How Good Were Sports Books At Predicting NFL Win Totals This Year?

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Photo: By Ghostboy on flickr

While most NFL prognosticators predict the future for fun, bookies does so with money on the line. And after revisiting their preseason picks, we found, unsurprisingly, that they’re really not much better than anyone else. On average, NFL teams finished 2.29 games different than the over/unders set by, a leading online gambling site. 47 per cent of teams finished more than two games apart from their over/under.

(Compare that with predictions in ESPN The Magazine, which were off by more than 2 games in just 31 per cent of cases., on the other hand, was more than two games off on 56 per cent of its picks.)’s biggest errors were with the Panthers, Patriots, and Buccaneers. They pegged Carolina’s over/under at 7.5 wins, but it won an NFL-worst two games.

Meanwhile, the site undershot the 10-win Bucs and the league leading, 14-win Pats by 4.5 wins. 

Keeping in mind that wins futures are set to encourage equal money to be wagered on either side of the over/under, so it’s pretty impressive that exactly half the teams fell on each side of the line. The distribution would make an almost perfect bell curve.

Here’s the complete rundown: Over/Under Wins

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