Prior to every NFL season, oddsmakers at online sportsbooks come up with regular-season win totals for all 32 teams in the league.
The totals are usually set at half-numbers – somewhere between 4.5 and 12.5 – and bettors pick whether they believe any individual team will go over or under their particular win total.
The win totals are usually pretty accurate. Teams will often finish within a game or two of the preseason projection. They also provide something of a road map for the terrain ahead.
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If the 2019 NFL win totals listed at Sports Betting Dime prove prescient, here are a few things fans are likely to see this year.
Browns Win First Division Title Since 1989
The Cleveland Browns have not won a division title since they were the original Browns, i.e. the team that moved to Baltimore in 1996. But with Baker Mayfield looking like a future MVP, Odell Beckham added to the receiving corps, and the defense filled with top-five draft picks, this could be the year.
Cleveland’s win total of 9.0 is tied for the highest in the AFC North with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the oddsmakers believe it is slightly more likely that the Browns finish with a better record. Bettors have to wager at least $125 on the Cleveland over to win $100. But they only have to bet $100 on Pittsburgh to win the same.
The Baltimore Ravens (8.0) and Cincinnati Bengals (6.0) round out the AFC North win totals.
The Miami Dolphins Will Get the No. 1 Draft Pick
It’s no secret that the Miami Dolphins are starting a rebuild this year. The oddsmakers certainly think so, at least, setting their win total at an NFL-low 4.5 wins.
While they managed a 7-9 record last year, they also had a negative-117 point differential, third-worst in the league. They lost a number of key contributors in the offseason, including former starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, ageless running back Frank Gore, wide receiver Danny Amendola, offensive linemen Ja’Wuan James and Josh Sitton, and ageing-but-still-effective edge rusher Cam Wake.
Brian Flores’ first season on the sideline is going to be a long one.
The Patriots Win Their 11th Straight AFC East Crown
The New England Patriots are the reigning Super Bowl champion and have now won 10 straight division titles.
With Miami rebuilding and the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets both trotting out second-year starting quarterbacks surrounded by mid-level talent, the Pats are widely expected to make it 11 in a row.
The loss of Rob Gronkowski to retirement gives this team a different feel, but with an NFL-high win total of 11.0, oddsmakers don’t see it being a huge negative.
Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, Sony Michel, and a number of talented pieces on defense should help the Patriots cruise to another first-round bye in the AFC. The Jets and Bills have the second-highest win total in the division, both at 7.0, followed by the previously-discussed Dolphins at 4.5.
The Packers Get Back to the Playoffs
With Aaron Rodgers healthy, the Green Bay Packers were supposed to get back to the postseason last year. But a miserable 6-9-1 campaign led to the termination of longtime head coach Mike McCarthy. Now, 39-year-old Matt LaFleur gets his first crack at an NFL head coaching job, and the Packers win total is a solid 9.5.
That’s even with the reigning NFC North-champion Chicago Bears and higher than the stacked Minnesota Vikings (9.0). In the NFC, only the Los Angeles Rams (10.5) and New Orleans Saints (10.5) are expected to win more games.