The MGM Grand in Las Vegas took the plunge and posted Over/Under NFL season win numbers earlier this week. the Packers open at 11.5 I always like to jump on these numbers ASAP, before Vegas makes necessary adjustments.
If you don’t like to throw your money away by trying to outsmart the oddsmakers, season win totals always make for some good discussion. Lets take a look at each team’s over/under and try to figure out a couple of strong plays.
AFC EastJets 10
Besides San Diego and New Orleans, the Jets are the only team with a double-digit total that I would feel comfortable betting the over. With the exception of both New England contests and road tests at Baltimore and Philadelphia, their schedule is filled with winnable games.
Does New England have the pass rush to warrant betting the over? It’s a big number and not a good value bet, but betting against New England probably doesn’t have much value either. I’m staying away.
If Buffalo can manage to avoid starting 0-3 at Kansas City and home against Oakland and New England, they should manage to reach six wins…barley.
There’s no way you can find eight wins on the Dolphins’ schedule. Hammer the under.
If the Steelers can survive the first portion of their schedule, they end with Cincinnati, Cleveland, San Francisco, St. Louis and Cleveland. It’s still going to be tough to get to 12 wins, though. Stay away.
My conservative nature says stay away, but Baltimore has a shot to win 12 games with Cincinnati on the schedule twice and non-conference games against the entire NFC West, right? But 12 is still a big number, and my conservative nature wins. Stay away.
Just when you think the Brows are cruising to seven wins and money in your pocket with an over bet, they play the Steelers and Ravens four times in the season’s final five weeks. If they can win one of those games, and beat Arizona in Week 15, they’ll go over. I’m not convinced that will happen, so I’m staying away.
The Bengals are terrible. Hammer the under.
Can an aging and hurting Peyton Manning lead the Colts to 11 wins with road games against Tampa Bay, New Orleans, New England and Baltimore? Maybe. But I wouldn’t bet on it. Stay away.
The Texans are everyone’s favorite team in the preseason. Every year fans think Matt Schaub and Co. will finally toughen up, win a few of those close games they always lose, and make the playoffs. With a beefed up secondary, those proclamations will return this year. Whether you believe that this is finally the year for Houston or not, betting the over is a good play here.
Jacksonville’s non-division schedule looks like this: at the Jets, at Carolina, New Orleans, Cincinnati, at Pittsburgh, Baltimore, San Diego, Tampa Bay, at Atlanta. I see two wins in that stretch. Can Jacksonville scrape together five wins against divisional foes to go over? It’ll be tough. Stay away.
With Matt Hasselbeck taking over, this would appear to be a team that could win seven games. But no offseason program means struggles for a team with a new coach. I want to say bet the under, but I’ll probably stay away. If the Colts regress and the Texans play like the Texans (both big ifs), Tennessee could make a run.
Josh McDaniels left quite the mess in Denver, and that mess will only get worse if Tim Teabow is handed the starting job. I can’t see Teabow getting the nod over Kyle Orton, so that makes this bet a little trickier. I’d stay away.
San Diego only has three games against teams that have superior talent: New England, New York Jets and Green Bay. There’s also a stretch midway through the season where San Diego plays Oakland, Denver, Jacksonville and Buffalo four out of five weeks. I like the over.
The Raiders are gaining steam as this season’s surprise team in the AFC, much like Kansas City picked up steam before last season. I’m not buying it, even though they only have one non-division road game against a super-talented team (Green Bay). Stay away.
Vegas is tempting you to take the over here. They’re hoping most bettors see last season’s division champs with an eight hanging next to their name and think it’s easy money. Don’t b fooled. With Indianapolis, New England, Pittsburgh, Green Bay and the Jets on the schedule, Kansas City is not winning eight games. Bet the under.
I never know how to read the Giants and this season is no different. They’re well coached with no major weaknesses, but very little about them stands out and there always seems to be some sort of drama unfolding. If Eli Manning quits throwing the ball to the other team, I suppose they could go over, but I’m staying away.
Dallas’s last four games are brutal: Giants, at Tampa Bay, Philadelphia and at Giants. The first part of their schedule is manageable though, and it’s tempting to take the over. But then I remember that the Cowboys are a huge public team, and Vegas is probably hoping people take the over. Stay away.
The Eagles opened at 10 then moved to 10.5 once Nnamdi Asomugha signed. That extra half-game is a big swing and I hate following the crowd on huge public bets. Stay away.
I don’t think I can name three players on Washington’s roster so I’m betting the under.
I usually avoid betting on the Packers because they are my favorite team and I don’t want my homerism clouding my judgment. That said, I’m staying away from the Packers at 11.5. It’s a big number for a team in a tough division and non-division road games against Atlanta, San Diego and the New York Giants.
How many second-string QBs will Chicago face this season? How many game-changing calls will go in their favor? How many times will DBs drop interceptions after Jay Cutler heaves the ball into triple coverage while falling over? Even if everything goes Chicago’s way again this season, check out those first three games; 0-3 is a real possibility. Take the under.
The early steam on the Lions was to take the over. But injuries are already starting to mount, so I’m staying away.
Minnesota has Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin, two good TEs, a QB looking to prove himself, Jared Allen, Antoine Winfield, Kevin Williams, good LBs and no Favre drama. They can win seven games, right? I’m taking the over.
This number depends on how you feel about Tampa Bay and Atlanta. I think the Saints are better than both and will win three of the four matchups, which should result in at least a 10-win season. Take the over.
Atlanta is another stay-away bet for me. Ten wins is a lot when you’re in a division with New Orleans and Tampa Bay and have to play at Chicago and Indianapolis and host Philadelphia early. Actually, after writing that sentence, I think I’m taking the under.
This is the lowest win total in the entire league by a full game and you’d think Carolina could manage to win five games by accident. But after reviewing their roster and schedule, I don’t think they can. Carolina goes in the under column.
The Bucs have some steam on the over, but I’m staying away.
Kevin Kolb is far from a proven quarterback, but he’s capable of leading Arizona to six wins, which is a one-win improvement from 2010. With a little good fortune, Arizona could win their first three games against Carolina, Washington and Seattle. I’m taking the over.
I don’t know what they’re up to in Seattle. Take the under.
Writing about the NFC West is depressing. If Sam Bradford is the real deal, the Rams will go over.
The 49ers have the highest over/under number in the NFC West at eight. Like I said, writing about the NFC West is depressing. Stay away from San Francisco.
Dolphins under 8
Bengals under 7.5
Cowboys under 9
Chargers over 10
Bears under 9.5
Vikings over 6.5
Texans over 8
Bills over 5
Panthers under 4.5
Jets over 10
Chiefs under 8
Redskins under 6.5
Saints over 10
Falcons under 11
Cardinals over 5.5
Seahawks under 7
Rams over 7