The 2013 NFL season is still several months away, but that hasn't stopped casinos from setting up a variety of odds. Super Bowl odds are out as soon as the season ends, but the release of the NFL schedule provides casinos with an opportunity to get people dropping money in before anybody really knows much of anything.
Cantor Gaming was the first to release various odds, setting spreads for every game in the first 16 weeks of the regular season. The 49ers are listed as favorites in 14 games, an underdog against Seattle on the road and a pick 'em at the Saints.
The next step in the preparation process is now at hand as casinos are starting to release win totals for each team. For those unaware, that means casinos pick a number of wins for each team and you can bet whether the team will go over or under that total.
This year, the Atlantis sports book in Reno is the first casino to get those numbers posted. The folks at National Football Post got them from The Sporting News, but NFP also included each team's number last offseason.
Atlantis set the 49ers at 11.5 wins, a year after the were installed at 10 wins. The Broncos and Packers are both at 12 wins, while the Patriots join the 49ers at 11.5 wins. The NFC West breaks down as follows:
The Seahawks had the biggest jump in the division, having been installed with an over/under of 7 wins last season. The Rams were at 6 wins, while the Cardinals were actually at 7 wins a year ago. The Jaguars are at the bottom of the list with an over/under of 4.5 wins.
NFP's Joe Fortenbaugh offered his own early advice on betting the line, suggesting the over on the Saints (9.5) and Panthers (6.5), and the under on the Jets (7).
In looking at the NFC West, I actually think the Cardinals could be a decent over bet this year. I'm probably a little higher on them than many with Carson Palmer in the picture, but I just think this Cardinals team is a little bit better than many expect. I'd prefer they just stink, so we'll see.