Start betting like a PRO

Expect Win-Total Regression From Last Season’s Best NFL Teams


Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady

  • In 2017, the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles all won 13 games.
  • Since 2003, 33 teams have won 13 or more games and none of them improved their record the following season.

The New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings all won 13 games in 2017, and NFL bettors should expect them to regress this season.

This was the first time since 2011 that four teams won 13 or more games in the same season and just the third time it happened since the league expanded to 32 teams in 2002.

In the previous two instances (2007 and 2011), each team failed to match the previous season’s win total. In fact, on average those teams won 9.9 games the next year, a decrease of three wins.

The NFL and regression go hand in hand. Teams that finish one year with a winning record tend to regress to the mean (8-8 record).

The same is true for losing teams. After pulling data from Bet Labs from 2003 to 2017, here is what history can tell us about each NFL team’s chances of improving or declining in 2018 based on last year’s record:

The Pats, Eagles, Steelers and Vikings are likely to take a step back. Since 2003, 33 teams have won 13 or more games. None of those squads improved their records the following year, and on average those teams won 9.6 games.

At the bottom of the league, the Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, New York Giants and Cleveland Browns won four or fewer games.

Since 2003, 71 teams have finished a season with a 4-12 record or worse. The next season, those same teams won 6.7 games on average.

>> For a LIMITED TIME, get Action Network PRO for just $3.99/month

All teams, including the best and worst squads in the NFL tend to regress toward 8-8.

The oddsmakers know this and have posted win totals lower than the 2017 records for the Patriots, Eagles, Steelers and Vikings and higher for the Colts, Texans, Giants and Browns.

There is no guarantee that a team such as the Pats won’t finish with the best record in football and the Browns could get the first pick in the draft again, but regression is king in the NFL.

Look for the best teams to fall back to the pack and the league’s worst to take a step forward.

How would you rate this article?

Top Offers

Odds Boosts
See More >
Odds boosts are simply regular bets offered at enticing odds. They're available to everyone and there's no limit to how many you can bet.
Sportsbook Reviews
See More >
Discover the best online sports betting sites and take advantage of bonus offers from legal sportsbooks.
Expert Picks
See More >
See what plays the Action Network experts are making for all of today's games.
PRO Membership
See More >
Access betting systems and signals to get daily, actionable picks.
Download the App
See More >
Download the Action app to track all your bets in one place. Exclusive data helped you make smarter betting decisions.
See More >
The best sports betting newsletter with trends, insights and news - condensed in a two-minute read.
Live Odds
See More >
See live odds and the best lines for every game.

Follow Us On Social

Top Stories