz pic.twitter.com/dPKZen2Cay
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) May 12, 2021
If there is a team on this list that has the most upside, it is these Bengals, as they could end up going from worst to first, if Burrow can say healthy and Ja’Marr Chase can remember how to play football after taking last season off to train for the NFL. Cincy has winnable games against the Vikings in week 1 and the Jags in week 4, with both games coming at home, and with road games at Detroit and the Jets in the 1st half as well, the Bengals could actually have a winning record when they hit their week 10 bye.
Indianapolis Colts (+1200)
Will Carson Wentz be able to play, or not? All signs point to his broken foot as being healed up enough to take the field in week 1, but his specific type of injury is one that can plague guys for several weeks. If he can’t play, or does play, and quickly reinjuries his tender foot, the Colts are going to be in really bad shape.
It’s become custom for NFL teams to go all-out for their schedule release video.
So we called these two. pic.twitter.com/1Pc64ZXCbS
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) May 13, 2021
Who do the Colts have behind Wentz? 2020 4th round draft pick Jacob Eason, who has yet to play a single minute of regular season NFL football. Indy had 2021 6th round pick, Sam Ehlinger, competing for the backup spot as well, until he blew out his knee a week ago and was placed on IR. No team in the league has less depth at QB than the Colts, which means there is a lot riding on Carson Wentz’s foot, and that isn’t a good thing for Colts fans as Wentz has only played a full season twice in his 5-year NFL career.
What’s The Bet?
Will Wentz end up taking the field in week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks? Probably. Will he actually manage to stay in the game? Doubtful. Wentz is made of glass and hasn’t taken a single snap in the preseason. That is hard enough for a guy that isn’t brand new to a team, let alone for a guy like Wentz that barely knows his teammate’s names. That doubt makes a play on the Colts a high value one, as a team with Jacob Eason playing quarterback isn’t going to win very many games.
Indianapolis Colts Last Winless Team
And here you have it, folks, my plays on which team will be the last winless team in the NFL in 2021-22! The time to make this bet is now, as half of the league will drop off this list after week 1 this weekend, and the odds are only going to drop as teams pick up their 1st win of the NFL season. Thanks for reading, and make sure that you swing by TheSportsGeek’s NFL picks page, where our expert team of handicappers bring you free NFL picks for each and every NFL game this season!