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LVSC releases win totals

Las Vegas Sports Consultants recently released NFL season win totals, granting New England with the highest number of 11 ½. The Patriots, who were denied access to the 2008 playoffs but have Tom Brady returning, are followed by Pittsburgh (11), San Diego (10 ½), Indianapolis (10 ½), Baltimore (10) and the New York Giants (10).

At the other end of the spectrum, we have Detroit. After going 0-16 and cleaning house, the Lions have a win total of four. St. Louis (5), Oakland (5 ½), Kansas City (6) and Cincinnati (6) help bring up the rear.

When betting season win totals, you have the options of playing ‘over’ or ‘under’ the specific number. Most books don’t like to come off of a number so in the coming weeks, don’t be surprised if you’re looking at expensive prices on either the ‘under’ or ‘over,’ depending on which team you’re dealing with.

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“I only look to play ‘unders’ for NFL season win totals,” veteran VegasInsider.com handicapper Mark Franco said. “When you play an ‘over,’ there are just too many things that can go wrong. For instance, if you go ‘over’ for the Vikings and Adrian Peterson goes down with a season-ending injury, you’re in big trouble.”

One ‘under’ that LVSC senior oddsmaker Mike Seba likes is for Buffalo to fail to reach eight wins as its tally is 7 ½.

“For starters, the Bills are going to be without RB Marshawn Lynch for the first three games,” Seba told VI. “And who knows what you’re going to get from QB Trent Edwards? Plus, the rest of the division is tough.”

In my mind, Arizona (9 ½) is the most attractive ‘under’ on the board. Will the Cardinals eventually trade Anquan Boldin? Can Kurt Warner stay healthy? Is Matt Leinart a capable replacement if Warner does go down?

Ken Whisenhunt’s team does play in a weak division, but Seattle and San Francisco should be better this season. The Cards have road games against the Titans, Jaguars, Giants and Seahawks, in addition to difficult home games versus the Colts, Panthers and Vikings. Remember, Minnesota went out to the desert and dealt out woodshed treatment last season.

If Atlanta is going to reach its win total (9), it will be reversing a trend that has plagued the franchise since its infancy. The Falcons have never had back-to-back winning seasons.

“I wasn’t aware of that stat but it could very well fall this year,” Franco said. “I think the acquisition of Tony Gonzalez is the last piece of the puzzle for Atlanta’s offense. With the way the Falcons ran the ball last year with [Michael] Turner and [Jerious] Norwood and now you give Matt Ryan a security blanket in Gonzalez, they are going to be tough to stop.”

If you’re looking for a surprise team to perhaps back with an ‘over’ wager, Seba likes the Raiders. “The AFC West is really going to be down,” Seba said. “Denver is going to struggle and Kansas City still has a long way to go. I’m not thinking of Oakland making the playoffs, but I don’t think it will struggle as much as some are suggesting.”

Seba also gave Philadelphia a good shot to go ‘over’ its win total of 9 ½. I certainly concur with that assessment thanks to the weapons Andy Reid has put around Donovan McNabb. With DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, the offense has speed galore. With RB LeSean McCoy added to the mix, Brian Westbrook won’t have to carry such a heavy load and is more likely to stay healthy.

Franco likes the Texans, who have a win total of 8 1/2, as a possible sleeper squad. “Houston and Atlanta are the only ‘overs’ on the board that I’m considering,” Franco said. “I really think the Texans are going to be a lot better and finally get to the playoffs for the first time.”

The Vikings are saddled with a win total of nine. Will that number be adjusted if Minnesota signs Brett Favre?

"We might move the number to 9 1/2 if Favre signs and is healthy," Seba said. "But I don't even know that he's worth that. He would only impact the number by one-half win, if that."

Brian Edwards can be reached at briane@vegasinsider.com.

  
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