NFL Futures for 2022: Best Bets and Predictions
With the NFL season kicking off on January 8th, now is the time to lock in some sharp NFL futures bets. The rule for these futures bets is that they have to be for plus money, because what’s the fun is predicting the Bills make the playoffs at minus a gazillion odds!
So, without further ado, let’s get into it.
Jets Win Total Under 5.5 | +135 at FanDuel
Here are the Jets win totals the past six years, from 2016 to now: five, five, four, seven (!), two, four. That is exactly one season in the past six in which they won more than five games.
This year, it will mostly all depend on whether second year quarterback Zach Wilson takes a step forward or not. Personally, I do not see it with Wilson.
In 13 games last season, Wilson threw for only 9 touchdowns and had 11 interceptions. He finished with the low completion percentage of 55%, and a measly 2,334 yards.
Now, of course there is always the chance that a young quarterback improves, but that is not the most likely scenario. In over half of Wilsons starts last year, he was legitimately the reason why his team struggled and lost.
Surrounding Wilson is not a very talented roster. Their offensive line has potential with young players such as Mekhi Becton and Alijah Vera-Tucker, but they are still unproven. They finished 2021 with the 10th worst offensive line in the NFL according to PFF.
At the skill positions it’s the same story: young, talented, but unproven. Second year receiver Elijah Moore had an awesome end to the season and is definitely a legitimate weapon, but they don’t have much outside of him.
It remains to be seen how good rookie receiver Garrett Wilson will be in his first season.
At least on offense the Jets are young- defensively there is not much hope. They finished 2021 with the worst defense in all of football according to DVOA, and they didn’t do much in the offseason to fix that.
All in all, expect another bad year out of the Jets.
Ravens to Be the AFC #1 Seed For the Playoffs | +700 at FanDuel
This is one that I absolutely love mostly for the value. The 2021 Ravens might have been most snakebitten team in the entire NFL. Not only did they lead the league in amount of games missed due to injury, but it was the impact of those injuries as well.
Their entire running back room was decimated before the season even started, as was their secondary. J.K. Dobbins went down in the preseason, and then Gus Edwards and Marcus Peters tore their ACLs in back to back plays in practice!
That is a tough way to start a season. Not to mention Lamar Jackson hurt his ankle and missed the last 4 games of the season! In the 11 games prior to the injury the Ravens were 8-3 and the one seed in the AFC at that time.
Looking towards this season, there are a lot of factors in favor of the Ravens. To start, they have the 11th easiest schedule in the NFL. To be determined what happens with the Browns quarterback, but the AFC North division isn’t quite the gauntlet it used to be.
With all the injuries, the Ravens defense struggled last year, finishing 28th in DVOA. In 2022, they should figure to have better injury luck (because, quite frankly, it’s impossible to have worse luck), so they should improve upon that number just from getting their starters back healthy.
Offensively, they will need to replace receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown who was traded to the Cardinals. But, this is a bet on Lamar Jackson.
The guess here is that he is going to have another MLB caliber season. I’m not necessarily saying he will win the MVP, but just have that type of season. He is playing for a contract, and the expectation is he is going to show out.
Plus, I just love the Ravens coaching staff and organization. They always seem to make the right decisions, so backing them feels like a solid bet to make.
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Cardinals Win Total Under 7.5 | +150 at FanDuel
Hot take: The Cardinals are going to be an absolute dumpster fire this season.
There has obviously been a ton of noise around the Kyler Murray contract that mandated that he has to study outside of work (?), which naturally blew up, but for good reason.
Numerous reports have come out about Murray not putting in the extra effort and in general coming across as a diva. Not a great look from your quarterback!
Outside of Kyler doing something magical on offense, their really isn’t much that the Cardinals do well. Their offensive line is old, and ranked the 7th worst offensive line in the NFL in 2022 according to PFF.
They do have good receivers, admittedly, but the problem there is that superstar DeAndre Hopkins is suspended for the first six games of the season, and newly traded for Marquise Brown is already injured in camp with a hamstring pull. Not great!
But, with all this said, the real reason why the Cardinals are ripe to fade is because of head coach Kliff Kingsbury. At this point, it can’t be just noise how poorly the Cardinals have finished every season since he’s been head coach.
Looking at his three years, the Cardinals finished 2019 2-7, finished 2020 2-5, and finished last year 1-5. One of the criticisms of Kingsbury is that he does a poor job of adjustments, which bares itself out with these stats.
This also seems to be a make or break year for Kingsbury as well as the Cardinals GM, meaning if they don’t have a good year they will most likely get fired, and that never seems to bode well for future success.
So, I love the value of fading the Cardinals this year.
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