The Broncos and Ravens officially kicked off the 2013 NFL season on Thursday, but that still leaves 255 games that are as yet undecided, and gives football fans endless opportunity to speculate on what each team's W/L record will be at the end of the regular season.
And while football fans speculate, the Vegas odds makers have already made up their mind what those win totals will look like, and will take your money, thank you very much, if you think their win total projections are either too low or too high.
Last year, the odds makers projected 8.5 wins for the Cowboys prior to the start of the season. But before you put too much faith in these projections, consider that the 2012 Eagles were projected to win the NFC East last year with a 10-win over/under, but ended up finishing last in the division with a 4-12 record.
This year, the Cowboys are once again projected with 8.5 wins. Are you confident enough that what the Cowboys have done this offseason is good enough that you would take the over on those 8.5 wins? Or would you take the under, perhaps because you are not convinced the Cowboys have done enough, or perhaps because that's just your general disposition?
Bovado.lv lists the projected win totals for all 32 teams here. You also find the odds below, conveniently arranged in a league standings table. Note that where teams have the same odds in a division, the teams are arranged alphabetically.
The Patriots, Broncos and 49ers are the favorites heading into the season, closely followed by the Packers, Texans and Falcons, who round out the list of teams projected for double digit wins. At the bottom of the table, six teams are projected with less than seven wins, a ratio which dovetails nicely with what Mike Fisher said about the parity in the league in KD's latest podcast (Listen in to Fisher's part starting a little after the 1:00 hour mark of the podcast).
Overall, the odds look remarkably like the final standings of last season, with only minor changes here or there. And if there's one thing for sure about the NFL, it's that the standings at the end of any given season will look almost nothing like the standings at the end of the previous season.
So what will it be for you, the over or the under on the Cowboys' 8.5 win projection?