The 2023-24 NFL season is under two months away from kickoff. With nearly a full offseason under our belt and NFL rosters essentially finalized for Week 1, it’s the perfect time to attack the betting market for NFL win totals. Which teams are undervalued and overvalued following the NFL Draft, free agency, and some league-altering blockbuster trades?
These are our three best bets for NFL regular season futures for the upcoming 17-game season. For each bet, we provide the best widely-available odds and a wager, by bankroll unit. Remember to manage your gambling bankroll intelligently all year. Also, be sure to diversify your exposure as recommended below.
New York Jets UNDER 9.5 wins (+110, DraftKings) –2 units
The New York Jets were one of the headliners of the NFL offseason. This is why we are getting an overreaction of a number in this market. After finishing with a 7-10-0 record behind the quarterback roulette surrounding Zach Wilson and Mike White, New York addressed their biggest need by trading for future Hall of Fame passer Aaron Rodgers. They also shook up their pass-catching core in support of star wide receiver Garrett Wilson.
However, there are many reasons to believe those offensive changes do not account for three extra wins. This is especially true considering their tough division. For starters, the 39-year-old Rodgers is likely nowhere near as reliable as he once was. Last year, in his first season without Davante Adams since 2013, among all qualified quarterbacks, Rodgers ranked No. 12 in accuracy rating, No. 21 in true completion percentage, No. 26 in clean pocket completion percentage, and No. 47 in catchable pass rate. Given his drop-off in efficiency as a thrower, Rodgers clearly needs help with route-winners across the field and outside of Wilson. It isn’t clear if the Jets’ strategy of replacing Elijah Moore with Mecole Hardman and Rodgers’ old friends Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb solves any issues.
Lazard primarily functions as a deep shot and jump ball specialist. Lazard ranked No. 13 in true catch rate, but outside of that he was inefficient. He ranked No. 42 in yards per route run while being tied to Rodgers all season long. Cobb spent his age-32 season working primarily out of the slot. He ranked No. 18 in true catch rate. However, he still ranked just No. 41 in yards per route run, No. 49 in contested catch rate, and an abysmal No. 102 in route win rate. This is especially bad for a slot specific wide out.
Hardman serves as a speed merchant. However, despite being in one of the best offenses in NFL history, he has only cleared 80 receiving yards in a game once during the last two seasons. These weapons, outside of Wilson, are mediocre at best. It is noteworthy that the Jets worked on strengthening the depth of their offensive line. However, it would still take plenty of work for them to be good enough to hide the other flaws of an overhyped offense. The Jets ranked No. 21 in pass block win rate. Additionally, even if they were to significantly improve, they would likely still not match the performance of last year’s Packers. Last year’s Packers team ranked No. 5 in pass block win rate.
The Jets’ defensive core that made them a top-five defensive DVOA team in the NFL last year will be brought back. This unit is led by superstar cornerback Sauce Garnder. However, they would likely have to improve even more to make up for the team’s offensive inefficiencies. After winning just seven games last season, four of which by one score, and witnessing both the Bills and Dolphins significantly improve their rosters in the offseason, 10 wins reads as closer to a ceiling outcome for the new-look Jets. Per Sharp Football Analytics, the Jets have the seventh-hardest projected strength of schedule in the regular season. We get plus-money value on fading this team. At that price, this is the best smash bet of this market.
Seattle Seahawks OVER 8.5 wins (-142, FanDuel) – 1.50 units
Seattle Seahawks to win NFC West (+200, FanDuel) – 0.50 units
This bet is already juiced up to -175 on some other books, such as DraftKings. This line should be 9.5 at the price currently being offered on FanDuel. The Seahawks went 9-8-0 last season in an NFC West division that was eventually dominated by Brock Purdy‘s Cinderella story and his San Francisco 49ers. The Los Angeles Rams were looking to compete early in the season. Injuries and underperformers saw them crumble and lose nine of their last 11 games. The Arizona Cardinals were never good enough to compete for the division. An injury to quarterback Kyler Murray put their season in the coffin.
Fast-forward a full season and it is very clear which team in this division improved the most. It’s Pete Carroll’s underrated Seahawks. After finding an immediate future under center with Geno Smith, Seattle addressed their offense and defense in the NFL Draft by using first round picks on the physical, versatile cornerback Devon Witherspoon. They also selected Ohio State sensation wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Those two players alone entered draft night in the conversation for best players of their draft class at their respective positions. Witherspoon will immediately address an area of need. Seattle’s No. 17-ranked pass DVOA defense from last season was a weakness of the team. Smith-Njiba will add to an already-stacked pass-catching room for the efficient passer, Smith.
If you’re expecting regression from Seattle’s offense, don’t sit around waiting for it. Even when Smith wasn’t an everyday starter in 2021, he posted a 79.2-percent completion percentage out of a clean pocket, 71.4-percent true completion percentage, and 7.1 deep ball accuracy rating, all among league-leaders if he qualified. In 2022, we saw more of the same. He ranked top-ten among all quarterbacks in money throws, adjusted yards per attempt, true completion percentage, pressured completion percentage, pressured catchable pass rate, and red zone accuracy rating. It’s safe to assume the veteran will still be able to lead a potent offense with his improved weapons.
Adding More Weapons
Seattle continued their deep draft by adding depth in the backfield behind Kenneth Walker. They also added edge rushers to address their No. 28-ranked pass rush win rate defense. The Seahawks also acquired offensive lineman Anthony Bradford, all while only losing a couple of defensive depth pieces in free agency. This team is better than it was last year. All we need is a repeat of their 9-win record, and we have ourselves a winning ticket on the over.
— Ahaan Rungta (@AhaanRungta) April 27, 2023
Per Sharp Football Analytics, the Seahawks have the tenth-easiest projected strength of schedule in the regular season. That not only makes the juice on the 9.5-win line worth the squeeze, but it also means a +200 bet on them to win the NFC West is good value.
With the Rams and Cardinals both in a traffic jam of roster turnover, this division should be a one-on-one battle between the rightfully-favored 49ers and the improved Seahawks. However, all it takes for San Francisco to see some regression is for their uncertain quarterback roulette to take a dicey turn. With Brock Purdy, Trey Lance, and Sam Darnold all in the mix for reps, it is a dangerous bet to just assume San Francisco can continue finding the magic that saw them earn a 3-1 record in one-possession games in last year’s regular season. A sprinkle on Seattle to win this two-way division race at the implied probability of 33.3-percent is a good bet.
Dallas Cowboys OVER 10.5 wins (+125, FanDuel) – 1 unit
You might need to check the “alternate win totals” menu on FanDuel Sportsbook to snag this line instead of the regular “over 9.5 wins” line that is heavily juiced to -150. We’re getting great value on a team that has improved. Additionally, they won 12 games last season despite not having their franchise quarterback completely healthy for a full season.
Last year, Dallas played in a competition NFC East division. This included the eventual-NFC-champion Philadelphia Eagles and the rebranded, evolved New York Giants. Although the Giants did get better this offseason, the Commanders got worse. Also, the Eagles moved fairly laterally after losing Javon Hargrave but addressing crucial needs in the NFL Draft. Regardless, the Cowboys could be one game worse than last season and we would still win this bet we are getting at plus-money value.
In 2022, the Cowboys ranked No. 2 in defensive DVOA under defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Quinn was a key in drafting defensive tackle Mazi Smith. This efficient defense also added former Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore to address a dire area of need—cornerback.
They also addressed depth all over the field at the NFL Draft. They selected tight end Luke Schoonmaker, linebacker DeMarvion Overshown, defensive end Viliami Fehoko, and offensive tackle Asim Richards. All this occurred without losing many pivotal pieces to the success of the 2022 team. The headliner losses were tight end Dalton Schultz, running back Ezekiel Elliott, and wideout Noah Brown. Brown was replaced with the far superior veteran pass-catcher Brandin Cooks.
To top it all off, a healthy Dak Prescott could very well be one of the league’s best quarterbacks with the added help around him. Despite rushing back to play through a finger injury, Prescott ranked No. 10 among all quarterbacks in money throws, No. 10 in air yards per attempt, No. 13 in accuracy rate, and No. 1 in red zone accuracy rate—behind an offensive line that ranked No. 28 in pass block win rate.
Per Sharp Football Analytics, despite the fierce competition in the NFC East, the Cowboys rank around middle-of-the-pack in strength of schedule. The default line of 9.5 wins reads as somewhat of a floor for this improved Cowboys score, and the implied 44.4-percent probability of an 11-win season a year after they won 12 despite a mundane 5-3 in one-possession games is a steal.