Uncovering value in betting a NFL team to go over their win total this time of year is tough with the market inflated due to overly bullish fans. Nonetheless, here are five futures still presenting an advantage to over bettors.
NFL win totals for the 2017 regular season have been on the board since spring. Adjustments are in full swing, variance high, and limits increasing at most top sportsbooks. The over market is often inflated this time of year with many fans bullish on their team’s prospects for the upcoming year. Still, there is some value for those seeking franchises primed to win more than oddsmakers expect. Here are five worth considering:
New England Patriots 12 (O-155)
The Patriots opened at 11 wins (o-120), but has seen the number jump to 12.5 (o-105) across most sportsbooks. Bypass the half game and take 12 wins at 5Dimes for a surefire bet. The Pats play in the watered-down AFC East, have most of their key players returning, and are a perennial contender until Tom Brady retires. The five-time Super Bowl champ has led the team to a winning season every year as a starter.
Advanced lines show the Patriots favored in every game this season. Brady has won 82 percent of his regular-season games when favored in the betting market. When laying -5 points or more, New England is 119-11 SU with him under center. Crazy. Minus Week 17, which oddsmakers skip over in setting advanced lines, the Pats are chalk by 5 points or more in nine of 15 contests: W1 Chiefs (-7), W3 Texans (-9), W4 Panthers (-9), W6 Jets (-9.5), W7 Falcons (-6.5), W8 Chargers (-12.5), W12 Dolphins (-9), W13 Bills (-7), W16 Bills (-11.5). By the way, the Pats host the Jets in the final game of they year, so one can bet they will be double-digit chalk come kickoff.
Minnesota Vikings 8.5 (O+100)
Head coach Mike Zimmer is the perfect coach to back with a win total near 8 in a league ripe with parity. His old school defensive approach, highly disciplined unit, and run-first offense give the Vikings a chance to win nearly every contest. Since going 7-9 SU in his first season, the Vikings are 19-13 in the regular season the last two years, losing by more than a touchdown just six times. They are favored in eight of 16 advanced lines for the season, and host the expected bottom-dweller Bears in the final week of the season. That game will likely have playoff implications for Minnesota with a victory propelling the team over its NFL odds on wins totals of 8.5 games.
Buffalo Bills 6.5 (0-125)
Have faith rookie head coach Sean McDermott will fix a defense that the Ryan brothers (Rex and Rob) wasted. How soon is the big question? Expect a surprise win or two in a few of the NFC South matchups. McDermott’s knowledge of each team from his tenure at Carolina will go a long way in preparation and planning, easing some of the learning curve in his first year. The Bills, which oddsmakers set at over/under 8 wins last year, fail to muster a wining season, but go 7-9 to cash the over 6.5 wins. Buffalo has not reached the playoffs since 1999, likely coming up a tad short once again.
Washington Redskins 7.5 (O-110)
The NFC East is arguably the most competitive and difficult to predict division in the NFL every year. No team has won back-to-back titles since the 2004 Eagles. The Redskins, under their current leadership and circumstances, will go .500 and cash the over 7.5 wins. Quarterback Kirk Cousins, who failed to sign a long-term deal over the summer, will play this season under the franchise tag, poised for a huge payday next year. Washington is 8-7-1 and 9-7 in the last two regular seasons with Cousins under center. The Pro Bowler needed time to adjust to Jay Gruden’s pass-happy offense, and is now thriving. Cousin’s 8.1 yards per pass thrown ranked third last year behind the two Super Bowl representatives: Matt Ryan (9.4) and Tom Brady (8.2). Advanced lines offer 13 of 16 Washington games within a field goal, and a solid passer in Cousins will be the difference-maker in many of those close games.
Carolina Panthers 9 (O-130)
The franchise has undergone a slew of front office changes over the summer with a new team president and general manager, but do not expect it to affect play on the field much. The Panthers are eager to prove last year’s 6-10 mark was a fluke and not the 15-1 Super Bowl runner-up season the year prior. Cam Newton is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, and may not be 100 percent for the start of camp, but expect a full recovery by Week 1. The 2015 MVP’s health is certainly a bellwether for the franchise’s performance.
Carolina has an easy schedule on paper, favorites in 10 matchups via advanced lines. In fact, the only game oddsmakers spot the team a field goal or more is a Week 4 trip to New England. Expect a hot start with confidence-building momentum pushing the team to a double-digit win season. The Panthers play the 49ers, Bills, Saints, Lions, Eagles, Bears, and Buccaneers, in addition to the Patriots, in the first half of the season. Cam Newton is 36-15 SU (23-23-2 ATS) all-time under center when favored in the betting market.
Below is a list of the teams receiving adjustments to the ‘over’ since spring. The numbers are an aggregate of several online sportsbooks:
|Team||Open (5/1)||Current (7/22)|
|Green Bay Packers||10||10.5|
|Kansas City Chiefs||9||9.5|
|New England Patriots||11||12.5|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||8||8.5|