In recent years, the emergence of season long football bets has been hard to ignore. Las Vegas sports books are filled with bets that set over under lines on each team’s win total.  So for example, the over/under for the Arizona Cardinals is 7 games. Meaning that if you think they will win more then 7, you take the over. If you think they win less, you take the under.   Also, the numbers that appear after are the odds you will get. For example, if you bet on a -150, that means you must bet $150 to win $100.  If you have a + number, then you get good odds, but they are tougher bets to win. There are a ton of lines to take a look at, but I’m going to point out a few that stand out for me.

Atlanta Falcons: Over 9 wins (-150)

I like Atlanta to win 10-11 games this year, with the Saints expecting to have a rough year, while the Bucs and Panthers are looking to nurture stars rather then aim for the playoffs. The Falcons also have a very good start to their schedule, as they can easily start out 5-1 going into their week 7 bye. After that, they have three gut check games, taking on Philadelphia, Dallas, and New Orleans. If they can just get one win there, they should win four games to close out the season, and win this bet for you.

Cincinnati Bengals: Over 8 wins (-120)

This one is really surprising to me. There’s no reason to think that this team won’t be able to match the 10 wins from last year. Dalton and Green have another year under their belts, they added Benjarvis Green Ellis to the backfield, and I’m expecting a down year from the Baltimore Ravens with the status of their defensive MVP, Terrell Suggs, in jeopardy. The Bengals could fall in the season opener against Baltimore, but they follow that with five straight games where they will be favorites. Tack on a couple potential soft games against the AFC West, and the Bengals should be able to snag 9-10 wins for the over here.

Houston Texans: Over 10 wins (-130)

The Texans benefit from a great opening and ending to their schedule. They start out with winnable games vs Miami, at Jacksonville, at Denver, vs Tennessee, and at New York Jets. I think they go 4-1 to start the year, then step back a bit in the tough middle part, whicin includes games vs Green Bay, Baltimore, and Chicago. However, they close out with games at Tennessee, at New England, vs. Minnesota, and both games against the Colts, who are expected to struggle this year. This schedule has 11-5 or 12-4 written all over it.

Washington Redskins: Under 6.5 Wins (-140)

What do you get when you take a promising but unproven rookie, and give him the reigns to a bad team that has a brutal schedule that includes six playoff teams from last year? You have a 4-12 or 5-11 record. The NFC is as competitive and tough as it has ever been, as the Skins will face off with the defending champion Giants, the loaded Eagles, and the always super talented Cowboys. Add in dates with the Saints, Ravens, Falcons, and Steelers, and you have a long season in the making for RGIII.

St. Louis Rams: Under 6 wins (-115)

The Rams are just a bad football team right now. Sam Bradford is coming along slower then expected, and your star on offense, Steven Jackson, isn’t getting any younger.  This team was 30th in passing on offense last season, and also struggled on rushing defense, giving up over 150 yards a game last year. There are some great running backs in the NFC West (Frank Gore and Marshawn Lynch), and they have a tough non division schedule, facing off against the NFC North and AFC East. I can only see these guys winnings 5 games, with the potential to push the bet. I think 6-10 is their ceiling, so I like the bet.

Detroit Lions: Over 9 Wins (-120)

I see this season turning out very much like last year’s season for the Lions. They will have the chance to get out to a very fast start, as I have them winning 7 of their first 9 games (losing two of three to San Francisco, Chicago, and Philly).  From there, they will fall back a bit, but a 10-6 record should be very reasonable for the Lions here as long as Stafford and Johnson can stay healthy, while hopefully getting a 100% Jahvid Best back.

These are our top picks, but there are some other good bets out there too. Which ones do you like? What do you think of our picks? Let us know in the comments!