Matthew Freedman’s 2022 NFL Projected Win Totals & Bets

Aug 9, 2022 - 12:57 PM

As a full-on degenerate and aspiring sharp, I’ve recently created a projection model (a.k.a. a multi-colored spreadsheet) for NFL spreads and over/unders.

This model, which takes into account home-field advantage and a number of other factors, is driven primarily by my proprietary power ratings. “Proprietary,” because only my brain is wild enough to assign some of these neutral-site opponent-agnostic numbers to these teams.

What are the factors that I take into account when creating and adjusting my power ratings? I obviously look at some basic stats — like #QBWinz and #SuperBowlVictories — but after that I consider two main sources of data.

  1. The betting market itself, specifically odds to win the Super Bowl, conference and division: This helps me anchor my rankings to a “skin in the game”-based reality.
  2. On-field team-level statistics (with some player-focused adjustments), specifically expected points added (EPA), success rate and yards per play: This helps me (hopefully) maintain a degree of objectivism.

With my power ratings, I can use my model to create projected spreads for every NFL game in the regular season — and then I can convert these spreads into win probabilities, which I can add together to get a projected win total for each team.

And that’s exactly what I’ve done.

In this piece, you’ll see my projected 2022 win totals, which — when compared to the win totals on our BettingPros odds page — highlight several exploitable opportunities in the betting market.

By the way, if you’re as degenerate as I am, check out my early Week 1 trends and bets.

Check out our NFL Futures Betting Guide >>

2022 NFL Projected Win Totals

Team Win Total Proj Win Tot Proj Win Tot Diff
BUF 11.5 11.8 0.3
TB 11.5 10.9 -0.6
GB 11 10.9 -0.1
KC 10.5 11.1 0.6
LAR 10.5 10.6 0.1
DAL 10.5 10.2 -0.3
LAC 10.5 10 -0.5
SF 10 9.9 -0.1
BAL 10 9.9 -0.1
DEN 10 9.8 -0.2
PHI 9.5 10 0.5
CIN 9.5 9.9 0.4
IND 9.5 9.4 -0.1
TEN 9.5 8.1 -1.4
CLE 9.5 7.5 -2
MIN 9 8.4 -0.6
NE 8.5 8.9 0.4
NO 8.5 8.6 0.1
ARI 8.5 8.3 -0.2
MIA 8.5 8.2 -0.3
LV 8.5 7.6 -0.9
PIT 7.5 7.8 0.3
NYG 7.5 7.6 0.1
WAS 7.5 7.4 -0.1
DET 6.5 7.4 0.9
CHI 6.5 6.7 0.2
CAR 6.5 6.6 0.1
JAX 6.5 6.3 -0.2
NYJ 5.5 5.8 0.3
SEA 5.5 5.7 0.2
HOU 4.5 5.5 1
ATL 4.5 5.2 0.7


2022 NFL Win Total Bets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Under 11.5 Wins

I have the Bucs rated as a top-four team, but this season they face a number of obstacles — or at least changes. HC Bruce Arians is gone, as are WR Antonio Brown, TE Rob Gronkowski, EDGE Jason Pierre-Paul and DT Ndamukong Suh.

And they’re dealing with injuries. No. 2 WR Chris Godwin (knee) might not be ready for Week 1, and C Ryan Jensen (knee) suffered what might be a season-ending injury in training camp, which means that (without Jensen) the interior of the offensive line will have three new starters, given the offseason departures of LG Ali Marpet and RG Alex Cappa. As a result, QB Tom Brady might face more pressure and take more hits.

Brady’s now 45 years old, and 11.5 is an aggressively high win total.

I’m nothing if not a realistic pessimist.

Bet: Under 11.5, -116 (PointsBet)
Limit: -125

Kansas City Chiefs Over 10.5 Wins

I normally don’t bet overs, especially high overs. If you add up all the consensus win totals in the market, the number you get is 273.5 … but there are only 272 games in the regular season.

Unsurprisingly, the win total market is inflated: Casual fans tend to bet based on team allegiance, and that means sportsbooks can skew their numbers upward. Hence, unders tend to be sharper bets, and fewer overs offer value.

But I can’t help myself with the Chiefs, who are No. 2 in my power ratings. They lost WR Tyreek Hill in the offseason — as well as WRs Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson — but they brought in WRs JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Skyy Moore to replace them, and they still have QB Patrick Mahomes.

Say whatever you want about his so-called struggles last year, but in 2021 the Chiefs were No. 1 in success rate (51.1%, per RBs Don’t Matter) with Mahomes, and since he entered the league he’s No. 1 in composite EPA and completion percentage over expectation (0.175). He’s still the best quarterback in the league (in my opinion).

And HC Andy Reid is still one of the best offensive play callers and overall coaches. In his nine years with the team, the Chiefs have failed to go over 10.5 wins just twice. And in each of Mahomes’ four seasons as the starter, the team has won 12-plus games.

If the market is skeptical on Mahomes and Reid, I’ll gladly back them.

Bet: Over 10.5, -115 (BetMGM)
Limit: -125

Tennessee Titans Under 9.5 Wins

Everything the Titans have done this offseason indicates that they are in the middle of a miniature rebuild.

They traded away WR A.J. Brown, their most talented young player. They drafted QB Malik Willis, a high-upside playmaker with the potential to replace (this year or next) aging starter Ryan Tannehill. They cut No. 1 CB Janoris Jenkins as well as No. 2 WR Julio Jones.

RB Derrick Henry is now 28 years old. He’s coming off an injury-impacted campaign, and his yards after contact per carry has dropped in each of the past two years (3.2 to 2.8 to 2.2, per our Advanced RB Stats Report). The offensive line, which was formerly a strength, is now a weakness, ranking No. 30 in our offensive line rankings after the offseason departures of RT David Quessenberry and LG Rodger Saffold. As good as Henry is, he might struggle with subpar blocking.

I believe the Titans have unquestionably gotten worse over the past year — while all three of their divisional opponents (Colts, Jaguars and Texans) have improved.

Bet: Under 9.5, -135 (FanDuel)
Limit: 8.5

Minnesota Vikings Under 9.5 Wins

Over the past three years, the Vikings offense has been No. 11 in EPA per play (0.054). I’m sure that they’ll run a more modern system under new HC Kevin O’Connell — for instance, we should expect them to use three wide receivers more frequently — but there’s no guarantee that the offense will actually be better.

And the defense will probably be bad. In the year 2022, the Vikings are acting as if it’s totally fine for CB Patrick Peterson to be their No. 1 pass-game defender. (Subtext: It’s not fine. Peterson hasn’t had a PFF coverage grade of even 65 since 2018.)

The Vikings have a consensus win total of 9, but some books have a line of 9.5.

Bet: Under 9.5, -125 (FanDuel)
Limit: 9

Las Vegas Raiders Under 8.5 Wins

Based on the win totals of the teams they’re playing, the Raiders have the third-toughest strength of schedule. And, as I mention in my 2022 NFL schedule breakdown, they have an unforgiving string of games in Weeks 8-14, when they play 5-of-7 away.

In Weeks 8-9, they travel east for back-to-back road games at Saints and Jaguars, both of which have a 1 p.m. ET kickoff. After a Week 10 home game vs. Colts, they have another set of back-to-back road games at Broncos (elevation, divisional rematch) and Seahawks (seven extra days of rest) in Weeks 11-12. And then in Weeks 13-14 they have consecutive games against the LA teams, both of which have top-six power ratings.

The Raiders could easily go 2-5 in this stretch … right before playing the Patriots, Steelers, 49ers and Chiefs to close the season. Good luck.

Bet: Under 8.5, +110 (Caesars)
Limit: 8

Detroit Lions Over 6.5 Wins

In my 2022 preseason betting guide, I highlight the Lions as a possible team to fade in August.

But I’ll likely be betting on the Lions once the games mean something in September, and I like them to hit the over on their win total.

Last year the Lions were true heroes under HC Dan Campbell, going 11-6 against the spread (ATS) overall and 4-1 ATS vs. teams with winning percentages above .500.

The Lions have a top-10 offensive line, improved skill positions and a defense that could flash with the addition of athletic rookie EDGEs Aidan Hutchinson and Josh Paschal.

Bet: Over 6.5, -120 (DraftKings)
Limit: 7

Other Notes:

  • I’m staying away from the Browns win total until we have more clarity on the situation with QB Deshaun Watson.
  • The Texans and Falcons (Nos. 31-32 in my power ratings) show value to the over — but I could see both teams going into full-on tank mode in the second half of the season, which means I’m staying away from their win totals.

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