Betting News & Analysis

NFL Betting 2022: Odds, spreads, best bets for preseason Week 1

Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) runs with the ball during the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

DraftKings Sportsbook offers a variety of preseason betting options

• Saturday bet: The Carolina Panthers offer plenty of value sitting on a key number +3.

• Bet the over on the Chiefs-Bears game. This total leaped quickly on news Patrick Mahomes could see up to a quarter of action in this matchup, with the Bears also set up to give their ones some run.

Last updated: August 13, 2022, 11:30 am EST

Saturday, Aug. 13

Carolina Panthers vs. Washington Commanders

Team Spread Total Moneyline
Panthers +1 (-110) O 37 (-110) -105
Commanders -1 (-110) U 37 (-110) -115

Although only two spots separated QBs Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold in the 2018 draft, the distance between the newcomer in Mayfield and holdover Darnold in Carolina's camp already appears much greater.

Commanders coach Ron Rivera's abrupt dismissal this week of DL coach Sam Mills because of “philosophical differences” was jarring. So too was their star pupil Jonathan Allen‘s reaction: “It's a great game but a terrible business.”

Bet Panthers +3: A quarterback controversy can often be the best target for preseason bettors, with both Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold expected to see extended reps. Say what you want about the upside of this quarterback room, but it could very easily be the deepest when looking out to the fourth string. For that reason alone, the Panthers offer plenty of value sitting on a key number +3.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Chicago Bears

Team Spread Total Moneyline
Chiefs pk (-110) O 37.5 (-110) -110
Bears pk (-110) U 37 .5(-110) -110

It’s Mecole Hardman’s turn in the spotlight with Patrick Mahomes following the trade of Tyreek Hill, and reports from Chiefs camp suggest the fourth-year speedster is seizing his shot in a contract year as one of their biggest practice stars.

While the first look at Justin Fields and his seemingly downgraded supporting cast in new OC Luke Getsy’s system looms large, so too does the continued absence of disgruntled star LB Roquan Smith, whose trade request this week sent shockwaves across the Windy City.

Bet over 37.5: This total leaped quickly on news Patrick Mahomes could see up to a quarter of action in this matchup, with the Bears also set up to give their ones some run. This could very much be the worst of the number, but 37.5 could come quickly if the first quarter starts off hot.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Buffalo Bills

Team Spread Total Moneyline
Colts -2.5 (-110) O 35.5 (-110) -120
Bills +2.5 (-110) U 35.5 (-110) +100

Matt Ryan becomes Frank Reich's fifth different starting quarterback in as many seasons with the Colts, but will the former Falcon be their best option since Andrew Luck? The reports from Indy are nothing if not encouraging.

It's hard to pick nits on the Super Bowl favorite Bills, but the most obvious area to monitor is the secondary, where injured stalwarts Jordan Poyer (elbow) and Tre'Davious White (knee) aren't locks for Week 1. Can Jaquan Johnson and rookie Kaiir Elam ably hold down the fort?

Bet Colts -1.5: Frank Reich went against popular wisdom and announced Matt Ryan would play the first quarter of this matchup. Betting markets reacted quickly, moving the Colts from +3.5 to -1.5 This could be a ones-versus-twos situation, with a clear advantage throughout for the Colts.

Seattle Seahawks vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Team Spread Total Moneyline
Seahawks +3.5 (-115) O 36.5 (-110) +140
Steelers -3.5 (-105) U 36.5 (-110) -165

It could be Drew Lock who holds Seattle's key to replacing Russell Wilson this season, while Mitch Trubisky remains the most likely heir in 2022 to Ben Roethlisberger. Buckle up, Seahawks, Steelers fans: Lock and Trubisky have nearly identical passing grades (63.4 vs. 63.6, respectively) in their largest sample seasons.

One thing both of these new-look passing games should have going for them — if not consistent quarterbacking — is content No. 1 WRs after Diontae Johnson broke the bank days after Seattle's DK Metcalf. How their roles evolve with new QBs, and new deals will be fascinating.

Bet Seahawks +3.5: With an unsettled quarterback room, Pete Carroll could easily see even more value in learning the most about his team through live game reps. Expect both Geno Smith and Drew Lock to get extended run and easily cover this wide spread.

Miami Dolphins vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Team Spread Total Moneyline
Dolphins -1 (-105) O 31.5 (-110) -115
Buccaneers +1 (-115) U 31.5 (-110) -105

Don't blink or you might miss the Dolphins' debut pairing of receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle with Tua Tagovailoa. It's also HC Mike McDaniel's debut, but all eyes — if they can keep up — will be on Miami's scintillating skill speed.

The Bucs appear to have avoided further injury along their O-line following the loss of Pro Bowl pivot Ryan Jensen, as replacement C Robert Hainsey‘s time on the cart during Wedneday's practice was due to cramps. The still-green Hainsey should benefit from new RG Shaq Mason‘s experience.

Bet the under 31.5: The low opening total continues to drop with Tom Brady away from the Buccaneers and Mike McDaniel not providing assurances that Tua Tagovailoa will play. Teddy Bridgewater is arguably the best backup in the NFL and could also see little playing time if McDaniel opts for conservatism. With little historical data on how these coaches will approach this matchup, side with the direction of the market and pile onto the under.

New Orleans Saints vs. Houston Texans

Team Spread Total Moneyline
Saints -1.5 (-110) O 33 (-110) -125
Texans +1.5 (-110) U 33 (-110) +105

Jameis Winston won't play after spraining his right foot this week, but Saints teammate Michael Thomas, reportedly looking healthy again after missing 2021 with a knee injury, headlines what can be a dynamic WR trio with Jarvis Landry and Chris Olave, who found the end zone on 13 of 65 receptions in 2021.

No. 3 overall pick Derek Stingley Jr., (41.1 career completion percentage allowed at LSU) by all accounts, is progressing nicely in Texans camp after recovering from a Lisfranc injury sustained last year. Yet he's not expected to debut Saturday vs. his hometown team.

Bet Texans ML (+105): Davis Mills is expected to see some run on Saturday, with the enticing opportunity for a dip into the second quarter. Conversely, the Saints are frantically singing quarterbacks after Jameis Winston was sidelined with injury. Expect Mills to build on his quality rookie performance and the Texans to jump out to an early lead.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos

Team Spread Total Moneyline
Cowboys +3 (-115) O 31.5 (-110) +130
Broncos -3 (-105) U 31.5 (-110) -150

It remains to be seen whether Dak Prescott will have sufficient WR juice beyond CeeDee Lamb with Michael Gallup and James Washington sidelined to start the season. But with Dante Fowler Jr. and Anthony Barr on board, DPOY candidate Micah Parsons (tied for 9th in the league in pressures) and All Pro DeMarcus Lawrence are all smiles about the pass rush.

With underrated Tim Patrick‘s (knee) season over before it began, the key to maximizing Russell Wilson rapidly in the Rockies will be the growth of youngsters Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler alongside Courtland Sutton (one drop on 95 targets in 2021). Reports from Denver suggest Russ is already cooking with his new ingredients.

Bet Broncos -3.5: Dallas has already announced that none of their starters will see the field. And while it is unlikely that Denver will field any starters either, they have a backup QB competition in full swing and both will see playing time. They also have some exciting rookie prospects to break in and more depth at the receiver position as well as a first-time head coach with a recent history of excellent offensive performances. They could put up some points against an under-strength Dallas team.

Los Angeles Rams vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Team Spread Total Moneyline
Rams +3.5 (-110) O 30 (-110) +140
Chargers -3.5 (-110) U 30 (-110) -165

Few rosters boast more top-end talent and depth than the Chargers, but will new defensive stars Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson be the missing pieces for a Super Bowl-caliber roster? The Bolts' 62.1 team coverage grade ranked 21st; their pass-rush grade (74.1) ranked 13th.

The tinsel should all be cleaned up when the Rams return to SoFi to begin their title defense. Whether concerns regarding Matthew Stafford‘s sore elbow have cleared is another question, with the strong-armed passer experiencing lingering discomfort despite getting inflammatory shots and extra rest.

Bet Chargers win by 1-13 (+130): There is not much enthusiasm surrounding this game, as no starters will be present and neither coach has shown much interest, historically, in trying to win preseason games. The total has been bet down since open and the Chargers have been bet through 3 from an opening -2. Stick with the Chargers in a game that stays close.

Sunday, Aug. 14

Minnesota Vikings vs. Las Vegas Raiders

Team Spread Total Moneyline
Vikings +3.5 (-110) O 34 (-110) +145
Raiders -3.5 (-110) U 34 (-110) -170

It's easy to see why Kirk Cousins and Derek Carr would be smitten after the Vikings and Raiders replaced Mike Zimmer and Jon Gruden with Kevin O'Connell and Josh McDaniels, respectively — even if it remains tough to envision either club unseating their division's favorite. Cousins' preseason debut in O'Connell's offense won't come Sunday after the quarterback tested positive for covid, Minnesota announced Friday. The earliest Cousins can return to the team is Tuesday.

Josh Jacobs‘ usage in Las Vegas' preseason opener, on the heels of his fifth-year team option not being exercised, won't quiet the trade rumors. But McDaniels tried anyway this week, saying he has “no desire” to trade the ex-first-rounder, who's averaged 3.05 yards after contact per rush in his career.

Bet Raiders -4: Kirk Cousins has tested positive for COVID-19 and will have to sit out of the Vikings preseason opener, leaving Kellen Mond and Sean Mannion to split playing time. The Raiders showed that they have plenty of depth in their opener against the Jags without a bunch of starters seeing the field. They can cover again.


Thursday, Aug. 11

RECAP: In a rematch of Super Bowls XLII and XLVI, the New York Giants once again came out victorious over the New England Patriots

Team Spread Total Moneyline
Giants -3 (-120) O 34.5 (-110) -165
Patriots +3 (+100) U 34.5 (-110) +140

Professor vs. Pupil: Brian Daboll makes his preseason head-coaching debut in familiar Foxborough, where the former longtime Patriots assistant cut his coaching teeth under Bill Belichick for 11 years.

Reports from Patriots camp indicate a rocky transition on offense under new OC Matt Patricia, who abruptly scrapped the team's long-successful power blocking scheme after two-plus decades for a zone scheme.

• Best Bet: Giants -3 — It's safe to project at least some time between Giants first-stringers and Pats second-stringers. The line flipped from +1.5 to -2.5, and since the movement has bumped yet to -3, this looks like a viable betting spot.

RECAP: The Baltimore Ravens defeated the Tennessee Titans 23-10 to extend their preseason winning streak to a record 21 straight games

Team Spread Total Moneyline
Titans +3 (-105) O 32 (-110) +155
Ravens -3 (-115) U 32 (-110) -180

Following their stunning Draft trade with the Eagles, the Titans begin life after AJ Brown, who accounted for 89 percent of their pass-play EPA last year. Enter first-round WR Treylon Burks, who's reportedly endured growing pains with conditioning and a new playbook.

With Ravens first-round C Tyler Linderbaum dealing with a foot injury in camp, Baltimore's interior OL depth should get an early test. The unit ranked 13th in pass-block percentage (69.7) a season ago.

• Best Bet: Over 32 — The total has dropped two points from the open, and appears to now be one of the most mispriced opportunities in Week 1.

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