Regular season win total bets are a type of sports wager in which gamblers risk money betting on how they think a team will perform in an upcoming season. There aren’t many sportsbook options that allow you to predict how teams will perform, but this is one of them. Here is a look at how to make a profit betting season win totals.
Regular Season Win Totals Explained
A regular season win totals line for an NFL team could look something like the example that we have provided before as an outline.
New England Patriots Wins – Over 10.5
New England Patriots Wins – Under 10.5
If you think the Patriots will win 11 games or more in the upcoming season, you can bet the Over. If you think New England will win 10 games or less, then you can bet the Under. These regular season win total lines are assigned to all 32 teams. The numbers vary depending on the perceived talent and potential of each team. The same basic concept applies to betting regular season win totals for the majority of major professional sports leagues.
NFL Regular Season Win Totals
The National Football League is a very popular option for regular season wins totals among bettors. Sportsbooks tend to release their regular season win total lines early so that bettors have a chance to analyze, discuss and then place bets on these lines before the year begins.
College Football Regular Season Win Totals
College football is another common sport for bettors that like to wager on regular season win totals. These lines tend to open up later in the year with the first sportsbooks opening their lines in the spring or the summer. One extremely important factor to consider when evaluating college football win totals is which games the sportsbook counts and which games they don’t count. For example, some sports betting sites will count the championship games or bowl games that teams play in as part of their potential regular season win totals. Other sites limit their win totals to only what they do throughout the regular season. It’s important to check with the site that you use in order to make sure you understand the specific rules that they have applied ot their college football regular season win totals.
NBA Regular Season Win Totals
Sportsbooks usually wait until after the draft and free agency to release their updated lines for NBA regular season win totals. There tends to be a significant amount of player movement in the NBA offseason, which is a big reason why the sportsbooks hold out before releasing these lines.
MLB Regular Season Win Totals
As is the case with the NFL, regular season win totals for the MLB tend to come out extremely early, which provides fans with a good indication of which teams they think have the best chance to contend for a World Series championship.
College Basketball Regular Season Win Totals
When it comes to college basketball, regular season win totals are not available for every school. The sportsbooks usually concentrate on the bigger schools that get a lot more attention when assigning them regular season win total lines. With so many different college basketball teams playing in different divisions at different levels it would be difficult to have regular season win total lines for every team.
NHL Regular Season Win Totals
Rather than assigning NHL teams regular season win totals, sportbooks will list their futures as point totals. In the NHL, teams are awarded two points for a win, one point for an overtime or shootout loss and zero points for a regulation loss. This point structure can lead to a team with a greater win total actually finishing below a team with a lower win total in the standings. While the approach to betting NHL regular season win totals is a little different than other sports, the basic concept behind these win totals is the same as the NFL or any other major sports leagues.
How Sportsbooks Grade Regular Season Win Totals
One of the best parts about betting on regular season win totals is the fact that they are graded in such a straightforward manner. If a team wins more games or collects more points than the line that has been set, then they have gone “Over” the total. If a team wins fewer games than the line that has been set, then they have gone “Under” the total. While a good percentage of the regular season win totals are set with a half win that makes it easy to separate teams that go over or under totals, there are also situations when a line is set on an even number. For instance, if we take the season win total line for the Patriots that we used in the example above and change the number from 10.5 to 10.0. If New England won exactly 10 games the upcoming season, then the result of the bet would be a “Push” and the money that you risked would be returned. This is important to keep in mind when it coms to searching for the best regular season win totals out there. It also helps illustrate the importance of shopping around with different sites in order to find the best regular season futures lines, which we will discuss further in the strategy section below.
The Optimal Regular Season Win Totals Strategy
Now that we have explained how regular season win total futures work, we can take a closer look at the best strategies in order to make a profit betting on them. Here is a look at five important steps to take when betting regular season win totals.
Bet With Multiple Sportsbooks
As we touched on in the previous section, it’s extremely important to bet with multiple different sportsbooks. Let’s use the example of betting on the Patriots regular season win total. In this situation, we think New England will win 11 games in the upcoming season. Sportsbook A has their regular season win totals future line set at 10.5 while Sportsbook B has their future line set at 11.0. If the Patriots went on to win 11 games, and you bet with Sportsbook A then your bet will be considered a winner. However, if New England won 11 games and you had bet on them with Sportsbook B then there would have been a PUSH, which means that you aren’t awarded any money. It’s very important to monitor multiple sportsbooks and then bet the futures wager with the site that offers the better line.
Track Past Performance
One key indicator of how a team will perform in the future is how they performed in the past. Therefore, it’s important to look back at what a team did the previous year. It isn’t just about how many games a team won either. Did the team start the season strong but then fade towards the end? Did the team start slow but then finish on a high note? The work towards projecting how a team will perform in an upcoming season begins with tracking past performances.
Monitor Offseason Changes
Once we have an idea of how teams performed the previous year along with the potential projector that they are on, we can attempt to evaluate the impact that offseason changes will have on them moving forward. Did the team you are tracking add a star player to their roster? Did they lose a star player? Did a coaching change take place? By monitoring offseason changes, we can adjust our team projections based on their perceived impacts.
Another important step towards being able to accurately predict regular season win total futures is tracking injuries. It’s also an important reason to delay betting regular season win totals for as long as possible in certain situations. For example, let’s say that you want to bet on the Green Bay Packers to record 12 wins in a season. You see the line at 11.5 so you jump on it and bet the Over. Then during the preseason, star quarterback Aaron Rodgers gets injured. How confident are you in that Green Bay will still produce 12 wins? If you had waited just a little longer, you might not make that same bet. If you are on the fence about whether or not you should bet on a regular season win total then it definitely makes sense to wait as long as possible and monitor injuries so that you don’t end up getting caught in this type of situation.
Monitor Preseason Action
In addition to injuries, it’s also important to track preseason action to see how teams are performing. The changes that took place throughout the offseason could very well have a different impact than you had expected. This could be on display as early as the preseason, where teams could either overachieve or underachieve compared to expectations. It’s important to keep a close eye on preseason action in order to get a closer look at the progression of teams immediately before the regular season begins. If you follow these five steps, you should have a very good idea of what the best bets are when it comes to wagering on regular season win totals.