On Sunday morning, the prominent Westgate sportsbook released their 2015 NFL Win Totals for all 32 teams. The previous weekend CG Technology had released point spreads for every game between weeks 1 and 16, which we used to create our own win total valuations.
Now that we have these two sets of numbers to compare, we wanted to determine which win totals were offering bettors value for the upcoming season. By simply subtracting the Westgate win total from our valuation, we’re able to see which teams are offering the most value this season.
Positive numbers reflect good “over” bets, while negative numbers indicate good “under” bets.
|Team||Westgate (May 4)||Valuation||Win Differential||Valuation Rank|
These numbers offer valuable insight into the win totals market, but we also had to take into account the juice to determine which teams were offering bettors the most value. One factor not displayed in our table is the process of turning the juice for each win total into an implied probability and adding that into our calculations.
One example of how this information is utilized involves the Indianapolis Colts. Indy’s win total opened at 10.5 with -170 juice on the over and +150 on the under. That indicates that oddsmakers believe there is a 61.54% chance that the Colts win at least 11 games, however, our analysis values them at just 9.969 wins. Based on that analysis, we believe that there is actually a 59.37% chance of winning 10 games or fewer.
Essentially, oddsmakers believe that there is a 38.36% chance that the Colts will go under their projected win total, while our figure is significantly higher at 59.37%. When we subtract the implied probability from the Westgate from our “true” probability, the result is a 21.01% edge on the under. Even though there are a number of teams with larger discrepancies between the Westgate win totals and our valuations, this edge is greater than any other team in football.
The Colts under 10.5 (+150) is currently our top value play, but based on our research we were able to pinpoint four additional opportunities which include three unders and one over.
1. San Francisco 49ers: Over 7.5 Wins (+120)
Over the past few years, a number of new faces have walked through the 49ers clubhouse. A once stout defense has seen countless players depart via free agency while their former head coach, Jim Harbaugh, was fired despite a 44-19 record in four seasons. This massive shake-up caused San Francisco to be one of the most popular “under” teams in early betting at CG Technology. In fact, since opening the 49ers win total has actually dropped from 8.5 to 7.5, so why should bettors be backing the over?
For starters, our valuation projects that the 49ers will win 8.365 games this season — 0.865 more than their win total at the Westgate sportsbook. Secondly, we always encourage the importance of buying on bad news and selling on good. The public appears to be overreacting to recent events while forgetting about the talent still on the roster.
Despite his shortcomings, Colin Kaepernick is still capable of being a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback, Anthony Davis and Joe Staley anchor an above-average offensive line, Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith and Vernon Davis provide big play ability in the passing game and the combination of Carlos Hyde and Reggie Bush should be able to replace the production of an aging Frank Gore.
We would like this over if we were getting the standard -110 juice, but the fact that we’re getting plus money (+120) makes it one of our top picks for next season.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Under 5.5 (+150)
Our valuation places the Jaguars at 5.281 wins this upcoming season and this 0.219 differential doesn’t even qualify as one of the ten largest values, however, receiving plus money on this bet adds tremendous value. It’s also worth noting that Jacksonville hasn’t won more than five games since the 2010 season when they finished 8-8.
3. New York Jets: Under 7 (+120)
By all accounts, the Jets have had one of the league’s most productive off-seasons. They landed one of the league’s most dangerous weapons by trading for Bears WR Brandon Marshall. They also added insurance at quarterback after trading for Ryan Fitzpatrick. In addition, the team was praised by analysts who claim they had the best collection of picks at last weekend’s NFL Draft. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves; this team is still highly flawed.
Last season the Jets won only 4 games and they failed to address arguably their biggest problem — the massive question mark at quarterback. The AFC East also improved as a whole with the Bills adding Percy Harvin and LeSean McCoy, the Dolphins adding Ndamukong Suh and the Patriots coming off yet another Super Bowl victory.
There’s a tendency for big market teams to have over-inflated prices because an influx of bets from hometown fans will frequently artificially increase the price. Our valuation places the Jets at 6.751 wins, so once again getting plus money makes an already tantalizing bet even sweeter.
4. Denver Broncos: Under 10 (+110)
The Broncos opened as one of five teams with a double-digit win total; however, our valuation places the Broncos at just 9.663 wins. Our analysis indicates that there’s a 50.07% chance that the Broncos go under, a 37.49% chance that the Broncos go over, and a 12.44% chance that they win exactly 10 games and push.
If we eliminate for the possibility of a push, we find that there’s a 57.19% chance of going under and a 42.81% chance of going over. Using implied probabilities, we find that oddsmakers believe that there’s only a 45.45% that the Broncos go under. This 11.74% discrepancy is the fourth largest we uncovered, making Denver our final win total recommendation.
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David Solar is the Content Manager for Sports Insights and can be reached directly at David@sportsinsights.com.