Sports bettors have had to do some major adjusting for the 2021 NFL season. Teams will play 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
Cardinals season win total Over bettors are sitting pretty right now with Arizona at 6-0. The one pause for concern is that Arizona is playing in the toughest division in football, the NFC West.
Atlanta Falcons: Over/Under
The Falcons got younger by drafting TE Kyle Pitts at No. 4 overall and promoting Calvin Ridley to the WR1 spot, but their offensive line and veteran quarterback have been overmatched early in the year. It’s shaping up to be a long season for Matt Ryan.
Baltimore Ravens: Over/Under
Lamar Jackson can only do so much with his legs and he’s facing the second-toughest schedule in the NFL this season according to 2020-21 win percentage. Baltimore has fared well in the early going, though, as they toppled the Chiefs and Chargers.
Buffalo Bills: Over/Under
The Bills established themselves as a serious Super Bowl contender in 2020, but came out flat in their home opener against the Steelers. Josh Allen and company are proving that first week hiccup was a mirage and look well on their way to being one of the premier teams in the AFC.
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 – namely QB Sam Darnold – has regressed since.
Chicago Bears: Over/Under
Bears fans had been clamoring for it and they finally get to see Justin Fields on a full-time basis. Chicago’s defense is again strong, but they’ll need to start putting up more offensive points if they hope to challenge the Packers for the NFC North crown.
Cincinnati Bengals: Over/Under
Joe Burrow has worked his way back from a devastating knee injury and Ja’Marr Chase is an early Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate. Cincy will get to prove if it’s the real deal or not with upcoming division games against the Ravens and Browns.
Cleveland Browns: Over/Under
The Browns finally ended the longest playoff drought in the NFL last season and are off to the races again in 2021. The defense and QB Baker Mayfield have underwhelmed, however.
Dallas Cowboys: Over/Under
New defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has breathed life into the Dallas D. Dak Prescott has not skipped a beat in his return from injury and the Cowboys look like the class of the NFC East.
Denver Broncos: Over/Under
Teddy Bridgewater has looked sharp when healthy, but this is clearly a team that will need to rely heavily on outstanding defensive efforts to garner victories. It doesn’t help matters that the Chiefs, Raiders and Chargers are all legit playoff contenders.
Detroit Lions: Over/Under
Dan Campbell’s rag-tag crew looks like it will win the “Best Effort” award, but in terms of pure wins it’s going to be uphill sledding. Got to figure the morale on the team will wane the more these losses pile up.
Green Bay Packers: Over/Under
Much like the Bills, the Packers are proving that their Week 1 difficulties were a mirage. Aaron Rodgers again has the Green Bay offense humming.
Houston Texans: Over/Under
The Texans have one win under their belt as they took down the equally bad Jaguars in Week 1. Getting victory No. 2 will prove difficult until they can get Tyrod Taylor back from injury.
Indianapolis Colts: Over/Under
Quarterback Carson Wentz has been banged up all season long and the Colts do not have much of an identity. But wins may be on the way. Indy easily disposed of the Texans and have the Jets and Jaguars coming up.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Over/Under
Urban Meyer has been a mess in his first NFL season. The one saving grace for the Jags is that they play in the worst division in football and could trip into another victory at some point.
Kansas City Chiefs: Over/Under
The Chiefs defense is nowhere close to championship caliber at the moment and Kansas City now has to deal with some legit teams in the AFC West as the Broncos, Chargers and Raiders are much improved.
Las Vegas Raiders: Over/Under
So far so good for interim head coach Rich Bisaccia. The Raiders still have talent on both sides of the ball and seemed to rally behind their new head man in a road win at Denver.
LA Chargers: Over/Under
Justin Herbert is already reading defenses like a veteran and leading one of the most efficient offenses in football. The Chargers proved they could win a shootout as they took down the Browns, 47-42, in early October.
LA Rams: Over/Under
The Rams showed that their loss to the Cardinals was a minor hiccup as they toppled the Seahawks in Week 5. Matthew Stafford is back in the MVP conversation as he threw for 365 yards and a TD.
Miami Dolphins: Over/Under
The Dolphins were already struggling to move the ball with Tua Tagovailoa under center. Jacoby Brissett hasn’t been much better and the Dolphins have fallen out of the playoff picture.
Minnesota Vikings: Over/Under
The Vikings nearly took down the Browns in Week 4 but “close but no cigar” isn’t going to cut it moving forward. Minnesota is 3-3 with games against the Cowboys and Ravens coming up.
New England Patriots: Over/Under
The Patriots played up to their competition in losses to the Buccaneers and Cowboys but played down to the Texans in Week 5 victory. Beating the lowly Jets on Sunday is a must-win if New England hopes to sniff the playoffs.
New Orleans Saints: Over/Under
The Saints are a textbook Jekyll and Hyde team with wins over the Packers and Patriots and losses to the Panthers and Giants.
New York Giants: Over/Under
The Giants are banged up with Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley both hurting. Joe Judge needs to find a way into another victory or two soon or his tenure in New Jersey will come to a close.
New York Jets: Over/Under
Those saying Zach Wilson was a bust after three weeks may have jumped the gun as the rookie looked good in the Jets Week 4 win over the Titans.
Philadelphia Eagles: Over/Under
The Eagles hung tough against the Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football but Howie Roseman looks like he’s raised the white flag on Philly’s season. Longtime TE Zach Ertz was traded to the Cardinals on Oct. 15.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Over/Under
Ben Roethlisberger’s arm is falling off before our eyes. Pittsburgh’s defense should keep them in games, but Mike Tomlin needs to figure out a solution at quarterback soon before it’s too late.
San Francisco 49ers: Over/Under
Stop if you’ve heard this before: the 49ers are banged up. San Francisco was everyone’s darling for bounceback team of the year but they have underwhelmed so far this season. It won’t get any easier for Kyle Shanahan’s team as it attempts to navigate through the choppy NFC West waters.
Seattle Seahawks: Over/Under
For years the one sure thing in Seattle was that Russell Wilson would give you a good chance to win. Wilson is now injured and the Seahawks look like an average group at best.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Over/Under
It hasn’t been pretty, but the Buccaneers are sitting pretty at 5-1. More victories are on the way as they have a bye week in Week 9, followed by games against the WFT, Giants, Colts and Falcons.
Tennessee Titans: Over/Under
The Titans are “Saints-lite” in terms of what you’re going to get on a week-to-week basis. Tennessee fell to the Jets but also beat the Bills.
Washington Football Team: Over/Under
Washington looks like a team that will take care of business against the league’s dregs but in terms of pulling off an upset against an elite unit? Not going to happen.
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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.