Panthers Up, Patriots Down As NFL Win Total Odds Shift During Offseason  

Updated on

Panthers Up, Patriots Down As NFL Win Total Odds Shift During Offseason

Over the course of the lengthy NFL offseason, there’s no shortage of opinions on the state of the league’s 32 teams. As pundits repeatedly state their cases on which teams are on the rise or decline, there’s a simple way to cut to the chase and get a benchmark on expectations for the coming campaign. 

NFL win total odds have been out for a few months, providing plenty of time for bettors to weigh in. Sportsbooks have reacted and adjusted the odds accordingly, and have also shifted certain teams’ lines for total wins.

Carolina win odds up, while New England drops 

There are two components to wagering on total wins at NFL betting sites: the line for the number of wins, and the odds for wagering over or under that line. The odds can move in response to how people are betting, but the lines for most teams stay still after the initial release.  

To date, BetMGM Sportsbook has adjusted the lines for just two teams. The Carolina Panthers were initially at 4.5 wins. Bettors have leaned toward the over, so much so that the sportsbook has bumped the number up to 5.5 wins as the club tries to rebound under new head coach Dave Canales.

This will be the first NFL season with legal sports betting in North Carolina, which could lead to a further spike in interest in the local team. The Panthers have the third-most-bet win total in terms of tickets at BetMGM, behind only the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears

The line on the New England Patriots has moved in the opposite direction. After it opened at 5.5 wins, BetMGM has shifted the forecast down to 4.5. Jerod Mayo will be taking over on the sidelines, and expectations are muted for the first year of the post-Bill Belichick era. Perhaps not coincidentally, Massachusetts is one of the most recent states to introduce sports betting, launching its market in 2023.

The Panthers and Patriots are two of three teams with a line for total wins of 5.5 or less at BetMGM. The Denver Broncos round out the trio and also have tempered expectations, partly due to the uncertainty at QB following Russell Wilson’s departure to the Steelers.   

Significant odds movement for several teams

For most teams, the odds haven’t shifted too far since the initial release. As an example, BetMGM’s odds for the Baltimore Ravens to go under 11.5 wins were first listed at -150 and now stand at -160. 

However, a handful of teams have seen significant movement. These moves correlate with the betting handle percentage for those squads, which indicates where the public betting money has been heading. 

The Bills have won 11 or more games — and the AFC East title — for four straight seasons. Offseason wagering at BetMGM suggests that bettors see the potential for a step back as the team heads into another campaign.

There appears to be more optimism for the Bears following the team’s selection of Caleb Williams with the first overall pick at the NFL Draft. The Browns were a playoff team last season but exited early at the hands of the Texans. 

Cleveland won 11 games and made it to the postseason in spite of a season-ending injury to Deshaun Watson in Week 10. As for Houston, the Texans were one of last season’s biggest surprises, going 10-7 and winning the AFC South. 

The Jets entered last season with high hopes, but those dreams were quickly dashed when Aaron Rodgers was injured in the opener. Expectations are heightened in New York once again, with Rodgers due back under center in NFL Week 1 action.   

Which teams are attracting the most betting? 

At Fanatics Sportsbook, the Steelers top the charts in terms of overall betting interest. Pittsburgh accounts for the most overall betting handle at the sportsbook, as well as the most handle on under for the team’s line of 8.5 wins. 

On the other side, the Bears at 8.5 have attracted the most handle on over. Two other clubs stand out due to a significant of betting on one side of the equation: 99% of Panthers handle is on over 4.5 or 5.5 wins, while 97.2% of Falcons handle has been on under 9.5. 

Fanatics also shared that Illinois is the state with the most wagering interest thus far. The state has accounted for 18.4% of all tickets and 27.8% of the handle for the sportsbook’s NFL win total lines, perhaps helping to explain the high interest in the Bears.  

What were the biggest win total surprises last season? 

NFL win totals are a great way to gauge team expectations before the season. However, it’s important to remember that they’re only projections and not necessarily a guarantee of what’s to come once the season kicks off. 

Looking back to last season, there are a few notable examples that help to reinforce that point. Heading into the campaign, the Texans had a line of 5.5 wins at most sportsbooks, tied for the lowest number in the league with the Arizona Cardinals. 

Houston went on to stun the league with a 10-7 record and an AFC South title, advancing to the divisional round of the playoffs before losing to the Ravens. Meanwhile, the low expectations for the Cardinals were on the money, as the team finished at 4-13. 

The Ravens’ win total line was also off the mark. The team had a line of 9.5 wins, but Baltimore went on to have the league’s best record at 13-4. Another significant miss was on the Panthers, with a line of 7.5 victories before a 2-15 campaign.    

Photo by Associated Press