The 2017 NFL season is a quarter of the way through. What’s the outlook on that win totals ticket you’re holding? Let’s take a look at those holding golden tickets vs. those ready to scrap theirs on teams going 'over.'
Buffalo Bills (3-1)
Win Total: 6.5
The Bills need four more victories to go over a 6.5-win total with the easiest stretch of their schedule in coming weeks. In advanced lines, Buffalo’s next six contests are within a field goal on the oddsboard, which translates to essentially coin-flip affairs. The defense leads the NFL in fewest points allowed (13.5) and has surrendered just four touchdowns. The unit controls the game, much like the Vikings, masking some of the issues on offense. As long as key players remain healthy, over the total is looking good.
We touted the Bills reaching 7 wins before the season kicked off because of the AFC East-NFC South interconference scheduling this season. New head coach Sean McDermott spent five years as the Panthers defensive coordinator and knows each opponent inside and out. He just missed topping his old team in Week 2 (9-3), but stunned the Falcons in Atlanta last Sunday 23-17 as 8-point underdogs. The Bills have home dates vs. the Bucs and Saints still ahead, and a slew of games against the bottom-feeders of the AFC, including the Jets, Colts, Chargers and Dolphins twice.
Kansas City Chiefs (4-0)
Win Total: 9
The Chiefs are the only undefeated team in the NFL headed into Week 5, sitting at the top of most power rankings. A double-digit win season looks like money in the bank at this point. Kansas City is favored in eight of its next 11 games and has played just one division opponent this year. We bring this up because the team is 14-1 SU in its last 15 AFC West matchups, last losing in September 2015.
New York Jets (2-2)
Win Total: 3.5
The Jets win total hit the market at 4.5 or 5 games depending on the sportsbook this summer, but dipped to 3.5 at most shops by Week 1. They’ve won two in a row and are 1.5-point pups at lowly Cleveland this Sunday. Its feasible New York could enjoy its first three-game winning streak since 2015.
In advanced lines, oddsmakers list the Jets underdogs in every game but one from here on out, a pick ‘em hosting the Chargers in Week 16. Outside of the Chargers, two remaining contests are within 3 points on the board: hosting the Bills (-1.5) in Week 9 and the Panthers (-3) in Week 12. It will be tough for the Jets to win two of the aforementioned games, and the team doesn’t appear to have the talent or swagger to pull off a shocker when catching more than a field goal. Still, brave bettors holding that over ticket are halfway to profiting, and that’s a good feeling this early in the season.
New England Patriots (3-2)
Win Total: 12.5
The Patriots entered the season favored in every game in advanced lines. The ‘over’ was a popular ticket. Bettors had to weigh the chances of New England losing just three games, which includes a Week 17 tilt where a playoff-bound team could easily rest its starters if certain scenarios play out. Few, if any, factored the Pats losing as 8- & 9-point home favorites to the Chiefs and Panthers, respectively.
The “harder” portion of the schedule is still to come with a trip to Denver in Week 10, followed up with a Mexico City date vs. the Raiders. This grueling trip will take a lot out of the players late in the season. New England faces four divisional opponents and a trip to the Steelers in its final five games. It’s tough not seeing the Pats lose at least two of these games, but if any outfit can figure a way to cash this win-total ticket and overcome the odds, it’s head coach Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and crew.
Indianapolis Colts (1-3)
Win Total: 8
Time to be honest with ourselves, whether Andrew Luck is playing or not, this over bet appeared a long shot headed into the season. The Colts have gone 8-8 the last two years and seemed to slip backwards amongst their AFC South peers in the offseason. The Titans and Texans are definitely better on paper, with a strong case the Jags have caught up. Indy should keep any home games competitive, but the fact it has rolled over in two away games is alarming. Indy has been outscored 92-27 in losses at the Rams and Seahawks, two of the more anemic offenses from 2016. Luck is still a couple of weeks from playing and no telling when he’ll get his game back to 100 percent. Rip those tickets up boys, this one ain’t cashing.