NFL season Over/Under wins totals have gained in popularity over the last few years; once a bet strictly made by professionals (wise guys). Casual players were reluctant to tie their money up for 6 months, but with social media sites like Twitter (@SteveMerril), the exposure to season-win bets has grown exponentially.
Las Vegas sportsbooks took advantage of social media outlets to promote their opening NFL odds this year. There’s been a lot of discussion on NFL season wins totals, and below are three recommendations that have value for your NFL picks based on my off-season work.
Cleveland Browns Over 6 (-130) Michael Lombardi takes over as the VP of player personnel, and he felt it would be best to overhaul the coaching staff and change schemes to ignite the organization.
The new head coach is Rob Chudzinski, and his offensive coordinator is Norv Turner who, in my opinion, is one of the best play callers in the NFL. That change alone will pay dividends for an offense that has ranked #24 or worse in points scored for five straight years, and in nine of the last ten years overall. Turner was a disaster as a head coach, but he’s a tremendous OC. The new defensive coordinator is Ray Horton who has his work cut out for him but plenty of talent to work with.
Cleveland plays my 14th toughest schedule this season, but they only play two teams that are lined with double-digit season Over/Under wins totals. The Browns have a good coaching staff that will get them to overachieve a bit this season and eclipse their season-win total.
Indianapolis Colts Under 8.5 (-115) Indianapolis made the playoffs last season, but the Colts were sent packing quickly with a non-competitive loss at Baltimore.
The Colts were a phony playoff team and their 11-5 regular season record was not indicative of their on-field play. Indianapolis was the only team to make the post-season with a negative point differential (-30). Nine of their eleven wins came by 7 points or less with six of those wins coming by 4 points or less.
Indianapolis is slated to play a very weak schedule this season; 4th easiest of all 32 teams. However, the Colts will play five teams lined with double-digit season Over/Under wins totals; two of those games are on the road. I do not expect the Colts to have the same good fortune of last season, so I recommend playing them Under their season-win total.
Minnesota Vikings Under 7.5 (-120) Adrian Peterson had a monster 2012, and without him, the Minnesota Vikings would have been one of the worst teams in the NFL.
The Vikings ranked #2 in rushing the ball and #31 in passing the ball with QB Christian Ponder. Their defense was mediocre at best overall, but terrible in defending the pass. Minnesota was also fortunate as half of their wins (5 of 10) came by 7 points or less while their seven losses came by 12.1 points per game.Minnesota plays my 5th toughest schedule with three games against teams lined with double-digit season Over/Under wins totals. Two of those three games also come on the road. I expect major regression from the Vikings in 2013, especially since their division is full of elite and improving teams. Minnesota will go Under their season win-total.