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Franco: NFL season win totals

When it comes to wagering on future book odds here in Las Vegas, there is no longer any real value tying up your money for a full season on odds to win the Super Bowl. But when talking about NFL season win totals, if you do your homework, there is a great chance of cashing your tickets at the end of the season. Free agency, new coaches, the draft and schedules all play a big part of finding value.

Visiting with Jay Kornegay, the race and sports director at the Las Vegas Hilton, I got his take on betting NFL season win totals.

"Right now we have some early ‘wise guy’ action and a little public money coming in with the win totals, and we expect it will pick up after the first weekend of preseason games," stated Kornegay. "We’ve seen the most early action on the Dolphins ‘over’ nine, and the Cowboys ‘over’ 9 ½ with both teams having very high expectations."

It is still to early for any major moves on totals, but that should start to change with teams reporting to camp along with any unforeseeable major injuries.

"We would have to have a lot of action to move the number even a ½-game," said Kornegay. "There is so much parity in today’s NFL game, but we have had to move several of the money lines."

An important factor in future-wager playing is to shop around. Different sportsbooks have future liability on different teams, so numbers and prices will vary. I’ve been to over a dozen books in Las Vegas looking for any and all NFL future odds. These odds are from the Las Vegas Hilton SuperBook, one of the first to post 2006 NFL season win totals.

Indianapolis Colts: over/under 11 ½ wins

Can the Colts have as great a season as they did a year ago when they won 14 games? I don’t think so. A whole lot went right for the team with no major injuries and a defense that played over their head. This is still a young defensive unit that can have problems with this year’s tougher schedule.

Losing running back Edgerrin James will be a factor since he was a major part of their offensive schemes. Dominic Rhodes and rookie Joseph Addai leave them thin at running back. If star quarterback Peyton Manning, who seems to never get hurt, were to get injured the Colts would be in big trouble with back-up Jim Sorgi having to fill his shoes.

The Colts will have tough road games opening the season against the New York Giants, then back-to-back versus the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots. Indianapolis also plays at Dallas and Jacksonville. The Colts don’t have an easy home schedule with Jacksonville, Washington, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Miami coming to Indianapolis.

Jay Kornegay reports that history tells us teams with the higher win totals seem to go ‘under,’ as numbers are based on a season ago and things change quickly from season to season in the NFL.

Take Indianapolis under 11 ½ wins at -130

Arizona Cardinals: over/under 8 wins

The Arizona Cardinals where the talk of the NFL heading into last season, with many predicting a playoff spot in the NFC. The Cardinals have a brand new state of the art stadium, and will play to sellout crowds for the first time in their Arizona history.

The Cardinals play a .500 schedule, but have games at Seattle, Atlanta, Green Bay, Minnesota, St Louis and San Diego. All of those teams have postseason potential, and we know the Cardinals are one of the worst road teams in resent history. Then, Arizona hosts Kansas City, Chicago, Dallas, Seattle and Denver in its new confines.

If quarterback Kurt Warner can’t stay healthy again this season, we will be watching either rookie Matt Leinart or third-year man John Navarre trying to run the offense. Sure Edgerrin James was a great pick-up, but this unit has been at the bottom of the barrel in the running department for years. I don’t look for that to change over night with their weak offensive line.

Arizona stills need to show us that the team can simply overcome being the Cardinals. It will be tough for them to win nine games with their schedule. They haven’t won more than seven games since 1998, the only year they made the playoffs since moving to Arizona.

"There is a lot of optimism again this season with Arizona, but the Cardinals may still be a year or two away from making the playoffs," noted Kornegay. "They have always underachieved by playing inconsistent football. Despite adding James to the back-field and their very talented young wide receivers, they still have lots of question marks."

Take Arizona under 8 wins at -120

New York Jets: over/under 6 ½ wins

The Jets will regress even more this season with lots of question marks on both sides of the ball. New coach Eric Mangini will have a ton of decisions to make as a first-year head coach starting with who will be the Jets’ quarterback to start the season.

Free agent pick-up Patrick Ramsey, rookie Kellen Clemens and Chad Pennington, coming off major surgery, will battle it out for the right to start on one of the worst offenses in the league. The Jets ranked 31st in offense last season, gaining only 82 yards per game on the ground and just 164 passing.

Division games are going to be tough enough on the Jets, and they also have to host Indianapolis and Chicago and travel to Jacksonville, Green Bay and Minnesota.

Bookmakers will make you pay a steep price with the Jets ‘under,’ but its more then justified as I don’t see the Jets winning seven games. That would be a three-game improvement over last seasons four wins.

"I can’t think the Jets will be successful with their quarterback situation plus an aging running back in Curtis Martin," stated Kornegay. "Plus, they lost two of their best defensive players in Ty Law and John Abraham. Teams with the lower win totals have been playing to the ‘under’ over the last few seasons."

Take the Jets under 6 ½ wins at -160


Mark Franco finished in fifth place in the 2003 Las Vegas Hilton Supercontest netting over $18,000. Grab a NFL season pack from Franco for the 2006 season.

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