Sports bettors are going to have to do some adjusting for the 2021 NFL season. League owners approved the expansion of the regular season from 16 to 17 games in March, and this change will be implemented for the 2021 season. 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 will obviously have 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.
Check back to this page for more win totals as they are released by sportsbooks.
Over/under win totals by team
Over/Under win totals shown here are from DraftKings Sportsbook.
Arizona Cardinals: Over/Under 8.5 wins
Analysts have made it known that Kyler Murray and the Cardinals’ full potential could be being held back by Kliff Kingsbury. Until they prove otherwise, or until another coach comes to town, Arizona will be projected to be a perennial .500 finisher.
Atlanta Falcons: Over/Under 7.5 wins
The Falcons were wise to snag TE Kyle Pitts with the fourth overall pick, giving Matt Ryan another option with Julio Jones now in Tennessee. Pitts will be the second option for Ryan behind Calvin Ridley.
Baltimore Ravens: Over/Under 11 wins
Eleven wins might seem like a lofty total at first glance, but remember the NFL extended the regular season to 17 games. They re-signed a pair of defensive stars and John Harbaugh has established what we can expect from the Ravens.
Buffalo Bills: Over/Under 11 wins
The Bills established themselves as a serious Super Bowl contender in 2020, making it all the way to the AFC Championship Game. With most of last year’s crew intact (plus another pass catcher in Emmanuel Sanders for Josh Allen), expect the Bills to pick up right where they left off.
Carolina Panthers: Over/Under 7.5 wins
Under new quarterback Sam Darnold, it’s expected that the Panthers take a step in the right direction. While the offense has already shown to be in good shape, the defense will need to carry its weight to keep Carolina on track.
Chicago Bears: Over/Under 7.5 wins
The Bears made the playoffs in 2020 and didn’t lose too many meaningful pieces to free agency. Chicago head coach Matt Nagy says that Andy Dalton will start over Justin Fields in Week 1 but a lot can still happen between now and the beginning of the regular season.
Cincinnati Bengals: Over/Under 6.5 wins
Joe Burrow is back in the driver’s seat, but oddsmakers remain skeptical of how he will play off such a devastating knee injury. While they picked up a few pieces on defense, the Bengals’ offseason was devoid of adding a real difference-maker.
Cleveland Browns: Over/Under 10.5 wins
The Browns finally ended their playoff drought (longest in the NFL) and even managed to pick up their first playoff win in decades. There were no real losses personnel-wise and they added a pair of stud defensive backs, meaning the Browns should be right back in the mix in 2021.
Dallas Cowboys: Over/Under 9 wins
Dak is back at the helm and the Cowboys are ready to bury one of their worst seasons in recent memory. In the eyes of oddsmakers, Prescott is worth at least 3.5 wins to the Cowboys, though – again – keep in mind that the league is playing 17 games this season.
Denver Broncos: Over/Under 8.5 wins
The Broncos added a haul defensively in free agency, highlighted by Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby. Until there’s a change at quarterback for Denver, though, Vegas won’t be awarding them more wins.
Detroit Lions: Over/Under 4.5 wins
It’s a total rebuild in Detroit; new head coach, new quarterback, new direction. It’s essentially Year 1 of the rebuild, meaning the Lions will take whatever wins they can get and move into the next offseason, barring a serious breakthrough.
Green Bay Packers: Over/Under 10 wins
The Packers’ over/under was at 8.5 wins just before Aaron Rodgers showed up at training camp. Now, the Packers are once again slated for double-digit victories.
Houston Texans: Over/Under 4 wins
Deshaun Watson showed up to Texans camp and is – for now – slated to start Week 1. Houston could still very well trade Watson before the start of the regular season.
Indianapolis Colts: OTB
The Colts were projected for 9.5 wins before Carson Wentz went down with a foot injury. If Jacob Eason or Sam Ehlinger are forced to start, Indy will be in for a long year.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Over/Under 6.5 wins
A new head coach and a rookie franchise quarterback lead to a lot of question marks in Duval County. However, they were aggressive in free agency, adding several defensive pieces and a new pass catcher for Trevor Lawrence – veteran Marvin Jones.
Kansas City Chiefs: Over/Under 12.5 wins
The back-to-back AFC champions lead the NFL in projected wins. They didn’t lose much, added Pro Bowl guard Joe Thuney, and retained all the skill players that Kansas City has hung their hat on for the past three years.
Las Vegas Raiders: Over/Under 7 wins
Whispers of Derek Carr being on the trade block for Las Vegas has dominated their offseason headlines, as did the mass exodus of their offensive linemen. Some head-scratching moves, including dealing Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson, leads to a lower projected win count for the Raiders.
Los Angeles Chargers: Over/Under 9.5 wins
Another year under Justin Herbert is all oddsmakers need to see to count the Chargers for a .500 season. The Bolts also added a pair of stellar offensive linemen, including All-Pro center Corey Linsley.
Los Angeles Rams: Over/Under 10.5 wins
For years, Jared Goff was pegged as the weakest link on the Rams even after he took them to a Super Bowl in 2018. There’s a new sheriff in town, Matthew Stafford, which has pushed the Rams buzz to new heights.
Miami Dolphins: Over/Under 9.5 wins
While the saga is far from over, the Dolphins at one point this offseason looked like they were going to land Deshaun Watson. However, they roll into 2021 with Tua Tagovailoa as their guy, putting a cap on the talented Dolphins’ projected win total.
Minnesota Vikings: Over/Under 9 wins
The Vikings’ offense had found its stride behind rookie phenom Justin Jefferson and stud Dalvin Cook. Defensive troubles kept them outside the NFC Playoff picture, and that issue was addressed this offseason. Minnesota brought in in Patrick Peterson and Dalvin Tomlinson.
New England Patriots: Over/Under 9.5 wins
Will it be Cam Newton or Mac Jones under center for the Patriots in Week 1? New England was the most aggressive team in free agency, adding everything from pass catchers (Hunter Henry, Nelson Agholor, Jonnu Smith) to defensive weapons (Jalen Mills, Matt Judon).
New Orleans Saints: Over/Under 9 wins
It’s the first season the Saints will have to tackle without Drew Brees since 2005. How they’ll fair between Taysom Hill and/or Jameis Winston remains to be seen, giving them one of their lower projected win percentages in recent years.
New York Giants: Over/Under 7 wins
Saquon Barkley returns to the Giants in what will be a critical year for both Daniel Jones and Joe Judge. They added electric receiver Kenny Golladay, but missed out on many other free agents as they worked hard to re-sign Leonard Williams up front.
New York Jets: Over/Under 6 wins
With the second overall pick, the Jets selected BYU’s Zach Wilson. They also bring in Robert Saleh as their new head coach, moving far past the Adam Gase years. It may take a year or two to get on track, so New York’s projected win total remains modest.
Philadelphia Eagles: Over/Under 6.5 wins
It’s a new direction for the Eagles, who bring in a new head coach – and they parted ways with franchise guy Carson Wentz. Instead, they’ll roll with Jalen Hurts, who showed flashes of stardom at the end of 2020.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Over/Under 8.5 wins
Ben Roethlisberger is back for one more swan song, which was bemoaned by fans who were looking to move forward this year. Despite winning 12 games a season ago, Pittsburgh was marred by distractions and disappointment, ultimately being eliminated in the AFC Wild Card round by the Browns.
San Francisco 49ers: Over/Under 10.5 wins
The crew is back and healthy after a season that was decimated with injuries. Better yet, the 49ers drafted a new franchise quarterback in Trey Lance. Just a year removed from a Super Bowl berth, San Francisco is a team that’s expected to compete this year.
Seattle Seahawks: Over/Under 10 wins
It’s a high projected win total for a team that had something of a quarterback controversy early in their offseason, but that’s what Russell Wilson brings to the table. As a starter, Wilson has won fewer than 10 games just once (2017, when the Seahawks won 9).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Over/Under 12 wins
The defending champions are running it back with all of the same key figures. As long as Tampa Bay has Tom Brady, they’re going to win football games. The team has become cohesive and they’re dangerous on both sides of the ball.
Tennessee Titans: Over/Under 9 wins
The Titans swapped offensive coordinators and brought in a trio of defensive starters (Bud Dupree, Denico Autry, Janoris Jenkins) to help shore up issues on that side of the ball. Then they traded for Julio jones, causing the odds to rise on them to go Over 9 wins.
Washington Football Team: Over/Under 8.5 wins
Per advanced stats, the WFT had the most productive offseason of any team. They added Ryan Fitzpatrick and a host of offensive and defensive weapons to their roster.
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.