NFL Best Bets 2022: Top values, sleepers for Super Bowl, MVP, win total over/unders, more
The popularity of futures betting continues to rise, and the NFL remains the No. 1 reason. Football fans and bettors alike love making preseason predictions and prognostications, and futures betting allows the savviest of the savvy to profit off the correct guesses. Placing a futures bet is a long play, so to speak — but, oh, how rewarding it feels when you hit on a good futures bet and cash an extra-large ticket.
Sporting News stays on top of the big futures bets throughout the year in each major sport, but we thought it was high time for us to fully dive into the NFL futures. So, we headed to Caesars Sportsbook, analyzed the dozens and dozens of futures, and picked the best of the best. You want Super Bowl bets? We’ve got ’em. You want conference, divisional, and regular-season win bets? Look no further. You prefer the MVP futures and other major awards? Don’t worry, good friend — we are literally covering it all today.
Please note, we picked the best bet (or our favorite bet) for each future — in some cases, that means the best combination of outcome feasibility and overall value. For the major bets, we list multiple other options we like in addition to the best bet.
Are you ready for some futures!? Futures bettors, mount up!
Follow your bets and watch every week during the 2022 NFL season on Sling TV. Stream Sling Orange or Blue for $35/month, or both for $50/month. Right now, get half off your first month, plus SHOWTIME, STARZ, AND EPIX — first month on us! SIGN UP FOR SLING!
Best bet to win Super Bowl LVII
All odds are from Caesars Sportsbook
Los Angeles Rams (+1200)
In the modern era of the NFL, teams generally fail to win back-to-back Super Bowl championships — the feat hasn’t been achieved since the Patriots did it in 2005. However, this Rams team might be good enough to be the second team this century to pull it off. It’s possible Sean McVay’s squad got better this offseason, as long as QB Matthew Stafford’s elbow is healthy. L.A. added long-time Bear wideout Allen Robinson to an offense that gets a healthy Cam Akers back, and linebacker Bobby Wagner joins an already-stout defense led by Aaron Donald. At these odds, I’ll take this team to make the impossible possible once again.
Other Super Bowl odds we like: Bills (+600), Packers (+1200), Cowboys (+2000)
Best bet to win their conference
Kansas City Chiefs, AFC (+600)
Everybody seems to think Patrick Mahomes will crumble without Tyreek Hill in the Chiefs offense. It almost feels reminiscent of people betting against Tom Brady when he left Bill Belichick. Yeah, I’ll stick with the talented QB who brought Kansas City to two of the past three Super Bowls. Andy Reid’s squad has actually replenished pretty well at wide receiver with slot king JuJu Smith-Schuster, burner Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and rookie Skyy Moore joining elite tight end Travis Kelce and speedster Mecole Hardman. As long as Steve Spagnuolo can get this defense in shape with safety Tyrann Matthieu now in New Orleans, we wouldn’t be surprised in the least if KC went back to the dance.
Other conference winner odds we like: Bills (+300), Packers (+500), Rams (+500), Buccaneers (+330)
Best bet to win their division
Cincinnati Bengals, AFC North (+165)
Looking around the NFL, the only team that seems like a surefire divisional winner with really good odds is Cincinnati. The Browns are without Deshaun Watson for 11 games. The Steelers might be one of the worst teams in the league this season. The Ravens are coming off a miserable 2021 campaign and will need some time to figure out its identity on both sides of the ball. Meanwhile, Joe Burrow and his high-flying offense has another season of experience, a Super Bowl run under their belts, and a much-improved O-line. Why aren’t more people in on the Bengals this year? Who knows, but we’ll gladly take the +165 odds. Cincinnati is easily the best squad of the AFC North and should take down the divisional crown with 11 or more wins. Insert Ja’Marr Chase victory dance here.
Other divisional winner odds we like: Bills (-230), Bucs (-280), Cowboys (+130), Chargers (+220)
Best value bet on a team to make the playoffs
Denver Broncos (-150)
Russell Wilson is a Bronco now, where he should finally enjoy some time to go through his progressions and not run for his life. Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy are a superb 1-2 receiving punch for Wilson, and Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon III are an even better running back tandem. Denver’s defense also has the potential to be one of the best in the biz, too. Barring the all-too-familiar Bronco injury bug, this organization should enjoy its first trip to the postseason since Peyton Manning led Denver to Super Bowl glory over Carolina in 2015.
MORE: Picking every team’s over/under win total
Best OVER bets on 2022 regular season win totals
Buffalo Bills win total 2022: Over/under 11.5 (O: -140 | U: +120)
While practically every other roster in the AFC has undergone some kind of major shakeup, the Bills have become a pillar of stability. In fact, Buffalo could very well be better than ever on both sides of the ball. QB Josh Allen is the leader in the preseason MVP clubhouse, and he now gets former Bills QB coach Ken Dorsey as offensive coordinator. Jamison Crowder joins a receiver corps that features breakout candidate Gabriel Davis and All-Pro Stefon Diggs. Rookie James Cook’s preseason tape makes him look like a perfect addition to a backfield that needed a jolt. Edge rusher Von Miller also brings veteran leadership to an already-stout defense with plenty of year-to-year continuity. Screw 12 wins out of 17 — this Buffalo squad can easily break its franchise record and reach 14 victories.
Projected W-L: 14-3
Best bet: OVER 11.5 (-140)
Confidence level: 5/5 — I’ll jump through a table if the Bills don’t reach 12 wins.
Dallas Cowboys win total 2022: Over/under 10.5 (O: +125 | U: -145)
Dallas enjoys the easiest strength of schedule in the NFL this season, with its opponents possessing a collective 2021 winning percentage of just .462. Quarterback Dak Prescott is healthy, in theory. Tony Pollard has emerged in the backfield as the lightning to Ezekiel Elliott’s thunder. CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup might be a top-five receiving duo in the league. The superstardom of 2021 rookie linebacker Micah Parsons and the pick-drill Masterclass of Trevon Diggs helped this Cowboys defense go from awful to awesome in one short season. This could be the year. Put a big percentage of your total futures budget on this OVER.
Projected W-L: 13-4
Best bet: OVER 10 (-110)
Confidence level: 5/5 — as confident as Trevon Diggs’ son Aaiden on camera.
Las Vegas Raiders win total 2022: Over/under 8.5 (O: -130 | U: +110)
It appears the sportsbooks don’t believe in Josh McDaniels in his second stint as an NFL head coach. The former Broncos head coach and long-time Patriots offensive coordinator begins anew in Vegas, where he benefits from the services of All-Pro wideout and former Packer Davante Adams. Life is good! The Raiders also feature one of the premier pass-catching tight ends in Darren Waller, elite slot receiver Hunter Renfrow, and strong running back depth led by Josh Jacobs. Sure, Vegas has some holes on defense and on the offensive line — and Derek Carr can be a frustrating QB to root for at times — but double-digit wins seems likely, so 8.5 feels like charity.
Projected W-L: 11-6
Best bet: OVER 8.5 (-130)
Confidence level: 5/5 — Davante Adams becomes the new King of Sin City.
Miami Dolphins win total 2022: Over/under 8.5 (O: -135 | U: +115)
Expectations are high in South Beach this season after the Dolphins added blazing-fast former Chief Tyreek Hill, dual-purpose back Chase Edmonds, and speeding-bullet back Raheem Mostert. Oddsmakers are smart to temper those expectations, as success in the modern iteration of the NFL is measured largely by efficacy at quarterback. Tua Tagovailoa and Teddy Bridgewater are not bad QBs, but it’s yet to be determined if they are effective QBs on upper-echelon teams. Still, the OVER seems like a good bet here. Tua is 13-8 as a starter in his two active professional years. If he stays on the field, he should lead Miami to a 10-win playoff season. Mike McDaniel knows how to lead a run-heavy scheme, and he has the perfect pieces in place to execute it once again.
Projected W-L: 10-7
Best bet: OVER 8.5 (-135)
Confidence level: 5/5 — plus-odds on double-digit wins for a squad that just finished 9-8 and then added Hill? Yes, please.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers win total 2022: Over/under 11.5 (O: +120 | U: -140)
Tom Brady is back again, with the seven-time champion weeks removed from turning 45. He’ll be without BFF tight end Rob Gronkowski and drama queen wideout Antonio Brown, but he does now enjoy the services of former Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph and former All-Pro receiver Julio Jones. When you’re the GOAT, you get the greenest of grass (you also get a two-week hiatus from training camp without having to explain yourself to the fan base, apparently. But hey, different guys, different rules, am I right?!) Brady is still as dominant as ever, and he still enjoys a litany of weapons. If stud slot receiver Chris Godwin plays 90-plus percent of this season and wideout Mike Evans stays healthy, there’s no reason to think Tampa Bay won’t win this division once again under Brady. The Bucs defense remains solid, and Bruce Arians and the management team put together a good draft. The coaching continuity is there, with former defensive coordinator Todd Bowles getting the bump to head coach and Byron Leftwich staying on as OC. Ho-hum, another 12-win season for Tom Terrific. Considering the state of the NFC South, this is about as easy a call as we have to make.
Projected W-L: 12-5
Best bet: OVER 11.5 (+120)
Confidence level: 5/5 — the ‘cliff’ doesn’t exist with Tom Brady, and parity doesn’t exist in this division. Capitalize on these bizarre plus-odds while you can.
Other OVER bets we like: Bengals OVER 10 (+100), Chargers OVER 10 (-150), Eagles OVER 9.5 (-140), Packers OVER 11 (-110), Rams OVER 10.5 (-110), Titans OVER 9.5 (+140), Vikings OVER 9 (-135)
Best UNDER bets on 2022 regular season win totals
Chicago Bears win total 2022: Over/under 6 (O: +105 | U: -125)
Here’s a classic example of a sportsbook trying to lure action. Caesars knows full well that Chicago won’t sniff seven wins, but the +105 OVER is vastly more welcoming than the -125 UNDER. But, come on, nobody in their right mind with even a shred of pro football knowledge would bet the Bears to win seven games. The Chi has brand spanking-new coaching and management, a second-year QB in Justin Fields, and very little help beyond wideout Darnell Mooney and running back David Montgomery. The offensive and defensive lines stink. Khalil Mack, Eddie Goldman, Bilal Nichols, and Akiem Hicks are all long gone. Grab your undies.
Projected W-L: 2-15
Best bet: UNDER 6 (-125)
Confidence level: 4/5 — as bad as the final season of “The Chi.”
New York Giants win total 2022: Over/under 7 (O: +105 | U: -125)
This could be the last hurrah for QB Daniel Jones, who has always seemed to do just enough on the field to maintain his role as leader of the G-Men. Saquon Barkley might not have much run left on his leash, either. Maybe it’s New England bias against New York, but I just can’t imagine this organization coming anywhere close to eight wins. The Giants only won four games in ’21, their O-line and defense are still “meh,” at best, and their pass-catching options continue to underwhelm. Unlike Daniel Jones in a collapsing pocket, we’re gonna PASS on New York’s OVER!
Projected W-L: 5-12
Best bet: UNDER 7 (-125)
Confidence level: 5/5 — just because it’s boring doesn’t mean it’s a poor bet.
Pittsburgh Steelers win total 2022: Over/under 7.5 (O: -105 | U: -135)
Pittsburgh garners a ton of respect from the bookmakers each year, probably because Mike Tomlin has never overseen a losing season in his 15 years as the Steelers head coach. However, you might have a problem if you bet the OVER of 7.5 here. Mitch Trubisky is not an effective NFL QB; Pittsburgh fields one of the worst O-lines in football; and the Steelers defense ranked 22nd in points allowed last season. Stud second-year RB Najee Harris can’t be a miracle worker. Tomlin’s first losing sub-.500 season is upon us.
Projected W-L: 4-13
Best bet: UNDER 7.5 (-135)
Confidence level: 5/5 — lose, get a good draft pick, and rebuild. Everybody’s gotta lose sometime.
Seattle Seahawks win total 2022: Over/under 6 (O: +120 | U: -140)
Life after Russell Wilson could be a bit rough for a while in Seattle. Geno Smith and Drew Lock are decent QBs, but they will learn in short order what kind of hellish situation Mr. Unlimited was dealing with for so many years. The Seahawks never seem to address their issues at offensive line, and they have lost their identity as a defense. These are fates that can’t be reversed by the athleticism of wideouts Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, or by the rushing upside of rookie Kenneth Walker (who is dealing with hernia issues). When you subtract a franchise QB, you must add the crucial elements you’ve been missing to help bridge the gap. Pete Carroll and company have failed to do that, and thus they will fail to reach five wins this season.
Projected W-L: 4-13
Best bet: UNDER 6 (-140)
Confidence level: 4/5 — six wins would absolutely shock me. Do Seahawks fans even want this squad to win six games!?
Washington Commanders win total 2022: Over/under 7.5 (O: -125 | U: +105)
Last and not quite least, the Commanders start anew at QB (again), this time with former Eagle and Colt Carson Wentz. Plenty of offensive talent exists on this team with wideout Terry McLaurin, rookie Brian Robinson Jr. and second-year back Antonio Gibson, and tight end Logan Thomas all above average at their respective positions. Plenty of question marks remain, namely Wentz’s ability to stay healthy, the O-line’s ability to protect him, and the ability of Washington’s young defense to bounce back after a brutal 2021 campaign. D.C. will be happy to pull down seven Ws again, but bettors should confidently go with UNDER 7.5.
Projected W-L: 6-11
Best bet: UNDER 7.5 (-125)
Confidence level: 4/5 — not convinced this team got much better.
Other UNDER bets we would consider: Chicago Bears UNDER 6 (-125), Cleveland Browns UNDER 8.5 (-150), New York Jets UNDER 5.5 (+130)
Best bets for NFL MVP 2022
Top favorite: Josh Allen, Bills (+700)
Shocker: The first name on the list remains the best bet. Sorry to go chalk, but Allen has a lot going for him: he’s 26, an age at which many dual-threat QBs hit their prime; he has the same head coach, Sean McDermott, as he’s had his entire career; he still has Pro Bowler Stefon Diggs at wideout and now adds Jamison Crowder to his targets list; and, last but most important, he has Ken Dorsey at offensive coordinator. Allen and Dorsey have already hit it off in the many years Dorsey served as Buffalo’s QB coach, and Dorsey has already lit fires under many of the offensive cogs in Buffalo’s system. The Bills have a relatively easy schedule this upcoming season – opponents had a collective 2021 record of 147-140-2 – so this seems like a great bet.
Other great bets among favorites: Reigning back-to-back MVP Aaron Rodgers, Packers (+1000), Justin Herbert, Chargers (+900), Tom Brady, Buccaneers (+900)
Top value: Joe Burrow, Bengals (+1300)
Joey Brr is cold as ice in the pocket, and he just seems to get better and more confident with time. He was the most accurate QB in pro football last season, maintaining a completion percentage of 70.4. The chemistry he enjoyed with former LSU bro Ja’Marr Chase was awe-inspiring, with Chase breaking other LSU teammate Justin Jefferson’s rookie records. Another thing that stood out for Burrow in ‘21: a 6.5-percent TD rate, up from 3.2-percent in his injury-shortened rookie campaign. His INT rate went up from ‘21, too, sailing from 1.2-percent to 2.7-percent. Maybe that was due to all the pocket pressure — no QB got sacked and for more yards than Burrow (51 for 370). Now that the 2020 No. 1 pick has three new offensive linemen fortifying his pass protection, he could vault from great to the best.
Other top values: Russell Wilson, Broncos (+1600), Matthew Stafford (+1600), Dak Prescott (+1700)
Top Sleeper: Jalen Hurts, Eagles (+3000)
Everything is in place for Hurts to actualize his massive potential, and the super-athletic mobile QB could very well bring the first-ever NFL MVP trophy to the City of Brotherly Love. A lot of factors would need to go in Hurts’ favor, primarily the health of wideout A.J. Brown, running back Miles Sanders, and the offensive line. If all goes well, the third-year QB could take over the league like Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes did a few years back.
Other favorite sleeper: Trey Lance, 49ers (+3000)
Top long shot: Christian McCaffrey, Panthers (+12500)
When CMC is healthy and active, there is nobody as exciting to watch. He remains one of the most singularly-dominant running backs in the history of the game, but he just can’t seem to finish a full damn season! If he can, look out. With 17 games to work with, CMC could realistically break Chris Johnson’s scrimmage-yards record of 2,509 and/or LaDainian Tomlinson’s touchdown record of 31. Either one of those records could translate to a flood of votes and the first-ever MVP the running back position has ever seen.
Best NFL Futures Bets 2022: Stat leaders, award winners
Best overall record: Bills (+250)
Worst overall record: Houston Texans (+250)
Most passing yards: Justin Herbert, Chargers (+700)
Most passing TDs: Allen, Bills (+1000)
Most rushing yards: Derrick Henry, Titans (+650)
Most rushing TDs: Jonathan Taylor, Colts (+500)
Most receiving yards: Justin Jefferson, Vikings (+800)
Most catches: Davante Adams, Raiders (+950)
Most receiving TDs: Ja’Marr Chase, Bengals (+900)
Defensive Player of the Year: Micah Parsons, Cowboys (+1000)
Comeback Player of the Year: Henry, Titans (+450)
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Kenny Pickett, Steelers (+900); Sleeper: James Cook, Bills (+1600)
Coach of the Year: Sean McDermott, Bills (+1800)