NFL Win Totals Heavily Over-Rated by Public Bettors

NFL Win Totals Heavily Over-Rated by Public Bettors article feature image

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) in the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium.

  • Twenty-five of the 32 teams are getting more bets on the over for this season's win totals.
  • The Seahawks and Bills are the only two teams getting more than 75% of bets on the under, while eight teams have more than 75% on the over.

If you’ve ever wondered whether bettors fall into the glass half-full or glass half-empty demographic, they’re most certainly a glass half-full bunch.

I’d go as far as saying they’re a borderline euphoric group of lads and lassies with delusions of grandeur that would have psychiatrists penning SSRI scripts faster than you can say disorganized schizophrenia.

After reading Danny Donahue’s piece on the Texans’ win total, I perused the win totals and came across a very interesting trend. On Tuesday, 26 of 32 teams had the majority of bets on the over. Clearly a group of people bet one of the teams right around the 50/50 mark to sabotage my article idea so there are only 25 now.

I’m no mathematician, but I doubt 25 teams can go over their projected win total. Only so many wins to go around, you know? I also doubt that one individual person bet more than 20 overs. Irregardless, the staunchly positive stance that the market has taken as a whole will likely open up some opportunities for under bettors.

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Here are the seven teams for those who can’t figure out the sort function in the table:

  • Seattle: 23.1%
  • Buffalo: 23.4%
  • Tampa Bay: 39.5%
  • Cleveland: 42.7%
  • Oakland: 47.2%
  • Miami: 47.8%
  • Jacksonville: 48.8%

There are two teams specifically that the public heavily believes will go under, with one (Buffalo) not coming as a shock at all and the other (Seattle) perhaps very surprising to folks.

The Bills somehow managed nine wins last year despite a -57 point differential, which was worse than the five-win Bears and Buccaneers.

Meanwhile, folks must be expecting the end of the Seahawks’ run. Seattle finished with nine wins last year but is going to be in a tough division with nowhere near the defensive corps of yesteryear.

Those two are the only teams with 75% or more on the under, whereas eight teams have at least 75% on the over, led by the Saints at 86.2%. Twenty-one teams have at least 60% on the over, while just three have such support on the under. You get the gist.

Much like actual totals in games, where overs are favored more than 80% of the time, the betting market wants the positive side of the action. It’s easier to root for wins than losses, I suppose.

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