NFL Betting: 3 Team Prop Bets to Target in 2018

With the NFL season around the corner, let's look at three team-based prop bets to target.

We've been breaking down a number of 2018's best bets when it comes to player props, including a run down of the favorites to lead the league in receiving yards.

There's a ton of value to be found by digging into the lines for player totals, and the same can be said of some of team prop bets out there. The path to profit looks a clear on some of the team props being offered up by Betfair and Paddy Power.

Here are three team prop bets to target in 2018.

Patriots or Steelers to Win the AFC

Odds: -110 (10/11)

Few things are consistent in the NFL, but perennial excellence from both the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers is one thing we've come to count on.

In the past 17 years, either Pittsburgh or New England has represented the AFC in the Super Bowl on 11 occasions. Put another way, one of these two teams has won the AFC 65 percent of the time since the turn of the century, yet the -110 line on this prop bet suggests an implied probability of 52 percent.

If we include Peyton Manning in the equation, either Manning, Ben Roethlisberger or Tom Brady has won the AFC 15 out of 17 years, or 88 percent of the time. In the two seasons since Manning retired, however, the AFC road to the Super Bowl has gotten much easier, and the Patriots have gone to the championship game in back-to-back Super Bowls.

So it's no surprise that our projections give Pittsburgh and New England the best odds among AFC teams to win the Super Bowl.

Team nERD Proj W-L Playoffs Divison Super Bowl
Philadelphia Eagles 7.50 10.0-6.0 70.7% 57.8% 10.0%
New England Patriots 5.99 10.0-6.0 77.8% 66.0% 9.8%
Minnesota Vikings 6.68 9.5-6.5 63.2% 46.3% 8.1%
New Orleans Saints 6.45 9.4-6.6 62.9% 47.8% 7.4%
Pittsburgh Steelers 5.04 9.4-6.6 67.6% 52.4% 7.3%

The AFC is nowhere near as loaded as the NFC. The Los Angeles Chargers (6.9%) have the next-best odds among AFC squads of winning the Super Bowl. The Bolts should be good in 2018, but they have two playoff wins in the last 10 years and haven't been to the postseason since the 2013 season.

The AFC is New England's or Pittsburgh's to lose.

Titans, Chiefs, Lions All Have at Least 8 Regular Season Wins

Odds: +350 (7/2)

This is another prop that stands out thanks the the relative consistency of these three teams in recent years. The Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs and Detroit Lions have all exceeded eight wins in two straight seasons, yet the implied probability of this bet hitting is just 22.2 percent.

Team 2015 Wins 2016 Wins 2017 Wins
Chiefs 11 9 10
Titans 3 9 9
Lions 7 12 9

There's nothing to suggest that any of these teams will take a significant step back in 2018.

With KC starting what is essentially a rookie passer in Patrick Mahomes, it's possible we see some regression from them, but they still have two wins to give from their total of 10 last year, and they're over/under on team wins has been set at 8.5 by Vegas bookmakers.

The Titans notched nine wins in two straight seasons while running a 1970s-style offense under Mike Mularkey. In addition to upgrades on the defensive side of the ball, their offense is now in the hands of coordinator Matt LaFleur, who played a key role in engineering the Los Angeles Rams' offensive turnaround last year.

The Lions have averaged 10.5 wins over the past two seasons and return much the same roster, only with upgrades at running back and head coach. If any of these three teams finishes under eight wins, however, it'll probably be the Lions -- their over/under win total has been set at 7.5.

All 32 Teams Score at Least 250 Regular Season Points

Odds: +600 (6-1)

These odds seem particularly out of line, and I had to double check all these totals a few times to make sure I wasn't missing anything.

Over the past five years, a team has scored fewer than 250 regular season points on three occasions. It's never happened more than once in the same season, and it's been very close in all three instances -- the Cleveland Browns (234 points in 2017), Jacksonville Jaguars (249 points in 2014) and Jags again (247 points in 2013).

All 32 teams scoring at least 250 points has happened 40 percent of the time in recent years. If the Jaguars had scored one more point-after-touchdown in 2014, that number would be 60 percent. Yet the +600 line on this prop implies a 14.3 percent probability of it happening in 2018. Hello, value town.

With massive upgrades at quarterback and receiver, Cleveland will almost certainly improve by at least 16 points this season.

While other teams could regress below the 250-point mark, this prop presents a clear value.