On a per-game basis, it’s tough to find a sport that receives anywhere near as much attention as the NFL. During the regular season, teams play only once per week for a total of 17 games each. Once that wraps up, the postseason takes off and features some of the most highly scrutinized contests of the year.
The break between games gives each one an event feel. You’ll find a variety of analysis to digest as you work toward making the calls on the bets that you like best. From a broader perspective, you can also take a step back and place some season-long wagers.
The NFL futures market encompasses a variety of wagers, including team win totals. For these bets, you are wagering on whether a team will exceed or fall short of its posted win total for the season. It’s a simple bet in nature, but there also are some key points that you need to know. Here’s a roadmap to betting on NFL win totals.
The odds feed below has current NFL win totals as posted across Pennsylvania online sportsbooks apps. These are the real-time numbers from the industry’s top books. See a number you like? Just click on the odds to go straight to the sportsbook to start betting on the NFL.
For the local market, we don’t have to look too far to find the top attractions. The Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers have loyal and passionate followings across the state. As the season approaches, there will be plenty of chatter about what’s in the cards for the two squads that call Pennsylvania home.
Here’s how the Eagles have fared over the last three campaigns in comparison to an estimated win total for each season.
|Season||Win Total||Final Record||Difference|
For the last three seasons, under would have been the correct call for bets on the Eagles’ win total. The 2018 and 2019 clubs came close, but the 2020 edition fell woefully short in a dismal campaign. Looking ahead to 2021, most sportsbooks have Philadelphia pegged for 6.5 or 7 wins.
At the books that have set the line at 6.5, over has been the more popular wager, while under has been the pick of choice with a total of 7. In short, oddsmakers seem to have hit the mark.
An offseason coaching change and a new QB at the helm mean the Eagles are going into the regular season with some questions. As such, the public seems to be on the mark. Over 6.5 seems like a fair bet for the 17-game season, but the Eagles may struggle to do much more than that.
After cruising through the first three months of the 2020 NFL season, the Steelers closed things out in a disappointing fashion and were one and done in the postseason. Here’s how the win total story has played out over the past three seasons.
|Season||Win Total||Final Record||Difference|
Pittsburgh was well over the mark last year, and had mixed results the previous two seasons. Heading into the coming season, expectations seem to be in check, mainly due to the disappointing finish and concerns over certain roster spots.
As oddsmakers see it, the benchmark is 8.5 to 9 wins. At 8.5 wins, most books are seeing close to even action, while books that are at 9 are seeing a clear preference for under that total.
While the concerns over the finish and certain positions are fair, there’s a big variable to consider: head coach Mike Tomlin. In 14 years under his watch, the Steelers have won nine or more games 11 times during 16-game regular seasons.
Now that the regular season has extended by an additional game, it’s hard not to see the club at least managing to do so again. In fact, the team has the talent to contend for the postseason once again, so an over bet at either 8.5 or 9 wins seems like a fair call.
A few months before the regular season gets underway, sportsbooks release NFL season win totals. Each team will have a number, such as 8.5 wins. There will be odds on both sides of the equation, as in whether the club will go over or under that amount. The average listing looks like what you would see with a standard total bet.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers regular season wins 2021-22
Just like a standard over/under bet, there will be the line from the sportsbook — 11.5 in this case — as well as the actual odds for placing the bet. At release, the odds will generally be at the industry standard of -110, but they can shift once betting action develops. For example, the over could move to -115 while the under goes to -108.
To place a bet, you click on the odds that correspond with your choice. Next, add in the amount you want to wager, verify that everything is correct and click submit. The sportsbook will display the potential return, but you can also ballpark it from the odds. At standard odds of -110, you’d have to wager $110 to see a return of $100.
In the case of positive odds like +110, you’d get back that amount for a $100 wager — i.e., $110 — while negative odds like -110 mean that you have to bet $110 for the chance to get $100 back. All legal sportsbooks have house rules in place that you should take the time to review, but there’s one big standard across the industry that you should be aware of:
Also, keep in mind that sportsbooks will treat NFL over under win totals that land exactly on the listed number as a push. For example, if the Steelers odds have a line of nine wins and go on to finish with a mark of 9-8, the bet will be a push. Since it’s a tie, you will receive a refund of your initial stake.
Research is your friend when it comes to win totals. In order to know what to expect in the coming season, you’ll want to spend some time looking back at where teams are coming from. Since it’s the offseason, there’s extra time to work at your own pace. For starters, here’s each division over the past 10 seasons with cumulative records and average wins for each team.
|New England Patriots||118-42||11.8|
|New York Jets||59-101||5.9|
|Kansas City Chiefs||100-60||10.0|
|Los Angeles Chargers||75-85||7.5|
|Las Vegas Raiders||63-97||6.3|
|New York Giants||66-94||6.6|
|Washington Football Team||63-96-1||6.3|
|Green Bay Packers||105-53-2||10.5|
|New Orleans Saints||101-59||10.1|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||60-100||6.0|
|San Francisco 49ers||80-79-1||8.0|
|Los Angeles Rams||76-83-1||7.6|
By examining the above divisional tables, we walk away with a few takeaways that can help us to further understand the NFL as a whole. Keep in mind, though, that all of the above numbers came in 16-game seasons.
Next, let’s take a look at win totals over the past 10 seasons and the number of teams that fell into specific categories, along with the highest and lowest number of victories.
|Season||Double Digits||Under Six||7 to 9 Wins||Most Wins||Fewest Wins|
From this step in the research process, we may be able to glean additional insight. Here are some points to note:
Moving forward, the regular season has been bumped to 17 games, so the number of double-digit teams could be on the rise. For now, benchmarks to consider are 10 teams or a couple more at double-digit wins, fewer than 10 teams at six wins or lower, and everyone else in between.
Beyond the trends, there are a few key stats that can have a big impact on a team’s improvement or decline in the coming campaign. Here are three to take a look at:
Lastly, you won’t be lacking for options when it comes to opinions on NFL futures total wins. There’s a lot of free advice and analytics out there, as well as plenty of paid resources. It’s perfectly fine to examine the sources you trust, but be wary of those promising immediate and complete success for a fee or subscription.
NFL win totals and other futures open some additional time for wagering on the most heavily bet sport, hence their growing popularity. Whether you’ve been active with win totals for years or you’re new to the concept, here are three ways to sort through the league’s teams in a hurry:
By walking through these three steps, you should have a sense of where all 32 teams stand. From there, you can break down your findings and place the clubs in one of three tiers: contenders, mid-range and also-rans. Afterward, compare to listed win totals and dig a little deeper on the ones that really jump out to you.
As with all other aspects of NFL handicapping, there are several schools of thought on the best approach to betting on win totals. A large part of the debate revolves around the best time to place these wagers. There are three timeframes to consider, each of which has its merits and disadvantages.
Once oddsmakers begin releasing win totals, you can place bets right away.
Following the NFL draft and right before camp, the vast majority of major moves have happened and the market has had time to weigh in.
Teams are getting set for the games that matter, and the betting public has had ample time to weigh in, with oddsmakers adjusting accordingly.
Interestingly, the answer to the question of when is the best time to wager on win totals can vary by team. For example, a team that you’re high on may not receive much respect from oddsmakers at the initial release, so that could be a perfect time to pounce on the over before the market catches on.
Following the NFL draft, rampant enthusiasm from fans about the prospects of their favorite team can lead to a flurry of action and open the doors to some appealing under bets. Lastly, by the time the preseason is done, there’s inevitably a team or two that has seen its bandwagon reach maximum capacity.
This makes for a fantastic time to tune out the noise and really examine those squads in full detail to determine if they are actually for real or just another preseason darling that will fall flat.
As with the odds and lines for all NFL games, individual sportsbooks set their own win totals. And at each sportsbook, the people who set the totals are oddsmakers. While there may be a single person with whom the buck stops, there’s also a team behind the scenes helping to craft the totals.
Once upon a time, the numbers may have come down to manual calculations. Today, computers and algorithms are valuable members of the team. These will crunch and analyze scores of data points, with oddsmakers sifting through the results. Among the key points considered when crafting win totals are:
While these are some of the big pieces of the puzzle, there’s a lot more to consider, as well. If you can think of anything that could impact a team’s performance in the coming season in a positive or negative way, it’s likely already part of the sportsbook’s equation.
This may make it sound as if it’s impossible to make any headway with NFL win totals, but remember this: Oddsmakers aren’t always right. When you can learn to spot where they may be wrong or have possibly under- or overvalued a team, you’ll be on the path toward finding some success.
Lastly, you’ll notice that there’s a lot of similarity across the industry when it comes to win totals. You might see a half-game difference in a variety of spots at release, but a full game or more of difference is rare. Why is that? Here are the main reasons:
Similar to building a successful NFL team, there’s a whole lot going on behind the scenes at sportsbooks as they work to put out optimal numbers. While they won’t always be right, you can rest assured that a ton of thought has gone into the process.
NFL win totals are a very popular bet on the futures wagering menu, but it’s far from the only option you’ll find. The NFL is the most heavily bet sport in the US, and sportsbooks are all about keeping customers happy. As such, you’ll find futures bets on the following:
If you love the NFL, you’ll find more than enough to keep you occupied in the offseason. For those new to the game or looking to enhance their skills, the futures market can serve as a fantastic research tool as you get set for an upcoming season. Regardless of your experience level, you’ll find that there’s a lot to like about NFL futures.