NFL strength of schedule and season win totals

NFL season win totals are becoming one of the most popular NFL wagers, outside of the weekly sides and totals. Football bettors, who have a solid grasp on a team’s upcoming campaign, can wager Over or Under a set win total for the entire regular season.

One of the biggest factors that plays into the making of these season-long odds is strength of schedule. Oddsmakers take a look at all of a team’s opponents, pick out the easy wins and losses and break down the close contests. So what can strength of schedule tell us about these two teams and their season win totals?

Pittsburgh Steelers – 8.5 wins (Over -125/Under -105)
The Steelers have been pegged with the toughest schedule in the NFL, with their 2015 calendar earning a .578 SOS ranking.
Not only do they have to compete in the neck-and-neck AFC North with Cincinnati (second-toughest sked) and Baltimore but Pittsburgh faces the last three teams to play in a Super Bowl – Denver, Seattle and a season opener in New England. Sprinkle in home matchups with Indianapolis and Arizona, as well as road trips to San Diego and Kansas City, and it’s plain to see why oddsmakers are hanging that half-win hook with the Steelers.

Indianapolis Colts – 10.5 wins (Over -165/Under +135)
The Colts have the second softest slate of games in the NFL (.416 SOS) thanks in large part to the AFC South, which features bottom feeders Jacksonville and Tennessee. The Colts have won 11 games in each of the previous three seasons, hence the hefty price on the Over 10.5 wins.
Indianapolis doesn’t run into a playoff team until a Week 6 “Deflategate” rematch with the Patriots at home and it’s only true road tests come at Houston in Week 5, at Carolina in Week 8, and at Pittsburgh in Week 13. Indy also gets Denver – a team it’s won six of its last seven against – at home in Week 9, with a bye waiting in Week 10. The Colts have a very real chance of eclipsing 10 wins before December rolls around.

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