The 2021 NFL season will kick off on Sept. 9 with a premier matchup between the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers and the star-studded Cowboys. Most stadiums are expected to be at full capacity of fans and intensity should be at an all-time high after the pandemic. At sportsbooks, the Chicago Bears schedule and a few others offer value with 2021 NFL win totals already shifting.
The full NFL schedule was released on May 12 and sportsbooks quickly followed by expanding Team Futures markets. The schedule also provided further clarity for deciding on how to bet to include Win Totals.
In this article, we highlight some of the best values on teams that could go over their season total in wins now that we know how their schedules shape up in 2021. Remember, the NFL has moved to a 17-game season and these win total are projections for that, not 16 games.
2021 NFL WIN TOTALS: OVERS THAT OFFER VALUE
Buffalo Bills: 11 Wins (+100 Over) / ( Under)
What a fantastic scheduling draw for the Bills as they look to take one step further in the playoffs and potentially start by securing home field advantage in the AFC. Buffalo opens at home against a declining Steelers team, then heads to Miami before hosting Washington and Houston. If the Bills don’t head into Kansas City in Week 5 at 4-0, it would be a surprise. Josh Allen has improved exponentially in each of his NFL seasons and his weapons are improving with Emmanuel Sanders joining a savvy WR corps, led by stud Stefon Diggs. Their defense finished 8th in weighted DVOA last season per Football Outsiders, indicating significant improvement during the second half. In addition to lay-ups against the Jets, the Bills also play the Jaguars, Panthers, and Falcons in non-division draws. They went 9-1 at home last year and 20-3 straight up when favored since Allen took over in 2018.
Cleveland Browns: 10.5 Wins (+107 Over) / ( Under)
No longer the little brother of the NFC North, the Browns () are right behind the Ravens () in terms of their odds to win football’s ‘Black and Blue’ division. They bullied their way to the fourth-best rushing offense and fourth-best red zone offense last year and their defense forced the fourth-most turnovers per game with the sixth-highest sack rate despite missing Myles Garrett (COVID-19) for several games. Now Jadeveon Clowney will start opposite Garrett to form one of the fiercest pass rushes in the NFL. Last year, the Browns went 11-5 despite opening with blowout losses to the Ravens and Steelers, and closing with head-scratching losses to the Raiders and Jets. They’re simply better than Pittsburgh at this juncture and can dominate a Bengals team that struggles in run defense and pass protection. Expect Cleveland to win non-division home games against Houston, Denver, and Detroit to supplement their final win total.
Chicago Bears: 7.5 Wins (Over ) / (-130 Under)
The Bears schedule was a season of segments last year as they started 5-1, lost 6 straight, then won 3 of their last 4 to make the playoffs. Quarterback play will be crucial as they look to find more consistency this season and starting with veteran Andy Dalton is a good way to ensure stability. Dalton might eventually cede to Justin Fields, a potential game-changer and a steal at No. 10 overall. The Bears have a tough draw outside of their division, but Detroit is probably the worst team in the NFL, the Vikings are mediocre, and the Packers are mired in controversy with Aaron Rodgers unhappy. The Bears schedule before last year resulted in a 9-3 record against division foes. In 2020, it was a disappointing 2-4 vs the NFC North but should bounce back this year with a vastly improved offense and a rising defense that finished 8th in total DVOA last season.
New York Giants: 7 Wins ( Over) / (+107 Under)
The NFC East was clearly the worst division in football last season and will only be marginally better with the Cowboys healthier and Washington’s offense more stable under the direction of Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Eagles are rebuilding and the Giants went 4-2 against division foes in their first year under Joe Judge. The G-Men are also going to improve considerably now that Saquon Barkley (ACL) is healthy and Daniel Jones is a year wiser and hopefully less turnover prone. Jones has ample weaponry with Kenny Golladay on the perimeter and rookie Kadarius Toney capable of making an immediate impact. The Giants defense, which finished 9th in PPG allowed (22.3) and 3rd in red zone defense last year, should be strong up the middle with Leonard Williams re-signed and Danny Shelton coming aboard. They have several winnable home games against the Broncos, Falcons, Panthers, and Raiders to help supplement any division wins they can secure.