Is Your Favorite NFL Team Playoff Bound? Oddsmakers Weigh In

Although training camps won’t break until late July and the regular season doesn’t kick off until September 5th, Cantor created quite a stir for NFL fans worldwide today when they released their win totals for the 2012 season. For those who aren’t familiar, sportsbooks release their projected win totals for all 32 teams and bettors are able to wager whether a team will win more or less than that projected figure.

For sports bettors who believe they have determined which teams are over and underrated, this provides an opportunity to quite literally put their money where their mouth is. For us, this provides a power ranking system which allows us to know which teams Vegas believes are contenders and which are pretenders.

However, we have taken this a step farther and compared these win projections to the future odds at Pinnacle in an attempt to uncover any discrepancies between these two highly respected odds makers.

Team Future Odds Win Totals
New England Patriots +645 12 (o-125)
New York Jets +3022 8.5 (o-115)
Miami Dolphins +4313 7.5 (u-120)
Buffalo Bills +8264 7 (u-120)

Not surprisingly, the Patriots’ 12 wins tied the Packers for the most projected victories — although the juice is slightly higher on Green Bay. This falls in line perfectly with Pinnacle’s future odds where those teams have the shortest odds to win the Super Bowl. As for the rest of the AFC East? The Jets futures have dropped over 100 points since the draft, and oddsmakers don’t anticipate a major improvement from last season’s 8-8 performance.

Team Future Odds Win Totals
Pittsburgh Steelers +1814 10 (o-125)
Baltimore Ravens +1839 10 (u-120)
Cincinnati Bengals +4057 7.5 (o-130)
Cleveland Browns +18843 5.5 (u-130)

Prior to the NFL draft, the Ravens were favored to win the division and were receiving +1766 odds at Pinnacle while the Steelers had longer odds at +2286. While Pittsburgh’s selection of Stanford guard David DeCastro was an excellent value pick, this significant movement was more likely triggered by the injury to Ravens OLB Terrell Suggs. The 2011 AFC Defensive Player of the Year suffered a torn Achilles tendon while playing basketball and will likely miss most of the 2012 season.

Team Future Odds Win Totals
Houston Texans +1426 10 (o-140)
Tennessee Titans +6466 7 (o-130)
Indianapolis Colts +16290 5.5 (u-135)
Jacksonville Jaguars +19350 5.5 (u-135)

To the surprise of nobody, the Texans are the clear favorite in the AFC South. With Jacksonville and Indy in the beginning stages of their rebuilding efforts and the Titans slowly transitioning into the Jake Locker era, Houston appears to be the division’s only legitimate Super Bowl contender. In fact, despite the Titans 9-7 finish a year ago, no team other than the Texans is expected to finish with a .500 record.

Team Future Odds Win Totals
Denver Broncos +1429 9.5 (u-120)
San Diego Chargers +2932 9 (u-135)
Kansas City Chiefs +6787 8 (o-120)
Oakland Raiders +7542 7 (u-120)

With Tim Tebow gone and Peyton Manning taking the reigns under center, the Broncos promise to be one of this season’s most engrossing story lines — regardless of performance. Right now, oddsmakers have Denver as the favorite to win the AFC West, but there seems to be a mixed sentiment around the team. When BetOnline released their win totals earlier in the week, the Broncos were projected to win 10 games. However, not only are Cantor’s projections lower, the juice is actually on the under. Considering the uncertainty surrounding Manning’s health, bettors may be wise practicing patience in this instance.

Team Future Odds Win Totals
Philadelphia Eagles +1182 10 (o-135)
New York Giants +2161 9.5 (u-120)
Dallas Cowboys +2361 8.5 (o-125)
Washington Redskins +6433 6.5 (u-130)

After an 8-8 season, many fans were surprised to see that the Eagles had the third highest odds to win the Super Bowl, but today’s win total projections have affirmed oddsmakers’ confidence in Philly. The other fascinating movement includes two of the league’s most popular teams — the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys. The addition of Morris Claiborne in the draft helped Dallas jump from 2788 to 2361 while the Giants have fallen from 2076 down to 2161. In fact, Cantor sportsbook director Mike Colbert was quoted saying, “We think the Giants are closer to a 9 than a 9.5, but the fact they got bet so heavily in the 16 weeks [Cantor released lines for the first 16 weeks of the NFL season earlier this month] made us bump them up. We made them almost half a game higher than our math tells us.” This tells us that oddsmakers feel that the Cowboys are a lot closer to the Giants than the casual sports fan does — perhaps because the Giants have the most difficult schedule in 2012 (based on opponents’ 2011 record).

Team Future Odds Win Totals
Green Bay Packers +629 12 (o-125)
Detroit Lions +2240 9.5 (u-135)
Chicago Bears +4155 8.5 (o-135)
Minnesota Vikings +14539 6 (u-130)

After flirting with an undefeated season in 2011, the Packers opened as the presumptive favorite to take home the Lombardi Trophy this season, but what about the rest of the division? Calvin Johnson and the Lions will look to reverse the Madden curse and, in fact, their projected 9.5 wins are good for sixth in the NFC.

Team Future Odds Win Totals
New Orleans Saints +1380 10 (o-125)
Atlanta Falcons +2743 9 (u-135)
Carolina Panthers +5385 7.5 (o-115)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +13463 6 (u-120)

Despite Bountygate, New Orleans remains the favorite in the NFC South, showing that Sean Payton’s presence may not be as significant as many sports fans had believed. Many sports fans will also be surprised to see such a low total on the Panthers. Carolina shocked many by winning six games last season, and with a year of experience under his belt, Cam Newton looks primed to emerge as one of the league’s marquee stars. Bets will undoubtedly come in heavily on the over, but with two games per year against Atlanta and New Orleans plus a tough non-conference schedule, perspective bettors may want to think twice.

Team Future Odds Win Totals
San Francisco 49ers +1297 10 (u-135)
Seattle Seahawks +5025 7 (u-120)
Arizona Cardinals +5928 7 (u-120)
St. Louis Rams +9675 6 (u-120)

It’s widely regarded as the weakest division in football, and it would seem that oddsmakers concur. Outside San Francisco, all three teams from the West are projected to win seven or fewer games — even with the juice coming on the under.

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