## Live On Air

Streaming now: Prime Time Action

play Watch Live radio Listen Live

# Doing the math on NFL Season Win Totals

July 24, 2019 12:20 AM

With the sports betting calendar fairly limited in late July, you’re now hearing a lot of predictions for the coming pro football season. Be careful placing too much weight on them.

Regarding NFL “Regular Season Win Totals,” it’s not uncommon to hear a pundit say something like “if they win all their home games, they’ll only have to win two or three on the road to cash the ticket.” Like, it’s that easy to win all your home games in a parity-packed league.

It’s much harder to go 7-1 or 8-0 at home than many realize. Only five teams managed it last season (New England, Kansas City, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles Rams), three the year before (Philadelphia, Minnesota, New Orleans). None of those were duplicates.

The key here is that too many casual fans and pseudo-experts equate “being favored” with winning the game. Even a team that’s favored by point spreads in seven or eight home games won’t be expected to win that many.

Imagine a team that’s a 60% favorite to win every home game. Will they go 8-0 because they’re always favored? Believe it or not, that projects to 4.8 wins and 3.2 losses. (Easy math, eight games times .60 is 4.8).

A team that’s a 70% favorite to win every home game is projected to finish with 5.6 wins and 2.4 losses. Seventy percent is a high number, and we’re nowhere near 7-1 or 8-0 yet.

Even an 80% favorite in every game would be projected to finish with 6.4 wins and 1.6 losses. At 80% we’re not even “rounding” to 7-1 yet, let alone 8-0.

A team must be 82% in every game to “round” up to seven wins, 88% for a solid seven.

How many NFL teams do you believe are 88% to win each of their home games?

If you’re not used to thinking in percentages, let’s do it with point spreads. In standard point spread to moneyline conversions, a 3-point favorite is about 60% to win the game, a 6-point favorite is about 70%, an 8.5 or 9-point favorite is about 80%, and an 11.5-point favorite is about 88%.

Whenever you hear somebody say they believe an NFL team is going to go 7-1 at home, ask them if they think that team will be about a 10-point favorite in every home game? They’ll probably say “No, that’s crazy.” But…in market terms it’s the same thing. Assuming up front that the team you’re betting will go 7-1 at home is crazy except for super elites (who still have to stay healthy).

Don’t assume your sleeper pick is going to win all of its coin flips. Assessments must reflect real-world math, or you’ll just be gambling on whether or not you get lucky. Sharps bet edges and let luck take care of itself.

back to news

## FREE Email Sign-Up

View All
• ### Horseplayers' bets are louder than their barks

Louisville, Ky. How many times has it been said that U.S. horse racing needs a commissioner? That it needs one set of rules covering everything...
• ### The Ron Flatter Racing Pod: Royal Ascot and the new Grodin

With the Triple Crown series at an end for 2021, the Ron Flatter Racing Pod looks back and looks ahead. At times irreverent, Tim Wilkin of the Albany...
• ### The Ron Flatter Racing Pod: From Ky. to N.Y., from Vegas to Canada

COVID forced Canadian racing in a long delay. But they are competing again at Woodbine. Champion jockey Rafael Hernández talks about it and his...
• ### Intro to sports betting: Terms, strategies to know

The sports betting industry has increased in national popularity since the Supreme Court overturning the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act...
• ### 2021 U.S. Open: Best value bets, predictions

In 2020, the U.S. Open was pushed back to September due to COVID-19. This year it returns to its customary date over Father's Day weekend and returns...
• ### Brooks-Bryson rivalry fuels Open

It has been a remarkable year in the golf world, even though 2021 is only 5½ months old. The most memorable moments stretch from Tiger Woods to...
• ### Power rating projections for CFB

(To view the chart associated with this report, subscribe to Point Spread Weekly) For the past few weeks, I’ve been collecting the key information...
• ### Best bets for UFC Vegas 29

UFC 263 was a groundbreaker as the UFC awarded VSiN press access, which allowed unusually intimate access to the athletes throughout the week. That access...
• ### MLB daily notes: Betting preview for Thursday's games

This column will bring you the quick-hitting stats, tidbits and factors you need to know to evaluate today's landscape of MLB games. No narratives,...
• ### Thursday MLB and NBA Sharp Report (6-17)

Today bettors have another loaded slate, including 10 MLB games, 1 NBA playoff game and 1 NHL playoff game. For an updated breakdown of Thursday's...
• ### Betting preview for Wednesday's NBA playoff games

There is usually a hyperbolic response to great performances in sports. Immediately after a highly-contested game, or a dominant performance from a single...
• ### Two NBA bets for Wednesday's Game 5s

In previous weeks, I have bemoaned the numerous injuries and the effect they have had on this year’s NBA playoffs. Finally, the injuries seem to...

## Free Trial

Make a risk-free bet on VSiN!

## VSiN+ FREE TRIAL

• Afternoon subscriber-only email with highlights and best bets from the day's programs
• Point Spread Weekly, VSiN's digital magazine on sports betting
• 24-7 Live video stream of VSiN programs plus replays
• Any special sport-specified betting guides we do
• All exclusive subscriber-only stories and data on VSiN.com
Close