The win total with the second-most bets on the under? That would also be the Patriots.
It's the time of year to take a stand on whether an NFL team will be better or worse than expectation. Sometimes, like in the Patriots example, bettors are split. The beauty of win total bets is we get to see them unfold over an entire season.
Here are the best win total bets from Yahoo Sports' Nick Bromberg, Frank Schwab and Scott Pianowski (we shared our best bets for MVP and other awards last week):
What are your favorite over bets for win totals?
NIck Bromberg: Anthony Richardson isn’t going to have a smooth rookie season. But I think the Colts have a decent enough roster around him that over 6.5 wins at -120 is worth the bet given the presence of the Titans and Texans in the division. There’s a path to the Colts finishing second in the AFC South. I also think the Rams over 6.5 wins is a solid bet. That team still doesn’t have much depth but it should benefit from some better injury luck in 2023.
Frank Schwab: My favorite over is the Packers at 7.5. Everyone seems to assume Jordan Love will be bad, but I don’t know why they are so certain. We have barely seen him play. He was a first-round pick for a reason, and he has looked much improved this preseason. And the rest of the Packers’ roster is still pretty good. The Jaguars over at 9.5 seems to be a good bet since their division might be bad. If I like Trevor Lawrence for MVP then I better like the Jags to get to 10 wins too. I also like the Seahawks over 9.5. Facing the Rams and Cardinals should give them three wins, probably four.
Scott Pianowski: Nobody takes that 13-4 Vikings record at face value, of course. They were outscored, for crying out loud. But their number collapsed down to 8.5, and the key parts of the team appear intact. I suspect the market has overcorrected. I'm also going to punch Tennessee over 7.5 because I'd follow Mike Vrabel into a burning building.
What about the unders?
NB: I’m risking under 9.5 wins for the Chargers at +105. The schedule is tough and the Broncos should be better. I also like under 6.5 wins for the Raiders. I wouldn’t be surprised if Las Vegas started the season 0-4 with losses to the Broncos, Bills, Steelers and Chargers.
FS: I’ll be invested in those Packers-Bears games, because my favorite under is the Bears at 7.5. They won three games last season and while they’re improved, asking for a five-game improvement is a lot. They didn’t improve that much. I also like the Titans under 7.5, though fading Mike Vrabel (and Pianowski) scares me, and the Rams under 6.5, though fading Sean McVay scares me. But both of those rosters have some huge holes, and coaching can’t fix it all.
SP: I don't understand the Browns at 9.5. Nobody thinks they're better than Cincinnati or Baltimore, and Pittsburgh could be better than Cleveland, too. The Browns have one winning season in 15 years, and although past rosters don't matter to the current setup, this number assumes Deshaun Watson takes a major step forward. Sure, it's possible. But I can't view it like it's a fait accompli. I dare you to win 10 games and take my money, Cleveland.
Any other record-related prop bets?
NB: I’m intrigued by some of the more extreme totals at BetMGM. A 10-7 season for the Vikings is at +150 and worth a flier, even if you think their performance last year was a bit of a fluke. Under 7.5 wins for the New England Patriots at -150 also feels like a solidly safe bet given just how good the AFC East appears to be.
FS: One that stands out is Jaguars for most regular season wins at +1600. This has been the most popular bet in this market at BetMGM and I can see why. The AFC South might get swept by the Jaguars. It’s hard to see any other team in the AFC doing that. I don’t love anyone in the NFC other than the Eagles. But if you’re worried about someone in the NFC beating up a soft conference, betting Jaguars to get the No. 1 seed in the AFC at +1000 also makes sense. I don’t think Jacksonville is the best team, just that their schedule could lead to a surprising record.
SP: I am interested in the Eagles at +700 to bag the best record. The schedule is a trifle harder than average, but not ridiculous – NFC conference life won’t allow it. There's a gauntlet waiting in the second half — starting in Week 11, the Eagles play Kansas City, Buffalo, San Francisco, Dallas, and Seattle. But they could easily be 8-1 or 7-2 before that meat grinder, and the bye week is well-spotted for Week 10.