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 bet by the wiseguys this summer.
New Orleans Saints
Win total: 9.5 (Over -130)
Divisional odds: +200
Super Bowl odds: +2,500
The Saints forget about 2012 and “Bounty Gate”, returning head coach Sean Peyton to the sidelines. New Orleans has one of the most lethal passing attacks in the league, headlined by QB Drew Brees, and a move to the 3-4 should wake up the defense.
Expert opinion: Teddy Covers, pro handicapper, “Last year was a wasted season for the Saints, with all of their coaching upheaval, but Sean Payton and his complete staff are poised for a return to the playoffs in 2013. Wiseguys have been betting on New Orleans all summer, driving up their pointspreads and season win total while driving down their odds to win the NFC South and/or the Super Bowl.”
Win total: 7.5 (Over -160)
Divisional odds: +450
Super Bowl odds: +5,000
The Dolphins enter Year 2 under QB Ryan Tannehill and gave the second-year passer some new toys. Miami added WRs Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson along with TE Dustin Keller. The AFC East is weak with even the Patriots looking shaky this offseason.
Expert opinion: Aron Black, Bet365.com, “Not surprisingly, as with other future markets, this play is also based on the perceived weakness that many feel New England will have, given the tight ends’ situations. If they get nine or more wins, then they will be right in the mix for the Super Bowl.”
Kansas City Chiefs
Win total: 7.5 (Over -115)
Divisional odds: +800
Super Bowl odds: +5,000
The Chiefs went through the ringer last year but have come out the other side looking like a different team in 2013. New QB Alex Smith and new head coach Andy Reid can breathe life into a franchise that still has a ton of talent – six Pro Bowlers last year.
Expert opinion: Michael Stewart, CarbonSports.ag, “The team we've seen the most ‘over’ money so far on are the Chiefs. After only winning two games last year, no way this team isn't going to see more success this season. New coach and new QB should bring a winning attitude. We opened (their win total at) 7 (Over -130) and are dealing 7.5 (-115) right now."