NFLbets has a two-for-one for NFL bettors in this column – or maybe that should be ten-for-five, as we’ve got a list of five teams that we’re predicting not only make the playoffs but also hit the over in the “Over/under Win Totals” proposition bet.
• Kansas City Chiefs – over 10½ wins, -145; to make playoffs, -220
Despite a schedule ranking 6th on the “Strength of Schedule” metric as well as the perceived stiff competition expected from their AFC West division mates, the market on the Chiefs calls for some crazy-short odds on the over in the Total Wins prop and fourth-shortest odds to win Super Bowl LVII (10/1). NFLbets believes there is a reason for this, and we’re also looking at Kansas City in the “Most Wins in the NFL” prop at 8/1…
• Green Bay Packers – over 11 wins, -120; to make playoffs, -500
Let’s see … the NFC is more or less universally expected to be weaker in 2022 than the AFC: Six of the nine “favorites” in the “Fewest Wins” proposition bet are in the NFC, and two of these are in the NFC North. The Packers had their typical quiet offseason, but managed to add WR Sammy Watkins. Aaron Rodgers seems to be over his psycho-sociopolitical distractions, and Green Bay may actually have a legitimate top-5 running game. Over-11 wins should at least get the push with Rodgers on cruise control and -120 is a pretty decent payout on this prop.
• Minnesota Vikings – over 9½ wins, -120; to make playoffs, -135
Yes, betting the Vikings is trendy right now: Action on the over in the Total Wins prop is sinking these odds, counter to the reality that the Vikings are bringing a first-year head coach and, well, Kirk Cousins. To a bottom-10 defense, Minnesota brought in LBs Za'Darius Smith and Jordan Hicks plus DT Harrison Phillips. And the change to Kevin O’Connell as head coach will probably go down as a plus after Mike Zimmer had this team on a downward spiral for the past three seasons.
• Philadelphia Eagles – over 9½ wins, -170; to make playoffs, -190
Able to follow the “weak NFC” storyline in 2022 are Eagles fans, who look hungrily at the NFC East competition, the strongest of which (Dallas) has already lost LT Tyron Smith, the best run-blocker in the NFL, for most-unto-all of the 2022 season. Combined with the 30th-ranked strength of schedule and we’re thinking 10 wins is doable for these Eagles.
• Carolina Panthers – over 6½ wins, -130; to make playoffs, +300
Fair enough: Neither QB Baker Mayfield nor HC Matt Rhule, through five and two seasons, respectively, have accrued much of a reputation for winning, so you may not want to buy NFLbets’ dark horse of a playoff pick. But can a universally disrespected quarterback who surely wants his tv-commercial deals back and the dude with the shortest odds in the “First Coach Fired” proposition bet turn attitude into Ws? Put it this way: This year, the Panthers draw games vs Cleveland, at the Giants, at Atlanta, vs Atlanta, at Seattle, vs Pittsburgh, vs Detroit and what might be meaningless games at Tampa Bay and at New Orleans in weeks 17 and 18. Could an average team win six of those nine, plus score an upset win? Well, why not?