Who the 2022-23 AFC playoff teams are and how to bet them

The 2022 NFL season kicks off on Thursday, as will NFL betting. We know, we know: NFL betting has been around for months in the form of player props and team-based props and futures like over/under win totals, “To Win Super Bowl LVII”, fewest regular-season wins, etc. But soon – very soon – NFL bettors will be wagering on point spreads and money lines and over/unders!

So before Buffalo Bills -2½ at Los Angeles Rams on Thursday Night Football, we’re rounding up some of our preferred props and futures, taking stock in the form of predictions.

Kansas City Chiefs. Only an injury to Patrick Mahomes can stop these Chiefs, it seems. Over the past four seasons, Kansas City has run up a 49-13 SU (33-27-2 ATS) record in regular-season games when Mahomes starts. Two seasons, this team ran up a 14-2 mark (albeit in wacky pandemic conditions) on the way to a Super Bowl LV loss, and since taking over a 2-14 team in 2013, head coach Andy Reid has helped get this team at least 10 wins seven out of eight seasons. As for that difficulty of schedule, well, it may look quite a bit different when this season’s through. The bets: take the Kansas City Chiefs to have the NFL’s best record at 8/1 and to win the AFC West at +175.

Cincinnati Bengals. Thanks to a head-scratchingly bad performance in the second half of the last AFC Championship Game, the Chiefs punched the Bengals a ticket to Super Bowl LVI. The Bengals entered 2021 as a 100/1 shot to win the conference and this season are commanding more respect at the sportsbooks with 12/1 odds. NFLbets can’t factor in any intangible mumbojumbo about Super Bowl losers washing out the following season. Have you seen Burrow-to-Chase? The bet: Take the Cincinnati Bengals to win the AFC North at +170.

Buffalo Bills. Despite taking deep dives into essentially every NFL team this preseason already, NFLbets hasn’t spent more than a couple of minutes considering the Bills in depth. This is probably due to memories of the 1990s and the incapability of “Buffalo Bills, NFL Champions” as anything more than an embarrassing giveaway to folks in third-world countries. However, even a superficial take on the situation in the AFC East making betting pretty simple, if not very lucrative. The bet: Take the Buffalo Bills to win the AFC East at -240 – preferably as part of a parlay.

Tennessee Titans. As is our usual wont, NFLbets will probably avoid intraconference AFC South games again, but who else can we pick to win this division? Tennessee has won the South the past two seasons with a combined 23 wins; bettors can’t be bullish on the Indianapolis Colts without seeing Matt Ryan in a new system; the Houston Texans are the favorite to win the fewest games and who knows what the Jacksonville Jaguars might be after losing one season to Covid insanity and a second to Urban Meyer’s? We’ll go with a surer thing. The bet: Take the Tennessee Titans to win the AFC South at +170.

Baltimore Ravens. Say all you want about the one-dimensionality of a Lamar Jackson-driven offense, but with a fourth-place schedule, a couple of weak-looking division mates and the same old reliable shutdown defense, the Ravens can probably put together 10 wins in 2022. Unfortunately, the weirdness with the Cleveland Browns’ quarterback situation has sheared the futures market on the AFC North. The bet: Take over-10 wins at -160 – though NFLbets thinks this is probably a push.

Los Angeles Chargers. After closing out the 2021 regular season with a 1-4 SU/ATS “run”, it became pointedly obvious to most NFL observers that the problems lay in coaching. How else to explain the lack of success with a roster full of All-Pros and fantasy football darlings? For ‘’22, the Chargers are again mega-talented, but who knows how many wins this translates to? We’re taking a bet that’s more fun. The bet: Take the L.A. Chargers to score the most points in 2022 at 10/1.

Denver Broncos or Miami Dolphins. Without seeing how Russell Wilson looks in the Broncos offense and how Tyreek Hill looks on a team whose head coach is no longer bribed to tank games, this one is a coin flip. So we’ll play these predicted no. 7 seeds with the opportunity to hedge in week 18. The bets: Take the Denver Broncos to miss the playoffs at +110 and take the Bills and Dolphins in an AFC East Straight Forecast prop at +200.

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