Nothing says football is back like the official release of next season’s schedule!
And now that we know the dates of all the NFL regular season matchups for 2022, FOX Bet has released its win totals for every team. Folks, not only do we have ourselves a complete schedule to get excited about, but at FOX Bet, you can now bet on the win totals, too.
Our expert betting analysts – Geoff Schwartz, Sam Panayotovich and Jason McIntyre – analyzed this year’s slate and weighed in on how gamblers should wager on the win totals for each team in each division!
Let’s look at the AFC West – the most competitive division in the NFL.
For several years, the Chiefs with quarterback Patrick Mahomes have run the division. But this year, they have some company. The Chargers and their young, emerging QB Justin Herbert could be poised to challenge Kansas City’s dominance. Or might Derek Carr and his Raiders or Russell Wilson – a newcomer to the division – with the Broncos be the ones to dethrone the Chiefs?
Here are our experts’ picks, with all odds courtesy of FOX Bet.
10.5 wins for Kansas City Chiefs at FOX Bet
Geoff’s Pick – Over: -118 at FOX Bet (bet $ 10 to win $ 18.47 total)
Kansas City finished 12-5, won the AFC West and hosted their fourth straight AFC championship game, but most people considered it a “down” season. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes did have a rough patch last season but despite that patch, the Chiefs had the third-ranked offense according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric. Not too shabby, right?
While all the focus was on the offensive struggles, the REAL culprit for the Chiefs coming up short last season was their defense which finished 24th in DVOA.
The Chiefs began the offseason with a long list of roster needs and added to it after they traded All-Pro wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Fortunately, they added two receivers in free agency plus Skyy Moore in the NFL Draft. Future Hall of Fame tight end Travis Kelce is still playing at a high level and the Chiefs’ offensive line is legit. Therefore, their offense will be fine. They may start slow, but they’re likely to finish in the top five once again.
Kansas City’s defense added a first-round pass rusher and cornerback, both of which are huge needs. The Chiefs also drafted a speedy linebacker and filled the back half of the draft with more defensive backs. They clearly understood that their depth on defense was an issue and addressed it.
The Chiefs do not need the top defense in the NFL. Instead, they need an average defense to contend. They’ve fixed those roster issues, and KC’s defense should be improved.
There’s no doubt the team’s schedule is tough. They’ll have their six AFC West games, a first-place schedule and with the regular season lasting 17 weeks, they now have the Buccaneers as their extra opponent in Week 4. But Kansas City still has the best quarterback in the NFL, paired with an offensive genius who has always maximized his talent.
The Chiefs have won at least 11 games in seven of Reid’s nine seasons, including at least 12 in the four seasons with Mahomes as the team’s starting QB. I do not see why this season would be any different.
Jason’s Pick – Under: -105 at FOX Bet (bet $ 10 to win $ 19.52 total)
The NFL is built so that dynasties are virtually impossible, and parity reigns. The Chiefs, with Pat Mahomes at QB, won 12 games in his first, second and fourth regular seasons. In his third season, they won 14. Last year was the first year the league had a 17-game schedule, and even though the Chiefs went 12-5, it was a challenging season. They had a 3-4 start, and by the end of October, KC was in the jeopardy of missing the playoffs. Then they went 5-0 vs the AFC West the rest of the way and made the postseason.
The problem is, the AFC West has drastically improved, and all four teams are serious playoff threats. The Chiefs, one could argue, lost their 2nd best player in Tyreek Hill and because they had to give Pat Mahomes the biggest QB contract in NFL history, the rest of the roster has a lot of holes.
Do the Chiefs have the weakest roster in the best division in football? If you look at Vegas win totals, the Chiefs have the toughest schedule in the NFL. They open with three of four on the road and then have a brutal three-game road stretch to open in December at the Bengals, Broncos and Texans.
Sammy’s Pick – Under: -105 at FOX Bet (bet $ 10 to win $ 19.52 total)
The Chiefs won 50 games over the last four seasons. It has been a truly remarkable run of success by an explosive, offensive-minded football team with superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes captaining the ship. And yet Kansas City’s win total is only 10.5 heading into this season.
The Chiefs reside in the toughest division in the NFL – three AFC West teams have win totals of 10.5 – and you can realistically make a case for the Broncos, Raiders and the Chargers having better 53-man rosters by September.
I’m aware that Kansas City still has Mahomes, but Derek Carr throwing to Davante Adams is dangerous, Justin Herbert is morphing into a star and Russell Wilson is a nine-time Pro Bowler with a Super Bowl ring. The division is no longer a cakewalk, and I can’t wait to see how the Chiefs’ offense operates without Tyreek Hill.
Let’s go Under 10.5 wins.
10.5 wins for Los Angeles Chargers at FOX Bet
Geoff’s Pick – Over: -105 at FOX Bet (bet $ 10 to win $ 19.52 total)
The Los Angeles win total is a tough wager because they are the Chargers, a team capable of being the “Chargers” at any time.
They appeared to be on their way to a playoff berth last season before losing to the Texans in Week 16 and then the Raiders in Week 18. LAC finished last season with nine wins on a team that most thought could win 11 games. However, there are reasons for optimism this year’s team can win 11 games or more this season.
First is Justin Herbert, the Chargers’ rocket-armed, third-year quarterback who is still ascending. LA’s offense finished fourth in offensive DVOA, and I don’t expect anything different this season. The Chargers addressed one of their weaknesses in drafting right guard Zion Johnson, but they still need a right tackle. However, you can game plan around a single offensive line issue, so you can be sure the offense will be humming this season.
Last season’s rush defense was horrific, so it was priority No. 1 in the offseason. They signed Sebastian Joseph-Day, Austin Johnson and cornerback JC Jackson to help the secondary. To add the icing on top of the defensive roster overhaul was the trade for Khalil Mack to pair alongside Joey Bosa. With those two bringing the pressure, the Chargers’ defense will be excellent.
Lastly, let’s talk about the team’s head coach Brandon Staley. He’s uber-aggressive, and it’s fair to wonder if that hurts the team at some points last season. However, I think Staley has shown the ability to adjust and adapt. I expect him to grow from his first season as a head coach and improve this year.
The Chargers are an over for me.
10.5 wins for Denver Broncos at FOX Bet
Geoff’s Pick – Pass
The Broncos have felt like a team that is a quarterback away from competing for the playoffs over the last couple of seasons. That changed big time, as Denver made the biggest splash this offseason with the addition of former Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson via trade before free agency.
Wilson was graded as the first-ranked quarterback (min 50% of snaps) by Pro Football Focus in 2019 but fell to 18th last season. He was stuck in Seattle with an offense that did not maximize his skill set, and the blame for his ranking should fall on the coaching staff. However, Wilson does need to cut down on the errors, including taking way too many sacks. Either way, the offense in Denver will be better suited to Wilson’s talents.
The Broncos’ defense finished 20th last season in DVOA as injuries piled up. Bradley Chubb returns fully healthy, and the Broncos drafted Nik Bonitto as the replacement for Von Miller. Their secondary depth chart is legit, and that’s important in this division.
The reason I’d stay away from this wager is two-fold. First, the public will hammer the Broncos’ over because the team finally got that quarterback they’ve always needed.
Second, and more importantly, is the youth on this coaching staff. Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett is running a squad for the first time as the lead man, although he does have previous coordinator experience. He led the Jaguars from 2016 through 2018, and his unit finished 27th, 15th and 30th in offensive efficiency. Now he has Russell Wilson, so it’s safe to assume those numbers will improve, but we don’t know for sure.
Also, Hackett hired a first-time defensive coordinator in Ejiro Evero to guide that unit. A young coaching staff with a new quarterback in a tough division. I think you should stay away from this wager.
8.5 wins for Las Vegas Raiders at FOX Bet
Geoff’s Pick – Under: -110 at FOX Bet (bet $ 10 to win $ 19.09)
The Raiders had a tumultuous 2021 season. They fired their coach abruptly after an email scandal, and one of their star players was charged with four felonies after a tragic fatal car crash. The team is still overcame that adversity and made the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
The Raiders then hired Josh McDaniels as head coach and Dave Ziegler as general manager, both from New England. The new Raiders’ regime went to work on the roster, adding Davante Adams, Chandler Jones and Rock Ya Sin. Even with all these additions, the win total is still set at 8.5. I think the oddmakers are telling you something. Take the under.
Derek Carr has somehow become underrated as a quarterback, and he has weapons around him that will help him continue to play well. The Raiders’ offensive line is a huge question mark, and the team did not address the OL outside of drafting a third-round draft pick.
Yes, they have two pass rushers with Jones and Crosby, but what about the Vegas secondary? I think it’s also fair to question whether Josh McDaniel can be a great coach outside of New England. This is all why I lean under here.
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