Sports bettors received some much needed good news yesterday when the NFL players approved the new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the owners. It passed by a narrow vote of 1,019 to 959. The agreement runs through 2030, which means we are set for another 10 years of uninterrupted play.
The new CBA brings with it several big changes. Two more playoff teams will be added starting this season, increasing from six in each conference to seven. Also, only the top seeds in each conference will receive playoff byes (not the top two). Starting next year the league will subtract one preseason game (from 4 down to 3) and change to a 17-game regular season schedule. The players will see their share of revenue increase from 47% to 48.5%. Rosters will increase from 53 players to 55 players and active rosters will increase from 46 to 48. The practice squad will increase from 10 to 12 players this season and then 14 next season.
We'll also see Training Camp padded practices decrease from 28 to 16, with individual practices capped at 2.5 hours. This could impact bettors greatly, especially in the first few games. Historically, September is a great month for betting unders because the defense is way ahead of the offense, which leads to lower scoring games. With fewer camp practices, you can expect the offense to be even further behind early on.
Right on cue, Circa Sports released their 2020 NFL Win Totals.
Win totals are a great way to gauge the relative strength of each team according to the oddsmakers. Historically, they are quite accurate. Because the win totals are out all spring and summer, the books take in massive action. As a result, they are extra careful to set super sharp numbers knowing that if they're off they could get cleaned out. When looking for sharp money on win totals, focus on the juice movement. If a team has a win total of 8.5 and the under is -125, it's a good sign that the under has liability, which is why the books are forcing you to pay a higher price.
Generally speaking, casual bettors will bet overs for teams that are coming off a great year and bet unders for teams that have a lousy year. However, it's not always that easy. When betting win totals, sharps focus heavily on pythagorean. This is a statistical measurement of how lucky or unlucky a team was the previous season. For example, maybe a team went 1-5 in one possession games and finished the year 6-10. If one play goes the other way in those tight games that team might have instead gone 3-2 and finished 8-8 or 9-7. On the flip side, maybe a team got lucky and went 6-0 in one possession games, finishing 13-3, when in reality they maybe should have finished 3-3 and 10-6. The "unlucky" teams have great buy-low value as you can expect them to bounce back and perform better the following season. On the other hand, the lucky team may not catch the same breaks the following year and is a good candidate to regress.
For a detailed discussion of NFL Win Totals, NFL Draft prop bets and betting education tips, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 3:30 p.m. ET
Without further ado, here are the 2020 NFL Regular Season Win Totals for each team. (Circa currently has $2,000 limits on win total bets)
Ravens 11.5 (over -130, under + 110)
Steelers 9 (over -130, under + 110)
Chargers 8 (over + 110, under -130)
Raiders 7.5 (over + 120, under -140)
Cowboys 9.5 (over -130, under + 110)
Eagles 9 (over -130, under + 110)
Giants 6.5 (over + 105, under -125)
Vikings 8.5 (over -135, under + 115)
Bears 8.5 (over -125, under + 105)
Saints 10.5 (over -120, under even)
Bucs 8.5 (over + 110, under -130)
49ers 10.5 (over -130, under + 110)
Seahawks 9.5 (over + 110, under -130)
Rams 9 (over even, under -120)
Remember, different sportsbooks can have slightly different win totals. So be sure to shop for the best line in order to get the best number and and best possible juice. We could also see these numbers move based on free agency, which begins on Wednesday.