2021 NFL Win Totals (Over or Under for each team?)
2021 NFL Win Totals
A Pick for Each Team (Over or Under?)
by Professor MJ
Welcome to my annual picks for each of the NFL’s 32 teams regular season wins!!!
Will they go over or under their respective 2021 total wins set by odds makers?
Here are some preliminary explanations that will help you understand this document, so that you can use the information wisely.
You will find below 32 tables, one for each team. Let me explain the meaning of some of the table columns.
“Best odds” column
The odds posted below in this document were seen on August 31, 2021.
Here are the 11 online sportsbooks I considered:
- William Hill
- Unibet / 888sport
“Estimated probability based on 1M simulated seasons” column
The BetMGM and bwin sportsbooks released their point spreads for all 272 regular season games (32 teams * 17 games / 2) for the upcoming 2021 season.
Each point spread can easily be converted into a probability. For example, if the home team is a 6-point favorite, it means they hold a 70.7% chance of winning the game, while the visiting team obviously has a 29.3% probability of getting the W. Many websites show how to convert a NFL point spread into an implied probability.
I used the statistical software called R in order to simulate the 2021 season game-by-game by using the probabilities described above. As a matter of fact, I simulated the upcoming season one million times!
Then, the program counted the number of times each team exceeded its projected win total, and the number of times it did NOT exceed it.
For example, suppose a given team has a win total of 9.5. If, during the one million simulated seasons, they won 10 games or more on 536,000 occasions whereas they won 9 games or less 464,000 times, then the “Estimated probability based on 1M simulated seasons” becomes 53.6% on the over versus 46.4% on the under.
“Min. acceptable odds” column
The column entitled “Min. acceptable odds” tells you exactly what are the lowest odds you could accept if betting on the corresponding over or under.
I’m not going to go over the mathematical details, but I simply converted the estimated probabilities above into odds (feel free to read this article to find out how).
In the previous fictitious example, a 53.6% probability corresponds to -116 odds, while a 46.4% probability corresponds to +116. Those are what I consider to be the “fair odds” (i.e. if the bookie didn’t have a vigorish).
This means that you should bet the over only if the odds are -116 or better (i.e. -116, -115, -114, etc).
Similarly, it is recommended to bet the under only if the odds are +116 or better (i.e. +116, +117, +118, etc).
All right, it’s time to go over each team to find out whether it is preferable to bet the over or the under for their 2021 number of regular season wins!
MJ’s Comments: Aaron Rodgers will be very motivated to show he is still an elite quarterback. After mentioning he would not play for the Green Bay Packers again, he opted to return for the team. That will probably be his last year as a Packer, so he hopes to get many lucrative contract offers during the next offseason as a free agent.
The outlook for this season is also good when you consider most of last year’s players are back. The team posted a 13-3 record in 2020, so things are looking up for the team from the Frozen Tundra.
That being said, Green Bay faces the 4th-most difficult schedule in 2021. Also, the lines on the over and under are very similar from one sportsbook to the other. I did not see any “bargain” regarding the Packers win total.
According to the simulations, betting the under at +110 odds yields an expected ROI of +0.4%. Such a tiny profit does not get me excited at all.
MJ’s Final Betting Tip: Stay away.
MJ’s Comments: The best news of all for Jets fans was the firing of Adam Gase. In my opinion, he was the worst NFL head coach by a wide margin.
After going 2-14 last year, things can only go up, right?
Rookie QB Zach Wilson has shown good things during preseason games. The team’s win total is set a 6. Can Wilson lead them to a 7-10 record?
I’m not so sure. The RB position is a question mark with a committee of 3-4 potential starters. The WR group is below average. So is the offensive line.
On the defensive side of the ball, New York lost two of its pass rushers to injuries during training camp (Carl Lawson and Vinny Curry). They are done for the season.
MJ’s Final Betting Tip: Bet under 6 wins @ -105 odds. Do not accept odds that are worse than -110.
All of the sportsbooks I looked at had the “under” as a favorite, while FanDuel differs from everyone else with the over @ -115 odds versus the under @ -105 odds.
According to the simulations, betting the under at such odds generates a ROI of +3.1%. While it’s not very high, it also agrees with my assessment of this team. They are headed in the right direction, but it will be super tough for them to win 7 games this year.
MJ’s Comments: This team is clearly on the up and up since drafting Kyler Murray as their franchise quarterback. They won 8 games last year, and their win total for 2021 is 8.5. Will they exceed it or not?
We have an arbitrage opportunity by betting the over @ +105 odds with FanDuel and the under @ +106 odds with Bookmaker. One of these two lines has to be soft and exploitable.
My belief is the over is the correct play here.
First of all, Pinnacle and Bookmaker are known to have the sharpest odds on the planet. Whenever one of these two sportsbooks strongly disagrees with another one, chance are you are better off taking the bet with the other bookie. In this case, I suspect FanDuel has the weak line.
My simulations also agree with this assessment, as shown by the +3.5% ROI on the over.
MJ’s Final Betting Tip: Bet over 8.5 wins @ +105 odds. Do not accept odds that are worse than +100.
I’d be cautious here, though. Not only is the ROI relatively small, but Arizona plays in a tough division. Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles all have a decent chance of winning this division. No easy games there.
MJ’s Comments: We have another arbitrage opportunity, which means we could bet both the over and the under while guaranteeing ourselves a net profit.
Strangely enough, Bookmaker is the one with the out of whack line. They are offering +119 odds on the under, while the other 10 sportsbooks considered in this study did not have a line bigger than +100.
The Raiders picked up 8 wins last year and they now have the 8th-most difficult schedule. Derek Carr is an ordinary QB and he has one of the weakest WR groups in the NFL. And they have a fairly bad offensive line.
For these reasons, my gut feeling would go on the “under.” However, in order to win this bet, you need the team to go 6-11 or worse. That’s a possible scenario, but I’m not super confident.
MJ’s Final Betting Tip: Stay away.
Going against Bookmaker is rarely a good idea.
MJ’s Comments: The Giants won 6 games last year; the line is set at 7 for the upcoming season.
The one million simulated seasons believe betting the under yields a +6.4% ROI at +118 odds with Unibet (which usually have the same lines as 888sport among many others).
That could be a fair bet. Daniel Jones turns the ball over way too often. Saquon Barkley is an amazing player, but many guys struggle in their first year after a major ACL injury. He should be fine in 2022, but I don’t expect him to be as explosive this year.
Evan Engram is a perennial disappointment. Adding Kenny Golladay was a good move, but QB play remains the problem. And the offensive line won’t be good either.
I like how the defense fought last year, but they are not among the best in the NFL either. I see them in the middle of the pack.
MJ’s Final Betting Tip: Bet under 7 wins @ +118 odds. Do not accept odds that are worse than +110.
It’s not a great betting play, but still profitable in my opinion. Being on the opposite side of Bookmaker reinforces my confidence.
MJ’s Comments: The simulations recommend taking the under, but don’t pull the trigger too fast.
The Browns racked up 11 wins last year. NFL teams now play an additional game. But Cleveland’s win total is set at 10.5. Betting the under would not make me feel comfortable at all.
The Browns have a top OL (possibly the very best in the league). I don’t like how Baker Mayfield acts off the field, but he showed some progress last year on the field. The team has an outstanding duo of running backs with Chubb and Hunt. They also have decent targets in the passing game.
And their defense has what may be the top pass rusher in the game, Myles Garrett. He is a beast!
MJ’s Final Betting Tip: Stay away.
I never like betting against Bookmaker, a sportsbook that has very sharp lines. And as stated above, I like the outlook of the Browns this year. Neither the over, nor the under excite me.
MJ’s Comments: The two sharpest bookies disagree with one another here!
Indeed, the best line on the over goes to Bookmaker @ -143 odds, while the highest line on the under was found with Pinnacle @ +140.
Based on Baltimore’s point spreads for their 17 games, they have a good chance of exceeding 10.5 victories.
They won 11 games last year, and they added some talent at the wide receiver position by signing Sammy Watkins and drafting Rashod Bateman. Their defense is also projected to be top notch.
However, please note that Baltimore will face the second-most difficult 2021 schedule. Ouch.
MJ’s Final Betting Tip: Stay away.
If I was forced to bet, I would go with the over for all of the reasons above. But I prefer to be conservative and keep my money for better plays. I’m not a big fan of betting at low odds like -143.
MJ’s Comments: America’s team gets an estimated ROI of +7.8% on over 9 wins this year, according to my R program that uses Dallas’ point spreads for their upcoming 17 games.
I would tend to agree here. The Cowboys have a top 10 offensive line. They have a lot of firepower on offense with Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and an amazing trio of WRs (Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup). Blake Jarwin is also a breakout candidate at the tight end position. After an injury-shortened season, Prescott will be on a mission.
The big question mark obviously concerns the defense. I truly believe it won’t be nearly as bad as last year. Lawrence and Gregory can rush the passer. Rookie Micah Parsons will be a force at linebacker. At cornerback, Trevon Diggs should take a leap in his second year in the league.
The icing on the cake is the fact that Dallas has the second-easiest schedule in the NFL.
MJ’s Final Betting Tip: Bet over 9 wins @ +100 odds. Do not accept odds that are worse than -110, though.
The Cowboys are certainly capable of winning 11 or even 12 games this year.
MJ’s Comments: The initial tip goes to the over based on the +7.8% return on investment shown in the table above.
Last year, Pittsburgh went 12-4. Since NFL teams are playing one more game this year, over 8.5 wins seems like a slam dunk, right? Not so fast…
First, the Steelers have the most difficult strength of schedule. Indeed, their 2021 opponents posted a 155-115-2 record last year, a 57.4% win percentage. That’s rough.
Also, Big Ben is getting old. Considering he moves like a statue, he has a high chance of getting hurt. If that happens, we saw how bad Mason Rudolph was. To make matters worse, many websites view Pittsburgh’s offensive line as of the bottom 2 units in the league. Good luck, Big Ben!
Many people are lured by the team’s great WR trio, but you need someone to throw the ball to them. Roethlisberger can do it, but he won’t have much time to sling it, and he is pretty likely to go down at some point.
The defense is outstanding though. And that’s one of the main reasons why I would not be the under either.
MJ’s Final Betting Tip: Stay away.
Pinnacle and Bookmaker view the lines stated in the table as being fair. No bargains here.
MJ’s Comments: We are far from having an arbitrage opportunity here with -145 and +130 lines on the over and the under, respectively.
Tampa won 11 games last year. Since the 2021 season brings one more game per team, a win total of 11.5 seems fair for this squad.
My simulations point towards betting the over. I tend to agree with this assessment.
The entire offense is back, while also adding underrated RB Giovani Bernard. He is the type of back that Tom Brady loves to have. He is a good pass blocker, and he catches the ball well out of the backfield. He could become Brady’s new James White, but an even better version. If you are doing fantasy football, I recommend Bernard as a sleeper pick.
The defense is also top notch. In other words, the lineup does not have many weaknesses.
I would not fall off my chair if this offense breaks single-season records. They should score a boatload of points.
The Bucs also have the 4th-easiest 2021 schedule!
MJ’s Final Betting Tip: Bet over 11.5 wins @ -145 odds, but go easy. And do not accept odds that are worse than -155.
While the simulations and my own personal analysis agree to bet the over, I don’t like betting such low odds. Also, if Brady goes down to an injury (which is not impossible given his age), the backup QBs are not good: Blaine Gabbert and rookie Kyle Trask.
If God guaranteed me that Brady will play the entire 2021 season, I’d be willing to bet more.
MJ’s Comments: I really like the addition of Matthew Stafford. This guy has been good all of his career, but was stuck in a bad Lions team. I’m excited to see what he can do with Sean McVay as his head coach, along with such great weapons as Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Tyler Higbee!
The team’s defense is also among the best in the NFL. No worries there.
Last year, the Rams picked up 10 wins. Can they win one more this season (don’t forget they are playing a 17th game this year)?
I believe they can, but they are facing a tough task by playing in the ultra competitive NFC West division. As a matter of fact, they have the 10th-toughest schedule in the league.
MJ’s Final Betting Tip: Bet over 10.5 wins @ +120 odds. I would not bet odds that are lower than this, and I would take a very small stab. Not one of my best plays this year.
MJ’s Comments: Indy posted an excellent 11-5 record last year. Their win total dropped to 9. What should be do?
According to my simulation program, the under is the better play.
There are a lot of uncertainties here. How will Carson Wentz do with his new team? Reuniting with Frank Reich will help him, but how well is he going to play?
The Colts have a great offensive line, but both Quentin Nelson and Eric Fisher have been banged up in camp. That raises some concerns. WR T.Y. Hilton is also projected to miss a few weeks.
MJ’s Final Betting Tip: Stay away.
I do not like the fact that there are many key unknown factors. And at the time of writing, both Pinnacle and Bookmaker had their odds off the board on the Colts.
MJ’s Comments: Right off the bat, the good news is the recommended play goes against Pinnacle: under 7.5 wins @ +115 odds with FanDuel.
However, the 2021 Falcons opponents have compiled a 123-148-1 record last season. That turns out to be the 3rd-easiest schedule. Not good if you are projecting to go with the under.
The Falcons have a below average defense.
Their starting running back, Mike Davis, is an unproven guy. Julio Jones is gone to Tennessee. Everyone is super excited about rookie tight end Kyle Pitts, but I’m not as high on him as most people. Keep in mind that rookie TEs often struggle in their first year in the NFL.
Last year, Atlanta finished with a 4-12 record.
MJ’s Final Betting Tip: Bet under 7.5 wins @ +115 odds. Do not accept odds that are worse than +110, though. Also, I am going to stick to a small amount.
MJ’s Comments: An 11.1% ROI seems very enticing on the under!
Things are not as bright as they seem, though. First, as mentioned before, betting against Pinnacle or Bookmaker is almost always a bad idea. In this case, Bookmaker has the highest line on the under, which is an unwelcome sign.
Carolina picked up 5 wins last year. Can they win three more games? I think so.
Matt Rhule will be in his second year as a head coach. He gets a new QB, Sam Darnold, who was a former #3 overall pick. I believe he was messed up by bad coaching (Adam Gase is the guilty one!). I may one of the few, but I think he could progress very rapidly in a new environment.
Darnold also has much better weapons in Carolina than he had in New York. He has a top RB with Christian McCaffrey, along with a good trio of wide receivers: D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson and rookie Terrace Marshall.
The defense has many young budding stars with Brian Burns, Derrick Brown, Jeremy Chinn and Jaycee Horn.
And they have the 7th-easiest schedule on the menu.
MJ’s Final Betting Tip: Stay away. I could see this team taking a big jump this year, so I tend to disagree with my simulations pointing in the under’s direction.
MJ’s Comments: The Dolphins surprised many people last year. They were supposed to be among the bottom teams, but they finished with a jaw-dropping 10-6 record.
Most of the success lied on Ryan Fitzpatrick’s shoulders. In his rookie season, Tua Tagovailoa was more of a game manager. He let his defense and special teams do most of the damage.
With Fitzpatrick gone to Washington, Tua becomes the clear-cut starter. From a betting perspective, I’m not sure that’s good news for 2021. He may become a good NFL quarterback sometime in the future, but he didn’t seem ready last year.
The simulations recommend grabbing under 9.5 wins, and that sounds about right to me. In order for the over to hit, Miami needs a record of 10-7 or better. That seems unlikely to me.
The offensive line projects to be a big issue for the Dolphins. The defense was outstanding last year, and I don’t believe they will do as well in 2021.
MJ’s Final Betting Tip: Bet under 9.5 wins @ -130 odds. Do not accept odds that are worse than -140.
MJ’s Comments: This one is a bit confusing. Based on Jacksonville’s point spreads for their 17 upcoming games, we should take the over @ +120 odds.
However, when looking at odds posted by 11 online sportsbooks, betting the under @ -115 odds seems like a bargain.
Indeed, Pinnacle has over @ +119 versus under @ -142. Bookmaker has over @ +119 versus under @ -146. Clearly, Intertops has a soft and exploitable -115 line on the under.
MJ’s Final Betting Tip: Stay away. As mentioned above, the line on the under is a value play, but the simulations are going with the over. Let’s not put any money at risk here.
MJ’s Comments: The Chiefs are once again projected to be among the league’s best teams. That is reflected in their high win total for 2021: over/under 12.5 wins.
According to the simulations, taking the over is the correct play. However, I’m wary of a few things.
First, finishing with a 13-4 record or better is tough, no matter how good your lineup is.
Also, what if Mahomes gets hurt? Your bet would almost be doomed with Chad Henne under center.
The offensive line has been revamped. What if it takes time before they gel together?
K.C. also has the 11th-toughest schedule on the menu.
MJ’s Final Betting Tip: Stay away. The numbers indicate to go with the over, but there’s too much risk attached to it for my own taste.
MJ’s Comments: The table above shows a 14.2% ROI on the under. I don’t mean to be a party pooper, but once again I’m pumping the brakes.
Denver won 5 games last year, so taking under 8.5 wins seems like an easy win, right? I’m not so sure…
Their defense was decimated by injuries last year. They should now be a middle-of-the-pack unit.
They have two competent QBs in Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock. If one of them gets hurt, the team won’t go through a significant downgrade.
If you are into fantasy football, I’m very high on rookie running back Javonte Williams. He will soon surpass Melvin Gordon, who is an overrated player in my opinion.
Denver also has good and young receiving threats: Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, speedster K.J. Hamler and tight end Noah Fant.
The Broncos also have the 6th-easiest schedule in 2021.
Pinnacle and Bookmaker have odds that suggest that the over @ -120 odds is a better option than taking the under @ +120 odds.
MJ’s Final Betting Tip: Stay away. If forced to bet, I would even go against the numbers and I’d go with the over.
MJ’s Comments: Would you feel good if you were to bet the under for a specific team, even though they have the easiest schedule in the entire league?
Probably not. Well, that’s exactly what is happening here.
The table above claims we hold a 14.3% return on investment if we put money on the Eagles to win less than 6.5 games this year. I’m not sure that excites me all that much, though.
Jalen Hurts showed good flashes last year. The team upgraded its receiving corps by drafting DeVonta Smith early in the draft. The team has a good backfield with Miles Sanders, Boston Scott and rookie Kenneth Gainwell (what a great last name for a RB, lol!!! He has impressed a lot during camp).
The offensive line is clearly above average. The defense struggled at time last year, but with names like Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Javon Hargrave, Darius Slay and Steven Nelson, you could do worse.
MJ’s Final Betting Tip: Stay away. The Eagles play in a weak division, and they have potential. I’m not convinced they will go 6-11 or worse during the 2021 season.
MJ’s Comments: I have mentioned a few times already how Pinnacle and Bookmaker have some of the sharpest odds on the planet. Since Bookmaker has the best odds on the under for Seattle, that would make me feel nervous.
The Seahawks won 12 games last year. They have a fairly difficult schedule, but not that bad (11th-toughest in the NFL). In order to win your bet on the under, you need them to finish with a 9-8 record or worse.
Russell Wilson, D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Chris Carson are all fantastic players. The organization added Gerald Everett at the tight end position; he was great with the Rams. In other words, the offense should be firing on all cylinders.
Obviously, the defense will be the Achilles’ heel once again, though.
MJ’s Final Betting Tip: Stay away. Not enough confidence in this play to pull the trigger.
MJ’s Comments: The Lions have the 6th most difficult schedule in 2021, and the numbers above suggest taking the under. We are off to a good start!
Over the past two years, Jared Goof has thrown 42 TD passes versus 29 interceptions. That’s not a great ratio, especially considering the great weapons he had with the Rams. In Detroit, he will have to deal with one of the worst receiving groups in the whole league.
Also, the Lions defense allowed 519 points last year, dead last in the NFL. The team did not upgrade this unit that much, so expect them so struggle once again.
Detroit won 5 games last year. Their 2021 win total is set at 5, too (with an additional game being played this year). So, is the under a good bet?
MJ’s Final Betting Tip: Bet under 5 wins @ -119 odds. Do not accept odds that are worse than -125. As you could see from my comments, I like many aspects of this bet. However, I hate the fact that Pinnacle offers the highest odds on the under. For this reason, I recommend going easy on this one.
MJ’s Comments: The Titans won 11 games last year. Based on their win total this year, the question is: Will they win more or less than 9.5 games?
According to my one million simulated seasons, taking the under is the best alternative. Seeing that Bookmaker has the best line at +104 odds, that makes me worry.
The defense allowed the 9th most points in the league last year. Sure, the acquisition of Bud Dupree will help, but keep in mind he is recovering from an ACL tear. Sometimes, it takes time to get back to full speed. They also added Denico Autry on the defensive line. Will it be enough? Maybe, maybe not…
On offense, Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown and Julio Jones is a good nucleus. They can be hard to stop.
MJ’s Final Betting Tip: Stay away. I just don’t feel excited about any of the two sides (over or under).
Top 10 Teams (Highest ROIs!)
We have the top 10 highest ROIs left, and as I did last year, these betting tips are available for a fee. There is a lot of work behind all of those plays. The good news for you is that I've decided to do a little experiment: I'm going to sell it with an astounding 90% rebate compared to last year. What?!?!?
In 2020, this valuable document was on sale for $500. A total of 8 people bought it, so I'd like to see what's going to happen if I sell it 10 times cheaper, that is just $50. Will I get 10 times more people buying those great betting picks, which would correspond ot 80 people? We'll see.
Like I said, I view it as a little experiment. If I end up selling just 12, then I'll clearly go back to the $500 price next year. In other words, if there is one year where you should pull the trigger and obtain those valuable value wagers, this is it. Remember that last year the win totals picks posted a very nice 20-12 record, a 62.5% win rate.
At the very end of the document that I'm selling, I included a clear and neat recap. I have categorized each betting tip into one of the following three categories: 1) Bets I Love, 2) Decent Bets, and 3) Borderline Acceptable Bets.