Now is a great time to make a bet on regular-season win totals for the 2016 NFL season via online sports betting sites. Why? Variance is high and limits are up at most books for the increasingly popular wager. Shopping around in the doldrums of the offseason will often uncover tremendous value, particularly for UNDER bettors with the market bullish this time of year.
CG Technology first released season win totals back in late February, with upwards of eight teams moving off their opening number by mid April. Many online betting sites have since made adjustments after the NFL Draft, and the marketplace is extremely volatile. Moreover, limits typically increase to upwards of $5,000 at many sports books following the multi-day event. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest movers and shakers in the marketplace, and compare prices at some popular online betting sites.
The New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, and Carolina Panthers shared the highest opening win total at 10.5. Each remains at the number today, with the Steelers, Packers and Seahawks seeing the most OVER action out of the group. The Packers, in fact, reached 11 in April, but has since been bet down to their initial offer.
Super Bowl champions, the Denver Broncos, opened at a low 9.5 with the quarterback position unsettled. Some online shops, like Bovada, have dipped to 9 with pass-rush specialist and star linebacker Von Miller threatening to hold out until contract negotiations are met. Bettors can expect the two sides to come to an agreement before the season starts.
The Baltimore Ravens, who limped to a 5-11 record last season, sit at 8.5 at many shops following what many bettors considered a soft 7.5 (-125) opener. The 2012 Super Bowl Champions averaged 10.2 regular-season victories the seven years prior to last, but struggled in 2015 behind a porous defense allowing 25.1 points per game. Investors looking to jump in on the upwards action can still get 8 (-140) at BetOnline.
Like the Ravens, a lot of sharp money is backing the Oakland Raiders to exceed expectations. They too have been bet up to 8.5 wins following a 7.5 (-135) opener. The Silver and Black have not won nine games or more since reaching the Super Bowl back in 2002.
Sports bettors are also bullish on the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts jumped to 9.5 from a 8.5 (-130) initial offering across online outlets. The team expects Andrew Luck, who suffered multiple injuries last season, to be at full strength. He led Indy to three 11-win seasons before last year’s 8-8 campaign. The OVER still may hold some value.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, meanwhile, have made the biggest leap thus far, from 6 to 7.5. For what it is worth, the Jags own eight wins combined over the last two seasons.
The Philadelphia Eagles are the only team to dip south of their opener, from 7.5 to 7. Bettors believing new head coach Doug Pederson can piece together a .500 season can get +120 on the OVER 7 at BetOnline.
All in all, the market is incredibly bullish. Nearly a dozen teams are up from bookmakers’ initial numbers, with all but a handful juiced up as well. There may be some value left for OVER bettors, but they will have to shop carefully. UNDER bettors, it’s time to strike.