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When it comes to sports betting, the NFL is king.
CG Technology made headlines this past weekend by posting Regular Season Win Totals in Las Vegas for the 2019 pro football season. In late March, five months prior to opening kickoff!
The New Orleans Saints went up on the board at 10.5 victories, best in the NFC South and tied for best in the NFC with the Los Angeles Rams. The New England Patriots were tops in the whole NFL with 11 projected victories.
More shops will unveil their numbers through the coming weeks. Sports books have learned that football fans will bet their favorite sport year round. The earlier numbers go up, the earlier fans will start betting.
Should YOU consider betting these propositions? It depends on how you feel about letting your money sit in somebody else’s account for several months. Winning bets aren’t paid out until the regular season ends. If you believe you have a real chance to pyramid betting profits through the season, that’s money you can’t touch until the playoffs are about to begin. Some bettors prefer having easier access to all of their betting capital during the football season.
Regular Season Win Totals are ideal for avid fans who are just casual bettors (or barely bettors at all). They get to root for their favorite team week after week without worrying about point spreads. We all know someday who loves a team, but doesn’t want to worry about whether they win by enough to cover the number every Sunday. If their team has a good season, they get to cash a ticket at the end. These can be really fun “recreational” bets for small “no harm no foul” investments.
Many sharps do bet these. Professional bettors attack edges when they see them. They’re usually well-financed enough that they don’t worry about bankroll size during the season. A portion of their portfolio is allotted to Regular Season Win Totals, futures bets, and maybe some player propositions. The rest goes to weekly activity.
There are some huge differences between how the public and sharps bet these propositions that you should be aware of.
First, the public usually bets OVERS because they’re a fan of a team, or they’re convinced a team is going to be much better than pundits are suggesting. This causes oddsmakers to inflate many teams by about half a win. If you add up all the Regular Season Win Totals available for the league, you’ll notice that the sports book sum is above what’s actually possible. (The league as a whole will have a regular season record of 256-256 barring ties.)
Professional bettors are more likely to go with UNDERS. They know that lines are inflated against public sentiment. They’ll try to put that edge in their pockets by emphasizing Under bets. So, if you’re thinking about betting these types of propositions over the summer, force yourself to think about Under possibilities.
Secondly, the public usually looks through a team’s schedule, thinking “that’s a win, that’s a win, that’s a loss, that’s a win.” This causes many top teams to look like they’ll bulldoze their way to 13-3 or 14-2 records, and makes the league doormats look like 1-15 or 2-14 disasters. Reality in sports is a matter of probabilities.
Sharps understand that a 7-point favorite will only win straight up about 75% of the time. If you knew in advance a team would be 7-point underdogs in all 16 of their games…you shouldn’t expect an 0-16 season. You should expect a 4-12 season even though that team would never be favored.
Use the following guidelines when assessing teams for a Regular Season Win proposition: pick-em games are 50-50, 3-point favorites should win 60% of the time, 5-point favorites 68% of the time, 7-point favorites 75% of the time, and 10-point favorites 80% of the time. When looking at a schedule, assign your team of interest a half-a-win in projected toss-ups, up to four-fifths of a win when likely favored by double digits. This will give you a better read.
▪ Win Totals from CG Technology in the NFC South were: New Orleans 10.5, Atlanta 8.5, Carolina 8, and Tampa Bay 6. Teams in the NFC projected to win at least eight games were New Orleans 10.5, the Los Angeles Rams 10.5, Philadelphia 9.5, Chicago 9.5, Green Bay 9, Minnesota 9, Seattle 8.5, Dallas 8.5, Atlanta 8.5, Carolina 8, and San Francisco 8.
▪ AFC teams projected to win at least eight games were New England 11, Kansas City 10.5, LA Chargers 10, Indianapolis 9.5, Cleveland 9, Pittsburgh 9, Baltimore 8.5, Houston 8.5, Tennessee 8.5, and Jacksonville 8.