The 2012 NFL season is still three months away from kick-off, but as early as now, Vegas sports books are releasing the first set of lines for the year: Team Win Totals.
The biggest win totals for the new season were handed down to the two prohibitive Super Bowl favorites: the New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers. Both teams opened with a win total of 12 wins a piece, a number that the two contenders easily surpassed last year with 13 and 15 wins, respectively. The chances of both teams besting that 12-win mark again will be a tough task, but one out of the two seems like a more plausible scenario.
The next number after 12 is 10, which six teams have as their team win totals. Of the Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans, New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, and San Francisco 49ers, the Saints are a curious choice to win more than 10 games considering the chaotic off-season they’re having, especially with no Sean Payton for the entire year and contract talks with Drew Brees still at an impasse.
Meanwhile, the defending Super Bowl champions, the New York Giants, have been curiously listed at 9.5 wins, a number it shares with the up-and-coming Detroit Lions and the Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos.
Traditionally, anything below the 9.5 wins total is where the value bets come into the picture. Leading the way at 9 total wins are the Atlanta Falcons, the Chicago Bears, and the San Diego Chargers.
Teams listed at 8.5 wins include the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Jets, two teams that will figure prominently in the headlines for a lot of football – and non-football – reasons. Our hunch is that one of these teams will underachieve, and if you want to know which one, it’s that team that already has a quarterback controversy three months before the season even starts.
Meanwhile, the Kansas City Chiefs have been slotted in at 8 total wins, followed by three teams getting 7.5 wins: the Carolina Panthers, the Miami Dolphins, and the Cincinnati Bengals.
From there, five teams are pasted with 7 total wins – the Arizona Cardinals, the Buffalo Bills, the Seattle Seahawks, the Oakland Raiders, and the Tennessee Titans – whereas four teams have been tagged with 6.5 wins – the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Minnesota Vikings, the St. Louis Rams, and the Washington Redskins.
Occupying the bottom end of the team totals are three teams that have been given 5.5 wins: the Cleveland Browns, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Andrew-Luck led Indianapolis Colts.