Sports bettors have had to do some major adjusting for the 2021 NFL season. Teams are playing 17 games each in the regular season for the first time. Most impacted from a betting perspective is the always-popular NFL Win Totals market.
No longer will teams finish the regular season with 10-6 or 5-11 records. Instead, 10-6 could turn into 11-6 and 5-11 could turn into 5-12. An extra game has had a big impact on projecting how many games a team will win and lose.
Still, over – under bets are one of the more straightforward futures wagers available. Moreover, since they involve handicapping a team’s outlook for the coming season, they’re appealing even to novice bettors, considering NFL fans typically have strong opinions on each team in the league.
NFL win totals 2021
Here are updated NFL win totals from the top US sportsbooks for the 2021 season. Click on the price(s) you like below to bet now.
Pre-season over under win totals
A look at the projected season over under win totals for each team in the league from the pre-season. The totals are from DraftKings Sportsbook (Sept. 7).
|Team||Win Totals Over Unders|
|Kansas City Chiefs||12.5 wins|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||12 wins|
|Baltimore Ravens||11 wins|
|Buffalo Bills||11 wins|
|Cleveland Browns||10.5 wins|
|LA Rams||10.5 wins|
|San Francisco 49ers||10.5 wins|
|Green Bay Packers||10 wins|
|Seattle Seahawks||10 wins|
|New England Patriots||9.5 wins|
|LA Chargers||9.5 wins|
|Miami Dolphins||9.5 wins|
|Indianapolis Colts||9 wins|
|Dallas Cowboys||9 wins|
|Tennessee Titans||9 wins|
|New Orleans Saints||9 wins|
|Minnesota Vikings||8.5 wins|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||8.5 wins|
|Denver Broncos||8.5 wins|
|Arizona Cardinals||8.5 wins|
|Washington Football Team||8.5 wins|
|Carolina Panthers||7.5 wins|
|Chicago Bears||7.5 wins|
|Atlanta Falcons||7.5 wins|
|New York Giants||7 wins|
|Las Vegas Raiders||7 wins|
|Cincinnati Bengals||6.5 wins|
|Philadelphia Eagles||6.5 wins|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||6.5 wins|
|New York Jets||6 wins|
|Detroit Lions||4.5 wins|
|Houston Texans||4 wins|
Over/under win totals by team
Over/Under win totals shown here are the best available prices on the over.
Arizona Cardinals: Over/Under
The Cardinals were in a slump after DeAndre Hopkins was injured but pre-season over bettors are smiling with Arizona at 11 wins. Kyler Murray’s crew had a pre-season number of 8.5 wins at most books.
Atlanta Falcons: Over/Under
The Falcons got younger by drafting TE Kyle Pitts at No. 4 overall and by promoting Calvin Ridley to the WR1 spot, but their offensive line and veteran quarterback have been overmatched. It’s been a long season for Matt Ryan and company. Atlanta can still get to 8 wins with a victory on Sunday, which would be a win for Over bettors who bet them at 7.5 wins.
Baltimore Ravens: Over/Under
Score this one as a win for Under bettors as the Ravens were pegged for 11 wins before the season started.
Buffalo Bills: Over/Under
Buffalo also had a season long win totals over under of 11 wins and currently have 10 victories. A push looks to be the table as the Bills have the lowly Jets on Sunday.
Carolina Panthers: Over/Under
Over bettors were ecstatic with the start of the Panthers, who were one of the league’s surprise teams at 3-0. Two of those wins came against the dregs of the NFL, however, and Carolina has regressed in a major way since. The Cam Newton spark fizzled out quickly and the Panthers are simply playing out the string.
Chicago Bears: Over/Under
Bears fans had been clamoring for it and they finally get to see Justin Fields on a full-time basis. As far as more wins this season, the motivation likely won’t be there. Chicago is currently 6-10.
Cincinnati Bengals: Over/Under
Cincy over bettors are giddy with the club at 10-6. Joe Burrow is getting stronger as the weeks progress, which is a scary thing for the rest of the AFC.
Cleveland Browns: Over/Under
The Browns will not get to double-digit wins this year as they are currently 7-9. After one season among the league’s elite, Cleveland once again is in murky waters.
Dallas Cowboys: Over/Under
The Cowboys have surpassed their pre-season win total as they were at 9 wins at most books. Now 11-5, they will play at the Eagles in Week 18.
Denver Broncos: Over/Under
Another victory for Under bettors as the Broncos are 7-9 and had a pre-season total of 8.5 wins at most sportsbooks.
Detroit Lions: Over/Under
Dan Campbell’s rag-tag crew will win the “Best Effort” award, but in terms of pure wins they’ve been hard to come by. The Lions had a pre-season over under of 4.5 wins at most books and are currently 2-13.
Green Bay Packers: Over/Under
Green Bay defense is decent enough, but the Packers will only go as far as Aaron Rodgers takes them. That much was proven when Rodgers missed the Chiefs game in early November.
Houston Texans: Over/Under
The Texans have not quit under David Culley. Houston has four wins under its belt but don’t expect another one as they close out the season with the Titans, who are seeking the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC.
Indianapolis Colts: Over/Under
The Colts turned their season around after a painfully slow start. Jonathan Taylor has been a legit MVP candidate for the past month-and-a-half, and Carson Wentz is playing mostly mistake-free football.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Over/Under
Many thought the Jaguars players would rally around interim head coach Darrell Bevell but it’s been the opposite. The Jags have somehow looked worse since Urban Meyer was shown the door.
Kansas City Chiefs: Over/Under
The Chiefs had a pre-season win total projection of 12.5 wins at most sportsbooks. They won’t make it, though they could get to 12 victories with a win over the Broncos.
Las Vegas Raiders: Over/Under
The Raiders had a pre-season projection of 7 wins and have made Over bettors happy by already eclipsing that mark.
LA Chargers: Over/Under
Chargers over bettors are sweating this one out. LA had a pre-season projection of 9.5 wins and Justin Herbert’s group is currently 9-7. LA has a win-and-in date with the Raiders on Sunday night.
LA Rams: Over/Under
Expectations were high to start the season with Matthew Stafford under center. LA has mostly met those expectations as they have a 12-4 mark.
Miami Dolphins: Over/Under
Miami had been one of the hottest teams in the league but then they began playing real competition. Their pre-season win total was 9.5 wins and the Dolphins are currently 8-8 with nothing to play for in Week 18 against the Patriots except pride.
Minnesota Vikings: Over/Under
The Vikings had a win projection of 8.5 back in late August and currently sit at 7-9. Minnesota closes the season by hosting the Bears.
New England Patriots: Over/Under
The Patriots had a win projection of 9.5 at most sportsbooks this past summer and have gone over the mark. They can get to 11 wins with a victory in Miami on Sunday.
New Orleans Saints: Over/Under
New Orleans was pegged for 9 wins this season and Over bettors can only hope for a push with the Saints currently at 8-8.
New York Giants: Over/Under
Over bettors for the Giants have already lost as Big Blue had a pre-season number of 7 wins. Joe Judge’s listless team is currently 4-12.
New York Jets: Over/Under
The Jets had the third lowest pre-season total as they were slated for 6 wins. Turns out the Under was the right play as Robert Saleh’s crew is 4-12 heading into the final weekend.
Philadelphia Eagles: Over/Under
The Eagles have exceeded expectations this season as they’ve gone over their projected number of 6.5 wins. Nick Sirianni’s group could even get to double-digit victories with a win over the rival Cowboys this weekend.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Over/Under
The Steelers seemingly always at least reach the 9 win mark. Their pre-season number was 8.5 and they can still go Over if they beat the Ravens this weekend.
San Francisco 49ers: Over/Under
San Francisco was the sexy pick for “bounceback team” of the year and they have mostly lived up to those expectations. The Niners are 9-7, though many books had them with a season win total of 10.5 victories.
Seattle Seahawks: Over/Under
Seattle won’t sniff its pre-season number of 10 wins as they currently own a 6-10 record and have been eliminated from the playoffs.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Over/Under
Tampa Bay hit its pre-season number of 12 wins on the nose last weekend in their strange win over the Jets. Tom Brady’s bunch closes the season by hosting the Carolina so Over bettors should pencil in a victory.
Tennessee Titans: Over/Under
The Titans have already gone over their pre-season projection as they have 11 wins on the year and have a game against the Texans coming up.
Washington Football Team: Over/Under
Washington was saddled with an 8.5 season-long win total and Ron Rivera’s club won’t get there as they own a 6-10 record.
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How to bet win totals
Win totals bets fall under the category of a “futures” bet. As their name implies, futures bets are wagers placed on events that won’t be “settled” until a future date. For example, in the case of win totals bets, the wagers are based on the amount of victories a team is projected to garner in the coming regular season of that particular sport. The wagers are made available before the start of that regular season and therefore require a certain amount of research on the part of the bettor in terms of a team’s prospects before a decision is made.
In a win totals bet, the oddsmaker sets a number for the projected amount of victories a team will garner in the coming season. A bettor then decides whether they want to place their money on the team either failing to meet or exceeding that threshold. Either side of the bet will have odds assigned to it that determine the rate of payout if the wager is successful.
The odds are represented in the form of a number with a “-“ or “+” next to them. These denote the rate at which a bettor will be paid out if the wager is successful. As a rule of thumb, the number with a “-“ next to it represents the amount of money a bettor would need to risk to win $100. Conversely a number with a “+” attached represents the amount of money a bettor would win for every $100 wagered. To further illustrate, let’s use a $10 bet for an example.
Let’s suppose the Atlanta Falcons are assigned a projected win total of seven victories for the 2021 season. For this first example, we’ll assume the oddsmakers have assigned either side of the bet -110 odds. That means that whether you bet on Atlanta falling short of or exceeding seven wins, you’ll have the same rate of payout if your bet is successful. In this case, with the bet having -110 odds all the way around, the $10 bet would pay out a profit of $9.09. The bettor would therefore receive a total of $19.09 in return (the original $10 wagered, plus the profit amount).
Utilizing the same wager, let’s say oddsmakers have instead made the odds for the Falcons finishing over seven wins at +120 and left the under side of the wager at -110. In this case, bettors putting faith in Atlanta taking a sizable leap forward next season and exceeding seven wins would realize a $12 profit if their side of the bet is correct. The better would therefore receive a total of $22.00 in return (the original $10 wagered, plus the profit amount).
Where to find win totals bets at online sportsbooks
As mentioned earlier, win totals bets fall under the umbrella of futures bets. They are not difficult to locate within an online sportsbooks.
Typically, a bettor first navigates toward the offseason sport they wish to place a win totals bet for. In the case of NFL wins totals bets, the bettor would then look for a “NFL Futures” tab within the NFL section. The win totals bets are often further segregated under a “Team Futures” tab and a “Regular-season Wins” sub-section.
It’s also worth noting that in the early stages of the offseason, not every online sportsbook has win totals bets readily available. Some wait until the dust settles on important events such as the NFL Draft before rolling out their projected totals.
Strategy for betting win totals
As is the case with most any purchase, being a smart and patient shopper when placing a wager can pay off nicely over time. The commodity one is evaluating/looking for the best price on when betting projected win totals is the projected number of wins that is set (likely to have low-to-no variance across most sportsbooks) and its corresponding odds (more likely to have variance across sportsbooks).
As an example, say Sportsbook A sets the Jacksonville Jaguars win total at 6.5 wins. The odds for under 6.5 wins is set at -110, while odds on over 6.5 wins is set at +110. Meanwhile, Sportsbook B places the odds of under 6.5 wins at -120 and odds on over at +120.
In such an instance, a bettor wishing to bet under 6.5 wins would be best served going to Sportsbook A (as -110 odds offer a more favorable payout than -120) and one wishing to bet over 6.5 wins would be best served going to Sportsbook B (since +120 odds offer a more favorable payout than +110).
The concept of “recency bias” can be a confounding factor in any endeavor that involves placing money on sporting events (i.e., not just sports betting, but in daily fantasy sports as well, for example). Simply put, recency bias is the concept of allowing the performances of a team/player in the recent past to affect a decision on a current wager.
This concept is straightforward to illustrate with respect to win totals bets. One good example is the case of the 2020 New England Patriots. The Pats total was 8.5 wins. A bettor allowing recency bias to creep in would go by the Patriots’ long stretch of dominance (17 straight seasons of double-digit wins prior to the 2020 season) in placing a bet on New England exceeding that figure.
However, since Tom Brady decided to bolt Foxboro, and Bill Belichick was dealing with a depleted roster – the Patriots wound up going 7-9.
The concept of “inflated lines” ties into recency bias to a large extent, as the latter often helps lead to the former. Inflated lines are the byproduct of the betting public heavily favoring one side of a bet over the other. Many times, that’s a result of the public allowing recency bias to affect their betting decisions.
To further explain, oddsmakers initially set a line at a point where they estimate they’ll be able to get close to equal action on either side of the wager. However, once the line is released, its future movement will largely be determined by how much money is coming in on each side. When betting decisions heavily influenced by recency bias are being made by a large percentage of the public, this can lead to inflated lines that can be ripe for exploitation by a smart bettor.
The aforementioned case of the 2020 Patriots is a textbook example. And the same could apply to a number of teams that underwhelmed last season (see examples in the first section) or for the last several seasons but are reaching a tipping point of exponential improvement due to their ability to add multiple impact players this offseason and the ongoing development of their existing pieces.
In examples such as these, “fading the public” is a strategy to consider, if the odds and research for the less popular side of the wager justify the investment.