2016 NFL Season: Comparing Win Totals with Futures

2016 NFL Season: Comparing Win Totals with Futures

The 2016 NFL season doesn’t get underway until September 8th when the Denver Broncos host the Carolina Panthers in a rematch of Super Bowl 50. Even though the annual kickoff game is still months away, there are still ample betting opportunities for the NFL faithful.

Back on April 14th, the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas became the first sportsbook to post odds for Week 1 of the upcoming season. The following afternoon, a litany of offshore books posted their own odds — albeit with relatively small limits.

Roughly one week later, CG Technology posted lines for every matchup through the first 16 weeks of the season. Although Week 17 lines are never included due to the unpredictable nature of the week, they are all divisional rivalries and therefore rematches of earlier games. Any bettor could estimate the Week 17 spread by examining the previous game between the two teams and adjusting for home field advantage which is typically valued at 2.5-points.

[ View the latest odds and betting trends by visiting our free NFL odds page ]

Later this week the team at Bet Labs will be converting these spreads into implied probabilities in order to create their own win total projections, but we wanted to know whether there were any other discrepancies in the market that bettors should know about.

We decided to look at the current NFL Win Totals at 5Dimes along with the odds for each team to win their conference and the Super Bowl to identify the most glaring inconsistencies.

TEAMWin Total (4/25)Super Bowl (4/25)AFCNFC
New England Patriots10.5 (o-225)+730+300N/A
Green Bay Packers10.5 (o-165)+1000N/A+575
Carolina Panthers10.5 (o-135)+1000N/A+485
Seattle Seahawks10.5 (o-130)+950N/A+450
Pittsburgh Steelers10.5 (u-120)+1150+525N/A
Arizona Cardinals9.5 (o-140)+1500N/A+685
Minnesota Vikings9.5 (o-120)+2400N/A+1200
Kansas City Chiefs9.5+2500+1100N/A
Cincinnati Bengals9.5+1900+750N/A
Indianapolis Colts9.5 (u-145)+2100+900N/A
Denver Broncos9.5 (u-150)+1750+620N/A
Dallas Cowboys9 (u-135)+2000N/A+1000
Houston Texans8.5 (u-130)+4000+2000N/A
Oakland Raiders8 (o-225)+3000+1600N/A
Baltimore Ravens8 (o-130)+3500+1500N/A
New York Jets8 (o-125)+4300+2000N/A
Buffalo Bills8+5500+1900N/A
New York Giants8 (u-125)+3500N/A+1700
Philadelphia Eagles7.5 (u-125)+5000N/A+2000
Washington Redskins7.5 (u-125)+5300N/A+2800
Atlanta Falcons7.5 (u-145)+5000N/A+2000
Detroit Lions7 (o-165)+6500N/A+2300
Chicago Bears7 (o-135)+6000N/A+2400
Miami Dolphins7 (o-120)+6400+2700N/A
Los Angeles Rams7 (u-125)+5500N/A+2300
San Diego Chargers7 (u-135)+6500+3000+2800
New Orleans Saints7 (u-145)+7000N/AN/A
Jacksonville Jaguars6.5 (o-140)+6000+3300N/A
Tampa Bay Buccaneers6.5 (o-130)+10000N/A+3800
Tennessee Titans5.5 (o-130)+20000+7000N/A
San Francisco 49ers5 (o-130)+12500N/A+5000
Cleveland Browns4.5 (u-195)+22500+7500N/A

It was fascinating to see that the Broncos have the seventh best odds of winning the Super Bowl, but just the 11th highest win total. Typically this type of disparity can be explained by the team’s strength of schedule, and that appears to be at least partially true in this case. According to NFL.com, the Broncos have the league’s 14th toughest schedule which is fairly low considering their performance last season.

It’s also interesting to see that the Packers have the third best odds of winning the Super Bowl (+1000) but the second highest win total (10.5, Over -165). Once again, this can largely be explained by the strength of schedule since Green Bay will face weaker competition than any other team in the league. Also worth noting is that the Packers have the highest win total than any team in the NFC, but just the third best odds of winning the conference.

Often times it’s difficult to find value betting futures, and many bettors are dubious about tying up funds for several months. For any bettors who are willing to wait another ten months for a payout, be cautious about taking the most public teams. Bettors will overwhelmingly pound big market teams like the Dallas Cowboys or New York Giants, and these teams typically have artificially inflated prices.

In terms of early win total movement, it appears that bettors have been hammering the Colts over which has already increased from 8.5 to 9.5. Earlier this summer I stated that the Raiders seemed to be undervalued, and recommended betting them to win the AFC West. Clearly sharp bettors shared this sentiment since their win total has already increased from 7.5 (o-135) to 8 (o-225).

We should also point out that the Patriots were listed as the favorite to win the Super Bowl (+730) and they have the highest win total (10.5 o-225), however, recent developments are likely to cause dramatic changes across the marketplace.

Last year we touched on the betting impact of Tom Brady’s four-game suspensionand speculated that the Patriots’ win total would drop by 0.728 games if the suspension is upheld upon appeal. We also saw the Westgate sportsbook decrease the Patriots win total from 10.5 (over -130) to 10 (under -150).

Sportsbooks have already taken the Patriots Week 1 game against the Cardinals off the board, along with all of their futures. We will be sure to provide more information as it becomes available.

Which teams do you think are providing value? Are you taking any futures or win totals? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

David Solar

David was the Content Manager at Sports Insights. He has since moved on to greener pastures.

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