It’s been a little more than a week since the NFL released the 2021 regular season schedule. Teams will now play 17 games to determine 14 playoff spots, trimming one game off the preseason slate. Some teams have already garnered enough action to activate some NFL win totals movement.
DraftKings Sportsbook head Johnny Avello shared some insights with TheLines. We discussed where the early money is going for win totals and where prices might go for teams with unsettled quarterback situations.
NFL Win Totals: Teams Taking Action Since Schedule Release
Avello noted that there has not been much movement on totals since the schedule release. He mentioned a few teams in particular who are courting bettors and that’s changing the ‘juice’ or the pricing between over and under wagers.
Denver Broncos (Opened 7.5; Now Over 8.5 )
We may know the matchups on the schedule, but we are not sure who will be starting under center for some of these teams. Aaron Rodgers is the biggest question for Week 1.
Avello said the biggest NFL win totals movement has been Denver. The Broncos started at 7.5 wins and now are at 8.5 (Over , Under +110). He noted the number would likely jump to 9.5 should Green Bay trade the 2020 MVP to the AFC West. DraftKings Sportsbook has taken Packers win totals off the board.
New York Giants (Opened Over 7 -110; Now Over 7 )
The Giants almost made the playoffs last year and are priced one game better than they finished in 2020. The team has gotten some early play on the over, pushing the split to over/+107 under
Atlanta Falcons (Opened Over 7.5 -110; Now Over 7.5 )
The Falcons have underperformed since blowing a 28-3 lead in Super Bowl LI, which has led to lowered expectations for 2021. However, players have bet the over, driving the price to over and +127 under.
“The Falcons have been disappointing the last couple years,” he said. “We all thought the Falcons would win nine games the last couple years; it didn’t pan out. This year, the total’s lower.”
Kansas City Chiefs (Opened Under 12.5 -110; Now Under 12.5 )
One team that has drawn some under handle are the defending AFC champs. The Chiefs have an over/under of 12.5 wins, the highest in the league. However, the under is now down to . The juice has gone as high as -150 in some spots. Avello says he doesn’t think it’s a bear market though on Mahomes and company.
“I don’t think anyone believes the Chiefs will lose the division. They just think the division is a little tighter,” he said. “Los Angeles (Chargers) lost some tough games last year, a lot of close ones. Denver’s better, and the Raiders are better.”
Other Notable Win Total Line Movements
- Buffalo Bills (opened Under 11 -110; Now Under 11 /-106 Over)
- Cincinnati Bengals (opened Under 6.5 -110; Now Under 6.5 -143, Over)
Missing from the totals list currently are the Packers, who may not have 2020 MVP Aaron Rodgers when the season starts.
NFL Win Totals: Texans Priced Without Deshaun Watson
Rodgers is not the only quarterback with an unclear future reflected on DK’s early markets. Not only is Houston an underdog at home to one-win Jacksonville, their win total is the lowest of any team (Over 4.5 +118, Under 4.5 -143). Some sportsbooks have lowered Houston’s win total to Over 4 -110/Under 4 .
Clearly, NFL win totals movement like that comes from bettors not believing Watson will be Houston’s QB in 2021. Avello said the books have priced in the Texans playing without Watson.
“I think it’s known that he won’t be in there,” Avello said. “I know they [Houston’s management] don’t want him there. We’ll know as we get closer.”
More than a few teams have question marks at QB. Expect prices to move as those get answered during OTAs and training camp. Currently, DraftKings Sportsbook has not priced any rookie QBs (Mac Jones, Justin Fields or Trey Lance) usurping the veterans at that position.