May 08, 2017
The day after the 2017 NFL Draft wrapped up, the first over/under win total odds in Las Vegas were released by South Point sportsbook, according to Covers.com. The opening over/unders were as follows:
There will be 256 regular season games played this season, meaning that the maximum number of wins, league-wide, is 256 (duh). That number will come down some depending on the number of games that end in a tie, which happens approximately once per year.
Interestingly, if you add up all of the win totals across the league in the above over/unders, you come up with 259 wins. Vegas knows that fans will often bet with their hearts, so over/under totals tend to get pushed up a shade. Generally speaking, the under is typically the better bet.
As you can see, Vegas sees the Eagles as an improving team, or at least a team they think the public will bet on. Here, we'll take a quick look around the league and determine if over or under is the way to go for some teams:
• Eagles (8.5): I think 8.5 is a smart number for Vegas to put out there. I'll take the under. While I think Carson Wentz will improve and the offense as a whole will be better because there are now actually some competent receivers, the lack of depth on defense and the potentially disastrous situation at cornerback makes it hard for me to project the Eagles as a winning team in 2017.
• Cowboys (9.5): This line surprised me. I figured Vegas would push the Cowboys' number way up, expecting that their delusional fan base would bet the over on just about any number they'd throw out there. But at 9.5 wins, that actually looks like a bargain. The Cowboys lost a lot of contributing players on defense, but that offense remains a powerhouse. I'll take the over.
• Redskins (7.5): The front office was a debacle this offseason. I think that'll carry over onto the field. Under.
• Giants (9): The Giants (+26) actually had a lower point differential last year than the Eagles (+36), and they only played four games against teams that went to the playoffs. If this line were 8.5, I'd maybe recommend the over, but at 9, I'm compelled to think that eight wins is more likely than 10. Under.
• Patriots (11): The Patriots haven't won fewer than 12 games in a season since 2009. Even if they only win 11, you'll still push. No-brainer. Over all day.
• Falcons (10): I'm betting on the Falcons crashing hard after that Super Bowl nightmare. Under.
• Titans (9.5): The Titans certainly look like they're improving, but I'm not about to put them among the nine highest win total teams, like they are above. Under.
• Buccaneers (8): This will be Jameis Winston's third season at the wheel, and the Bucs have added some serious firepower for him in their offense. Over.
• Chargers (7.5): Every year I fool myself into thinking the Chargers might be good, and every year, they're just... not. I'm going the opposite way this season, so naturally, they'll probably win the very loaded AFC West. Still, I'm going with the under.
• Jets (5.5): The Jets' quarterbacks are Josh McCown, Bryce Petty, and Christian Hackenberg. They're going to win six games with that mess? Under.
• Cardinals (7.5): The Cardinals are an above-average team that just had a rough season in 2016. I think they'll be better in 2017. Over.
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