When the betting windows opened Wednesday morning, it was clear the wise guys didn’t think much of the Falcons.
Cantor Gaming was the first Nevada bookmaker to release over/under win totals for the upcoming NFL season (via Covers.com). Neither the leaders (Green Bay and New England at 12 wins) nor the bottom-feeders (Cleveland, Indianapolis and Jacksonville at 5.5 wins) were surprising.
The Falcons’ over/under opened at nine wins, which equates to a 9-7 record (barring ties). If you’re wondering how that breaks down with the rest of Cantor’s projections, that means they would miss the playoffs, finishing behind New Orleans (10 wins) in the NFC South, and the New York Giants and Detroit (9.5) in the wild card race.
Now, this is where we remind you that betting lines aren’t meant to be predictions but rather enticements to get an even amount of money wagered on both sides. So it’s basically a read on perceptions. Therefore, we can conclude that Cantor’s read is that most people aren’t as optimistic about the Falcons next season as presumably the Falcons are.
I’ve taken all of Cantor’s projected over/under win totals and arranged the teams by division. So here are their projected standings, if the numbers are accurate:• NFC EAST Philadelphia: 10 New York Giants: 9.5 Dallas: 8-5 Washington: 6.5 • NFC NORTH Green Bay: 12 Detroit: 9.5 Chicago: 8.5 Minnesota 6 • NFC SOUTH New Orleans: 10 Atlanta: 9 Carolina: 7.5 Tampa Bay 6 • NFC WEST San Francisco: 10 Seattle: 7 Arizona: 7 St. Louis: 6.5 • AFC EAST New England 12 New York Jets: 8.5 Miami: 7.5 Buffalo: 7 • AFC NORTH Pittsburgh: 10 Baltimore: 10 Cincinnati: 7.5 Cleveland 5.5 • AFC SOUTH Houston: 10 Tennessee: 7 Indianapolis: 5.5 Jacksonville: 5.5 • AFC WEST Denver: 9.5 San Diego: 9 Kansas City: 8 Oakland: 7 •
NFC: Philadelphia, Green Bay, New Orleans, San Francisco, N.Y. Giants, Detroit.
AFC: New England, Pittsburgh, Houston, Denver, Baltimore, San Diego.
Here’s the Falcons’ 2012 schedule: at Kansas City, Denver, at San Diego, Carolina, at Washington, Oakland, bye, at Philadelphia, Dallas, at New Orleans, Arizona, at Tampa Bay, New Orleans, at Carolina, New York Giants, at Detroit, Tampa Bay.
I just went through it and, after a careful, extremely scientific, week-by-week dissection, which took approximately 27 seconds, concluded they will go 10-6. (Projections, as always, are subject to change. Also for entertainment purposes only.)
What are your thoughts on the opening over/under lines? And feel free to put on your prediction hat.
By Jeff Schultz