2012 NFL Season Win Totals Top Picks
by Dave Schwab - 6/13/2012
Sportsbook.ag recently released its projected win totals and corresponding ‘over’ and ‘under’ money lines for all 32 NFL teams for this upcoming regular season. There is value in the numbers scattered throughout this list, but the real opportunity for a solid return on investment lies at the extremes.
The following is my top play on the over for teams at the top of the list as well as my top play on the under for the ones at the bottom.
Top Play on the Over
It is little wonder that the New England Patriots (12.5 wins) and the Green Bay Packers (12 wins) have the two highest projected win totals on the list considering that Sportsbook.ag has opened the Patriots at +200 to win the AFC and +450 to win Super Bowl XLVI and the Packers at +250 to win the NFC and +500 to win it all. The next highest win total in the AFC belongs to the Pittsburgh Steelers at 10.5. The moneyline on the over is +130 and -150 on the under, meaning early action has been on the under.
Pittsburgh finished the 2011 regular season with an overall record of 12-4 but its two losses to Baltimore proved to be the difference between a second-straight AFC North division title and the wild card route in the playoffs. A shocking 29-23 loss to Denver in the Wildcard Round ended its season.
Last year, the Steelers non-division games consisted of playing the entire AFC South and NFC West. This season it will play the AFC West and the NFC East, which on paper appears to be a tougher road to 11 or more wins. Looking back at the team’s past history, including the 2001 season, it has won 11 or more games six times in those 11 years. It has actually won 12 games in two of the last three years and has won at least nine games in all five seasons with Mike Tomlin as head coach. With their roster pretty much intact from last season, the Steelers should win at least 11 games this year and offer an excellent opportunity to take advantage of the beneficial money line on the over.
Top Play of the Under
A few of the bottom-dwellers on this year’s list include the Cleveland Browns (4.5 wins), Jacksonville Jaguars (five wins) and the Indianapolis Colts (five wins) in the AFC, but for this category we turn our attention to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have the lowest win total in the NFC at five.
The moneyline on the Buccaneers is trying to steer the betting public towards the over at -150 while the line on the under is +130. This is a team that won 10 games in 2010 and started the 2011 season 3-1. It was a fateful trip to London to play the Chicago Bears that triggered its unstoppable downward spiral. The 24-18 loss to the Bears in Week 7 was the first of 10 consecutive defeats that left the Buccaneers with a final record of 4-12.
A complete house-cleaning took place with Greg Schiano taking over for Raheem Morris as head coach. Schiano was previously the head coach at Rutgers University, which will never be mistaken for a collegiate football powerhouse. Josh Freeman is still the starting quarterback despite taking a monumental step backwards last season in his development. Tampa Bay’s offense finished the season ranked 27th in the NFL in scoring but its defense was even worse. It ended-up ranked 30th in total yards allowed and dead last in points allowed.
To make matters worse, the Buccaneers play the NFC East and AFC West this season, and with Carolina on the rise, is clearly the worst team in their division. Looking at their schedule, it may actually take until Week 16 with a home game against St. Louis before they notch their first win. To be fair, Tampa Bay should win three or four games this season, but it will definitely not win five, so do not hesitate to grab the extra value in the under.
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