Over Under and All Around

The NFL season is just 26 long gutt wrenching days away. In the interim we’ll have some NFL pre-season action (which is like watching Goodfellas on network television, watered down, unrealistic, and not nearly as satisfying as the real thing), some baseball, a little Quail Hollow PGA Championship action (Jason Day is taking it this weekend), and can we possibly get Carmelo and Kyrie traded? I’m getting tired of the will they-won’t they-you know they’re gonna action from the Knicks and Cavs, its like watching Ross and Rachel without getting to watch Jennifer Aniston.

In the meantime you should take a trip to Vegas. Take some extra cash, and place some bets on NFL season win totals. I reviewed the Las Vegas Superbook (at the Westgate hotel and casino) season win totals for this season. They have their formulas and systems for figuring out where to make their lines. Well, I too have a formula. Its called going through, week by week, and figuring out who will win each game. Considering the talent levels of the teams, the coaches, are the teams home, away, a neutral site half way around the world? Are they playing their 3rd road game in a row? Did they or their opponent just come off a big win or loss (anticipated)? And other factors such as late in the season games, are they playing for something, or looking at Los Angeles area college quarterbacks?

Based upon my intensive research, and formula so secret and intense that KFC is jealous of my covert operation, I’ve come up with the final regular season records for each team. We don’t even have to play the season. just skip ahead to the playoffs now (think of how much money you’ll save skipping Christmas or Hanukkah, let alone not having to pay for the League Pass).

TEAM (Projected Record) (Sportsbook Line)                          

Giants (12-4) (8.5)

Eagles (11-5) (8)

Redskins (10-6) (7.5)

Cowgirls (8-8) (9.5)

Packers (13-3) (10.5)

Lions (12-4) (7.5)

Vikings (5-11) (8.5)

Bears (2-14) (5.5)

Cardinals (9-7) (8)

Seahawks (9-7) (10.5)

Rams (7-9) (6)

49ers (1-15) (5)

Saints (12-4) (8)

Panthers (10-6) (9)

Falcons (9-7)  (9.5)

Buccaneers (8-8) (8)

Patriots (15-1) (12.5)

Dolphins (4-12) (7.5)

Bills (3-13) (6.5)

Jets (3-13) (4.5)

Steelers (13-3) (10.5)

Ravens (6-10) (9)

Bengals (6-10) (8.5)

Browns (4-12) (4.5)

Titans (12-4) (8.5)

Texans (11-5) (8.5)

Colts (9-7) (8.5)

Jaguars (5-11) (6.5)

Raiders (11-5) (9.5)

Broncos (7-9) (8)

Chargers (5-11) (7.5)

Chiefs (4-12) (9.5)

Now, what I found interesting, once I had gone through, projecting the winner of each game, I added up the wins and losses to make sure I came up with 256 in each column (the number of games in each regular season, barring a tie, obviously there is a winner and loser in each game, so each column gains a check every game). When I added up the Westgate win total projections, it comes up with 259, which means, that while its a small number, they project higher win amounts for the league, than what is actually possible. A small variance to be sure, but I would imagine the tendency is for a lot of fans is to place a wager on the over of their favorite team. So by having the win totals equaling higher than possible for the league as a whole, the house gains a small advantage.

Some teams I seem to really like a lot more than the sportsbook are the Eagles (11 wins from me, line is 8), Giants (12 from me, 8.5 is the line) Lions (I have them at 12 wins, 4.5 more than the books’ line of 7.5) Saints (12 from me, 8 is the line) Titans (12 from me, 8.5 from the book), and Texans (11 from me, 8.5 is the line). Now, I also felt that the Steelers, Patriots, and Packers were good values. The difference is, the other teams I pointed out, the Sportsbook had them each being very mediocre, where as I had them being playoff teams. With the Steelers, Packers, and Patriots, the books and I agree that all three will be upper echelon teams, just how good is the question. If they went much higher with their win totals, the value to bet the under would become too great, just because of the sheer number of games.

I also found what I felt to be great values on the under bets. Now, I know its never as fun to bet the under, especially if you’re a fan of one of these teams. But honestly, there are a lot of teams this year that will be piss poor, like 2016 Presidential candidates level poor.

I saw a decline coming for the Vikings, I had them at 5 wins, while the line is 8.5. The line has the Bears at really bad, 5.5 wins, I think that’s being optimistic and have them at 2 wins (side note, the Bears will be in an enviable position. Of the teams I have absolutely sucking in 2017, only the Bears and Chiefs have what would be considered their quarterbacks of the future, meaning they’ll be able to select the best available player on their draft board, without worry about an acute positional need… I’m looking directly at you Jets, Bills, and 49ers, with questioning glances at the Dolphins, Browns, and Jaguars).

The line for the 49ers is 5 wins. Apparently they have a lot more faith in the QB combo of Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley than I do, or they didn’t watch any Bears games in 2016. I have the 49ers lucking into a single win.

The Bills made a couple of trades this week that indicate they’re in the business of tanking, gathering draft picks for the near future, and hoping to build for the post-Brady era of the AFC East. Their over/under win total is 6.5, I have them coming in at 3 wins. Their divisional foe, the Dolphins are at 7.5 wins for the line, and I have them coming in at 4 wins. Between the Tannehill and now the Raekwon McMillian injury, they just have the look of a team that will be snake bitten all year.

The Ravens are another team where the book and I disagree on their potential. They have the over/under at 9 wins. I see them as a 6 win squad. I don’t know that any team in the league is living off their reputation more than the Ravens. Since their Superbowl win over the 49ers after the 2012 season, the Ravens have made the playoffs just once, and have won 8, 10, 5, and 8 games the last 4 seasons respectively. Essentially since they gutted all their other units to overpay for Joe Flacco.

The last big bet I have based upon the variance of projected wins vs. over/under total is the Kansas City Chiefs. The line on them is 9 wins. I have them going 4-12. They have a tough schedule, a mediocre quarterback, a ho-hum offensive line, an aging defense, and too many boom or bust skill position players. I think once the Chiefs get about half way through the season and are starring missing the playoffs right in the eyes, they’ll turn the reigns over to Pat Mahomes II (Who, by the way makes me feel really old. I remember being a kid and collecting his dad’s rookie cards as a young top prospect for the Twins), and that change over will not result in a surge in wins.

So take a look, do some research, come up with your own projections Then book a flight to Vegas. Everyone can be a winner here, I’m amazed they can build these giant casinos, I mean, based upon my projections I don’t know how the house ever wins!

 

  • Jason Sullivan
  • Find me on Twitter @TopDucker
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