Not one single snap has been taken in the 2013 NFL season but plenty of sharp handicappers already have their minds made up on a handful of teams.
With the release of early odds, like win totals, Games of the Year, and futures, bettors can voice their opinion well before Week 1 of the schedule. We talked to sportsbooks and pro handicappers about which NFL teams are being faded by the wiseguys this summer.
Sharps don’t like…
New England Patriots
Win total: 11 (Over +115)
Division odds: -400
Super Bowl odds: +800
It’s been a crappy offseason for the Patriots. Wes Welker jumped ship to Denver, Rob Gronkowski is still not 100 percent, and the less we say about Aaron Hernandez’s summer the better. Tom Brady lost his three favorite targets. Can Bill Belichick “Belichick” New England out of this mess?
Expert opinion: Michael Stewart, CarbonSports.ag, “Our biggest move so far is the Pats, for all the reasons you think of. They've lost two of their best receivers in Hernandez (jail), Welker (Broncos) and with Gronk not 100 percent going into Week 1, many people are down on them. We've gone from 11.5 (Under -130) to 11 (Under -145), which is a monster move for an NFL season win total.”
Win total: 8.5 (Over -140)
Division odds: +200
Super Bowl odds: +3,000
Sharps are treating the Ravens Super Bowl title as lightning in a bottle – a one-time run. Ed Reed and Ray Lewis are gone, leaving an aging Terrell Suggs and QB Joe Flacco to pick up the leadership slack. Baltimore did add LB Elvis Dumervil to improve the pass rush but loss eight starters from that championship roster.
Expert opinion: Bruce Marshall, Covers Expert, “We’ll see if the subtle adjustment made by offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, allowing QB Joe Flacco more audible freedom after Cam Cameron’s December dismissal, keeps Flacco soaring as he was late last season when tossing 15 touchdowns and only one pick in the last seven games during the Ravens’ Super Bowl run.”
Win total: 8.5 (Over -125)
Divisional odds: +240
Super Bowl odds: +4,000
The Colts proved everyone wrong in 2012, riding rookie QB Andrew Luck and drawing inspiration from head coach Chuck Pagano’s battle with leukemia to win 11 games and make the postseason cut. Indianapolis was lucky in a lot off those close games, something sharps aren’t counting on in 2013.
Expert opinion: Marc Lawrence, Covers Expert, “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. 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."