Best NFL season win total bets

Why the Ravens and Colts present a good opportunity this season

Updated: September 1, 2013, 6:35 PM ET
By Dave Tuley | ESPN Insider

Joe FlaccoDoug Kapustin/Getty ImagesWith no Ed Reed, Ray Lewis or Anquan Boldin, can Joe Flacco and the Ravens hit the over?

LAS VEGAS -- NFL over/under win totals were posted here back in mid-May, so with the regular season approaching (and most starters expected to rest or play very little in the preseason finales), this is a great time to look at how these numbers have changed.

In fact, 16 teams (half of the league) have seen their win totals move by at least 50 cents.

For the uninitiated, the books will not only post the over/under for each team, but have attached a money line to the side that is more likely to happen, or the side which they expect the bettors to like more. Thus, they charge a higher premium for the popular side. As bets come into the book -- the Las Vegas Hotel SuperBook for our purposes here -- the bookmakers will adjust the price until being forced to move off the actual number.

Here is a chart of the win totals for all 32 NFL teams and how they've changed since they opened

So, the biggest moves are the teams that have had their number changed, and there have been five of them at the LVH: the Patriots have moved down from 11.5 wins to 11 -- partly an adjustment following the release of tight end Aaron Hernandez; the Vikings have dropped from 7.5 to 7; the Eagles and Panthers have both been bet up from 7 to 7.5; and the Browns have been raised from 6 to 6.5.

Topping the list of the other 11 teams with significant adjustments from the opening numbers is Detroit, which opened at 7.5, over-110 and have had enough people taking the over that it's up to 7.5, over-200, which means you'd have to risk $2 for every $1 you wanted to profit.

The 49ers and the Cardinals are the next biggest movers, though their expectations are going in opposite directions. The 49ers, with an over/under of 11.5 wins (tied with the Broncos for the top spot), have had the under on that bet steamed from -125 to -210, a move of 85 cents. Conversely, the Cardinals have gone from 5.5 with the over getting plus-money at plus-130 to the over costing -155. On the right, you can hear how Jay Kornegay of the LVH told Chad Millman on the "Behind the Bets" podcast last week that the Cardinals have turned into their biggest future-book liability.

The fourth biggest move is the Jets from 6.5 under-110 to -185 -- I trust I don't have to go into why they've been getting bet under. The Saints are next with a 70-cent move from a total of 7 at even money to the 7 now costing -170. The other big movers are the Chiefs and Bengals (both 65 cents to the over), the Raiders (60 cents to the under), Cowboys (55 cents to the over) and the Rams and Redskins (both 50 cents to the over).

My feelings on most of the teams haven't changed since my earlier article when these odds were first posted back in May, so if you want to look up all the teams you can certainly revisit that story. For now, I'll look at my top 10 recommendations from that article (which were marked with an asterisk to denote the best bets) and update whether I still feel those are worthy of wagers at the current odds.


AFC

Baltimore Ravens
2012 record: 10-6 (Super Bowl champions)
Current 2013 over/under: 8.5 (over -110/under -110)

When I recommended going over 8.5 back in May, the price was -140 on the over, and now it's down to just -110, so I definitely still like this play. People are fading them because of the loss of Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Anquan Boldin among others, but I believe the offense will be just as good if not better, and the defense has added Elvis Dumervil and won't drop off that much. Tuley's Take: Over 8.5*

Dave Tuley has covered the Las Vegas race and sports book scene since 1998 and runs his own website, ViewFromVegas.com.