NFL season win totals hit the betting market when the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, Nevada released their over/under odds on each teams’ victories for the 2013 schedule Thursday.
Since opening, plenty of NFL bettors have voiced their opinions on Atlantis’ totals, giving their favorite over and under bets. Now it’s time for the pros to take a stab.
We tossed the 2013 NFL season win totals to our Covers Experts handicappers and asked them to identify the best value on the board.
Detroit Lions – Under 7 wins (-115)
“Detroit plays in a very tough division obviously, and I don't think things get any easier in 2013,” says Covers Expert Art Aronson. “A win against the Vikes in Week 1 is a possibility, but certainly nothing is guaranteed. More questions than answers for this team in all three phases of the game this year, so I'm going to lean to the under in this one.”
Indianapolis Colts – Under 8 wins (+120)
"Indy ran into all sorts of good 'Luck' last season winning nine of their 11 games by a touchdown or less, including seven victories by four or less points," says pro handicapper Marc Lawrence. "A nine-game improvement from a two-win team in 2011 far exceeded expectations. Expect a combination of sophomore blues by Andrew Luck and a serious bounce to leave the Colts losers in 2013."
Chicago Bears - Over 8.5 wins (-145)
"It's always a provisional vote with the Bears, since keeping Jay Cutler in one piece has proven a chore in the past. And all bets are off if "Midway Jay" goes down for an extended period," says professional handicapper Bruce Marshall. "But the Bears have their first offense-minded head coach in memory after hiring Marc Trestman from the CFL and expect a more streamlined offense. A dropoff from last year's 10 wins is hardly a certainty, especially if Cutler stays healthy and Trestman upgrades the offense as expected."
Green Bay Packers - Under 12 wins (-115)
"They have a tough out-of-division schedule, an overrated defense and a suspect offensive line,” says an NFL handicapper for Doc’s Sports. “I do not feel that they will go 6-0 in the NFC North and that would be a must in order for them to accomplish this feat. I think 10 or 11 wins is the ceiling for this team, so I will be betting on the under here.”
Buffalo Bills – Over 5 wins (-135)
“It seems as though every year Buffalo is a sleeper pick to make a move in the AFC and every year it disappoints,” says Covers Expert Matt Fargo. “This year could finally be that year, though, as a new coaching staff coupled with new schemes and personnel will make Buffalo a better team. Yet we are catching a win total of less than what the Bills won a season ago. An opening home win against the Patriots could set the tone.”
Atlanta Falcons - Under 10 wins (+105)
"On the surface, it might seem like a low total for an Atlanta squad that has won 10-plus games each of the past three seasons," says Covers Expert Steve Merril. "This is a team that continues to get out-stated on a regular basis and if the turnover margin starts to go against them, or if a key injury hits, the Falcons could struggle more than expected. Atlanta is also in a very competitive division as the Saints, Panthers, and Buccaneers are all capable of winning games."
Pittsburgh Steelers – Under 10 wins (EVEN)
“We've seen plenty of personnel changes in Pittsburgh over the last couple of years, and I'm not sure the shakeup has or will serve them well. At least not in the short-term,” says Covers Expert Sean Murphy. “Ben Roethlisberger is injury prone and, even when healthy, he’s no longer a truly elite quarterback capable of leading this team to double-digit victories, even with the AFC North likely to take a step back.”
Seattle Seahawks – Under 11 wins (+110)
“I think the Seahawks may be a little overpriced. They could easily suffer a couple of divisional losses, potentially a few,” says Covers Expert Ben Burns. “Games against the 49ers will be tough. The Rams aren't slouches. The Cards figure to be angry after last year's 58-0 drubbing. Wilson was fantastic last year. It’s possible that he takes a step back, though, and he also plays a style which could easily cause him to miss a few games. Getting plus money on the under 11 is worth a look.”
Kansas City Chiefs - Over 6.5 wins (-130)
The Chiefs over is a near auto-play for me," says pro handicapper Teddy Covers. "A team with the worst turnover differential in the NFL last year (-24), a lame duck head coach and a QB situation that was nothing short of disastrous. Andy Reid and Alex Smith are massive upgrades. The AFC West has Oakland and San Diego in clear rebuilding mode. And the Chiefs Over 6.5 (-130) will be seven or higher by August."
Cleveland Browns – Over 5 wins (+120)
“In 2011, the Browns finished 4-12 for last place in the AFC North. In 2012, they finished 5-11,” notes Aronson. “Cleveland has a relatively easy schedule in 2013 and, with the improvements it's made in the offseason, I believe the table is set for six victories or more this year.”
Washington Redskins – Under 9 wins (-120)
“Like the Seahawks, the Redskins improved a full five games behind a rookie quarterback last season," says Lawrence. "The main difference, though, is Robert Griffin III’s knee is a major question mark and the Hogs haven't had back-to-back winning seasons since 1991-92. And down goes another sophomore QB from last year's heralded class."
Arizona Cardinals - Under 6 wins (-120)
"It's a tough season to be in rebuild mode in the NFC West, with the 49ers and Seahawks established contenders and the Rams on the ascent," says Marshall. "Arizona has turned its operation inside out with a clean sweep of the coaching staff and front office. Though the Ken Whisenhunt regime went stale, is Bruce Arians really an upgrade? And have the Cardinals made enough improvements to the offensive line through the draft and free agency to better protect new - and very immobile - QB Carson Palmer? Whisenhunt might have done well to get the Cards to five wins last season."
New Orleans Saints – Over 9.5 wins (-115)
“Last year was a huge disappointment for the Saints but many saw it coming after head coach Sean Payton was suspended for the entire season,” says Fargo. “It showed how important good head coaches are and we will see a rebound this season. New Orleans surpassed this win total in each of the last three seasons prior to 2012 and we will see that again against a pretty soft schedule.”
Carolina Panthers – Over 6.5 wins (-130)
“The 2012 season was a disastrous campaign for the Panthers, as they won only seven games and were the third-worst scoring team in the NFC,” says Murphy. “The expectations aren't nearly as high leading into 2013. That should help relieve some of the pressure and allow this team to overachieve. Another seven-win season is all we need to cash this ticket and that's a bargain in my opinion.”
Check out the full list of the 2013 NFL season win totals and an interview with Steve Mikkelson, sportsbook director at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa. You can also get Covers Experts' picks for the early NFL pointspreads posted last weekend.