2022 NFL Futures Odds & Picks: Best Bet to Win AFC Championship

May 11, 2022 - 10:25 AM

The race to the 2022-23 NFL season kicks into high gear this week, as Thursday marks the release of the schedule for all 32 NFL teams. Ahead of Thursday, however, the odds market to win both conferences figures to not adjust much, as offseason moves (and the draft) are mostly complete and where they’ll be to start the season.

With little movement expected from here on in, let’s take a closer look at the market and one team I think has some remaining value.

Check out consensus odds for the AFC Championship here >>

Cincinnati Bengals (+1300)

Listed as low as +1000 at Bet Rivers, FanDuel has a +1300 posted which I think offers tremendous value for a team already being discounted before offseason workouts even begin. While the Bills, Chiefs, Chargers, and Broncos begin to make sense as teams ahead of them, I’m failing to see how divisional rivals Cleveland (+900) and Baltimore (+1100) have better odds.

Here’s why.

Finishing the 2021 regular season as division champs in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL, the Bengals won 10 regular seasons en route to a point differential of +84 which included five games scoring 41 points or more. Only having one home game in the postseason (26-19 vs. Las Vegas, the Bengals won outright as 4 and 7-point underdogs on the road, finishing the postseason 4-0 ATS when you include their 3-point loss in the Super Bowl.

So they must have lost some talent right? Far from it.

Not only are the Bengals’ top weapons (Joe Mixon, Ja’Marr Chase, and Tee Higgins) back for MVP-level quarterback Joe Burrow in 22-23, but the entire offensive line is back in place. They also added North Dakota State’s Cordell Volson in the Draft who should compete for a starting job on day one at the guard position.

Speaking of the draft, an already stellar defense that forced a league-leading 9 turnovers this past postseason was bolstered by two more studs in its secondary. With their first-round pick, Michigan safety Daxton Hill was one of the steals of the draft, giving the Bengals another playmaker who can go up and get balls. They also moved up three places in the second round to draft Cam Taylor-Britt, a corner out of Nebraska and one of the most experienced secondary players in the entire class.

With an improved defense behind a still (apparently) under-appreciated offense, I like for the Bengals to be in contention for the AFC Championship once again this season.

Early Best Bets for Super Bowl 57 >>

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