The NFL offseason is often filled with prognosticators, pundits, and talking-heads discussing a team's impending success or demise for the upcoming season. Usually during these debates and diatribes, strength of schedule gets thrown around as a means to signify the level of difficulty in relation to the rest of the league. Far too often, these strength of schedule numbers are contrived based upon their opponents win-loss records from the previous season. Because teams are not static entities, strength of schedule numbers based upon this metric is borderline irrelevant in determining future success because of the changes to personnel, staffing, injuries, ideologies, etc..
A better way to measure the team's strength of schedule is to look at their opponents' win total projection. These numbers are certainly not perfect, but are much better at pricing a team given its ability to fluctuate over the course of the offseason. Sharp bettors refine these win totals in a much more efficient manner than any previous season statistic could quantify. Here's a quick prior example:
Because of the Deshaun Watson situation, Caesars did not have a win total. Before the league appealed the suspension, the market was dealing between 8.5 and 9.5. I took the lesser total and used that in my calculation.
Note: The lower the number the easier the schedule. All win total lines were accurate as of article publication.
I was also interested in seeing how the strength of schedule would be for the first quarter of the season for each team. This could help identify teams that would be overrated or underrated to start the season, identify coaches who could be on the hot seat, quarterbacks that could find themselves in a quarterback controversy, etc..