One risk that bettors take when placing a wager during the preseason on a team’s regular-season win total is that a key player could go down with a season-ending injury in an exhibition game. Mostly, we are talking about starting quarterbacks – there are really only a few non-quarterbacks who might affect a team’s win total should he get hurt.
Then again, bettors can benefit from wagering a win total early. Let’s say you placed a bet on the Los Angeles Rams’ 2018 total of 10. What if Seattle star quarterback Russell Wilson were to go down with a season-ending injury in the preseason? That almost assures two victories for the Rams because Seattle might be more dependent on Wilson than any other team is to its quarterback in the NFL. The Rams do have one non-quarterback who would affect their win total were he to go down: running back Todd Gurley.
It’s very important to factor in a team’s division competition when betting on win totals because obviously clubs play each other twice inside the division. The NFC South was arguably the NFL’s best in 2017 with the New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons all making the playoffs. The Saints are the defending division champs but have a win total of just 9.5 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com partly because they have to play the Panthers and Falcons twice each – not to mention a first-place schedule overall.
Per usual, the New England Patriots have the NFL’s highest win total at 11. They have topped that number every year this decade. What might that number drop to should Tom Brady get injured? The Pats don’t have the security blanket of Jimmy Garoppolo this year behind Brady but instead have Brian Hoyer.
The second-highest number on the 2018 NFL season win totals is 10.5 victories for the Philadelphia Eagles, who of course beat the Patriots in February’s Super Bowl, and Pittsburgh Steelers. Whether the Eagles top that number could depend on whether star quarterback Carson Wentz is ready for Week 1 off his torn ACL suffered late last season. This week, Wentz said being ready will “be close.” Philly does have a very accomplished backup quarterback in Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles.
The co-lowest win total, to no surprise, belongs to the Cleveland Browns at 5.5. The Factory of Sadness is 1-31 combined in the past two seasons and hasn’t won more than 5.5 games in a year since 2014. Sportsbooks do favor the OVER on that total, however. The Arizona Cardinals also are listed with 5.5 wins despite winning eight games in 2017.
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Source: Heavy Sports