Writer's Note: Hi, I'm Dope Ropes. I'm a nerd from the South Side of Chicago with historical NFL gambling success who began blogging my picks and weird-ass analysis on an independent site four years ago, just trying to have fun while making money for my friends (including Carl). A couple years ago, I left insane voicemails on Red Line Radio and Carl eventually brought me on as a Barstool Chicago intern to write NFL gambling blogs throughout last season. Currently, quarantine is overlapping with paternity leave from my real job, so I'm taking the opportunity to write about what I love for a company and fan base that I love. Follow on Twitter @DopeRopesChi
I could give you an individual breakdown of all transactions across each NFL team since the Super Bowl, but then this write-up might become as long as my Bill Romanowski blog from Sunday.
Apologies in advance for the LASIK surgery you will inevitably need after reviewing this table, but this is the best I can do to convey what sportsbooks think about the moves made by every team in preparation for the 2020 season thus far:
Here are the things that jump out at me:
#1) People love Overs
12 team totals increased while only 8 team totals decreased. If you're looking to take an Over, you better feel really fucking good about it because this market is flooded with Over bettors. With that said, buy a hoodie:
#2) The Brady signing caused the biggest swing in the market
The Patriots dropped 1.5 games and the Bucs gained 1.5 games. No other teams swung more than a game.
There are teams that have made more comprehensive off-season improvements (Browns, Bills, Cardinals), but the public has gravitated to the Bucs' acquisition of Brady. I get that the Bucs are adding the GOAT who threw 22 fewer interceptions than Jameis last year, but 1.5 games is a hefty shift when you consider that Jameis was taking risks that Brady wouldn't dream of to lead a Top-3 explosive pass play offense for Tampa last year.
On the flip side, the Pats have lost some key defenders in addition to Brady, but I find the 1.5-game drop to be equally inflated. That's a big "no thanks" from me on the Patriots Under 9. I'm not betting against Belichick at a key juncture in his career to defend his legacy, especially after the most significant win total drop in the league over this period.
#3) The Texans' outlook didn't worsen as much as you would think
It's pretty interesting that Houston's win total dropped only 0.5 after Bill O'Brien traded away a Hall of Fame talent in DeAndre Hopkins and generally pulled moves that were universally shat upon. Well, almost universally:
Ian's gotta do his job but goddamn! I'll give him "versatile," but the only thing that would make this group shakier would be adding Austin Collie.
And sorry for the ricochet shot at Collie, but I seriously don't know how many concussions Brandin Cooks has left in him.
Taking a big step back to reflect on the NFL gambling mentality, the best advice is that you should feel gross about most bets you take. Here are a couple Overs (of course) that I'm scoping:
- Texans Over 8 wins. Sure, Bill O'Brien appears to be dismantling that team, but the win total dropping only 0.5 points while the public takes turns laughing in your face tells me that there is value here. And hey, if the Texans don't get to 8 wins, how are they going to lose the Saturday Wild Card game?
- Rams Over 9 wins. Their win total increasing from 8.5 games despite a horrendous off-season (due to cap space) tells me that it's not about the players. The Rams added an offensive coordinator and a defensive coordinator who are both under the age of 38 with no children, which means they can scheme with McVay in quarantine on 10-hour Zoom calls everyday and still have time to complain about being bored. Breeders like me (and many NFL coaches) are lucky to have 5-10 mins away from their kids to discreetly and humbly rub one out.
The only head-scratcher that doesn't hold my interest is my hometown Chicago Bears. It appears that their win total shifted from 8 to 8.5 for no fucking reason. At first I thought it was attributable to the addition of TE Jimmy Graham, but then I checked the calendar and realized it wasn't 2013. It's likely due to the NFC North weakening (GB adding ZERO receiving help in additional to being frauds last year and MIN losing a ton of talent), but that's not enough to make me a buyer. Regardless, Bear down.