Thursday is the start of the 2019 NFL regular season. There is little doubt sports bettors and bookmakers have had the date circled on their calendars ever since the final seconds of Super Bowl 53 ticked off last February. With the return of football, NFL betting props are also back.
The New England Patriots extended their historic dynasty in that one, defeating the Los Angeles Rams in a 13-3 snoozer. And predictably, with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady back in the fold for one last hurrah, online sportsbook Bovada has the Pats slotted as favorites to win their seventh Super Bowl title together.
But before any team can compete for the coveted Lombardi Trophy, it must first survive the gantlet of a 16-game regular-season schedule to secure playoff positioning.
Earning the best record in one’s division is obviously good enough to earn a spot in the postseason tournament. However, earning the NFL’s best regular-season record often paves a path directly to the Super Bowl’s promised land.
The list below highlights the team(s) which finished the regular season sporting the NFL’s best overall record:
2018 – Saints and Rams* (13-3)
2017 – Patriots*, Steelers, Eagles*, Vikings (13-3)
2016 – Patriots* (14-2)
2015 – Panthers* (15-1)
2014 – Patriots*, Broncos, Cowboys, Packers, and Seahawks* (12-4)
*Appeared in that season’s Super Bowl
As you can see, with tied records factored in, the best regular-season performer has played their way into the big game seven times over the last five years.
All of which is to say, NFL fans and bettors alike should be keeping a close eye on Bovada’s “Best Regular Season Record” proposition wager.
After an offseason of roster adjustments and salary cap jockeying, the oddsmakers expect last year’s top four teams to replicate their regular-season success.
The Patriots are listed as big-time (+450) favorites to finish with the best win-loss slate in football, a feat they’ve accomplished in three of the last five seasons. The team “only” racked up an 11-5 record last year, but boasting the same legendary head coach/quarterback tandem that went 16-0 back in 2007 should always give New England the inside track until proven otherwise.
The high-octane Kansas City Chiefs offense replaced Brady + Gronk + Edelman as the league’s most productive passing attack last year, leading to a 12-4 record and an AFC Championship Game nod. Of course, that meant facing the Pats, who prevailed like they usually do in a 37-31 instant classic in overtime.
This one could all come down to divisional competition, what with the Chiefs forced to contend with the Los Angeles Chargers (+1500) for AFC West supremacy. The Chargers also finished at 12-4 last season, only losing the division via tiebreaker, while the Patriots finished a full four games up on the Miami Dolphins.
New England’s ability to feast on subpar squads like the New York Jets (+6000), Buffalo Bills (+8000), and the openly tanking ‘Phins (+30000) provides the cushion they currently enjoy over the Chiefs for this prop bet.
Over in the NFC, the Rams and the New Orleans Saints both held the best record last season at 13-3. That dominance presaged an NFC Championship Game matchup, one which was marred by the “worst missed call in NFL history” before the Rams took a 26-23 thriller in overtime.
Bovada expects much of the same this time around, with the Rams (+900) and Saints (+950) the only NFC teams offering better than 10 to 1.
For a full 32-team rundown of odds on the best regular-season record prop bet, check out the table below:
2019 NFL Best Regular Season Record Prop Bet Odds
|Team||Best Regular Season Record Odds
|New England Patriots||+450|
|Kansas City Chiefs||+700|
|Los Angeles Rams||+900|
|New Orleans Saints||+950|
|Los Angeles Chargers||+1500|
|Green Bay Packers||+2500|
|San Francisco 49ers||+4000|
|New York Jets||+6000|
|New York Giants||+20000|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+20000|