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
8 wins (-110 over)/(-110 under)
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 0.500 finisher.
7 wins (-143 over)/(+118 under)
What the Falcons do with their fourth overall pick could weigh on their projected win total. However, under new head coach Arthur Smith, Atlanta’s direction is muddy.
11 wins (-125 over)/(+100 under)
11 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.
10.5 wins (-110 over)/(-110 under)
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 in tact (plus another pass catcher Emmanuel Sanders for Josh Allen), expect the Bills to pick up right where they left off.
7.5 wins (-110 over)/(-110 under)
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.
7 wins (-122 over)/(+100 under)
Chicago fans will tell you the Bears’ offseason was a disaster. However, they made the playoffs in 2020 and didn’t lose too many meaningful pieces to free agency. Andy Dalton is a lateral step from Mitch Trubisky, and the Bears should produce a similar product to 2020.
6.5 wins (-110 over)/(-110 under)
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 seemed to be devoid of adding a real difference maker.
9.5 wins (-150 over)/(+120 under)
The Browns finally ended their playoff drought (longest in the NFL) and even managed to pick up their first playoff win since they returned to Cleveland in 1999. 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.
9.5 wins (+110 over)/(-133 under)
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 keep in mind that the league is playing 17 games this season.
7.5 wins (-110 over)/(-110 under)
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.
5 wins (-110 over)/(-110 under)
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
10.5 wins (-143 over)/(+118 under)
As long as Aaron Rodgers is throwing the football for the Packers, Green Bay will be an above-0.500 team. 10.5 wins is a bit conservative for the 17-game season, as indicated by (-143); oddsmakers wouldn’t be surprised to see the Packers win 11 or 12 games this season.
4.5 wins (-125 over)/(+100 under)
Day by day, the Deshaun Watson saga grows grimmer; oddsmakers seemingly expect him not to play this upcoming season (at least, not for the Texans), slating them at an NFL-low 4.5 wins.
10 wins (+110 over)/(-133 under)
The Colts have won 10 or more games in two of the last three seasons under Andrew Luck and Philip Rivers (exception: 2019 with Jacoby Brissett). Bringing in another talented veteran should keep Indianapolis on track with a respectable season.
6.5 wins (-110 over)/(-110 under)
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
12 wins (-110 over)/(-110 under)
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
7.5 wins (-110 over)/(-110 under)
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
9 wins (+100 over)/(-125 under)
Another year under Justin Herbert is all oddsmakers need to see to count the Chargers for a 0.500 season. The Bolts also added a pair of stellar offensive linemen, including All Pro center Corey Linsely.
Los Angeles Rams
10.5 wins (+120 over)/(-150 under)
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.
9 wins (-122 over)/(+100 under)
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.
8.5 wins (+100 over)/(-122 under)
The Vikings’ offense had found their 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 brings in Patrick Peterson and Dalvin Tomlinson.
New England Patriots
9 wins (-143 over)/(+118 under)
Surprisingly, Cam Newton is headed into 2021 as the presumed starter for the Patriots after a majorly disappointing season. 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
9 wins (-110 over)/(-110 under)
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
7 wins (-110 over)/(-110 under)
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
6.5 wins (+120 over)/(-150 under)
With the second overall pick, it’s expected that the Jets will move on from Sam Darnold. They also bring in Robert Saleh as their 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.
6.5 wins (-150 over)/(+120 under)
It’s a new direction for the Eagles who bring in a new head coach and parted ways with franchise guy Carson Wentz. Instead, they’ll roll with Jalen Hurts, who showed flashes of stardom at the end of 2020.
8.5 wins (-125 over)/+100 under)
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 game by the Browns.
San Francisco 49ers
10.5 wins (+120 over)/(-150 under)
The crew is back and healthy after a year that was decimated with injuries. Better yet, the 49ers are drafting third overall and are expected to select a new franchise quarterback. Just a year removed from a Super Bowl berth, San Francisco is a team that’s expected to compete this year.
9.5 wins (-110 over)/(-110 under)
It’s a high projected win total for a team that had quarterback controversy 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, where the Seahawks won 9).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
11.5 wins (-110 over)/(-110 under)
The defending champions became the first team to return their full starting roster coming off a Super Bowl victory. As long as Tampa Bay has Tom Brady, they’re going to win football games. The team has become cohesive and they’re dangerous.
9.5 wins (+120 over)/(-150 under)
The Titans lost their offensive coordinator and secondary pass catcher to other teams. However, they brought in a trio of defensive starters (Bud Dupree, Denico Autry, Janoris Jenkins), which was their Achilles heel in 2020.
Washington Football Team
8 wins (-110 over)/(-110 under)
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. Further, they could pursue a top quarterback in the upcoming NFL draft.
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.