The unofficial end to NFL free agency ushered in two-way future markets on each team's win total and whether they make or miss the playoffs. Free agency drastically changed a handful of teams' outlook, which shifted the power balance in the NFL due to the arms race in the AFC while the NFC lags far behind.
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The first of PFF’s season-long simulation shows some value on a few teams' win total bets, and with that in mind, let's start by trying to find value on AFC teams.
Win Total: 11.5 (-135 | +115)
Bookmakers fell in love with the Bills to start the 2022 offseason, as Buffalo has the highest win total in the NFL and currently has the shortest odds to win the Lombardi Trophy. The Von Miller acquisition is an excellent edge-rusher for a team with few other weaknesses last season.
PFF’s simulation projects the Bills to finish at 12 or more wins on 53.99% of outcomes. Given the juice associated with the over, there are better markets to attack Buffalo’s positive outcomes in 2022.
Win Total: 11 (-145 | +125)
Kansas City lost the fourth most wins above replacement (WAR) among teams that didn’t see a change at quarterback this offseason. The Chiefs now must rebuild their receiving unit through the draft after receiving a nice package in exchange for their most dynamic offensive playmaker. They opened as co-favorites to win the Super Bowl but dropped to third after the dust settled on free agency.
PFF's simulation sees them landing exactly on their 11-game win total in 18.63% of outcomes and going over only 24.4% of the time. Given the state of the AFC conference and specifically the AFC West, the Chiefs could be a team to fade in 2022 if they overdraft skill position players again. This could be one of the most important offseasons for the Patrick Mahomes-led Chiefs squad, which absolutely needs to hit on multiple draft picks to stay relevant in Super Bowl discussions this season.
Win Total: 10 (-130 | +110)
Cincinnati is well ahead of schedule and should be in the conversation for a return trip to the Super Bowl for the foreseeable future. Bookmakers are cautious about their 2022 outlook because the way in which they overperformed in 2021 doesn’t look as sustainable as other teams' outlooks. The Bengals have the 10th shortest odds to win the Super Bowl.
PFF is even lower on their 2022 outlook than bookmakers, giving them a 17.69% chance at landing on exactly 10 wins. With the high push percentage, taking under 10 wins at a +110 price is an enticing proposition, as PFF's simulation sees them finish with less than 10 wins on 57.19% of outcomes. Depending on the timing of their schedule and how that coincides with Deshaun Watson’s suspension, the Bengals could easily have one of the most difficult schedules in the 2022 season.
Win Total: 10 (-125 | +105)
No team improved its 2022 outlook more than the Broncos, who landed the prize offseason acquisition, prying a frustrated Russell Wilson away from the Seattle Seahawks. The cost wasn’t overly prohibitive, as the Broncos were able to keep their young offensive skill position core intact.
The question becomes: How quickly can Denver's offense gel under new head coach Nathaniel Hackett’s scheme? Denver has little room for error playing in the toughest division in football. PFF’s simulation isn’t optimistic about the Broncos' outlook, projecting them to finish with less than 10 wins 58.09% of the time. Denver is a trendy team heading into the 2022 season, which is all the more reason to fade the team.
Win Total: 10 (-120 | +100)