Projected win totals from Vegas and the various gambling websites which readily provide you with the opportunity to get divorced from the comfort of your living room are largely meaningless for those who don’t partake in such shenanigans.

At best, they’re a loose gauge of the public’s current perception of each team and its chances to win football contests this fall. Bookies aim to make a prospective bettor’s decision difficult, and therefore after doing the required research, they set the over/unders right around where the common man believes each team’s win total will finish. Or at least that’s partly true, as more often they’re playing with your mind and influencing wagers in one direction or another.

I realize it’s some pretty heavy stuff to consider that bookies may not be entirely trustworthy people, so please pause for a moment before taking in the win totals below from Bovada which were released this afternoon.

Arizona Cardinals: 5.5
Atlanta Falcons: 10
Baltimore Ravens: 8.5
Buffalo Bills: 6.5
Carolina Panthers: 7
Chicago Bears: 8.5
Cincinnati Bengals: 8.5
Cleveland Browns: 6
Dallas Cowboys: 8.5
Denver Broncos: 11.5
Detroit Lions: 7.5
Green Bay Packers: 10.5
Houston Texans: 10.5
Indianapolis Colts: 8.5
Jacksonville Jaguars: 5
Kansas City Chiefs: 7
Miami Dolphins: 7.5
Minnesota Vikings: 7.5
New England Patriots: 11.5
New Orleans Saints: 9.5
New York Giants: 9
New York Jets: 6.5
Oakland Raiders: 5.5
Philadelphia Eagles: 7
San Diego Chargers: 7.5
San Francisco 49ers: 11.5
Seattle Seahawks: 10.5
St. Louis Rams: 7
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 7
Tennessee Titans: 6.5
Washington Redskins: 8.5

And a few thoughts…

  • Based on these odds, the Jaguars will have the first overall pick next spring. So based on these odds, we’re about to witness Blaine Gabbert’s last year as a starting NFL quarterback.
  • The 49ers, Patriots, and Broncos are in a three-way tie for the title of highest rated team in arbitrary win projections. The 11.5 number feels a touch high for the Pats, a touch low for Denver, and just right for San Francisco.
  • The entire NFC East is within two wins of each other. The overall talent on those four teams may fluctuate, but that remains the league’s most entertaining division.
  • Despite buying every player available during free agency, the Dolphins’ number is set only marginally higher than their 2012 win total (7).
  • At first it seems like the Ravens are projected for a tumble during their championship defense, and indeed they’d be battling for the playoffs if they finish around that 8.5 number. But please recall that this past season — you know, the one that ended in a Super Bowl parade — the Ravens win total was only slightly higher than Bovada’s projection (10), and only one of those wins came over their last five games. Their 2012 season is our shining example that while betting is fun and talking about betting and win totals is even more great fun, the numbers above in no way even hint at which team will the 2014 Super Bowl. There are different arbitrary numbers for that.