Is Phil Hellmuth as good at picking NFL season totals as he says he is?

Dave Consolazio
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Posted on: September 3, 2021 12:56 am EDT

Phil Hellmuth is no stranger to bold claims. He once famously said that if luck weren’t involved, he’d win every tournament. So when he claims that he has won money betting on NFL season totals for 12 years in a row as he did this week, it’s natural to wonder if this figure might be slightly fabricated. Fortunately, Hellmuth has made an annual tradition out of posting his season totals bets on Twitter since 2015, so his claim can be partially fact-checked. Let’s take a look.

2020: Hellmuth goes 2-0

Last season, Hellmuth took the Miami Dolphins to go over six wins during the regular season and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to go over 10 wins. The Buccaneers entered their bye week in Week 13 with a 7-5 record, but finished the regular season up on a 4-0 run to go 11-5 before Tom Brady led them to their first Super Bowl victory since 2002. The Dolphins meanwhile thrived under second-year head coach Brian Flores, doubling their win total from the season before to go 10-5 in 2020.

2019: Hellmuth goes 2-0

Hellmuth made two selections in 2020, taking the Green Bay Packers to finish with over nine regular season wins and the Kansas City Chiefs to go over 10.5 wins. Green Bay bounced back from a 6-9-1 campaign in 2018 to win the NFC North Division with a 13-3 record. The Chiefs matched their 12-4 regular season record from the season before and went on to win the Super Bowl with Patrick Mahomes leading the way.

2018: Hellmuth goes 1-0-1

Phil Hellmuth and Mike Matusow found themselves on opposing sides of the New England Patriots’ projected total of 11 wins as Hellmuth liked the OVER and Matusow liked the UNDER. Both would settle for a push as New England went 11-5 during the regular season ahead of their run to a Super Bowl victory. Hellmuth’s other wager on Tampa Bay to go under 6.5 wins wasn’t looking good early when the Buccaneers opened the season with a 2-0 record, but they went on to finish the year at 5-11.

2017: Hellmuth goes 3-1

Hellmuth made four season win total plays in 2017, going big on the Atlanta Falcons over 9.5 wins, standard size on the Detroit Lions over seven wins and the Baltimore Ravens over eight wins, and then small on the Arizona Cardinals over nine wins. He picked up wins on Atlanta (10-6), Detroit (9-7) and Baltimore (9-7) while settling for a small loss on the Cardinals (8-8).

2016: Hellmuth goes 2-0-1

The season totals wizard cashed in on his biggest bet in 2016 as well, taking the New York Giants to win over eight games and blowing that total out of the water with an 11-5 campaign. Baltimore over eight ended in a push after the Ravens went 8-8, and Tennessee over six wins was another pick in the win column for Hellmuth when the Titans went 9-7.

2015: Hellmuth goes 1-0

Arizona’s brutal schedule draw in 2015 had many experts projecting that the Cardinals would miss the playoffs and struggle to get to eight wins. Hellmuth put his faith in head coach Bruce Arians to help the Cardinals exceed expectations, and they did exactly that, going 13-3 to cruise over their projected total of 8.5 wins.

Final thoughts

Since 2015, Hellmuth has recorded a remarkable 11-1-2 record on his posted NFL season totals bets. And the only loss out of those 14 picks was a play that Hellmuth announced he was betting smaller on than the rest. It’s difficult to say when exactly this incredible hot streak started; in his 2015 tweet picking the Cardinals, Hellmuth says that he “won three years in a row betting NFL Futures”. That would place the start of this streak in 2012, making it a nine-year winning streak as opposed to a 12-year winning streak.

But who’s counting? Regardless of when the streak actually started, Hellmuth has been dishing out winners at a fantastic rate. This year he’s taking the Falcons to go over 7.5 wins and the Packers to go over 10 wins. Are you riding the heater?

Featured Image Credit: Flickr – World Poker Tour