This article is part of our MLB Picks series.
Now that we know where almost every relevant free agent has signed, it's time to take a look at some team over/under win total bets for the 2021 season over at the FanDuel and Draft Kings sportsbooks. Last week I hit on my best bets in the American League, and now it's time to round things out with the best bets in the National League.
FanDuel's lines are quite fluid, with every bet coming with a -110 vig, while the lines at Draft Kings seem to have mostly stayed the same, while the vig has shifted (in some cases significantly so) on some lines. The standard vig at DK is -112, so in most cases, the better value is at FD, but there are some cases where it makes more sense to place the bet at DK. I'm staying away on the Diamondbacks, Cubs, Rockies, Dodgers, Mets, Cardinals at their current lines.
ATLANTA Over 91.5 wins (-110 on FD)
This team is still the class of the NL East in my opinion, and they've just got such a strong core of position players and pitchers who are either in their prime or on the upswing that I think any projection system is going to come out a little low on their win total. They almost got to the World Series last year and I think Alex Anthopoulos is one of the best general managers in the league, so I expect him to make this team better at the deadline. I'm not sure what they'll get from guys like Austin Riley, Cristian Pache, Drew Waters, Kyle Wright and Bryse Wilson, but I think one or two of those guys will really surprise people this year with how much they help the big-league team.
CINCINNATI Under 81.5 wins (-110 on FD)
If you want the extra cushion of a win, you can bet under 82.5 wins at -124 on DK, but I'm fine just getting the better value on the .500 or worse record for the Reds. Obviously, the top of the rotation is pretty outstanding, and there's plenty of thump in the top half of the lineup, but I don't think this team is clearly better than the Cubs (78.5 line on both sites) and like Chicago, it's easy to envision this team dealing a key win-now piece or two before the deadline. I'm not sure how good the bullpen will be, but if this team's rotation depth gets tested at all, they're going to be in trouble. Additionally, the back half of the lineup is really poor and, per usual, the Reds will struggle defensively.
MIAMI Over 71.5 wins (-110 on FD)
I love this over. Miami might have the best rotation in the NL East, and I think this offense and defense are a little underrated as well. If that weren't enough, this front office is clearly willing to buy at the deadline if they're in the hunt for a Wild Card spot. The one weakness here is the bullpen, but this line is still a few wins too low. The Marlins to win this division at +3500 on FD is also a pretty nice long-shot bet.
MILWAUKEE Over 82 wins (-110 on FD)
This bullpen is really stacked — everyone knows about Josh Hader and Devin Williams, but Freddy Peralta, Brent Suter and Justin Topa make up a pretty excellent bridge from the starter to the lights-out guys at the back when there's a lead to protect. The defense also got significantly better this offseason with the additions of Kolten Wong and Jackie Bradley. A couple of other factors in favor of the over: Craig Counsell is one of the better managers in the game and the Brewers desperately want to get as many spectators in the stands as they can this summer — they make a ton of money on concessions and usually get a packed house when they're competitive — so they'll be looking to keep interest in the team high all season.
PHILADELPHIA Under 81.5 wins (-110 on FD)
This lineup will be decent, and the top of the rotation is solid, but I really worry about this team's lack of depth and shoddy defense and bullpen. Specifically, their defense at third base, first base and center field figures to be extremely problematic. Additionally, this farm system is arguably the worst in the game, so they'd really need to gut things in order to add an impact piece at the deadline. There are no easy matchups in this division and they're an injury to any of Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Aaron Nola or Zack Wheeler away from being in serious trouble.
PITTSBURGH Over 58.5 wins (+105 on DK)
Look, I know this team is going to be terrible, but you can bet $100 to win $105 on DK, and all they have to do is lose fewer than 104 games to pay it off. I considered the Colorado over for similar reasons, but you're not getting this type of value on that bet, and unlike the Rockies, there is no Dodgers or Padres in the NL Central to wallop the Pirates every time they meet. I don't think any team in this division gets to 90 wins, so the Pirates will at least have a shot in their inter-division matchups. Another wrinkle I like in their favor is that they have a few unheralded starting pitchers (JT Brubaker, Steven Brault, Chad Kuhl and even Cody Ponce) that sharp minds like Eno Sarris of The Athletic like to surprise people this year.
SAN DIEGO Over 94.5 wins (-110 on FD)
Everyone talks about the rotation, especially after the massive upgrades they made over the offseason, but I'm very impressed with the depth of position players and relievers A.J. Preller has assembled. They arguably have the best trio of catchers in the majors (Austin Nola, Victor Caratini, Luis Campusano), especially when factoring in defense. They also have a ton of depth in multi-position options with guys like Jake Cronenworth, Ha-seong Kim and Jurickson Profar, none of whom are expected to play every day. They may get nothing from Dinelson Lamet. They may get nothing from MacKenzie Gore. They may get very little from guys like Adrian Morejon and Ryan Weathers, but as long as they get something solid from one or two of those guys, they should have the juice to get to this over. Also, they are extremely pot committed on this season, so look for them to upgrade any and all weaknesses at the deadline.
SAN FRANCISCO Over 75.5 wins (-106 on DK)
This team is sneakily really deep — not with stars, but with competent players who will be put in positions to succeed. They aren't there yet, but in a few years, this will be kind of a Dodgers/Rays hybrid, with platoons up and down the lineup, a loaded farm system, and an ability to extract the most from its pitchers. The Giants will want to build some excitement around this team over the summer because of how much they can charge for tickets and 2022 season tickets, and the farm system is already good enough that they don't need to tank anymore. There's just too much organizational competency here to think they won't get into the high 70s in wins.
WASHINGTON Under 84.5 (-112 on DK)
I like taking the extra half win here on DK rather than going under 84 at -110 on FD. This might be the most top-heavy roster in the league, so while I could certainly see them going over if they get good, healthy seasons from Juan Soto, Trea Turner, Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin, I'm betting against them getting good, healthy seasons from all five of those guys, especially when looking at the ages and odometers of that trio of starters. Like Philadelphia, the Nationals have one of the worst farm systems in the game, so I don't see them adding an impact piece at the deadline.