Serious bettors largely disregard the ‘preseason’ in search of regular season O/U values
The most interesting aspect wagering upon NFL season win totals is relying upon either optimism or pessimism. Think about it. With some exceptions, you patiently wait 14 to 16 long weeks or almost four full months to decide your wager. Counting on teams to win, and often in this unique proposition losing, to cash your bet. With today’s instant gratification menu of quarter and halftime wagers, in-play wagering, etc., it sounds rather bizarre.
That’s not the point as this is also the ultimate “told you so” conversation point. The one all of us brag about in January as “I told you the Cowboys were going to suck this year” or maybe “told ya the Jets were better than you thought”.
The list of preferred sportsbooks has included the NFL win totals as a staple of their futures menu due to their popularity. Leaders like Bovada, BetOnline and Diamond Sports have a list of NFL teams indicating their win totals for the upcoming NFL regular 16-game season. Again, always very wise to shop around to obtain the best potential price for your specific wagering interest.
Two Major Rules to Follow
When betting NFL future win totals I’ve learned from several years’ experience is to "respect the line". That’s a phrase invented for not trying to go against major favorites the public has instituted. It just hasn’t proven to work for this special proposition bet. Not within predicting the potential Super Bowl winner, but forecasting these O/U win totals.
The other is often the better opportunity to wager upon UNDER the total for the season. Like wagering upon Over in any specific football game, it seems the average bettor has an overall preference for betting the over, rather than facing early elimination from their wager. Perhaps it’s an optimism thing or likely not holding a potential losing a ticket before the NFL season is complete.
Considering these two crucial rules, the following are some Best and Worst suggestions this season courtesy of odds from preferred sportsbook TheGreek.com.
Over 8 Wins +115
The Seahawks are a team that is regressing and due for a fall. More important, they live in an NFC West division among three other teams that are improving rapidly, especially the Rams and 49ers. Add on the many players coming back from major injuries plus a potential last year for head coach Pete Carroll. Even that 8-win total looks questionable. Seattle is no longer the automatic W at home for seven or eight games, adding to why they are a bad play as an Over bet here.
New England Patriots
Over 11 Wins -130
A wager here is counting on the immortality of Mr. Tom Brady. Without him and the chance he gets injured, there is no human way the Pats win 11 or more games. I wouldn’t be confident they win 11 or more even if he is healthy weighing so many New England Patriots questions this season. They include a grumbling head coach, facing a likely retirement season. Not to mention losing their highly regarded defensive coordinator Matt Patricia as well. Yes, Gronk is back but the suspension of starting WR Julian Edelman will hurt early in the season. And their defense against the Eagles in last year’s Super Bowl was foretelling. Not a smart choice versus many better O/U selections.
New Orleans Saints
Over 9 Wins – 180
Exactly the prototype O/U wager mentioned as Rule One. The public exposed this opportunity as linemakers undervalued New Orleans potential going into this season. Not sure why they posted the Saints O/U number at only 9 wins. Perhaps they figure Drew Brees will hit the wall this year but it’s impossible for Brady? Comparing the teams, the Saints are equal on offense and likely better than the Patriots on defense. A real head scratcher and no surprise why the public has jumped all over the Saints as the top choice at this current date of all teams in the wagering pool.
Over 6.5 Wins -150
Indy has been the insider’s “wise-guy bet” to date although the wagering has cooled down a bit over the last few weeks. That’s has been due to reports that QB Andrew Luck is 100% certain to be back starting the season but not playing the preseason. His effectiveness and will he return to becoming among the NFL’s top five quarterbacks are anybody’s guess. The Colts supporting offense won’t scare anybody beyond WR T.Y. Hilton. Look for a few surprises if Luck is great again. On defense the Colts improved last season and with new head coach Frank Reich onboard with better support will help. The modest 6.5 wins is the most likely reason bettors circled this one. Add on questions in the always unpredictable AFC South among the Jaguars, Texans and Titans. The potential for the Colts to win 7 games or maybe 8 or 9 is well within reach.
Overall, the Best Bet is ignoring the line for preseason NFL games and planning some serious study evaluating the season for these Over/Under wagers. They don’t offer instant gratification but do offer generous rewards come the beginning of 2019. Plus, the added bonus of bragging to your friends “I told you so”!
Glenn Greene covers the games from a betting angle every week exclusively at OSGA.com. For weekly betting insights, inlcuding previews and picks from Glenn, click here.