It won’t be long before we see NFL regular-season win totals posted for the 2022 season. Demand creates supply, and there’s so much demand for NFL betting odds that sportsbooks have been posting these numbers earlier and earlier. Even though there will be a lot of moving parts with the NFL draft and free agency, now is the time to be looking ahead.
Oddsmakers are really good at what they do, but in a league with a high degree of variance, some teams will go well Over or well Under their posted win total. The Bengals are a great example. Their win total closed at 6.5, but they won 10 games and went all the way to the Super Bowl. The Rams, who were tied for the fifth-highest win total on the board at 10.5, went Over and had room to spare with 12 victories.
Here are the 2021 season win totals with the closing number from DraftKings (actual number of victories in parentheses):
Teams that went Over (11)
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 12 (13)
— Los Angeles Rams: 10.5 (12)
— Green Bay Packers: 10 (13)
— New England Patriots: 9.5 (10)
— Dallas Cowboys: 9 (12)
— Tennessee Titans: 9 (12)
— Pittsburgh Steelers: 8.5 (9)
— Arizona Cardinals: 8.5 (11)
— Las Vegas Raiders: 7 (10)
— Cincinnati Bengals: 6.5 (10)
— Philadelphia Eagles: 6.5 (9)
Teams that went Under (17)
— Kansas City Chiefs: 12.5 (12)
— Baltimore Ravens: 11 (8)
— Cleveland Browns: 10.5 (8)
— San Francisco 49ers: 10.5 (10)
— Seattle Seahawks: 10 (7)
— Los Angeles Chargers: 9.5 (9)
— Miami Dolphins: 9.5 (9)
— Minnesota Vikings: 8.5 (8)
— Denver Broncos: 8.5 (7)
— Washington Football Team: 8.5 (7)
— Carolina Panthers: 7.5 (5)
— Chicago Bears: 7.5 (6)
— Atlanta Falcons: 7.5 (7)
— New York Giants: 7 (4)
— Jacksonville Jaguars: 6.5 (3)
— New York Jets: 6 (4)
— Detroit Lions: 4.5 (3)
— Buffalo Bills: 11
— Indianapolis Colts: 9
— New Orleans Saints: 9
— Houston Texans: 4
Teams + /- 2 or more wins
— Over by at least 2 wins (7): Packers, Cowboys, Titans, Cardinals, Raiders, Bengals, Eagles
— Under by at least 2 wins (7): Ravens, Browns, Seahawks, Panthers, Giants, Jaguars, Jets
Fourteen of the 32 teams wound up with records that were at least two games different from the line. It’s also worth noting that there were 17 Unders compared to 11 Overs.
When you look at the lines posted for season win totals, they should add up to 272, which is the available number of total wins in a season. But if you add up all of the lines posted, the number is always higher than the available number of wins.
Inherently, that creates more value on betting Unders. There are only 272 games in a season, but last year’s posted win totals added up to 275.5. We’ll see something similar next season as well.
Notice there were seven teams that surpassed their win total lines by two or more games, and all seven were playoff teams. If there are teams you are high on for division futures or Yes/No playoff bets, consider an alternate season win total as well.
Also keep this in mind: Teams that overperformed are likely to be overvalued and teams that underperformed are likely to be undervalued. Health is typically the biggest factor in whether or not teams reach their expectations. Some of the teams that went Under were really dragged down by injuries. Most teams that hit the Over stayed pretty healthy, especially at the most important positions.
The 2022 season may feel like a long way away, but reviewing the 2021 season and projecting which teams have the cap room and desire to be aggressive in free agency, or successful in the draft, will give you a great head start for betting futures and win totals.