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Sharp bettors fire on NFL season win totals at Caesars

The Steelers have never had a losing season under coach Mike Tomlin, who has started his career with an NFL record 17 straight seasons of .500 or better.

Sharp bettors are banking on Pittsburgh to extend that streak after it added quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Justin Fields to a team that went 10-7 last season.

Caesars Sportsbook was the first book in Nevada to post NFL regular-season win totals in early April. The Steelers’ total opened at 8 and has been bet up to 8½ (over -150).

“There’s a lot of interest in them, especially with two starting quarterbacks on their roster,” Caesars head of football Joey Feazel said. “There’s also the angle of Tomlin and whether this is his ride-or-die year. He’s always consistently at that .500 mark, but (sharps) think the quarterbacks are going to push them over.

“But it’s one of the strongest divisions in the NFL right now, the AFC North.”

Highest win totals

There are 10 teams with win totals of 10 or more at Caesars, which has the Chiefs and 49ers leading the way with 11½ wins each.

The defending AFC North champion Ravens and Bengals, who won the division in 2021 and 2022, have win totals of 11.

“We saw a little bit of sharp action on the over on the Bengals as well,” Feazel said. “We expect them to bounce back if (quarterback Joe) Burrow has a full, healthy season.”

Cincinnati is at 10½ and Baltimore 11½ at Boyd Gaming and BetMGM.

Sharp bettors also backed the Bears, pushing their total from 8½ to 9 after Chicago drafted quarterback Caleb Williams with the top overall pick and wide receiver Rome Odunze, a Bishop Gorman product, at No. 9.

“There was some sharp play on the Bears, especially after they got Odunze,” Feazel said. “They think their offense is going to be night and day with one of the top receiving corps.”

Chicago is at 8½ at Boyd and MGM.

Lowest win totals

There are nine teams with win totals of 6½ or less. The Patriots have the lowest win total at 4½ (o-170) after going an AFC-worst 4-13 last season and parting ways with coach Bill Belichick after 24 years.

“They’re in complete rebuild at the moment,” Feazel said.

The next two lowest totals belong to the Panthers (5½, under -165), who finished an NFL-worst 2-15 last season, and Broncos (6, u-135).

Just win 7, baby

The Raiders are one of six teams at 6½. Their total is shaded to the over (-160) after they went 8-9 last season. They went 5-4 under interim coach Antonio Pierce, who was named the team’s new coach after the season.

Gardner Minshew, who will be playing for his third team in three seasons, is slated to start at quarterback for the Raiders after they struck out at the position in the draft. They picked Georgia tight end Brock Bowers at No. 13 after six quarterbacks went in the first 12 picks.

“They still have a competitive defense. But their offense has some questions,” Feazel said. “We’re not expecting them to be Super Bowl contenders. But they got the coach they wanted. They’ll compete.”

Between the lines

Feazel said one positive to posting win totals before the NFL draft and schedule release is that pro bettors help sharpen his power ratings leading up to the season.

“Season wins are just a small piece of how much action we take, especially on a game-to-game basis,” he said. “So if we can be ahead and have our actual game lines more in line with what the sharp customers think, that’s a positive for Caesars.”

The book plans to post lines on NFL Weeks 1 and 2 and Games of the Year shortly after the league releases the 2024 schedule, reportedly on Wednesday. It expects to have lines on Weeks 3 to 18 two days later.

Best bets

Feazel likes the Bills to go under 10½ wins.

“They have a lot of holes in their offense,” he said. “Their defense was kind of carrying them last year. I think they’re in a mini-rebuild.”

He also likes the Colts to go over 8½.

“We’ll see if (quarterback) Anthony Richardson can have a full season healthy, because he showed glimpses of greatness last year,” he said. “And I think Shane Steichen is a great coach.”

Caesars vice president of trading Craig Mucklow likes the Eagles to eclipse 10½ wins and win the Super Bowl at 16-1 odds.

“They have a decent price, and the quality is there. (Vic) Fangio is now the defensive coordinator. They just have value based on my numbers,” he said. “I like the Eagles a lot.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on X.

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