What Makes a Team Under-Rated?
Much like the over-rated article I put out last week, I’m basing a team’s ranking on their win totals, so for the sake of this article I’m looking for the teams I think are most likely to go over their win total according to the best online sportsbooks.
The betting lines have been out for a while now so win-totals are matured and the books have been balanced and it’s tougher to find anything that’s out of line, so I’m looking at a team’s record from last season, and variable stats. Things like one-score wins and turnovers which in general have a habit of evening themselves out over the years.
So Who Fits the Mould?
So first up for me, are the Carolina Panthers. Last season they finished with five wins from their 16 games. This was with Teddy Bridgewater under center and without Christian McCaffrey who only managed a couple of healthy games last year. He’s the best dual-threat RB in the league and with him fully fit, a very young defense coming into their own, and a weaker division than they faced last year I’m high on them.
The Buccs are the cream of the division still but the Saints are without Brees for the first time in forever, the Falcons roster doesn’t look good this year and they get to play the NFC East, which while improved, is probably the weakest division in football.
Add to that the fact they were involved in 11 one-score games last season losing eight of them, if they can keep games close with a stronger roster this year I think they can finish with at least eight wins and beat their 7.5 line.
There were two other teams who lost eight one-score matches last season but I find it hard to say that either are under-rated for this season, the Atlanta Falcons and the Houston Texans. Both are weaker than they were last season and I struggle to think either will beat their win-total.
Is It Possible for the Current Superbowl Champions to be Under-Rated?
Well, when they are facing an easier division than last season, have one of the easier schedules in the league and have retained their entire offensive roster, then having the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 11.5 may well be too low for them.
With Covid affecting the off-season last year it took a while for Tom Brady to settle into the flow of things in Tampa but when he did they were unstoppable. With one of the best defenses in the league it didn’t take too much of an improvement on offense for them to win games, and arguably 11 wins were fewer than they should have had last year.
Having chosen two NFC South teams that are under-rated I might be fading the Saints and the Falcons too much, but I can easily see the Buccs winning every game in division.
The futures odds aren’t great on the Buccs, but It’s tough to find any lines that are far off where I think they should be. The Jaguars lost six of their seven one-score matches, so on paper they look unlucky but the Trevor Lawrence effect has them with a higher win-total than I want to bet on.
The Bengals lost Joe Burrow last season and he’ll be fit to go in week 1, they have improved positions of need, but face a very tough division and a rough schedule so over 6.5 wins won’t be easy.
If you think Jalen Hurt is capable of lifting his Eagles team then taking them to go over 6.5 wins isn’t the worst bet, but the Giants improved their roster and the Washington defense is fierce.
NFL Pick: Carolina Panthers over 7.5 Wins at -115 with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.