The first preseason game of the 2018 National Football League (NFL) season kicked off on August 2, with the Baltimore Ravens beating the Chicago Bears in a 17-16 snoozer.
And while most of the focus was on the league’s newly mandated rules on tacklers leading with their helmet, the first four quarters of faux football signaled the real deal’s imminent arrival.
With the regular season right around the corner – Week 1 begins on Thursday, September 6 when the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles host a fellow perennial NFC contender in the Atlanta Falcons – online sportsbook Bovada has posted its opening batch of win totals and accompanying odds.
Regular season win totals provide the perfect way to sweat a team’s entire 16-game schedule on a single wager. Whether fading the heavy favorites by betting the Under, or backing big time underdogs with an Over bet, win totals offer tremendous value for sharp bettors.
As for the aforementioned Eagles – who downed the New England Patriots to win their first Super Bowl title last season – the oddsmakers expect them to regress just a bit. Following an impressive 13-3 regular season, Bovada has the Birds pegged at 10.5 wins (-115 on Over / -115 on Under).
That’s still tied for the second-highest win total in all of football, but the books clearly don’t see another Nick Foles style Cinderella story in the offing. Even so, former starter Carson Wentz is back under center after his season-ending injury, and even Foles returned to provide the ultimate backup weapon.
The top win total on the board belongs to the Patriots, as the Belichick and Brady juggernaut is set at 11 wins (-160 on Over / +130 on Under). As those tilted odds suggest, the Pats are big favorites to top the 11-win mark, which makes sense after last year’s casual 13-3 campaign.
The only other team joining Philly and New England above the 10-win plateau is the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are tabbed at 10.5 wins (+105 on Over / -135 on Under). Big Ben Roethlisberger may be in the twilight of his career, but weapons like Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell gave the veteran signal-caller enough to ward off father time during last year’s 13-3 run.
One team expected to make a major surge in the standings is the Green Bay Packers. The Pack is coming off of a disappointing 7-9 season, but that debacle only occurred because superstar gunslinger Aaron Rodgers was sent to the sidelines after a hard hit in Week 6.
With a healthy Rodgers back in the fold, Green Bay sees its win total climb to 10 (-125 on Over / -105 on Under).
On the other end of the spectrum, the Cleveland Browns made the wrong kind of history last year by compiling the NFL’s second ever 0-16 season. So it’s a bit of a surprise to see the Browns set at 5.5 wins (-150 on Over / +120 on Under) this time around.
Cleveland did use its stockpile of draft picks to add quarterback Baker Mayfield with the top overall pick, while trading for Miami Dolphins disgruntled wideout Jarvis Landry, so that heavy lean toward the Over could be a bargain for bold bettors.
|New England Patriots||11||Over (-160) / Under (+130)||13-3|
|Philadelphia Eagles||10.5||Over (-115) / Under (-115)||13-3|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||10.5||Over (+105) / Under (-135)||13-3|
|Minnesota Vikings||10||Over (-125) / Under (-105)||13-3|
|Green Bay Packers||10||Over (-125) / Under (-105)||7-9|
|Los Angeles Rams||10||Over (-120) / Under (-110)||11-5|
|Los Angeles Chargers||9.5||Over (-125) / Under (-105)||9-7|
|New Orleans Saints||9.5||Over (-130) / Under (EVEN)||11-5|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||9||Over (-130) / Under (EVEN)||10-6|
|Carolina Panthers||9||Over (+135) / Under (-160)||11-5|
|Atlanta Falcons||9||Over (-155) / Under (+125)||10-6|
|San Francisco 49ers||8.5||Over (-120) / Under (-110)||6-10|
|Houston Texans||8.5||Over (-165) / Under (+135)||4-12|
|Kansas City Chiefs||8.5||Over (-120) / Under (-110)||10-6|
|Dallas Cowboys||8.5||Over (-110) / Under (-120)||9-7|
|Seattle Seahawks||8||Over (+135) / Under (-165)||9-7|
|Oakland Raiders||8||Over (-125) / Under (-105)||6-10|
|Tennessee Titans||8||Over (-115) / Under (-115)||9-7|
|Baltimore Ravens||8||Over (-140) / Under (+110)||9-7|
|Detroit Lions||7.5||Over (-130) / Under (EVEN)||9-7|
|New York Giants||7||Over (-140) / Under (+110)||3-13|
|Washington Redskins||7||Over (-115) / Under (-115)||7-9|
|Denver Broncos||7||Over (-170) / Under (+140)||5-11|
|Chicago Bears||6.5||Over (-170) / Under (+140)||5-11|
|Cincinnati Bengals||6.5||Over (-145) / Under (+115)||7-9|
|Indianapolis Colts||6.5||Over (-170) / Under (+140)||4-12|
|Miami Dolphins||6.5||Over (-135) / Under (+105)||6-10|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||6.5||Over (+110) / Under (-140)||5-11|
|Buffalo Bills||6||Over (+140) / Under (-170)||9-7|
|New York Jets||6||Over (EVEN) / Under (-130)||5-11|
|Cleveland Browns||5.5||Over (-150) / Under (+120)||0-16|
|Arizona Cardinals||5.5||Over (-175) / Under (+145)||8-8|