With growing interest in NFL betting and more competition in the market, the release of season win totals has moved ahead of the draft.
There is about five months before an NFL regular-season game kicks off, which means a lot of time dissect the season win total market. BetMGM recently released its full list of season win totals for NFL teams, and we’ll take a quick look at each starting with the AFC:
It’s actually a little surprising the Ravens are on the board at all. If you think Lamar Jackson comes back and plays all season, over 8.5 seems to be smart. If you think Jackson plays elsewhere, under 8.5 might be a gift. The over has -140 juice, which indicates that sportsbooks think he’ll be in the Ravens’ lineup.
The Bills have won 13, 11 and 13 games the past three seasons. But the AFC East should be tough and the Bills had a few personnel losses in free agency. The guess is most bets will be on the over, which has -130 odds.
The Bengals are tied for the highest win total in the NFL. The biggest reason they’re ahead of the Bills might be that the AFC North is a little weaker, especially if the Ravens can’t figure out the Lamar Jackson situation. The Bengals are a Super Bowl contender and the win total reflects that.
This line seems high, and bettors apparently agree. The odds on the under are -130. Betting the over is assuming Deshaun Watson looks a lot better with a normal offseason in Cleveland. The Browns had a solid offseason, but improving at least three wins from a 7-10 season is a big vote of confidence in Watson. I’ll make him prove it and lean to the under.
How much faith do you have in Sean Payton turning around Russell Wilson? That will guide your bet. The Broncos went 5-12 last season. Is adding Payton and a few high-priced free agents worth a four-win bump? That’s a hard sell.
The funny part of betting season win totals before the draft is if you’re taking some Texans action, you’re doing so without knowing who their quarterback will be. It’ll clearly be a rookie, acquired with the second overall pick. But there have been wild fluctuations in the betting market over who will go No. 1 overall. That makes the Texans a tough evaluation.
There’s even less certainty with the Colts’ quarterback situation. They have the fourth pick, and there are four quarterbacks expected to go in the first half of the first round. But do they love Will Levis, if that’s their option? Will someone else fall, or will they move up to No. 3? If they don’t draft a quarterback, it’s probably Gardner Minshew II time.
The hype has arrived. The way Trevor Lawrence finished last season has led to a double-digit win total for the Jaguars. And in a weak AFC South, taking the over (even at +110 odds) isn’t a bad play.
The Chiefs and Bengals are tied for the top win total. Maybe the AFC West will be better than last season, when it was hyped all season and flopped at the bottom. The Chiefs are the steadiest stock in the NFL. With Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes, the floor will always be contending for a Super Bowl.
The Raiders spent a lot of the offseason transforming their roster into Patriots West, most notably adding quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. That doesn’t seem like an upgrade from Derek Carr, but Garoppolo played for the Patriots once so he was the choice. Will the Raiders improve in Josh McDaniels’ second season?
This will probably be another popular over bet, because the Chargers are always offseason darlings. The standoff with running back Austin Ekeler isn’t great and some parts of the roster are aging. But the talent is undeniable.
The Dolphins might be the most fascinating team of 2023. They were very good when Tua Tagovailoa was healthy. Of course, his concussion history is now a major factor. So is an improving AFC East. The under has -140 odds.
New England Patriots — 7.5
Bill Belichick’s teams are never bad, but the Patriots have settled into a rough pattern of mediocrity. They’re expected to finish last in the division, based on the odds, but it’s hard to take unders when Belichick is involved.
If you think the Aaron Rodgers trade falls through, the under is easy. It’s hard to see the Jets winning 10 games with Zach Wilson or whatever Plan B they’d have to come up with. With Rodgers? I’ll take over 9.5 (and plenty of other Jets futures). So will many other bettors, since the odds on the over are -130.
Time for the “Mike Tomlin has never finished with a losing record” stat. Are the Steelers going to really be a losing team this season? The odds seem torn on the possibility, though the over is slightly the favorite at -120.
The Titans fell apart at the end of last season. It wasn’t a great free agency period for the Titans. Will getting Ryan Tannehill back to health — assuming he and Derrick Henry are back — lead to Tennessee hitting the over again? As much as I respect Mike Vrabel, this is an under play.