NFL Betting Odds—Is It Worth Betting On Someone To Go 0-17?

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We have not seen too many winless seasons over the years in the NFL. But there have been a few. Each year, at least one or two teams look like they might become the next one to accomplish that dubious feat.  But the sun usually shines on poor teams at least once during the season. Now that the regular season has expanded to 17 games, everyone is wondering who will be the first 0-17 team.

However, some teams are not looking too good as the 2021 NFL season draws near. How can we know this already? Well—they were not very good last year, and they did not do much (if anything) to make the team better.

But does that mean they are a good bet to go winless this season?

Will Any NFL Team Have a Perfect/Winless Season?DraftKingsPointsBetBetMGM
Any Team To Go 0-17+1100+1600+1100

Winless Teams In The NFL

History tells us no one will probably fail to win at least one game this season. Over the course of the NFL’s lengthy history, only five teams during the Super Bowl Era have the dubious distinction of claiming that accomplishment:

  • 1960 Dallas Cowboys (0-11-1)
  • 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-14)
  • 1982 Baltimore Colts (0-8-1)
  • 2008 Detroit Lions (0-16)
  • 2017 Cleveland Browns (0-16)

The chances are slim, which makes it seem like taking the bet is a bad idea. But the distinction between the elite teams, whatever the opposite of elite is, and everyone else has become more apparent in recent years.

With that in mind, it is not hard to imagine someone going winless this season.

Odds Of Someone Going 0-17 In 2021

Just like every team has a shot to go undefeated when the season begins, every team could just as easily go winless (0-17).  If we want to be realistic, though, the discussion on potential 0-17 teams can be paired down to just four—the Houston Texans, Detroit Lions, New York Jets, and Jacksonville Jaguars.

Odds On Teams To Go Winless (0-17) In 2021/22DraftKingsPointsBet
Houston Texans+2000+2000
Detroit Lions+3500+3300
Cincinnati Bengals+5000+5000
New York Jets+5000+5000
Jacksonville Jaguars+6500+6600

Of course, if you want to put money down on the Rams going winless at +100000, DraftKings will be happy to oblige. But do not expect to see your money again. No, if someone will become the first team to go 0-17, it will be one of these four teams.

Most would say the Texans are a good bet. With how well Bill O’Brien destroyed the roster and the Deshaun Watson drama, it is not hard to understand why. But the Texans are not a terrible team on paper—they just are not a very good one. But you do not have to be good to get one win.

You just have to be better than the other guy on the right day.

That ‘right’ day will likely be one of the two times they face Jacksonville—who will probably win the other game.

The outlook is not great for the Detroit Lions this year. But the Lions have a handful of potentially winnable games this season (Broncos., Bears 2X, Eagles, Bengals). You could make a case for them to win each of those games. However, a case could also be made for them losing each one.

Like Detroit, the Cincinnati Bengals are not a very good team on paper. But with a healthy Joe Burrow, they were competitive in quite a few games last season. If he can play at least as well as he did last season, the Bengals should get at least one win against the Lions, Jaguars, or Texans.

That leaves the New York Jets. If their prize rookie quarterback struggles, they could drop every game. The offense could be as bad as last year’s squad that averaged just over 15 points a game. With a defense that gives up close to 30 and that offense, you will have a hard time beating anyone.

Sports Betting Recommendation

There are two questions here: will anyone go winless, and if so, who. As for the first, the recommendation is simple—do not take the bet. That does not mean there will not be a winless team in 2021. But the risk is not worth the reward at the odds being offered.

As for any team going winless, most would say Houston. But their roster is not so bad that they cannot beat the Jaguars. Jacksonville, on the other hand, got an upgrade at quarterback but did not do much else. Cincinnati has a lot of question marks, but they have a friendly schedule (they will get at least one).

The Jets did enough to their roster to win at least one, but it is hard to say whether the Lions did. So, if you are going to bet on someone going winless—the Jaguars and Lions are your best bets (but keep your wager small).

About the Author

Travis Pulver

Travis Pulver is a lifelong football fan, something he says comes naturally having been born in the football-crazy state of Texas. Through the years, his love of sports has extended into baseball, basketball, golf, and rugby. Life currently finds him in Indiana with his wife and two kids.

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