The 2023 NFL regular season is almost here, and not much in life has ever felt like a longer wait. This offseason has been weird. I pray Bills Mafia is too hungover in 2024 from all the Super Bowl partying to generate the same exorbitant amounts of stupidity as in 2023. Next offseason is a long way away, and what we’ve all been drooling for is finally so close we can taste it, so let’s focus on the here and now…and winning money.
In this piece, we’re going to walk through some season-long win totals. I’ve got four wins total recommendations, including the Bills.
A key point to remember is that season-long bets tie up those funds for the whole year. Depending on how fluid your bankroll is, don’t get so excited about season-long stuff that you don’t have enough units remaining to play with throughout the regular season.
First Things First
Here are a few rules to keep your betting a fun, enjoyable hobby.
- Never bet more than you can afford to lose.
- Don’t chase a bet.
- Don’t bet on what you don’t understand
- Check the other sportsbooks’ lines
- See Rule #1.
If you think you might have a gambling problem, please contact any of these agencies for help.
National Council on Problem Gambling: 1-800-522-4700.
Gambling Anonymous National Hotline: (888) GA-HELPS (888-424-3577)
Gambling Assistance Hotline: (800) 522-4700
Lastly, these are recommendations, not guarantees. Act accordingly.
When you consider betting win totals, don’t just do it by feel. Don’t get caught in your favorite betting app scrolling through futures, and think, “The Vikings won 13 games last year – they’ll totally go over 8.5.” This is how we lose. This Vikings’ bet would ignore all the underlying metrics that said Minnesota was crazy lucky last year and pretends that the offseason doesn’t exist (actually, that sounds like a nice way to live). These four totals recommendations all start with factoring in the 2023 schedule, player loss and acquisition, coaching changes, and injuries.
We’ll start with the schedule.
I went through and predicted every game of the season. You don’t need to do all of that, but you will want to look at the schedule of any team you’re thinking about trusting with your money. This exercise lets me see where I think the lines are the most off. I compare my win totals to current lines (in this case at Daft Kings) and calculate the difference. We can pretty much throw out anything that is within 0.5 either way. Given the variability and unpredictability in the season, that slim difference isn’t a big enough buffer – at least not for me.
- -3.5 Carolina
- -3.5 Las Vegas
- -3.5 Tampa Bay
- +2.5 Buffalo
- +2.5 Cincinnati
- +2.5 Green Bay
These are the teams we’ll start with. You might use a different approach to identify the teams you want to target – say you want to bet the Pats under for instance – just make sure you do some type of investigation before you commit your cash.
First, let’s make some eliminations, The chart suggests I believe in Cincinnati and Green Bay more than Vegas. Green Bay is an easy elimination because of their wild card at QB in Jordan Love. Our boy Chris Chous is confident in Love for this year, and with 10 perceived wins, I clearly expect him to perform at an above-average level. We have no on-field evidence to support that expectation though, so while I won’t be surprised if the Packers make the playoffs, I’m not going to throw money after Love when we have an equal amount of evidence to say he might break your heart. So, yes, you can’t buy me Love.
Cincy is a real temptation, but the schedule and the division are tough, I have the Bengals going 4-2 in the AFC North, but 3-3 or even 2-4 is easily plausible given high expectations for Baltimore and an always solid D in Pittsburgh. Cincy also has an essentially brand-new defensive backfield. Lou Anarumo deserves all the flowers he gets right now, and Bengal’s fans should believe he can rebuild that secondary as fast as anybody, but they might unexpectedly lose an early game or two while figuring things out in the back end. I also gave them wins against the Bills and Jaguars, and it doesn’t take too much imagination to see how those could be Bengals’ losses. There is more reason to be a Bengals believer, but others can take that risk.
If I weren’t a Bills fan, I’d probably take my own advice and avoid this total for some of the same reasons to avoid the Bengals. The division and schedule are R O U G H. Bills Mafia deserves a call on this total though, and we’re taking the over. Duh. Despite obvious wish casting, there are real reasons to think the Bills can blow by 10.5 wins. Fully healthy seasons from Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer, Tre White, and, um, a little guy named Josh Allen are some of the biggest reasons to take this over. The bad injury luck can’t be that bad again, can it?
If you’re a Cover 1 1nsider, you already know the Bills intimately, so we won’t cover every offseason acquisition, but the three that matter most are Connor McGovern, O’Cyrus Torrence on the OL, and Dalton Kincaid as a pass catcher. A player like Taylor Rapp matters, but bringing improved OL play and increased diversity to the offense are the keys to taking the Bills’ O to an even higher level.
Recommendation: Bills’ Win Total Over 10.5, -150, 1u
The rest of the strongest differentials are unders on bad teams.
As much as we believe in Frank Reich, this Panthers team will struggle as long as their OL struggles, which could very well be all season. They added Adam Thielen and DJ Chark, who would both make good number two WRs, but one of them is going to be one of the lesser WR1s in the NFL. Hayden Hurst is an “oh, he’s here now?” guy. The prime pick-up is of course Bryce Young, the number one pick in the 2023 draft. Carolina has done a good job of initially surrounding him with solid but not explosive skill players.
Looking at their schedule, maybe you could toss them additional wins against Atlanta, Tampa Bay, and Tennessee…and you’d still win with the under.
Recommendation: Panthers’ Win Total Under 7.5, -125, 1u
We’re not gonna waste much time on the Raiders. This franchise has no discernible direction, and Josh McDaniels is not a leader of men. The story could end there, but it should also be mentioned that Vegas is placing oft-injured, immobile Jimmy Garappolo behind a line that includes Bills’ cast off Greg Van Roten AS THE ONLY RG ON THE DEPTH CHART, and a human named Jermaine Eluemunor at RT. If the 10 games Jimmy is healthy for don’t overlap with some of their weakest opponents, the Raiders could go winless.
Recommendation: Raiders Win Total Under 6.5, -130, 1u
Tampa Bay named Baker Mayfield its starting QB, but maybe its skill players and defense aren’t getting enough credit. Wins versus Chicago, Houston, Indy, and Carolina wouldn’t be shocking. The Bucs retained both Jamel Dean and Lavonte David, which speaks well for their D. However, they moved All World RT Tristan Wirfs to LT, and he has talked openly about the struggles of switching sides.
This is also a team being led by Todd Bowles and Baker. If you’re worried about the under, just read that sentence again. The highlight of their season was creamsicle day.
HAPPY CREAMSICLE DAY 🧡 pic.twitter.com/eVZbALdm2C
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) August 14, 2023
Recommendation: Buccaneers Win Total Under 8.5, -140, 0.5u
Betting unders isn’t that much fun…until you profit. Bet the Bills’ over and pray for a healthy season.
Watch for a season-long props article coming soon.