2021 NFL Win Totals and Futures Bets: Washington & Las Vegas
With free agency and the NFL Draft in the rearview mirror, we have a good look at how most teams are shaping up heading into the season. The Aaron Rodgers saga could seriously alter the Packers' outlook but outside of that, the trajectories of most teams won’t alter all that much before the season commences. I already got down on the Lions' Win Total prior to the draft and have a couple of more futures I’m ready to confidently fire on I posted in our subscribers-only Discord (prior to writing this to ensure our subscribers were able to fire on them immediately). We also have a resource highlighting the best win totals betting odds for every NFL team.
I’ll be pumping out more betting recommendations the entire offseason, including two win totals bets today, as a part of our new all-inclusive betting package, which gives you access to all of our in-season NFL content from other packages in addition to betting tools and content.
2021 NFL Win Totals Bets
Washington Over 8 Wins (-130 at FanDuel)
Washington to Win the NFC East (+300 at BetMGM)
Washington is coming off a seven-win 2020 season in which they somehow managed to win the NFC Least. They managed to scrape together seven wins despite going 2-5 in one-score games and trotting out league-bottom quarterback play with the combination of Alex Smith, Dwayne Haskins and Kyle Allen. A lot of their success came on the defensive end, where they ranked fourth in passing EPA allowed, ninth in adjusted sack rate and ninth in pressure rate.
They return almost all of their starters defensively and also upgraded from Ronald Darby to William Jackson at cornerback. While their defense figures to turn in another strong season, their biggest additions were on the offensive end. Their offensive line entered last season as a bottom-10 unit but closed the year in the top 10 with Brandon Scherff and Chase Roullier both turning in fantastic seasons. Rather than settling with what they had, they traded for Ereck Flowers, signed Charles Leno and drafted Sam Cosmi in the second round. They could very well wind up with a top-five offensive line this season if any of their acquisitions pan out. They stabilized their quarterback play by signing Ryan Fitzpatrick, which, at the very least, should give them league-average quarterback play—potentially better considering his supporting cast. Both Terry Mclaurin and Logan Thomas return after stellar 2020 campaigns and the Football Team added Curtis Samuel, Adam Humphries and rookie Dyami Brown. Explosive running back Antonio Gibson also returns and should play a bigger role in the passing game.
Another factor to consider is that it’s now a 17-game season. All you are asking for with over eight wins is that Washington will be above average (9-8). I think they are much closer to a 10-win team than a seven-win team and will likely consider some alternate win totals for plus odds once those come out. I would consider betting the over on their win total up to 8.5.
As far as the division goes, the Cowboys’ defense is still a trainwreck and both the Giants and Eagles are missing a number of key pieces on both sides of the ball. Washington has the most complete roster in the division and is very live to win it again.
Risk: 1.3 units to win 1 unit on Washington over 8 wins.
Risk: 0.5 units to win 1.5 units on Washington to win the NFC East.
Las Vegas Raiders Under 7.5 Wins (-120 at William Hill)
The Raiders have had yet another tumultuous offseason, over-drafting players and making questionable moves in free agency. One of their biggest strengths last season was the offensive line but they lost three starters along the line and didn’t make any comparable additions. They tried to address the offensive line by selecting Alex Leatherwood with the 17th overall pick, despite being a fringe first-round pick.
Their defense was dead last in run EPA, 27th in pass EPA and 29th in adjusted sack rate last season. They did make a big addition to this department by adding Yannick Ngakue. While he is certainly an impact player, the rest of the defense still has marginal talent. Taking a big step forward would be becoming a league-average defense.
The cherry on top is their strength of schedule. Using opposing win totals, the Raiders are slated to face the toughest strength of schedule in the league. Lookahead lines have dropped at the Westgate Superbook, which can give us an idea of team outlooks on a per-game basis. The Raiders are only favored in five games next season, only one of which is by more than a field goal. This means that in four of the five games they are favored to win are fairly close or a toss-up. When you look at the opponents they are favored against I’m even less confident they win half of them. Those games are at home against Chicago, Cincinnati, Washington, Denver and the Los Angeles Chargers. For this bet to lose they have to win each of these five games plus three more games as underdogs. I think the hook is pretty important here at 7.5 and I would be willing to pay a bit more juice to get it rather than taking the under at seven. If the wheels fall off the offense with a deteriorated offensive line or the defense doesn’t improve the floor is dangerously low for the Raiders in 2021.
Risk: 1.2 units to win 1 unit.
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