Best NFL Win Total Bet for 2023

Written by Watt_05

Rookie Quarterbacks Tend to Struggle

Fans and bettors alike are filled with hope and optimism at the start of every NFL season.  Maybe not you, Arizona Cardinal fan, but I’m here to ease the pain…

Before diving into NFL betting markets on a weekly basis again, I wanted to share a win total that still yields value.

Let’s focus on the Carolina Panthers and their offense in Frank Reich’s first season with rookie quarterback Bryce Young.  Reich has had trouble getting out of the gate fast, winning just 6 of his 17 September games as an NFL head coach.  While Reich has a cerebral and accurate quarterback in Bryce Young, rookie quarterbacks tend to struggle.  According to ClevTA, twenty-two quarterbacks have been drafted with a Top 5 pick since 2000 and started at least eight games their rookie season.  Those teams have won just 39.8% of games and only six have finished above .500

Sharp Bettors Selling Bryce Young

Bryce Young has been sold in the season-long futures market by professional bettors.  Both his passing yards and touchdowns were bet UNDER at prices of 3,450 and 22.5.  Thinking about why that is, the offensive line and pass catchers shine some light. 

Bryce Young’s Help is Limited

Starting right guard Austin Corbett is on the PUP list. That means rookie 4th rounder Chandler Zavala will battle Cade Mays for the spot next to the talented Taylor Moton.  Left tackle Ikem Ekwonu has had pass protection issues in camp and preseason games.  Carolina’s offensive line is better positioned as run-blockers than pass protectors.  If the Panthers offensive line struggles to keep their quarterback clean, having a receiver group failing to separate quickly will be magnified.  Remember, the Panthers used the highest rate of 3-wide receiver sets in the preseason.

Carolina’s receiving core looks bleak on paper.  Heading into Week 1, the Panthers are dealing with injuries to Terrace Marshall Jr. (back) and D.J. Chark (hamstring).  Rookie Jonathan Mingo, veteran Adam Theilen, and Laviska Shenault Jr. will be the trio providing Bryce Young help early.  Theilen finished 48th in target separation last season while Justin Jefferson attracted defensive focus.  Shenault was 214th in total route wins and we’re stilling waiting on Mingo to turn his athletic profile into production.  Starting running back Miles Sanders has missed most of training camp with a groin injury as well.

Bettors Must Look At Every Angle

As Payne says, it’s vital to look at both sides of the coin when handicapping a game.  In doing so, it’s fair to acknowledge Carolina does have one of the five easiest schedules in the NFL.  However, there are some quirks along the way.  Each of the Panthers six opponents prior to their Week 7 bye, have a win total priced at 8.5 wins or more.  Schedule makers didn’t provide a clear path in the second half of the season either, as the Panthers hit the road 4 of 5 weeks starting Week 10.  Their lone home game in that sector comes against Dallas; a team professional bettors are enamored with this season.

The most important element of this investment and sports betting in general is price.  This leads me to a futures market discussion surrounding regular season win totals.  Shopping for an UNDER 7.5 price on the Carolina Panthers, we see Bookmaker, a notable sharp offshore shop taking $10,000 limits dealing 7.5 (-163) to the UNDER.  Meanwhile, Pinnacle is priced -159 to the UNDER.  Sports books catering to the largest pool of recreational bettors in FanDuel and DraftKings are offering prices of -122 and -125.  Carolina Panthers UNDER 7.5 (-122) is worth a bet, as there is little doubt this number continues trending towards sharper shop pricing.  I would play UNDER 7.5 to the price of -135, and the alternate win total UNDER 8.5 to the price of -200.  Both investments are part of my futures portfolio.

Let’s have another profitable season, and you may hear from me on Bet the Board’s NFL show soon.

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