Statsational NFL Win Total Bets

By | August 10, 2015

Each year I go through every team in the league to look for some plays on futures. First I start out with win totals. Below is a chart of each teams win total and juice using 5 Dimes The Stats juice column indicates what the model thinks the juice should be for each total. The model is basing its figures off of last seasons team performance. Naturally adjustments need to be made for changes in rosters and coaches this season. That is where you need to be a handicapper. The table shown is just one tool you can use to help you formulate a betting strategy. The model also looked at the schedule for each team to come up with a win total. Once a win total is established the probability of the team finishing over or under the number is calculated and a line is established off of those probabilities. The Edge column shows how much edge we have or don’t have for that bet. The higher the number the better our edge. New England, as well as their first 4 opponents, were adjusted for because we know Tom Brady will be out for those games.

Team Total 5Dimes Juice Stats Juice Edge
New England o10 -125 -116 -9
New England u10 105 116 -11
Pittsburgh o8.5 -135 -110 -25
Pittsburgh u8.5 115 110 5
Buffalo o8.5 -125 -123 -2
Buffalo u8.5 105 123 -18
Carolina o8.5 110 115 -5
Carolina u8.5 -130 -115 -15
Chicago o7 145 271 -126
Chicago u7 -165 -271 106
Cleveland o6.5 125 -106 31
Cleveland u6.5 -145 106 -39
Green Bay o11 -120 175 -75
Green Bay u11 100 -175 95
Houston o8.5 -135 -132 -3
Houston u8.5 115 132 -17
Indianapolis o11 -116 296 -212
Indianapolis u11 -104 -296 200
Jacksonville o5.5 -145 160 -105
Jacksonville u5.5 125 -160 85
Kansas City o8.5 -145 -104 -41
Kansas City u8.5 125 104 21
Miami o8.5 -190 126 -116
Miami u8.5 165 -126 91
NY Jets o7.5 -135 183 -118
NY Jets u7.5 115 -183 98
Seattle o11.5 113 121 -8
Seattle u11.5 -133 -121 -12
St. Louis o8 120 224 -104
St. Louis u8 -140 -224 84
Washington o6.5 135 128 7
Washington u6.5 -155 -128 -27
Arizona o8.5 -145 327 -272
Arizona u8.5 125 -327 252
Detroit o8.5 120 -116 36
Detroit u8.5 -140 116 -56
New Orleans o8.5 -120 104 -24
New Orleans u8.5 100 -104 4
San Diego o8 -160 102 -62
San Diego u8 140 -102 42
Baltimore o9 -135 -131 -4
Baltimore u9 115 131 -16
Cincinnati o8.5 -130 217 -147
Cincinnati u8.5 110 -217 127
Denver o10 -113 -110 -3
Denver u10 -107 110 -17
Oakland o5.5 -115 244 -159
Oakland u5.5 -105 -244 139
Tampa Bay o6 -105 -134 29
Tampa Bay u6 -115 -49 -66
Tennesse o5.5 -105 144 -49
Tennesse u5.5 -115 -144 29
Dallas o9.5 -120 130 -50
Dallas u9.5 100 -130 30
NY Giants o8.5 135 185 -50
NY Giants u8.5 -155 -185 30
Atlanta o8.5 -105 156 -61
Atlanta u8.5 -115 -156 41
Philadelphia o9.5 135 133 2
Philadelphia u9.5 -155 -133 -22
Minnesota o7 -220 105 -125
Minnesota u7 180 -105 85
San Francisco o7.5 195 118 77
San Francisco u7.5 -235 -118 -117

I highlighted the significant differences between my line and the Vegas number. Remember the challenge is not only figuring out if the team will go over or under but also figuring out if the price offered is worth a wager. We would all bet New England to win more than 6 games this season but how much juice would be willing to lay to make that bet? So looking at the highlighted teams we can see 17 unders have value with just 4 overs with value. This is not surprising. The public bets overs. Nobody likes to root for unders. And most people will bet over on the team they support.

Lets look more in depth at these differences and see if we can understand why and if they are worthy of playing.

 

Chicago u7 -165

The Bears dismiss head coach Marc Trestman and replace him with Denver Coach John Fox.  It would be easy to look at records of the two coaches and think this was a huge upgrade.  But the upgrade, if there is any, is minimal.  Coach Fox enjoyed having Peyton Manning the last 3 seasons.  Manning is by far the most hands on player to ever play the game.  He is the ultimate offensive coordinator.  It is not hyperbole when I say Denver would win a lot of games with me as offensive coordinator as long as Peyton is the QB.  Fox is however a very good defensive coach coming to a team that has fallen a long way from the dominant ball hawking defense they played under Lovie Smith.  That should be a boost for this defense but the key is and always will be Jay Cutler.  I was confident Trestman, a QB guru, was going to turn the hugely talented Cutler into a winner but that never happened.  Cutler can not be trusted any more.  He has proven that he is stubborn and set in his ways.  He continues to have the same bad habits and make the same bad throws over and over.  His reliance on his big arm got him a long way but in the NFL you need more than that.  His favorite target Brandon Marshall is now in NY and is replaced by Eddie Royal.  Royal is a nice possession type receiver but not nearly the threat Marshall is.  I love the first round pick of Kevin White.  He is the player most likely to take the Marshall spot.  Can we really expect him to be better than Marshall in year 1?  With all of this I will go along with the model and lay the big juice taking the Bears under.

 

Cleveland o6 +125

This is a bit of a crazy looking pick on the surface which generally gets me excited to play it.  Last season this team was all the buzz.  Johnny Manziel to Josh Gordon was going to be the future of the NFL.  One year later and Manziel looks to be a bust while Gordon is out for the entire 2015 season.  Highly touted TE Jordan Cameron is gone to Miami after having an injury plagued 2014 season.  The Browns will start this season with Josh McCown as the front runner for the QB job.  Not exactly a name that gets me excited.  The strength of this team is on defense.  They finished top 10 in points allowed last year.  The Browns will be relying heavily on their top draft picks to make an impact.  They had 12 picks this season and used 7 of them on the defensive side.   With their two picks in the first round, the Browns added nose tackle Danny Shelton and center Cameron Erving.  Shelton should be a big help in run defense while Erving will help the Browns mediocre RB core with some holes to run through.  I am not expecting a playoff run by the Browns but they need to win 6 games to push.  The schedule is favorable so we will take a shot at this plus money play.

 

Green Bay u11 100

If you have been with me before you know I do not take unders on the elite QB’s in the NFL.  The model will consistently pick them to go under because, based on the numbers, they should.  But whether they get the breaks late because of who they are or because they are just that special in close games, the elite QB’s consistently outperform their projections.  For that reason we will pass on this bet.

 

Indianapolis u11 -104

Elite QB, great winner, no bet.

 

Jacksonville u5.5 +125

This is a bet we have had the last couple of years and the Jags have not disappointed.  Blake Bortles will start the season as the QB and will hopefully be the answer for this team in the future.  Bortles was supposed to spend the entire 2014 season on the bench learning but Chad Henne was so bad they had to bring Bortles in from week 4 on.  The big help for Bortles will be Julius Thomas at TE.  Thomas is a great talent but I am always worried about guys who leave a QB like Peyton Manning and go to an unproven guy like a Bortles, see Eric Decker.  The team loses Cecil Shorts to Houston.  That may not be a bad thing as Shorts looks to be on the decline.  Overall this team can not get you very excited.  They almost appear to be wanting to play themselves out of Jacksonville.  And to that they have zero home field advantage right now.  If it’s not broke don’t fix it so we will continue selling the Jags.

Kansas City u8.5 +125

Here is one where the model sees the team winning more than the number but the juice is a bit higher than it should be.  The Chiefs have not changed a whole lot.  Alex Smith will still be running the offense and Andy Reid continues in his 3rd season as Head Coach.  They lose Dwayne Bowe to free agency but pick up Jeremy Maclin to take his place.  Defensively this team was solid allowing the second lowest points in the league at 281.  No lock by any means but I am on this under.

 

Miami u8.5 +165

The Dolphins have yet to beat an 8.5 number under coach Joe Philbin and here we get +165 to say they won’t again.  Miami’s defense took a step back last season finishing 11th in my rankings while the offense improved to 11th.  The market is banking on Tannehill improving off of a bit of a breakout season.  The Dolphins big off season signing was Ndamukong Suh.  Suh will undoubtably help with an inside pass rush as well as run stopping ability.  Offensively WR Mike Wallace was traded to Minnesota while WR’s Brandin Gibson and Brian Hartline signed with the Patriots and Browns.  They are replaced with Greg Jennings and Kenny Stills.  They also improve at TE with the addition of Jordan Cameron, especially if he is the 2013 Cameron who caught 80 for 917 with 7 TD’s.  The Dolphins are also banking on first round draft pick DeVante Parker to be a big part of the passing game.  The 6’3″rookie WR from Louisville has potential to be a big play maker.  On the whole this team has not improved enough to warrent this much juice on the under with a division that appears to be very competitive.  I am on the under.

 

NY Jets u7.5 +115

The circus created by Rex Ryan has shipped out and the more reserved Todd Bowles will take his place.  Chan Gailey returns to the NFL, after being fired in Buffalo in 2012, as offensive coordinator.  He will look to improve on an offense that has finished in the bottom five in points scored in each of the past three seasons.  This team has relied on their defense to win and when their defense was playing at an elite level they were able to make deep runs in the post season.  Recently however the defense has not nearly been as dominant and last season were fairly mediocre ranking 15th in my rankings.  The Jets try and relive some old glory by bringing back Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie on the defensive side.   Maybe the most important signing was WR Brandon Marshall from the Bears.  Marshall can be a bit of a head case.  It will be interesting to see how Marshall handles a QB in Geno Smith who obviously has not been very good thus far in his career.  The Jets really have not made enough changes to warrant going against the model.  I am on the under.

 

St Louis u8 -140

The Rams were a sexy pick last season by many.  But the team was a disappointment going just 6-10.  Jeff Fisher has 21 years of head coaching experience but has been to just 6 post seasons.  The defense was supposed to be their strong suit but they finished just 20th in my rankings.  Offensively QB Sam Bradford has been traded to Philadelphia for Nick Foles.  This may or may not be an upgrade at the position.  Bradford has had a hard time staying healthy but even when he has he has not been great with just a 79.3 career passer rating.  Foles had a huge 2013 under a Chip Kelly offense that is very friendly to QB’s stats.  So it will be interesting to see how Foles does in offense that finished 21st in my rankings last season.  On defense the Rams upgrade at DT losing Kendall Langford and replacing him with Nick Fairley.   The Rams on the whole do not look much better than they were a year ago.  A lot will depend on what you think of Foles.  Odds are he was more a product of the Chip Kelly system then it was his own ability to carry a team.  For that reason I will lay the juice and go under.

 

Arizona u8.5 +125

When you talk luckiest teams of 2014 then the Arizona Cardinals are at the top of the list.  If you watched their games, and I did as we bet against them many times, you know that the craziest calls and plays went their way late in so many games.  That kind of luck can not be sustained.  Statistically this team was far worse than their 11-6 record.  If they were 7-9, as they very well could have been, this total would be 7.5 not 8.5.  There are no major upgrades in free agency that I can see.  They do get Carson Palmer back as he missed a lot of 2014 but even with Palmer this team is not a 9 win team.  I will gladly take this juice and go under.

 

Detroit o8.5 +120

Detroit was carried into the playoffs not by their much hyped offense but by their defense.  The defense finished 2nd to Seattle in my rankings last season.  The offense fell well short of expectations finishing 23rd in my rankings.  With the great success of the defense it is hard to believe they would allow their best defensive player go but they have done just that.  Ndamukong Suh left to sign with Miami.  They also lose Reggie Bush on offense as he signs in San Francisco.  This is a very tough bet to make but the public is down on Stafford and this offense which makes it a good buying opportunity in my eyes.  The offense should improve to make up for the slide the defense is sure to take.  9 wins should be obtainable.  I will be on this over.

 

San Diego u8 +140

The Chargers were a 9 win team last season.  This season they add Melvin Gordon as a RB.  While Gordon may turn out to be very good I do not put a huge amount of value into a RB, especially one that is unproven, to change what the model shows as far as wins for a team.  In other words I will make no adjustments for Gordon.  This team should remain very close to what they were a year ago.  Odds are they are right around 8 wins.  That means a bounce of the ball in one direction or the other moves them to 6 or 7 wins or 9 or 10.  You basically want to be on the plus money side of these coin flips and hope for the best.  Phillip Rivers is still calling the signals and has only been sub .500 once.  That is what makes taking this under so tricky.  I am going to lay off this under strictly because Rivers is good enough to get the 9 himself.

 

Cincinnati u8.5 110

This is one the model likes quite a bit.  Cincinnati was once again an early exit in January.  It is not a surprise that Cincinnati would show up as an under based on last season.  They overachieved by going 10-6 despite having the 19th ranked offense in my rankings.  AJ Green did miss some time which hurt those numbers.  None of the losses or pickups in free agency will have a huge impact on this team.   This is a bit of a gutsy pick as Andy Dalton has been good in the regular season at winning games but the under looks like it is worth a shot on a team that I am projecting to have just 7 wins.

Oakland u5.5 -105

The Raiders have averaged under 4 wins for the last 3 seasons and have not had a winning season in the last 12.  Jack Del Rio comes in to try and help get this franchise back to their glory days but Del Rio wasn’t much of a savior in Jacksonville where he did more losing than winning.  The biggest move this offseason for Oakland was drafting Amari Cooper in the first round.  This should give QB Derek Carr a solid number 1 option in the passing game.  Overall a WR will not nearly be enough to push this team over the 5.5 win number.  The division is too strong for this team to get close.  I love the under on Oakland.

Tampa Bay o6 -105

The Bucs finished with the worst record in football last year but while they weren’t very good they weren’t quite as bad as their record indicated.  The poor record got Tampa the first overall pick and with that they chose Jameis Winston.  In the Winston vs Mariota debate I was firmly on the side of Winston.  The only concern for me is off the field.  On the field I think he possesses the tools needed in the current NFL to succeed.  HE has an NFL arm, big body at 6’4″ 231lbs.  He can pass in the pocket which is an absolute must in the NFL.  He is also very bright.  He understands defenses and picks up plays very quickly.  Mike Evans has to be happy to have Winston in camp.  Evans is a stud WR and could flourish this season with his new QB.  Bucs will be one of our few overs this year.

 

Tennessee u5.5 -115

The Titans tied for the worst record in the league at 2-14 last season.  Their lack of success got them the second pick in this years draft which led to Marcus Mariota.  The Titans have been trying new QB’s, seemingly, every season.  They have yet to find one to stick.  Mariota comes with very high hopes.  As I stated previously I was much higher on Winston than I was Mariota.   Mariota will have a lot to improve on in the defensive reading ability as well as being a pocket passer.  He should have some value running outside of the pocket.  But it seems defenses in the league are catching up to running QB’s.  It is a nice weapon to have but using it as a primary weapon is not going to work long term.  It is the difference between Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin.  The rest of this team has not improved enough to get too excited about them winning 6 games.  The model likes the under based on last season and this season won’t be much different.  Under.

 

Dallas u9.5 100

No team gets more hype than the Dallas Cowboys.  Americas team was back in the hunt for a Super Bowl last season but fell just short.  Dez Bryant extended for the end zone on a pass he caught late in the game against Green Bay but lost it coming to the ground.  The catch on the field was overturned and the season came to a disappointing end.  Romo silenced a few critics with his play last season showing he can win big games.  He also showed some toughness in doing so with broken ribs.  This season the Cowboys lose the man who led the league in rushing last year Demarco Murray.  Murray was a huge part of what Dallas did last year.  He was certainly aided by having the best offensive line in the league.  Perhaps a good move by Dallas as they used Murray heavily last year (497 touches).  They add Darren McFadden but McFadden hasn’t been much of a player for quite some time now.  Overall this team probably takes a slight step back and even if they do not the model thinks 9 wins is more likely than 10.  Under 9.5.

 

NY Giants u8.5 -155

There is a lot of excitement with Giant fans this season as they get to watch Odell Beckham Jr make ridiculous catches for an entire season.  The Giants add Shane Vereen to the backfield which will give another option to Eli Manning in the passing game.  With the offense improving the models numbers should be adjusted.  If they are this becomes a very questionable play.  I will stay away from the Giants.

 

Atlanta u8.5 -115

In a classic NFL move the Falcons hired the defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks Dan Quinn as their new head coach.  Now if the Falcons could sign the entire Seahawks defense then they might be on to something.  Steven Jackson has been cut and Jacquizz Rodgers signed with Chicago.  The Falcons are looking to 2015 3rd rounder Tevin Coleman to be their new RB.  Coleman has big play speed running a 4.39 40.  The big question will be whether the offensive line for Atlanta is good enough to get him into open spaces.  Atlanta is still rebuilding.  Getting to 9 wins will be a daunting task.  I will stick to the model and take this under.

 

Minnestoa u7 +180

Adrian Peterson is back for the entire season.  Teddy Bridgewater gets a year of experience under his belt.  The model will be off on this team because of that.  I will stay clear of the Vikings.

 

San Francisco o7 +195

There is so much negativity around the 49ers right now.  As I type this Aldon Smith is no  longer a part of the team as he battles off the field issues.  Jim Harbaugh is gone to Michigan.  Jim Tomsula gets promoted from defensive coordinator to the head coaching position.  Patrick Willis, Justin Smith and Chris Borland all retired.   WR Michael Crabtree is gone to Oakland but they pick up Torrey Smith to replace him.  Frank Gore heads to Indianapolis and is replaced by Reggie Bush.  Stevie Johnson is also gone and is replaced by Jerome Simpson.  This team is going to be very different than last season.  Because of that I will pass on this bet.

 

Recap

Chicago u7 -165
Cleveland o6 +125
Jacksonville u5.5 +125
Kansas City u8.5 +125
Miami u8.5 +165
NY Jets u7.5 +115
St Louis u8 -140
Arizona u8.5 +125
Detroit o8.5 +120
Cincinnati u8.5 110
Oakland u5.5 -105
Tampa Bay o6 -105
Tennessee u5.5 -115
Dallas u9.5 100
Atlanta u8.5 -115

 

Stats

 

 

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