LAS VEGAS -- Since the NFL released its schedule Wednesday night, you're sure to hear a lot more about teams' over/under season win totals.
These bets used to be aimed at Vegas summertime tourists and would be shaded to the "over" in most cases, as fans would bet on their favorite teams. However, the popularity of over/under win totals has increased in recent years, as fans have recognized the value of being able to place a future wager on a team without having to pick the team to win the Super Bowl. And unlike traditional odds to win the Super Bowl, they can bet against a team having a good year by betting the under and having their opinion rewarded.
Last year, the Atlantis in Reno pushed the envelope by posting over/under season win totals on May 9, but this year the CG Technology books (formerly Cantor Gaming) beat that by two months by posting the first numbers on March 7, even before the free-agent signing period. The South Point posted theirs on March 16, and now with the official schedules out we're sure to see a lot more in the coming weeks, especially after the draft on May 8-10.
Let's look at each team's over/under win totals (according to South Point) and see where the value lies. Like last year, I'll mark my "best bets" with an asterisk (*) -- though at this point, most of my bets will come if the market moves the number away from my preferred side.
Note: Teams are grouped by division and in order of each team's projected wins.
2013 record: 12-4
2014 over/under: 10.5 (over -150/under +130)
The Patriots aren't the dynasty they were once considered to be, but they know how to rack up wins in the regular season. The addition of cornerback Darrelle Revis certainly helps the defense and you know Tom Brady & Co. will continue to put up points whether or not Rob Gronkowski is healthy. The Pats are still the class of the division by a wide margin.
Tuley's take: Over 10.5 (but don't like the added juice)
2013 record: 8-8
2014 over/under: 7.5 (over -110/under -110)