The NFL offseason has already seen it’s fair share of surprises. We should expect more surprises to land well before the annual NFL Hall of Fame Game happens in August. All football bettors should handicap the NFL offseason. Doing so helps us prepare for when the games matter. Check out how to handicap this NFL offseason so that once you start making NFL Bets, you can ensure success.
How to Handicap the NFL Offseason
2022-2023 NFL Regular Season
- When: Sep. 8, 2022 – Jan. 8, 2023
Pay attention to offseason injuries
How many times have you heard this about a star player on an NFL franchise, “Yes, he’s injured, but no worry. He should be ready by the start of training camp.”
Then, two weeks later, you hear this about the same player, “Oh, he’s okay. But he won’t make training camp. He’ll definitely be ready by the first week.”
Injuries have a tendency to linger for much longer than any one anticipated. So keep tabs on major injuries.
Look to see which teams have created situations in the locker room
Sometimes, a team can’t help itself. The Cleveland Browns, as an example, went all in on a quarterback, Deshaun Watson, with around 22 lawsuits hanging over his head.
The Browns decided to go all in before trading current starter Baker Mayfield. So now Baker, and all of the players who believe in him, are upset.
Maybe, Deshaun is worth it. If he ever again plays a snap, we’ll know.
In the meantime, before we find out if Watson is as awesome without DeAndre Hopkins as he was with DeAndre, Cleveland has created a messy locker room situation. Good job, Browns, we would expect nothing less.
Decide which NFL teams are ready to win now
Which NFL teams are ready to win today? Create a list. It may sound easy to create the list, but it’s not.
Are the Jaguars ready to win today? Maybe. They sure look like a solid team. How about the Saints? You must create your list, a specific list, that represents your opinions.
The reason it’s important to create the list is to determine what future bets to make. So, for example, the over under on New Orleans is 7 ½ games.
If you believe the Saints are ready to win now, go over the total. If you don’t, go under.
Handicap NFL head coaches
We’ll stick with New Orleans for this NFL offseason handicap angle. The best coach in Saints’ history, Sean Payton, retired after last season. New Orleans promoted defensive coordinator Dennis Allen to the head coaching job.
To make any successful future bet on the Saints, whether the Saints will make the playoffs, win the NFC South, win the conference, or win the Super Bowl, you must handicap Dennis Allen as a head coach.
Look for under the radar teams
Let’s discuss the Washington Commanders to see what to look for in an under the radar team. The Commanders acquired Carson Wentz during the offseason. They also have the easiest schedule in the league.
But because Dallas and Philadelphia also have easy schedules, nobody will pay attention to the Commanders.
The Colts should be an under the radar squad. So should the Las Vegas Raiders because the Chargers, Chiefs, and Broncos have made big offseason splashes.
In the NFC South, the Saints are under the radar because Tom Brady is back in Tampa. Look for under the radar teams, then see if you can find an overlay future bet.
For sure, circle those under the radar teams heading into the regular season. You could discover overlay moneyline and ATS options.
Handicap strength of schedule before the NFL Hall of Fame Game
Try to handicap the strength of schedule for every NFL team before the first preseason game. By the time the preseason ends, you should have a good idea of which teams oddsmakers will overvalue and undervalue.
Also, consider strength of schedule as a flexible stat. So, for example, the four teams in the NFC East, Dallas, Philadelphia, NYG, and Washington, have the easiest schedules on paper.
Why? It’s partly because the Giants and Washington were terrible last season. It’s also because the NFC East plays the AFC South.
But the AFC South should be much better this season than last season. In fact, the AFC South could produce up to three playoff teams. Tennessee and Indianapolis should be locks. Jacksonville has improved so much, the Jags might sneak into the postseason.
So make sure to handicap strength of schedule. Don’t blindly follow what the strength of schedule “experts” tell you. Create your own strength of schedule list for the regular season based on your handicapping.
The top free agents have found new teams and the draft is in the books, which is why it’s time to start planning for the NFL Season. Parity reigns in the NFL, which is why underdogs exist in almost every future betting category. Keep reading for four long shot teams that have a real chance at winning their division so you can bet against their NFC Divisional odds and their AFC Divisional odds respectively.
Four Long Shot NFL Bets to Win their Division this Season
2022-2023 NFL Regular Season
- When: Sep. 8, 2022 – Jan. 8, 2023
NFC East – Washington Commanders +480
Ron Rivera’s defense will be much better this season than last season. The offense should be a very good unit now that Carson Wentz is under center. The Commanders are under the radar, which makes them a solid long shot pick.
As you may have guessed, D.C.’s success depends on how well Wentz performs. Carson has a seriously talented target in wide receiver Terry McLaurin. So if things go well, Washington can upset Dallas and Philadelphia.
NFC South – New Orleans Saints +400
No doubt, the odds on the Saints to win the NFC South will fall. So if you agree with the following assessment, jump on the Saints as soon as possible.
New Orleans made two key free agent signings in the past couple of weeks. Dennis Allen’s squad signed Tyrann Mathieu to play safety. New Orleans also signed Jarvis Landry to play wide receiver.
In addition, New Orleans drafted receiver Chris Olave and left tackle Trevor Penning in the first round. Yes, Tom Brady is back with the favorite, Tampa Bay. But overall, New Orleans appears to have the better team.
The key for the Saints will be how well Jameis Winston clicks with his receivers. If Winston doesn’t throw picks, the Saints will thrive.
AFC West – Las Vegas Raiders +800
But we shouldn’t look past a team that made it to the playoffs last season and signed the best wide receiver in the NFL, Davante Adams, during the offseason. Las Vegas is a seriously talented team.
The Raiders can hang with any squad in the AFC West. So at the odds, they’re a fantastic play to win the division. The defense is underrated and quarterback Derek Carr and Adams played together at Fresno State.
I have read enough, I need to place my bet now. What to do?