The start of the NFL season is swiftly approaching, which means bettors only have a few more days to wager on the NFL’s 32 clubs’ over/under win totals.
Every year, there are sleepers and underdogs who go unrecognized leading up to the NFL season. The season of 2021 will be no different, and bettors will have a lot more data on which to make their predictions.
There will be no preseason in 2020. This year’s preseason revealed which teams are performing well, which teams are rested, and which young players and rookie coaches have had their fair share of problems. When considering each team’s season-long prospects, the knowledge gained from such games is crucial.
It’s also worth noting that the NFL’s schedule for 2021 has been expanded to 17 games. As a result, some win totals will appear to be higher than usual, although this is due to the extra game played throughout the season. To put it another way, don’t fall into the trap of betting the underdog simply because the win total is “too high” when compared to recent seasons.
Before the NFL season begins, take a look at some of the finest over/under bets.
New York Giants over/under best bet: UNDER 7 (+110)
The Giants performed admirably in Joe Judge’s first season as coach, although they finished with a 6-10 record. There’s a chance they’ll make some progress, but will it be enough to improve their record? That’s a large issue, and the answer is simple: it depends on the offensive.
On that side of the ball, the Giants have a lot of questions right now. Is Daniel Jones capable of taking the next step? Will Saquon Barkley and Kenny Golladay be able to regain and maintain their health? Will the Giants’ offensive line, especially left tackle Andrew Thomas, be able to keep up? All of these concerns, particularly those on the offensive line, are valid.
It will be difficult for Jones to take a step forward if the Giants can’t block well. It will also be difficult for Barkley to find enough room to run. As a result, we have reservations about trusting them as a seven-win team in 2021. We’ll go with the under here, as the Giants appear to be the third-best club in their division, trailing only Dallas and Washington. They also have a difficult schedule that pits them against both the Chiefs and the Buccaneers, who were both Super Bowl participants last year.
Cleveland Browns over/under best bet: OVER 10.5 (-105)
In many ways, the Browns are the polar antithesis of the Giants. They have so few offensive questions that they should be one of the best and most balanced teams in the league. They have a strong offensive line and a rookie quarterback (Baker Mayfield) who improved dramatically last season. With Odell Beckham Jr. back in the lineup, this offense has a lot of potential.
Above all, the Browns boast a fantastic offensive line, which may be the greatest in the NFL. They’re returning all five starters up front, and after a full year of playing together, they should only get better. This provides them a good starting point.
Cleveland’s defense is the more pressing concern. However, the Browns have upgraded their pass rush by signing Jadeveon Clowney and adding crucial players in the secondary (Greg Newsome, Troy Hill, and John Johnson). Although linebacker remains a weak place, Cleveland has enough role players to construct a strong committee.
Overall, the Browns have a good, well-rounded roster that should be among the best in the AFC. It’s a good likelihood that they’ll win 11 games this season, especially because they’ll face the Bengals and a depleted Steelers squad twice. The Texans and Lions should also help them boost their ceiling.
Pittsburgh Steelers over/under best bet: UNDER 8.5 (-130)
The Steelers, in particular, appear to be a tempting underdog. Although they started the 2020 season 11-0, they fell 1-5 in their last six games, including a humiliating playoff loss to the Browns.
This wager is all on Ben Roethlisberger fading. The veteran quarterback has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career, and at 39, it’s reasonable to wonder if he’ll ever fully recover. During his little preseason play, he looked good, but his arm strength isn’t what it once was.
The Steelers are also starting an almost entirely new offensive line, which may slow Najee Harris and put pass rush pressure on Big Ben if they struggle.
Pittsburgh still has some room for improvement. The Steelers boast a fantastic receiving corps as well as a formidable defense. However, this club has enough flaws to expect a sub-.500 finish, especially in a division with the Ravens and Browns.
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Arizona Cardinals over/under best bet: OVER 8.5 (+105)
The Cardinals appear to be getting a great deal here. Despite the fact that the squad concluded last season with an 8-8 record, the bookies do not appear to believe the team will improve. It’s difficult to comprehend why.
During the offseason, Arizona added a lot of talent to its roster. The front seven comprises J.J. Watt and Zaven Collins. That should aid the Cardinals’ pass rush, and while Malcolm Butler’s unexpected retirement will impact the secondary, Robert Alford’s comeback could help compensate.
Arizona’s offense is dynamic, and they’ve added center Rodney Hudson to the mix. The Cardinals’ trench play should improve as a result of this. Meanwhile, Kyler Murray is surrounded by a slew of weaponry. The Cardinals have a good chance of winning double digit games if he stays healthy.
Of course, the Cardinals play in the NFC West, which is shaping up to be the hardest division in the league. Even if they have their share of problems, they have the talent to beat the 49ers, Seahawks, and Rams, and they can take advantage of the other 11 matches on their schedule.
Houston Texans over/under best bet: UNDER 4 (+100)
On the off event that Deshaun Watson does play for the Texans this season, some may not want to take this risk. Houston, on the other hand, is a disaster. In 2020, it went 4-12 and has done little to improve the team’s prospects.
Tyrod Taylor appears to be the favorite to start as quarterback right now. Running backs David Johnson, Phillip Lindsay, and Mark Ingram will be a mix of veterans. The receiving corps is also nothing to brag about. On defense, they’ll have a slew of new starters as Lovie Smith tries to figure out how to make the personnel work.
The Texans don’t have a lot of top-tier talent. They will be battling for playing time with a large number of role players, thus they may play hard. At the same time, they won’t be able to compete with the greatest teams in the NFL, especially with Taylor and Davis Mills as the team’s starting quarterbacks.
If Watson’s situation changes, betting the over here would be appealing. For the time being, feel free to fade the Texans. In 2021, they stand a legitimate probability of going winless.
Los Angeles Rams over/under best bet: OVER 10.5 (+120)
The Rams are the second NFC West team to make this list, and their worth may be argued to be even higher than the Cardinals’. Sure, the Cardinals only need to win nine games to break the over/under, but the Rams might easily win 11 in 2021. They’re a worthwhile purchase with this much juice.
During the offseason, Los Angeles made a significant addition to its roster by acquiring Matthew Stafford. The veteran quarterback has long been overlooked in Detroit, but he will now have the opportunity to work alongside Sean McVay in an offense that boasts two top-tier weapons in Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp.
With stronger coaching and a better supporting cast, Stafford may have a career year. And the Rams are receiving a significant boost over Jared Goff, who won 10 games for them in 2020 despite his inconsistency. Stafford should help the Rams boost their floor and ceiling, while new defensive coordinator Raheem Morris will make sure the defense doesn’t crumble after Brandon Staley leaves.
The Rams, like the Cardinals, play in a tough division, but they have one of the best teams in the league. If Stafford stays healthy, the Rams will have a chance to win 11 games and compete for the division title.