There’s nothing like getting in on the ground floor. It may be April 1st, but it’s never too early to think about a futures bet for the upcoming season. On today’s Gold Diggers podcast, Michelle Magdziuk offered her best bets for the brand new 2022 win totals from DraftKings.
Baltimore Ravens over 9.5
No team in the league suffered more injuries to more important players than the Baltimore Ravens last season. So here’s a visual aid to help put things in perspective:
Here's a way to visualize and evaluate how many injuries every NFL team suffered and the importance of those injuries themselves. X-Axis is looking at Adjusted Games Lost (total injuries), while the Y-Axis is WAR Adjusted Games Lost (importance of injuries) pic.twitter.com/oZGDUlz8c8— Arjun Menon (@arjunmenon100) March 29, 2022
Baltimore finished with 19 players on injured reserve last season. They are due for massive injury regression to the mean, which means more talented players on the field for more games next season.
Couple that with a slew of easier games against the Dolphins, Falcons, Giants, Panthers, Jaguars, and Jets, and John Harbaugh’s bunch should be in great shape to hit this over. Assuming they win those six games, Baltimore would have to go just 4-7 in their remaining 11 games to hit this over.
Pittsburgh Steelers over 7.5
Mike Tomlin does not win fewer than eight games in a season. He’s like the postal service. Neither rain, sleet, nor snow will keep him from finishing at least .500. Whether it’s Duck Hodges, Mason Rudolph, or the ghost of Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers always find a way to stay above water.
I’m no Mitchell Trubisky fan, but Pittsburgh still has a championship-level defense and enough playmakers on offense to be able to eke out some close wins. We’ve seen Trubisky drag Matt Nagy to the playoffs, so it’s not crazy to think he could at least finish with a winning record with a good head coach.
Their schedule is also favorable in that all of their toughest games come at home. That helps any team, of course, but particularly one with an unspectacular quarterback. A lot of gamblers have lost a lot of money betting on streaks to end. Don’t be that person.
Chicago Bears under 7
The Bears were downright bad last season, and they haven’t done a ton to change that personnel-wise. In fact, they’ve lost Allen Robinson to free agency, traded Khalil Mack, and don’t have a first-round pick.
Maybe you have more faith in new head coach Matt Eberflus than Matt Nagy, but it may take him a year or two to get up and running. Aaron Rodgers still owns them, and games against the Bills, 49ers, Cowboys, and Patriots don’t look promising, either.
Even if Justin Fields improves in year two, that’s not going to be enough for the Bears to win eight games.
Atlanta Falcons under 5
There was reason to be skeptical about this over, even with Matt Ryan in town. Now that Ryan is a Colt and Marcus Mariota has the keys to the car, there’s even less to be excited about in Atlanta.
Sure, Kyle Pitts is great, but what else is there? Auden Tate? Cordarrelle Patterson? That’s not going to be good enough to win six games. Matching up against the AFC North and NFC West won’t help much, either.
No one with the Falcons will ever admit it publicly, but there’s all the reason in the world for this team to go into the tank in 2022. If Atlanta is going to get the number one pick next year they’re going to have to keep their win total below three. In 7 of the last 10 seasons, the team with the worst record has won 2 or fewer games.
While we all know there’s only one team in the NFL worth rooting for, there are plenty that are worth betting on. Hopefully you take our advice, and are better for it come next winter.