Upcoming Match-ups

Each spring, sportsbooks give bettors a gift when they release the opening lines for every week of the upcoming NFL season. The gift is not the ability to place a bet on a Week 13 game you think presents value, but rather the pieces of a (complex) puzzle that when put together properly, give you a detailed picture of what sportsbooks are expecting from each team this season—also read as, “NFL record predictions”.

Using these opening NFL lines, I’ve already put together SBD’s NFL Power Rankings, which is based on an ATS +/- for all teams from Weeks 1-18. I’ve gone one step – or maybe 130,000 steps – further with these opening spreads in this one, though.

I have used the betting lines to mathematically predict each NFL team’s record for the 2023 NFL season, using a calculation I have dubbed “SBD Win Probabilities”. You’ll find more on the process and specific steps of the SBD Win Probability calculation later in this article. With these mathematical NFL record predictions, I have then highlighted the teams with the best probability to go over or under their respective NFL win totals, as well as some teams who present value to go over or under.

To be clear, these NFL record predictions are not based off my opinion in any way. It’s also not as simple as taking the sportsbooks’ win totals and making predictions from those. We’ve gone deeper into their data to pull out these record predictions.

NFL Record Predictions | Best Over/Under Probability | Best Over/Under Bets | SBD Win Probability Calculation Explained | Past Results

2023 NFL Record Predictions

Team 2022 Record Prediction
Kansas City Chiefs 11-6
Baltimore Ravens 10-7
Buffalo Bills 10-7
Cincinnati Bengals 10-7
Dallas Cowboys 10-7
Jacksonville Jaguars 10-7
Philadelphia Eagles 10-7
San Francisco 49ers 10-7
Cleveland Browns 9-8
Detroit Lions 9-8
Los Angeles Chargers 9-8
Miami Dolphins 9-8
New Orleans Saints 9-8
New York Jets 9-8
Pittsburgh Steelers 9-8
Seattle Seahawks 9-8
Atlanta Falcons 8-9
Carolina Panthers 8-9
Chicago Bears 8-9
Denver Broncos 8-9
Green Bay Packers 8-9
Minnesota Vikings 8-9
New England Patriots 8-9
New York Giants 8-9
Houston Texans 7-10
Indianapolis Colts 7-10
Las Vegas Raiders 7-10
Los Angeles Rams 7-10
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7-10
Tennessee Titans 7-10
Washington Commanders 7-10
Arizona Cardinals 5-12

The results of the SBD Win Probability calculation, or our NFL record predictions, say the Kansas City Chiefs will finish the 2023 NFL season with the best record in the league at 11-6. The defending champions have a 20.17% chance of finishing with an 11-6 record, but a 41.73% chance of winning more than 11 games and just a 38.1% chance of winning less.

There are seven teams I am predicting (via the sportsbooks) to win ten games: the Ravens, Bills, Bengals, Cowboys, Jaguars, Eagles, and 49ers. Among those teams, it is Cincinnati who has the best chance to win more than ten. The Bengals have a 48.51% chance to go over ten wins. Next up is the Eagles with a 45.08% chance to win more than ten. Of those seven, it is the Cowboys who have the best chance to win less than ten with a 50.22% chance of coming up short.

The opening lines for the 2023 NFL season show a lot of parity. This year has the fewest double-digit spreads we have seen at opening since I started collecting this data in 2015, and the biggest spreads are just ten points, which is another low since 2015—Bills as 10-point favorites over the Bucs in Week 8, and Eagles as 10-point favorites over the Cardinals in Week 17. As a result, no NFL team is predicted to be too far on either end of the spectrum.

The NFL team predicted to finish with the worst record in 2023 is the Arizona Cardinals at 5-12. Every other team is projected to win at least seven games. The Texans do have a 48.11% chance of winning less than seven, though, and the Bucs have a 43.34% chance to come up short of seven wins.

2023 NFL record predictions

In the image above, you’ll see the chances of each team winning zero through 17 games this season, based off the SBD Win Probabilities calculation. To get the record prediction above, I have just taken the most likely outcome for each team from the calculation.

How Can NFL Record Predictions Help You as a Bettor?

It’s a lot of fun spending the summer looking ahead at how you think each NFL team will perform in 2023. While I wouldn’t suggest taking every person’s record predictions to the sportsbooks, this mathematical method for NFL record predictions has proven successful in the past.

The best market to attack at the sportsbooks with these record predictions is win totals. Here’s how my NFL Win Probabilities can help you bet NFL win totals.

Teams Most Likely to Go Over/Under Win Total

Team Win Total Over Probability Team Win Total Under Probability
Arizona Cardinals 4.5 71.6% San Francisco 49ers 11.5 76.1%
Houston Texans 5.5 71.2% Philadelphia Eagles 11.5 73.7%
Los Angeles Rams 6.5 67.4% Cincinnati Bengals 11.5 71%
Las Vegas Raiders 6.5 65.4% Baltimore Ravens 10.5 67.5%
Indianapolis Colts 6.5 62.4% New Orleans Saints 9.5 63.6%

It’s important to read this for what it is: the teams with the best chances to go over or under their win total. This does not mean they are the best bets to do so. We need to factor in the odds before determining the best bets. We will do this in the next section!

The team with the best chance to go over their win total is the Arizona Cardinals with a 71.6% probability to go over 4.5 wins. There is a 19.9% chance Arizona wins five games this season and a 15.4% chance they win six.

Although the Cardinals are the only team in the NFL not favored in any of their 17 games, they aren’t heavy underdogs in many of them. They play three games where they are two-point dogs or less and six more where they are less than six-point dogs. The math says they’re very likely to find their way into at least five wins. A speedy return from Kyler Murray will certainly help.

The team with the best probability to go under their win total is the San Francisco 49ers. The Niners’ win total is set at 11.5 but they have a 76.1% chance to go under. San Francisco is favored in all but one game this season—Week 13 they are 2.5-point dogs against the Eagles—but they aren’t very heavily favored in many games.

This comes in spite of San Francisco having the fourth-easiest NFL strength of schedule for the 2023 season. They are more than seven-point favorites in just two games and are favorites of three points or less in ten games.

Based on the SBD Win Probability calculation, here’s each team’s probability to go over/under their respective win total this season.

NFL Win Total Predictions for Every Team

Team Win Total Over Probability Under Probability
Arizona Cardinals 4.5 71.6% 28.4%
Atlanta Falcons 8.5 42.5% 57.5%
Baltimore Ravens 10.5 34.5% 67.5%
Buffalo Bills 10.5 44.3% 55.7%
Carolina Panthers 7.5 53.5% 46.5%
Chicago Bears 7.5 53.6% 46.4%
Cincinnati Bengals 11.5 29% 71%
Cleveland Browns 9.5 38.9% 61.1%
Dallas Cowboys 9.5 49.8% 50.2%
Denver Broncos 8.5 46.1% 53.9%
Detroit Lions 9.5 45.6% 54.4%
Green Bay Packers 7.5 58.9% 41.1%
Houston Texans 5.5 71.2% 28.8%
Indianapolis Colts 6.5 62.4% 37.6%
Jacksonville Jaguars 9.5 52.6% 47.4%
Kansas City Chiefs 11.5 41.7% 58.3%
Las Vegas Raiders 6.5 65.4% 34.6%
Los Angeles Chargers 9.5 40.5% 59.5%
Los Angeles Rams 6.5 67.4% 32.6%
Miami Dolphins 9.5 47.2% 52.8%
Minnesota Vikings 8.5 47.2% 52.8%
New England Patriots 7.5 58.1% 41.9%
New Orleans Saints 9.5 36.4% 63.6%
New York Giants 7.5 56.8% 43.2%
New York Jets 9.5 46.4% 53.6%
Philadelphia Eagles 11.5 26.3% 73.7%
Pittsburgh Steelers 8.5 52.4% 47.6%
San Francisco 49ers 11.5 23.9% 76.1%
Seattle Seahawks 8.5 56.7% 43.3%
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6.5 56.7% 43.3%
Tennessee Titans 7.5 46.9% 53.1%
Washington Football Team 6.5 60.5% 39.5%

In the table above, I’ve put any probability above 57% in bold font. I already highlighted the five teams most likely to go over their win total and the five most likely to go under. But you can see there are some other teams showing strong probability towards the over or under as well.

Should any teams suffer any significant injuries in the offseason, that would of course change things dramatically for not only that team, but all their opponents in 2023 as well.

Now let’s dive into those best bets I was talking about earlier. (If you are just looking for the bets with the best probability of winning, not caring for the value, then go ahead and bet the teams bolded above.)

Best NFL Win Totals Bets from Record Predictions

Team Win Total Over/Under Pick Odds Implied Probability from Odds SBD Win Probability Edge
Philadelphia Eagles 11.5 Under -110 52.4% 73.7% 21.3%
Arizona Cardinals 4.5 Over -115 53.5% 71.6% 18.1%
San Francisco 49ers 11.5 Under -144 59% 76.1% 17.1%
Los Angeles Rams 6.5 Over -102 50.5% 67.4% 16.9%
Cincinnati Bengals 11.5 Under -125 55.6% 71% 15.4%
Houston Texans 5.5 Over -135 57.5% 71.2% 13.7%
Kansas City Chiefs 11.5 Under +120 45.5% 58.3% 12.8%
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6.5 Over +120 45.5% 56.7% 11.2%
Los Angeles Chargers 9.5 Under +105 48.8% 59.6% 10.8%

Note that I did not calculate a vig-free probability for the odds. If I did that, your edge would be slightly stronger for each of these bets.

You’ll notice a lot of the teams listed in the best bets table above are the same ones from the best probability table. There are a couple newcomers, though. The Chiefs are the best bet among teams without a very strong probability one way or the other, as their odds to go under are +120, yet they have a 58.3% chance to go under.

What Is SBD’s Win Probability Calculation?

As I said earlier, I started with the opening lines for every game of the 2020 NFL season. These are the truest odds you can get your hands on. Money has not influenced them yet and it’s the closest thing you’ll find to the sportsbooks’ true perception of each team – they are still considering the public perception of each team, but they don’t have as good of a read on the public before money comes in.

And while there will be teams who surprise us every season, sportsbooks have a track record of being pretty accurate in how they view teams.

I knew my ATS +/- (or SBD NFL Power Ranking) would help with Super Bowl and playoff futures. But I wasn’t able to find a ton of great win total trends or correlations from that calculation. So I started thinking about what I could do with these spreads to help with win totals.

And then it hit me! I realized I could use these opening lines to poke holes in NFL win totals that have been influenced by money and public perception.

Here was my thought process:

  1. Convert the spreads to implied probabilities to simply win the game;
  2. Calculate every win-loss combination for a 16 17-game season – did you know there are 65,536 131,072? There may only be one way to win 17 games, and 17 different ways to go 16-1 (depending which game you lose), but there are 24,310 different ways to go 8-9;
  3. Going one team at a time, input their probabilities to win or lose each game of the season;
  4. Add together all win-loss combinations that result in the same number of wins.

After doing that work, I now had the probability for each team to win zero through 17 games this season.

Full disclosure, I see two very minor flaws with this: (a) I did not factor in the probability of a game ending in a tie; and (b) while many of these spreads will be different from what we see at their more traditional opening (a week prior to the game), Week 18’s spreads will likely be much different than what we have now.

But I don’t see either of these having much of an effect on the teams whose SBD Win Prob is way out of line with their win total at sportsbooks – we’ve seen 12 ties in the NFL since 2012, which comes out to about one per season – and if any of your over/under bets don’t have anything to play for in Week 17, it probably means your bet has already been graded.

Past Results

Year Record Profit
2022 8-3 +2.36 units
2021 10-7 +0.59 units
2020 8-5 +1.34 units

We were in the green again last year on the teams with the strongest probability to go over/under their win total, going 8-3 to win 2.36 units. (This assumes you bet one unit on each of them.) If you bet the over or under on every single team’s win total, based on their better probability, you would have gone 20-11.

If you only went with the over/unders with at least a 66.7% chance of winning, you would have been 5-0! The best bets, which had an edge greater than 11% only went 3-2 for a small profit.

2022 NFL record prediction results

The image above shows the probabilities for each team to win zero through 17 games in the 2022 season (last year). The cells shaded green dictate the team’s most probable number of wins. The cells shaded blue indicate the actual number of games they won. If there is only a blue cell (no green) for any team, that means the SBD Win Probability calculation nailed their record.

Author Image

After working in TV, Matt turned his focus towards numbers, specifically odds. He has been with us since 2016 and serves as SBD's Editor-in-Chief, credited with creating our futures trackers, SBD's score predictor, SBD Sharp, and his own model for calculating NFL SOS, among other products.