Chargers and Broncos Totals Set at Double-digit Wins Davante Adams is now a Raider, Khalil Mack is a Charger, and Russell Wilson will be under center for the Broncos after massive trades swung by those clubs. While the Chiefs were the lone team sending talent out the door – via the Tyreek Hill trade to Miami — they still have Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid running the show, so there are four teams with legit chances of making noise in the AFC this season. How will all of these moves now impact the 2022 season? That’s what we are here to try to figure out.
All NFL odds via Caesars Sportsbook.
Kansas City Chiefs
Win total projection: 10.5 (Over -115, Under -105)
The Chiefs have arguably the toughest schedule in the NFL this coming season. While difficult, the Chiefs are among the Super Bowl favorites and will likely be favored in the majority of their games this season, so there is a path to the Over on this win total prop hitting. They won’t have to worry about DeAndre Hopkins (PED suspension) when they open the season in Arizona, and it’s conceivable that the Colts will still be working in Matt Ryan by the time they head to Indy in Week 3. A “Sunday Night Football” showdown in Tampa against the Buccaneers may be too difficult to pull out, but a Week 7 matchup in San Francisco, likely against a first-year starter in Trey Lance, should have them as a .500 road team at this stage of the year at a minimum. GnewsSports
So, if they can maintain a .500 record on the road through the first seven weeks and pull out home wins against the Chargers, Raiders, and Bills before the Week 8 bye, they’ll be sitting at 5-2. Chiefs should be able to take down the Titans in Week 9 and split with the Broncos, so you’re already knocking on the door of the Over with 10 wins. Three of those four games will be on the road and features trips to L.A. (Chargers), Cincinnati, and Denver. The lone game at Arrowhead is against the defending Super Bowl champion Rams.
The pick: Over 10.5 wins (-115)
Las Vegas Raiders
Win total projection: 8.5 (Over +100, Under -120)
The Raiders are under new management after the team hired GM Dave Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels from the Patriots this offseason. Not only will the top of the masthead look different in Las Vegas, but the Raiders have also revamped the roster, trading for superstar wideout Davante Adams and signing Pro Bowl pass-rusher Chandler Jones in free agency.
One underrated piece to the Raiders’ schedule that they find themselves on the unlucky side of is their Week 16 and Week 17 matchups against the Steelers (at Pittsburgh) and 49ers. With rookie Kenny Pickett and first-year starter Trey Lance the likely QB1s for their respective clubs, having these games so late in the year does give those young signal-callers more time to get their feet wet in the league, thus a more difficult challenge for the Raiders. Had those games been scheduled at the beginning of the year, it’s more likely Jones and Maxx Crosby could have had their heads spinning. All that has me leaning Under on this total.
The pick: Under 8.5 wins (-120)
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers had plenty of money to spend this offseason and they weren’t shy about throwing cash around. The team jumped into free agency and re-signed wideout Mike Williams and inked Pro Bowl corner J.C. Jackson to a massive deal to help solidify the secondary. L.A. also pulled off one of the more notable trades of the offseason, landing pass-rusher Khalil Mack in a deal with the Chicago Bears. Those moves, along with the continued ascension of star quarterback Justin Herbert, have the Chargers as one of the top Super Bowl contenders in the AFC at +1600 (tied for the third-highest odds in the conference).
That said, you are looking at four layup wins against the Jaguars, Texans (in Houston), Seahawks, and Falcons (in Atlanta) on this schedule. They also have a Week 5 matchup against the Browns in Cleveland that could fall into a window where quarterback Deshaun Watson could be serving a suspension.
If the Chargers can split their divisional matchups, you’re looking at eight wins and they will likely be favored in Week 14 and Week 15 when they host the Dolphins and Titans. Fortunately for Over bettors, I don’t think it comes to that.
The pick: Over 10 wins (-115)
Win total projection: 10 (Over -110, Under -110)
Will Denver enjoy a similar result? At first glance, you’ll find a handful of layup games for Denver against inferior opponents: at Seahawks (Week 1), Texans (Week 2), Jets (Week 7), Jaguars (Week 8), and at Panthers (Week 12). If they split the season series within the division, you’re already at the push. Road games against the Titans (Week 10), Ravens (Week 13), and Rams (Week 16) will be difficult for Denver, but the game that could push us to the Over is their home matchup against the Cardinals in Week 16.