It’s one thing to put out NFL future book odds right after the Super Bowl. It’s another thing to put out the Week 1 betting line.
Both are available for wagering at sportsbooks on the Internet and in Las Vegas.
But it’s still another thing to put out NFL regular-season over/under win totals before the draft.
That didn’t deter the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas. The bookmakers there are already booking team win totals, taking up to $1,000.
“A lot of places get very conservative with it,” said Rob Akers, assistant sports book manager at the Venetian. “We don’t think the bettor has a huge advantage over us. So why not put it up?
“Let them (bettors) dictate to us what the line should be.”
Those firing away already have caused one line adjustment. The Seattle Seahawks win total opened 11 ½ and has since come down to 11. The last five Super Bowl losers failed to make the playoffs the following season.
The Indianapolis Colts have the highest over/under at 11 ½ despite no Edgerrin James. Then come the Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers each at 11, showing there is no dominant team on paper.
Of the 32 teams, 20 are between seven and 10 wins. That’s 62 percent. The lowest total is 5 on the San Francisco 49ers. The New Orleans Saints, Houston Texans and New York Jets are all at 5 ½ wins.
“Five and one-half is about as low we can go, but it’s all subject to change,” Akers said. “It’s all according to the money.”
By putting out over/unders so early, the Venetian is gambling there won’t be many changes to the NFL status quo.
A lot can happen, however, between now and September. The Green Bay Packers, for instance, are at 6 ½. What if Brett Favre comes back to Green Bay for another season, the Packers get a stud rookie picking fifth and manage to sign free agent Charles Woodson.
The Baltimore Ravens number is 7 ½. What if the Ravens are able to solve their terminal quarterback problem by trading for Steve McNair?
The Miami Dolphins are at 9. But what happens if Daunte Culpepper isn’t healthy enough to begin the season? The same question can be asked of the Cincinnati Bengals and their injured quarterback, Carson Palmer. The Bengals’ over/under is 9 ½.
This could leave the Venetian open to getting middled or sided on a team. A