NFL Future bets to make prior to Week 1!
QUICK NEWS & NOTES:
Wanted to share some of my favorite NFL Season Props!
BALTIMORE RAVENS OVER 9.5 WINS
Looking at the NEW 2022 NFL CheatSheet we can flip through the schedule and projected lines for different teams prior to Week 1. I marked off the "W's" in what I think should be a "WIN" and then the checkmarks to the right are the coin flip games that could likely go either way. Baltimore has a tough early schedule facing NE on the road and Buffalo and Cincy at home. In their first 8 weeks I have them beating only the Jets and Giants and then the Miami, New England, Cleveland and Tampa Bay games are coin flips for me for honestly I think they could win all of those games. If they start off splitting those and going 4-4 in the first 8 then I think this bet is LOCKED UP! In the second half they have Carolina, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Pittsburgh again which should be 5 wins even if you have them losing to the Saints. This puts us at 9 wins and we only need one more between: @Saints, vs. Denver, @Cleveland, @Cincinnati or their Week 18 game. I think they have 7 easy wins locked up and then they only need to win 3 of the other 11 games which shouldn't be too difficult.
Lamar Jackson is a stud, J.K. Dobbins is getting healthy, Gus Edwards will be back, Mark Andrews emerged last year as an elite TE-1 and even the rookie Isaiah Likely looks great. In the pre-season Isaiah Likely had a 100% catch rate (12/12) with 7 forced missed tackles and had a 94.1 PFF grade. PFF ranked Baltimore as the top secondary in the league with Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters and adding Kyle Fuller. They lost Marcus Peters last year to a torn ACL in training came but now should reap the benefits of an elite secondary and strong running game.
PHILLY OVER 9.5 WINS
Looking at the schedule above I marked off 9 games they should "Win" so taking over 9.5 isn't a reach for me. I think the Arizona, Dallas, Green Bay, Tennessee and New Orleans are coin flips and the Eagles would only need to go 1-4 to hit this OVER. Another way to approach this is they have 5 games against pre-ranked bottom 7 teams in the NFL (NYGx2, CHI, HOU and JAX) so can you find 5 other games they can win? I think Detroit will be sneaky this year so if they lost Week 1 to DET, lost Week 2 to the Vikings they could still come back and win the W3/W4 games and start 2-2. The next 2 games they play ARI and DAL so let's say this split 1-1 in those coin flips that gives us 3-3 after 6 games. They should beat PIT, HOU and WAS and jump to 6-3. Likely they will lose to IND on the road and then they play 2 home games vs. Packers and Titans and while I think they can win both let's say they split 1-1 again putting us a 7-5. Now for the last 5 games with a modest projection they get NYG twice and Chicago which should give them 3 more wins to hit 10. The 15th and 16th game vs. DAL and Saints they could go 0-2 in those and still be at 10 wins. I think it's very likely they are sitting at 12 wins at the end of the year.
The positives for their schedule is they can get off to a quick start and get ahead of Detroit in Week 1 before they put everything together. They get MIN @ HOME so they don't have to travel which is a benefit for Philly and then WASH/JAX they could likely start 4-0 if things go right. If that happens we still get NYG twice, HOU and CHI for what should be 4 wins to put us at an EASY 8. They can split the WASH games and DAL games (DAL struggles on the road) and hit the 10. I think it's also benefician they get Packers @ HOME and Titans @ HOME.
PFF ranked the Eagles secondary as 13th to start the year with James Bradberry and Darius Slay on the outside and the defensive line ranks 9th. On the offensive side they added A.J Brown and Smith will have another year under his belt. Really like the Eagles this year!
CHICAGO BEARS UNDER 6.5 WINS
I wasn't on the BEARS under this year because I figured it was 5.5 or 6.0 but it was 6.5 when I checked my book this am. Let's look at a quick breakdown: PFF ranks the BEARS secondary as 31st in the NFL with their highest rated defensive back sitting with a horrible 56.9 grade and it was less than that the prior year. The BEARS defensive line ranks 31st in the NFL which means bad news for the young QB.
Chicago / Houston / Atlanta pre-rank the 2022 season in the bottom 3. I think HOUSTON and the Dameon Pierce hype but that is for another day. Bears play HOU / NYG / ATL / NYJ and theose are their most likely wins but I think it's more of a coin flip game, giving the bears any LOCK to win anything is obserd right now. I think Houston can run all over them so that will be a tough out, NYG aren't supposed to be good but put Saquon Barkley up against that DEF and he could go bonkers. You can't expect the Bears to go on the road to the Patriots as Bellichek is also a tough out even if his team isn't the best. They have virtually no shot to beat San Fran, Packers, Vikings, Cowboys, Eagles and Bills. That makes up 8 of the 17 games so in the other 9 games can they go 7-2? HECK NO! Best case scenario I think they win 5-6 games but can't see 7. If they split against Detroit going 1-1 and then beat HOU, NYG, WAS, ATL & NYJ that is only 6 wins and that is if everything falls correctly and they win several of those games that they will be dogs in.
TITANS UNDER 9.5 WINS
Indy is set up to take this division and Titans are going to take a step back this year. I think losing A.J. Brown is going to hurt. If we give TEN the "gimmie wins" against the bottom ranked teams that puts them at 6 wins. The games I don't think they can win are against Buffalo / Indy / KC / Denver and Chargers giving them 6 losses. So in the other 5 games they need to be at 4-1 to get the over. Those games are:
vs. Las Vegas - Raiders won't be an easy out - coin flip for me but lean to Raiders.
@ Green Bay Packers - Aaron Rodgers at home always a tough out, Titans project to be around a 5 point dog.
vs. Cincinnati - Bengals made a great run last year and this should be a coin flip game.
@ Philly - Love the Eagles this year and game projects to be "pick'em".
vs. Dallas - Cowboys are an unknown this year but struggle on the road.
I don't think they can go 4-1 in the above games so I'm putting this on an UNDER 9.5 play. Even if they win 3 of them that gives them only 9 wins on the season.
DIVISION WINNER PARLAY!
Even though I have been sports betting for over 25 years with offshore sportsbooks and local bookies my state just legalized sports betting giving me access to a huge amount of promotions, new sportsbooks and better odds! DraftKings and BetMGM were the first two that I dove into thanks to the $200 in free bets/plays, etc. They just rolled this out on 9/1/2022 so it was less than 1 week ago! One of the things I did was start looking at "Same Game Parlays" and "Division Winner Parlays".
TEAMS I LOVE TO LOCK UP THE DIVISION:
BUFFALO BILLS (-225)
Bills are LOADED this year and will make a strong run for the Superbowl. Von Miller is biggest add to that defensive line and don't forget about Tre'Davious White (who will miss Week 1). NYJ (28th) won't have a shot so we can write them off. New England (17th) is middle of the road this year. Miami (16th) is the unknown with all the new toys. Looking at the schedule below Buffalo could lose Week 1 and still manage 12 wins and that's giving them some coin flip losses to teams like BAL, KC, MIN and CIN. Miami could put up around 8-9 wins but I think they will struggle against BAL / BUF / CIN / MIN / SF / LAC & Packers. Schedule is much tougher for Miami.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (-140)
The AFC South comes down to 2 teams the Colts or the Titans. I think we can write of Jacksonville (29th) and Houston (31st) from competing for a division title. Titans (14th) start the season with high hopes but losing A.J. Brown is going to hurt. They will go into the season with Robert Woods, Westbrook-Ikhine and rookie Treylon Burks. Derrick Henry will be a huge help to keep them in games and keep the clock moving. The COLTS (10th) also have a stud RB in Jonathan Taylor who averaged 5.5 yards per carry last season and rushed for 1,811 yards and 18 touchdowns. He was #1 in rushing attempts, yardage and touchdowns. Colts & Titans both have solid defensive units and stud running backs trying to carry them to a division title.
BALTIMORE RAVENS (+145)
Cleveland (21st) and Pittsburgh (22nd) don't have high expectations this year but the Ravens (7th) and Bengals (12th) should compete for the division. We discussed above in the win total for the Ravens how they could hit 10 and push 12 wins this season and while Cincy has a cake schedule they should be around 8-10 wins coming in 2nd in the division.
THE PARLAYS I'M LOOKING AT:
BUFFALO / INDIANAPOLIS / BALTIMORE - PAYS +500
TAKE THE TOP 3 + VIKINGS (+250) - PAYS +2000
TAKE THE TOP 3 + CHARGERS (+250) - PAYS +2000
TAKE THE TOP 3 + EAGLES (+150) - PAYS +1400
OTHER FUTURE BETS THAT ARE JUICY!
SEAHAWKS UNDER 2 DIVISION WINS
Seattle plays in the NFC West so they will play the SuperBowl Championship Rams twice and should be a double digit dog in both games, San Francisco 49'ers twice and projected to be a 6 and 3.5 point dog and the Arizona Cardinals and they are projected to be a 4 and 7 point dog. Heck if they got lucky and won 2 of those games that is a PUSH but I don't think there is ANYWAY they are winning 3! They won't beat the Rams so it comes down to the 4 games between Arizona and San Francisco and I think they would be lucky to win 2 of those!
BILLS OVER 4.5 DIVISIONAL WINS +135
At this price we only need to win this bet 43% of the time. Bills have 6 divisional games and this is giving us plus money for a 5-1 run. NYJ should be two wins and then New England should be two wins and they can split with Miami and go 5-1. If you think Buffalo can thump New England twice then love this over at +135!
EAGLES OVER 3.5 DIVISIONAL WINS +110
Eagles should be able to knock off the Giants twice and Washington twice giving them 4 wins and then they will likely split with Dallas 1-1. I think they are good enough to win all 6 games but even if they split with Dallas, split with Washington and beat Giants twice that's a win!
RUSHING TITLE FOR 2022!
Jonathan Taylor is the favorite at +450 but those are low odds for the RB that has only done it one time. I'll take my chances and move down the board. I like Derrick Henry at +650 and CMC at +3000. Henry rushed for 1,540 yards in 2019 putting up 5.1 yards per carry and then in 2020 he got even better and rushed for 2,027 yards and 5.4 yards per carry. Before he was injuried in 2021 he had 8 games and already rushed for 937 yards putting him on pace for around 1,800 yards. I also like the Touchdown PROP over Taylor for +650 if you don't trust his yardage. Who else are the Titans going to in the red zone? Henry put up 16 TDs in 2019 and 17 TDs in 2020 and then in 2020 he already had 10 in only 8 games putting him on pace for 20! Indy has stated all summer they are going to scale back the carries for Taylor and they over used him last year. Henry is in the final years of his contract and got a $2 million dollar raise this year with 2023 being his final year. CMC is just my dart, he rushed for 1,387 in 2019 and then has been hurt each of the last two years and stated he finally feels 100%.
Thoughts on other backs: Cook always misses a few games each year due to injury and they work in Alexander Mattison limiting his upside. Nick Chubb could get some big run while they are waiting on Watson. Najee Harris has a horrible offensive line and the ability to catch 70 balls takes away from his "rushing" yardage. Joe Mixon is the same with all the receiving yards. Love JaVonte Williams but Melvin Gordon will still take 35-40% of the snaps. Antonio Gibson is having a horrible start to the year and will likely lose the starting job when Robinson is healthy and up and running. So, in the top 10 I like Henry and CMC if you want to take a dart!