Best Bets on the Betting Board for NFL Win Totals
We looked at NFL season win totals when they were posted, but that feels like it was a lifetime ago now. Now that we are well into training camps, and a preseason that seems more stupidly endless every year, we know more than we knew back then, so it makes sense to take a fresh look at the numbers that are available and what they could mean for value. After all, what else are we supposed to do right now - watch preseason football? ( odds are from Bovada ):
New York Giants (7): The win total is at 7, and the "over" is strongly favored at -165. I just don't buy it. At all. I am not even remotely a believer in Eli Manning right now. And even if I thought he had a chance to right what was a badly sinking ship last year, he doesn't have enough talent around him to do it. Odell Beckham Jr. feels like a lock to have his distraction factor outweigh his talent - perhaps significantly. The coaching isn't great, the schedule is mixed, and I just don't see how they get to eight wins. Heck, a big part of me would be surprised if they got to half of that. I am, needless to say, very bearish on this team.
San Francisco (8.5): Oddsmakers are daring me to take the over - currently at +115 - and despite what should be better judgement I am seriously considering it. I really believe in Kyle Shanahan and like the team he has to work with here. Jimmy G probably won't be the faultless saint - at least on the field - that he is portrayed as, but he is certainly capable. And the team is decent on both sides of the ball. The schedule is challenging in spots, but it could be worse. Nine wins feels doable. And the price could be worse. I have a few weeks left to talk myself out of this bet, but I'm not entirely sure I'll be able to.
Cleveland (5.5): I give Bud Light credit for their latest marketing ploy, installing fridges in bars that will automatically unlock and give people free beer when the Browns finally win. My favorite part of the story, though, was that the company felt the need to assure people that they would replace the beer every month - because it could be sitting there for a while, and no one wants to drink skunky beer even if it is free. They should be a better team than last year - likely much better - but the schedule is tough, and there are only a small handful of really manageable games. They are a good story and easy to root for, but I still struggle to find six wins on their schedule. The over is at a ridiculous -170 here, and that feels just too optimistic.
Cincinnati (6.5): I just can't take the Bengals seriously. Bringing back Marvin Lewis after the struggles of the last few years and the issues that plagued the team last year is a totally indefensible move, and the team has not done enough to dramatically improve - or even sort of improve as I see it. They won seven games last year, and they really feel like a candidate for a further step back this year. The over is favored at -160, but I sure like the under here.
Baltimore (8): The Ravens are an interesting case here. They are coming off a nine-win season that felt a little fluky, and they have made a whole lot of offseason changes and are ripe for a quarterback controversy, but the over is solidly favored at -160. I respect the coaching staff and the willingness to fix a QB situation that was broken, and I haven't given up on Joe Flacco yet, but the enthusiasm for the over is a little surprising to me - especially combined with the enthusiasm for the Browns.
Seattle (8): I just plain hate the offseason that the team had, and it sure feels to me like we are seeing the start of the end of the Pete Carroll era. It is easy to be pessimistic, and I am far from alone in that - the under is at -155. The schedule is tough, and the team very likely won't be, so the under is the right side, but value is in short supply at the price.
Detroit (7.5): The Lions have some issues and play in a tough division - at least two of the other three teams - but I don't get this number. They won nine games last year, and it didn't feel like a massive overachievement. Matt Stafford is underappreciated, and the coaching change is a positive one. This is not a contender in a real way by any means, but the over feels very comfortable here.
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