Sep. 11, 2020
Over/Under bets to look at before the season starts
The NFL Season is now less than 48 hours away from kicking off in Kansas City. Many people are preparing their fantasy teams and preparing their preseason bets that will only amplify the excitement for the NFL Season. One of the popular methods of betting that people love to partake in is the Over/Unders for win totals on NFL teams. For those that don’t know, the Over/Under bets mean that you place a bet on a team winning over X number of games or under that same number and if they do so, you win the bet. Most teams are given lines that are expected, but some are surprising and might be ones to consider betting on as the season starts. Let’s look at teams that you should consider betting the Over on, teams to bet the Under on, teams to avoid, and teams with notably low lines to start the season.
Teams to bet the Over on
Green Bay Packers (8.5)
The Packers were on the doorstep of a Super Bowl last season, going 13-3 only to be obliterated in the NFC Championship by the San Francisco 49ers. The Packers are given an 8.5 line to open the season which makes any fan have to wonder if the oddsmakers are expecting a massive dropoff from the Packers. It’s understandable to think that the Packers will regress to the mean as they overachieved last season and didn’t improve the skill positions in the off-season. At the same time, it would be otherworldly to think that Aaron Rodgers will lead the Packers this season to an 8-8 record or anything worse.
Houston Texans (7.5)
This one surprises me. The Texans have been a perennial playoff team for the past two seasons (and almost every year under Bill O'Brien) and suddenly they are expected to finish below .500. The line is this low has to be considering the De’Andre Hopkins trade, a trade where the Texans traded away one of the best receivers in the NFL for David Johnson and mid-round draft picks. While the offense is likely to be worse this season, the Texans extended one the best young quarterbacks in the game in Deshaun Watson, who is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks that have bailed Bill O’Brien out numerous times (see the Wild Card Game vs the Bills as case in point). The Texans also bring back JJ Watt and solid defense so all signs point to the Texans finishing 8-8 or better.
Seattle Seahawks (9.5)
This line is intended to be a higher line as Seattle is expected to be one of the better teams in the NFL. What’s puzzling about the Seahawks at 9.5 is that it implies that they will only barely pass the 9 win mark and won’t be one of the top teams in the NFC. A reason to be skeptical about betting the Over is the division and overall schedule is tougher for the Seahawks than a usual year. At the same time, the Seahawks are a team that you should strongly consider betting the Over with a few reasons that stand out. For starters, they are one of the teams that will be competing for the Super Bowl this year, a team that has one of the best quarterbacks in the game and one of the more complete teams to help out Russell Wilson. The second element to consider is the Seahawks last season looked to be one where the Seahawks were going to be the top seed in the NFC, then the wheels fell off and they lost their top two running backs to injury. Expect the Seahawks to go over 9 wins and possibly more.
Teams to bet the Under on
Los Angeles Chargers (8)
I have no idea how the Chargers got a line this high. A team that looked dreadful last season and is starting either journeyman Tyrod Taylor or rookie Justin Herbert. Moreover, the Chargers defense lost one of their best players before the season started in safety Derwin James, he is the player that turns the defense from good to great. I don’t see the Chargers going 8-8 or better and in a division that has Super Bowl contender Kansas City Chiefs in it and two potential sleeper teams in the Broncos and the Raiders. This looks like an easy opportunity to take advantage of a high line.
Chicago Bears (8)
The Bears went 8-8 last season and with the line being at 8, they are projected to do the same this year. The Bears can be a team that returns to its 2018 success with a possible great defense and strong running game. I see that it’s more likely that the Bears decline again and can possibly be one of the worst teams this season. The Bears currently have two quarterbacks in Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles and when you have two starting quarterbacks, you have none (I know the Bears named Trubisky the starter but I doubt that will last long). Aside from the quarterback situation on the verge of a potential mess, the team didn’t make any major acquisitions or have a lot of draft capital (in part to the Khalil Mack trade) and the team looks worse than last year’s roster
Teams that you should avoid betting on
Cleveland Browns (8.5)
The Browns have to be the most unpredictable team entering this season. Last season they were the team of the off-season and were hyped to finally end their playoff drought and be one of the best teams in the AFC, they collapsed and finished the season with 6 wins. They have the talent on their roster to be a good team this year but we don’t know what we're going to see out of Baker Mayfield in his third year and first-year head Coach Kevin Stefanski is again a coach that we don’t know what we’re gonna get (the Browns are like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates). I wouldn’t touch this line just out of sheer unpredictability.
Philadelphia Eagles (9.5)
The Eagles have been consistently competitive under head coach Doug Pederson, including winning a Super Bowl and only missing the playoffs once. This season is one to be wary of the Eagles. The division last season was a joke and looks to be better this year. The Eagles were able to handle the injuries last season but if the woes continue, it will be hard to see the Eagles continuing their success. The most important reason to be nervous about betting is that the Eagles are a borderline 10-6 or 9-7 team which is exactly where the line is.
Baltimore Ravens/Kansas City Chiefs (11.5)
I know that it is intriguing to bet the Over for both teams but keep in mind that these two teams have the highest Over/Unders in the NFL. Going 12-4 is hard to do even if you have Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson at quarterback, there also is a reason the line is as high as it is since the oddsmakers are expecting possible issues to arise as the season progresses (injuries, struggles). I know that all signs point to betting the Over, but this can be a trap bet.
Notably low lines
Jacksonville Jaguars (4.5), Washington Football Team (5), Cincinnati Bengals (5.5)
All three of these teams are expected to be terrible this season. If you believe that one of these teams can be a sleeper, then by all means you should bet the Over. One of these teams will surprise us but I wouldn’t bet on it.
Note: The Over/Under odds are courtesy of Vegas Insider. For more bets and Over/Under odds, go to VegasInsider.com as you get hyped for the season. Once again Vegas Insider did not sponsor this article even though we would be more than appreciative of them to do so.