American Football

NFL Predictions: Early Division picks are in for 2022

By Stuart Dick

Published: 13:59, 23 June 2022

The 2022 NFL season will soon be upon us – the schedule is now official and we have some early predictions for you as the countdown begins in earnest.

Whether it be in hope or expectation, pigskin fans will now take the opportunity to bet their teams in the variety of ante-post betting markets – from Super Bowl winner to MVP or the mass of more exotic props markets.

Then comes September and the season itself, where punters get involved in the week-by-week betting fun – including against the spread, parlays/accumulators and first or anytime TD scorers.

To get things kicked off, we’ve looked at the early betting to win the divisions and come up with our expert and free predictions. Time to dive in!

NFL Predictions By Division for 2022

We analysed all the ante-post division markets, and here are our early picks to win every single one. All odds are with Sky Bet – and we have a special signup bonus offer for you too.

AFC North: The Cincinnati Bengals have strengthened their major weakness (that leaky offensive line) and they should win the division once again. Deshaun Watson’s Cleveland Browns will contend but their new QB could be facing a suspension soon. The Baltimore Ravens are likely to be the biggest threat while Pittsburgh will be on the outside looking in for 2022.

AFC

Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals to win the AFC North at 2/1 (Sky Bet)

AFC East: The Buffalo Bills are the class of the division (and the league according to bookmakers) and should claim the AFC East title for a third successive year. The Miami Dolphins have improved, and the New England Patriots are always involved in the playoff fight, but neither has the ability to match the Bills. The New York Jets, despite a terrific Draft, are probably still a year or two away from contention.

Prediction: Buffalo Bills to win the AFC East at 8/15 (Sky Bet)

AFC South: The Tennessee Titans are favoured to win a third successive AFC South title, mainly due to the lack of opposition in the division. The Indianapolis Colts are the only viable challengers as they adapt to life with a new QB in former Falcon Matt Ryan. The Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans meanwhile will likely be closer to the battle for the number one pick in the 2023 Draft.

Prediction: Indianapolis Colts to win the AFC South at 10/11 (Sky Bet)

AFC West: The AFC West has become a four-way arms race in recent months with some huge moves lighting up a wild NFL offseason. The Los Angeles Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders have all recruited heavily. However, Patrick Mahomes the Chiefs still get our pick to retain the title – and the odds are way bigger than they were in 2021.

Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs to win the AFC West at 11/8 (Sky Bet)

NFC North: The Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears have new head coaches and front offices, while the Detroit Lions are still a year or two away from contending – Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers should win the NFC North for a fourth successive season. Despite their lack of depth at receiver…

NFC

Prediction: Green Bay Packers to win the NFC North at 8/15 (Sky Bet)

NFC East: The Dallas Cowboys are favourites to lift the NFC title once again, and they are the only team in the division with a proven commodity at quarterback right now. Dak Prescott might be the deciding factor again. The Philadelphia Eagles have added key talent to their ranks and should contend but the Washington Commanders and New York Giants have much work to do.

Prediction: Dallas Cowboys to win the NFC East at 5/4 (Sky Bet)

NFC South: The New Orleans Saints believe they can contend in 2022, having made aggressive moves in the Draft to beef up their roster. They will challenge the Tampa Buccaneers , led once again by the returning Tom Brady. The Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers meanwhile are both in for a season of hurt. If this is a race, it has only two horses.

Prediction: New Orleans Saints to win the NFC South at 7/2 (Sky Bet)

NFC West: The defending champion Los Angeles Rams will need to be toppled in the NFC West, with the San Francisco 49ers the only likely challenger. The Arizona Cardinals are currently in limbo at the quarterback position and the Seattle Seahawks are in rebuild mode.

Prediction: San Francisco 49ers to win the NFC West at 15/8 (Sky Bet)

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Who will play in the Super Bowl in 2022?

Super Bowl LVII will take place on Sunday February 12, 2023 at the home of the Arizona Cardinals – State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

The game will see the AFC Champions take on the NFC Champions to crown the World Champion. After a 17-game regular season, seven teams from both the AFC and NFC advance to the play-offs, with the #1 seed in each conference earning a first-round bye.

The Los Angeles Rams are the current Super Bowl champions; however, they aren’t currently favoured to make it back to the title game. The current market leader with most sportsbooks are the Buffalo Bills – who suffered that agonising playoff loss in Kansas City earlier this year.

In the AFC, the defending conference victors the Cincinnati Bengals are only sixth favourites to reach the Super Bowl while it is the Kansas City Chiefs battling with the Bills for top billing.

Tom Brady’s Buccaneers are currently favourites to make it to the Super Bowl from the NFC, over the defending champion Rams.

Who will be NFL MVP in 2022?

The NFL MVP award, given to the individual in the NFL who is deemed the Most Valuable Player by a panel of media experts, is the biggest individual honour a player can receive during their playing career.

The award factors in a number of things – statistical output, leadership and contribution to the team’s success. It is pretty much dominated by quarterbacks now, the NFL is a pass-driven league.

Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay) won back-to-back MVP awards in 2020 and 2021 – the third and fourth of his career. Despite his recent dominance of the award, Rodgers is only fifth favourite in 2022.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen is the market leader with the bookmakers, followed closely by Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City), Tom Brady (Tampa Bay) and Justin Herbert (LA Chargers). Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor is the top non-QB in the odds at 55/1.

Which is the best team in the NFL in 2022?

Power rankings are the main way media outlets determine the top teams in the NFL. Week-by-week during the season these are adjusted with the best teams rising to the top and the worst dropping to the bottom.

Rather than ranking teams simply by the overall record, power rankings take into account strength of schedule, injuries, coaching and depth of a roster.

Pre-season power rankings include a heavy dose of estimation – will the newly drafted players succeed? Will free agents suit the coaching scheme? And will young players take the next step in their development?

Below are Squawka NFL’s top five teams heading into 2022:

  1. Buffalo Bills
  2. Kansas City Chiefs
  3. Los Angeles Rams
  4. Los Angeles Chargers
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

How many games are in the 2022 NFL season?

The 2022 NFL season will consist of an 18-week regular season, with each team playing 17 games and having one bye week. In total there are 272 regular-season games in all.

Five of those games will take place outside of the United States as part of the league’s International Series. Three of those games will take place in the United Kingdom, two – the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints on October 2, and the New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers on October 9 – will be at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Then, on October 30, the Denver Broncos and the Jacksonville Jaguars will square off at Wembley Stadium.

Two weeks later, on November 13, the Seattle Seahawks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will square off in Germany, in Munich’s Allianz Arena. The following week – on Monday, November 21, to be precise – the San Francisco 49ers will take on the Arizona Cardinals in Mexico City, at the Estadio Azteca.

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