As NFL betting gains further acceptance and legalization around the nation, access to futures bets presents one of the easiest ways to jump on a trend early for a return. With the release of the projected NFL win totals and the NFL’s full schedule release around the corner, here are some of our 2022 NFL win total best bets based on the current predictions.
2022 NFL odds: NFL win totals released
The NFL free agency period caused a seismic shift around the NFL landscape. The league we watched last season is far different than the one we will see in five short months. Thanks to retirements, un-retirements, trades, and signings, the balance of power has shifted in the NFL — so have the NFL odds. The NFL Draft further helped to re-shift the odds as holes in rosters were filled with some of the top prospects leaving college. However, it remains a rather balanced league, making every Sunday an arduous task to get a win.
Our good friends over at DraftKings Sportsbook have been crunching the numbers and have published their win total predictions for the 2022 NFL season. You will notice off the bat that the 2022 NFL win totals seem a touch low. Last season, the Chiefs opened with the highest win total prediction at 12 games. This year, the Bills and Buccaneers lead the way with 11.5. Green bay sits just a half-game back at 11 despite opening at 11.5.
Also, the AFC, especially the AFC West, is stacked. Not only are nine AFC teams listed with a 9.0+ win total prediction, but the AFC West is going to be a gauntlet, with the Chiefs (10.5), Broncos (10), and Chargers (10) all predicted with double-digit wins. Plus, the Raiders, now with Davante Adams and Chandler Jones, are sitting at 8.5 wins, the highest “bottom feeder” of any division in football.
Before I spoil all the fun, here are the current 2022 NFL win totals as listed by DraftKings Sportsbook. Any numbers in parenthesis reflect where the line opened to show movement.
AFC win totals
Buffalo Bills — 11.5
Kansas City Chiefs — 10.5
Los Angeles Chargers — 10
Denver Broncos — 10
Cincinnati Bengals — 10
Tennessee Titans — 9.5
Baltimore Ravens — 9.5
Indianapolis Colts — 9.5
Miami Dolphins — 9 (was 8.5)
New England Patriots — 8.5
Las Vegas Raiders — 8.5
Pittsburgh Steelers — 7.5
Jacksonville Jaguars — 6 (was 6.5)
New York Jets — 5.5
Houston Texans — 4.5
The win totals for the Cleveland Browns have been removed by Draftkings. This likely is due to caution surrounding the current Deshaun Watson legal situation. When initially released, the Browns opened at 9.5 wins on DraftKings.
NFC win totals
Tampa Bay Buccaneers — 11.5
Green Bay Packers — 11 (was 11.5)
Los Angeles Rams — 10.5
Dallas Cowboys — 10.5
San Francisco 49ers — 10
Arizona Cardinals — 9
Philadelphia Eagles — 8.5
Minnesota Vikings — 8.5
New Orleans Saints — 8 (was 7.5)
Washington Commanders — 7.5
New York Giants — 7
Detroit Lions — 6.5
Chicago Bears — 6.5
Carolina Panthers — 6
Seattle Seahawks — 5.5 (was 6.5)
Atlanta Falcons — 5 (was 5.5)
Best bets and predictions
Now that we have seen the 2022 NFL win totals, where is the value, and who are the best bets to exceed or fall short of their current win total predictions?
Chicago will likely struggle in 2022 to get 6.5 wins
When looking at SOS, the Bears enter 2022 with one of the top three easiest schedules. DraftKings has their projected win total at just 6.5, but that might even be too high. The likely No. 4 seed in the NFC North will struggle to find games they will be favored in this year. Even games against the Lions project to be difficult given the differing trajectories of these teams.
Diving further, the Bears might only be favored in two games — one at home against the Texans and one against the Falcons in Atlanta. Washington at home is a bit of a coinflip, but Carson Wentz and the Commanders likely get the edge given the current rosters.
Chicago did little this offseason to upgrade their roster. Justin Fields has just one primary target in Darnell Mooney, and the OL, which was 32nd in pass-blocking DVOA per Football Outsiders, will be a hot topic again this season. Add in going against the grain by bringing in a defensive-minded head coach, and I feel the Bears will fall below the 6.5 projected win total.
Are the Jets being undervalued for 2022?
The New York Jets opened at 5.5 wins, and before the draft, it made a ton of sense. The Jets were a team littered with question marks and holes on their roster. While some of those questions remain, mostly centering around QB Zach Wilson, not seeing movement after the draft is somewhat surprising.
The Jets flat out crushed the draft. They drafted three players likely at the top of their positional groups in CB Ahmad Gardner (pick No. 4), WR Garrett Wilson (No. 10), and RB Breece Hall (No. 36). Add in a third first-round pick with EDGE Jermaine Johnson (No. 26), and the Jets have a ton of youth and upside heading into 2022.
RB Michael Carter and WR Elijah Moore are healthy, as are OT Mekhi Becton, DE Carl Lawson, and S Lamarcus Joyner. Additionally, the Jets improved their offensive line by signing Laken Tomlinson. After being sacked 53 times last season (fourth-most), I am sure Wilson will appreciate it.
The biggest issue for the Jets is they play in not only a stacked AFC East but the AFC in general. But is a two-win improvement out of the question? I don’t think so. I lean the over on the Jets 2022 win total predictions when searching for best bets.
Watch out for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022
Philadelphia found its identity and got hot last season when it mattered. Going 6-2 over their last eight games, the Eagles snuck into the playoffs with a 9-8 overall record. What did they do this offseason? They fully committed to Jalen Hurts and drafted a few guys who could start in Week 1.
Jordan Davis is a mountain of a man and their next Fletcher Cox. LB Nakobe Dean could prove to be a massive steal as a current injury allowed him to slide into the third round (No. 83). They also added depth on the offensive line with center Cam Jurgens who Jason Kelce basically handpicked. In free agency, they also brought in LB Haason Reddick and WR Zach Pascal.
To top it all off, the Eagles pulled off a blockbuster move on draft day by trading and signing AJ Brown from the Titans to a four-year contract. This gives Hurts three legitimate targets in Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert, plus Pascal, who comes from Indianapolis.
8.5 wins is certainly not a low number, but the NFC as a whole is weaker in 2022. They have two games against Washington and the Giants plus matchups against the Bears, Lions, Texans, Jaguars, and Steelers. The Eagles, barring injuries, arguably have a better shot of winning the NFC East outright than going under their current win total projections.
Are the Detroit Lions ready to surprise some teams in 2022?
First of all, I can’t wait to see Dan Campbell on Hard Knocks. The number of catchphrases going onto T-shirts will be ridiculous, and I might buy every one of them. This is a team in transition, and while not set to compete in 2022, no knee cap will be safe. Just look at the way they finished last season. After the bye week (Week 9) — when Dan Campbell took over play-calling — the Lions went 3-5-1. From Week 13 through 18, they were .500 at 3-3.
In 2022, the Lions have the No. 28-ranked schedule in terms of win/loss vs. opponents, with their opponents having a cumulative 135-154 (.467) record from last season. For their non-divisional games, the Lions also get the Commanders, Jaguars, and Russell Wilson-less Seahawks at home, along with road games against the Jets, Giants, and Panthers. Throw in two games against the Bears, who I believe finish fourth in the NFC North this year, and the Lions’ win total prediction of 6.5 might be on the low side. It might sound crazy, but I am taking the over on the Lions for one of my best bets.