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.
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.
|TEAM||Win Total (4/25)||Super Bowl (4/25)||AFC||NFC|
|New England Patriots||10.5 (o-225)||+730||+300||N/A|
|Green Bay Packers||10.5 (o-165)||+1000||N/A||+575|
|Carolina Panthers||10.5 (o-135)||+1000||N/A||+485|
|Seattle Seahawks||10.5 (o-130)||+950||N/A||+450|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||10.5 (u-120)||+1150||+525||N/A|
|Arizona Cardinals||9.5 (o-140)||+1500||N/A||+685|
|Minnesota Vikings||9.5 (o-120)||+2400||N/A||+1200|
|Kansas City Chiefs||9.5||+2500||+1100||N/A|
|Indianapolis Colts||9.5 (u-145)||+2100||+900||N/A|
|Denver Broncos||9.5 (u-150)||+1750||+620||N/A|
|Dallas Cowboys||9 (u-135)||+2000||N/A||+1000|
|Houston Texans||8.5 (u-130)||+4000||+2000||N/A|
|Oakland Raiders||8 (o-225)||+3000||+1600||N/A|
|Baltimore Ravens||8 (o-130)||+3500||+1500||N/A|
|New York Jets||8 (o-125)||+4300||+2000||N/A|
|New York Giants||8 (u-125)||+3500||N/A||+1700|
|Philadelphia Eagles||7.5 (u-125)||+5000||N/A||+2000|
|Washington Redskins||7.5 (u-125)||+5300||N/A||+2800|
|Atlanta Falcons||7.5 (u-145)||+5000||N/A||+2000|
|Detroit Lions||7 (o-165)||+6500||N/A||+2300|
|Chicago Bears||7 (o-135)||+6000||N/A||+2400|
|Miami Dolphins||7 (o-120)||+6400||+2700||N/A|
|Los Angeles Rams||7 (u-125)||+5500||N/A||+2300|
|San Diego Chargers||7 (u-135)||+6500||+3000||+2800|
|New Orleans Saints||7 (u-145)||+7000||N/A||N/A|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||6.5 (o-140)||+6000||+3300||N/A|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||6.5 (o-130)||+10000||N/A||+3800|
|Tennessee Titans||5.5 (o-130)||+20000||+7000||N/A|
|San Francisco 49ers||5 (o-130)||+12500||N/A||+5000|
|Cleveland Browns||4.5 (u-195)||+22500||+7500||N/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.
BREAKING: Appeals court reinstates New England Patriots Tom Brady's #Deflategate suspension
— Reuters Sports (@ReutersSports) April 25, 2016
Last year we touched on the betting impact of Tom Brady’s four-game suspension, and 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.