Yesterday, NFLbets forecast which teams will (OK, should. OK, we think should) make the playoffs this season – naturally with an eye to lucrative payouts on NFL futures and proposition bets. Today, our takes on seven teams destined to make the 2022-23 NFL postseason.
Or so we’re saying.
• Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles. Ah, to defend betting on two teams who didn’t win their respective divisions last year and who are running things back with a quarterback that most instinctively distrust. And with good reason Jalen Hurts is untested in the (NFL) postseason at just 0-1 SU/ATS in his two years, while Kirk Cousins in seven seasons has a playoff record of 1-2 SU/ATS (though what Cousins did to the Saints in that 2019 wildcard game was pretty nifty).
But as NFLbets sees it, the best addition the Vikings made this offseason was the hiring of Kevin O’Connell as head coach. Clearly O’Connell, formerly offensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams, won’t have anything resembling Stafford-to-Kupp in Minnesota, but we’re thinking this refresh does them some good. For the Eagles, look at the schedule. Much is made of the Dallas Cowboys drawing the easiest slate based on the “strength of schedule” metric, but you know whose is just as easy? The Eagles’. The bets: Take the Minnesota Vikings to win the NFC North at +260 and take the Philadelphia Eagles to win the NFC East at +150.
• Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers. NFLbets has detailed our take on the 49ers and the other NFC West teams elsewhere. In short, we’re not exactly sure how the defending champions are getting less respect at the sportsbooks than a admittedly talented team which a quarterback most charitably described as shaky and a sub-.500 career head coach? By the same token, we can’t imagine either of these teams winning more than 10 games (given the presumed difficulty of schedule) or less than 9 (given the quality of rosters). The bets: Take the Los Angeles Rams to win the NFC West at +130 and take 2nd in the “49ers Division Finishing Position” prop at +190.
• Green Bay Packers. Slating the Packers in as a wildcard shouldn’t be considered a short shrift. The Pack could well end up with the best of second-best record in the conference – but when your two best remaining WRs depart in the offseason and one of them is named Devonte Adams, that’s a tough ask to win the division. The bet: take 2nd in the “Packers Division Finishing Position” prop at +250.
• Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Might the steep incline of this most recent rise of the Buccaneers be matched by just as precipitous a crash down to earth? Odd things are happening with Tom Brady and midseason retirement is certainly conceivable; both OG slots will be filled by second-stringers to start the season. On the other hand, what’s the worst that could befall the Bucs with a defense this good and a division this marginal? Since any odds on Tampa Bay winning the NFC South or to go under (the way-too-high line of) 11½ wins, we calling the bet: In the “NFC South Straight Forecast/Exast Order” prop, for +350, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the
• Carolina Panthers because, with this much parity in the NFC, some freakish team will surprise. So why not the team with Christian McCaffrey on the roster…?