The boys are back and we’re ready to expose Vegas for all the value they keep leaving on the table. Your football experts couldn’t have finished the season better last year and you can bet your mortgage that this train keeps on rolling through 2022. Prep the man cave, stock up on your beverage of choice and brace yourself for the best half of the year in sports. Don’t be a fool… bet smarter, not harder.
|Bet||DPJ’s Picks||Q’s Picks|
|ACC Champ||Clemson (-120)(1 unit)||Clemson (-120)(1 unit)|
|Big 10 Champ||Ohio State (-210)(1 unit)||Ohio State (-210)(1 unit)|
|SEC Champ||Alabama (-125)(1 unit)||Alabama (-125)(1 unit)|
|Big 12 Champ||Oklahoma (+200)(1 unit)||Oklahoma (+200)(0.5 units)/Texas (+350)(0.5 units)|
|PAC 12 Champ||Utah (+280)(0.5 units)/USC (+225)(0.5 units)||Utah (+280)(0.5 units)/USC (+225)(0.5 units)|
|Heisman||CJ Stroud (+350)(0.5 units), Hendon Hooker (+6600)(0.25 units), Spencer Sanders (+8000)(0.25 units)||CJ Stroud (+350)(0.5 units)/Caleb Williams (+800)(0.2 units)/Bijan Robinson (+5000)(0.1 units)/Quinn Ewers (+5000)(0.1 units)/Cade Klubnik (+10000)(0.1 units)|
|National Champion||Ohio State (+350)(1 unit)||Alabama (+180)(0.5 units)/Ohio State (+350)(0.5 units)|
Q’s Favorite CFB Future Bets
ACC Champion: Clemson (-120) (1 unit)
I’m obviously biased here (2016 Clemson grad) but I just don’t see how this defense doesn’t power Clemson to another ACC Championship in what should be a down year for the ACC. Clemson’s defensive line should easily be the best in the country this year and the offense has nowhere to go but up. This could quite possibly be the best defensive line Clemson has ever had (which is saying quite a lot) and will be highlighted by no doubt first rounders Bryan Bresee/Myles Murphy and anchored by veteran talent (Xavier Thomas/Tyler Davis (could be a first rounder too)/KJ Henry). Every team in the country fears Clemson’s defense coming into this season, but what about their offense? It’s completely valid to be skeptical of an offense led by a QB who threw more interceptions than touchdowns last year. That said, people seem to forget that Will Shipley could be the next Christian McCaffrey and DJ will be fighting to keep his starting role against Cade Klubnik all season. If you’ve never heard the name Cade Klubnik before… just wait… the guy will be a household name in no time. Top QB recruit in his class, 3 Texas high school state championships, winner of the Elite 11 competition, looked electric during spring camp… oh… and he played at Westlake High School (the same high school that produced Drew Brees, Nick Foles and Sam Ehlinger). I’d be surprised if Klubnik doesn’t take over sooner rather than later and as long as the offensive line improves compared to last year (not a difficult feat) then this Clemson team will be extremely formidable all year regardless of opponent. We’re talking about a favorite to make the playoffs this year simply winning their conference (an average-at-best conference that Clemson has won 6 out of the last 7 seasons). Don’t overthink it, cash in on the doubt that the injury plagued 2021 Tigers cast on their squad for 2022.
Big 12 Champion: Oklahoma (+200) (0.5 units)/Texas (+350) (0.5 units)
Easy money. Either Oklahoma or Texas have won 81.25% of Big 12 conference championships since 2000 (13/16 since the Big 12 Championship took a hiatus for a few years) and one of the two teams have at least played in the conference championship every single year but once since 2000… That’s a trend worth banking on in my opinion considering the massive talent both schools have obtained in both the coaching and player departments in the past year. As a Tiger alum, I hate to see Venables go… but I get it. He was easily the best assistant coach in college football for the last decade and he’s always been transparent about Oklahoma being his dream heading coaching job. Following along here, Oklahoma landed the best college defensive coordinator in recent memory taking over a massively popular program with a passion to excel. Add UCF QB standout Dillon Gabriel to the mix and you get a national championship contender in a bad conference. As far as Texas, no one has stood the test of time as head coach since Mack Brown. Sarkisian will be the guy to change that. People love to give Nick Saban all the credit for Alabama’s successes but I’d argue it’s actually his ability to attract top coaching talent that separates him from the field. Sarkisian was no exception during his time as Alabama’s offensive coordinator and orchestrated one of the better offenses in college football history. Texas was on the rise last year, they’ll have Heisman hopefuls Bijan Robinson (RB)/Quinn Ewers (QB) running the show on offense and every veteran on that squad is still sick to their stomachs about blowing last year’s Red River Rivalry. Given the odds that Vegas is gifting us here, it feels like a steal to split a unit across these two future SEC teams.
DPJ’s Favorite CFB Future Bets
Big 12 Champion: Oklahoma (+200) (1 unit)
Brent Venables is back in Norman with the tall task of replacing Lincoln Riley as head coach of the Sooners. This should be a great hire for Oklahoma and I think it pays off immediately in year one with the program. We saw last year with OK State how far a dominant defense will get you in the Big 12. The Sooners will bring much of that same energy in 2022 and leading with defense instead of offense should do them wonders. Yeah, it was fun and exciting to see the Lincoln Riley led teams put up 70 points every week but eventually the wheels fall off and you need to play defense against the other top teams. While Venables will certainly be handling the defense, Jeff Lebby is another great hire for the Sooners at OC, coming from Ole Miss and previously UCF where his offensive units have consistently ranked in the top 10. I think Oklahoma wins the Big 12 and has a seat at the CFB Playoff when all is said and done.
National Champion: Ohio State (+350) (1 unit)
This Ohio State team should be an absolute wagon in 2022. The offense in 2021 was spectacular, but at the end of the day the defense simply couldn’t hold it together and that led to a devastating loss against Michigan in an 11-2 season. That loss should not only serve as a huge piece of motivation this year for the Buckeyes but they also went ahead and picked up DC Jim Knowles from Oklahoma State which cannot be understated. Knowles had the Cowboys playing top 5 defense which is essentially unheard of in the Big 12 these days. He now gets even more tools at his disposal in Columbus and I expect him to hit the ground running. The Buckeyes get a juicy week 1 matchup with #5 ranked Notre Dame, and OSU is a….17.5 point favorite! That should give you a feel for how dominant this team should be. OSU will still have to go through Bama, UGA and/or Clemson to get to the promised land in January but I think they have what it takes and I like a unit on +300.
|Bet||DPJ’s Picks||Q’s Picks|
|Super Bowl Winner||Chiefs (+1000)(1 unit)/Bucs (+900)(1 unit)/Colts (+2000)(1 unit)||Bills (0.5 units)(+650)/Bucs (0.5 units)(+900)|
|AFC Champs||Chiefs (0.5 units)(+500)/Colts (0.5 units)(+1000)||Bills (+350)(0.5 units)|
|NFC Champs||Bucs (+425)(0.5 units)||Bucs (+425)(0.5 units)|
|AFC North||Ravens (+145)(1 unit)||Bengals (0.5 units)(+175)/Ravens (0.5 units)(+145)|
|AFC South||Colts (-120) (1 unit)||Colts (-120) (1 unit)|
|AFC East||Bills (-215)(1 unit)||Bills (-215)(1 unit)|
|AFC West||Chiefs (+175)(0.5 units)||Chiefs (+175)(0.5 units)/Chargers (+250)(0.5 units)|
|NFC North||Packers (-155)/Vikings (+250)(0.5 units)||Packers (-155)|
|NFC South||Bucs (-250)||Bucs (-250)|
|NFC East||Cowboys (+150)(0.5 units)||Eagles (+150)(0.5 units)/Cowboys (+150)(0.5 units)|
|NFC West||Rams (+130)(0.5 units)||Rams (+130)(0.5 units)/49ers (+180)(0.5 units)|
|MVP||Mahomes (+750)(0.5 units)||Josh Allen (+700)(0.2 units)/Joe Burrow (+1300)(0.2 units)/Justin Herbert (+1000)(0.2 units)/Tom Brady (+900)(0.2 units)/Russell Wilson (+1400)(0.2 units)|
|OPOY||Jonathan Taylor (+890)||Justin Jefferson (+1500)(0.2 units)/Christian McCaffrey (+2500)(0.2 units)/Ja’Marr Chase (+3000)(0.2 units)/Travis Kelce (+6600)(0.2 units)/Derrick Henry (+1600)(0.2 units)|
|DPOY||Aaron Donald (+900)(0.5 units)||Aaron Donald (+900)(0.25 units)/TJ Watt (+900)(0.25 units)/Myles Garrett (+800)(0.25 units)/Nick Bosa (+1500)(0.25 units)|
|OROY||Breece Hall (+1200)||Breece Hall (+1200)(0.25 units)/Drake London (+1600)(0.25 units)/Chris Olave (+1400)(0.25 units)/Dameon Pierce (+2000)(0.25 units)|
|DROY||Aiden Hutchinson (+450)||Aidan Hutchinson (+450)(0.5 units)/Ahmad Gardner (+1400)(0.25 units)/Derek Stingley Jr (+1400)(0.25 units)|
|Comeback Player||Derrick Henry (+500)(0.5 units)||CMC (+1000)(0.4 units)/Derrick Henry (+500)(0.4 units)/Brian Robinson (+550)(0.2 units)|
Q’s Favorite NFL Future Bets
AFC North Champion: Bengals (+175) (1 unit)/Ravens (+145) (1 unit)
There’s no way the Browns or Steelers win their division this year… plain and simple. The Ravens are stacked on both sides of the ball, they should have a healthy Lamar this year (who has proven time and time again this offseason that his concerns are with winning vs his new contract) and their RBBC set up in the backfield is being heavily overlooked across the league. DPJ and I disagree on this, but the Bengals trip to the Super Bowl was no fluke. Joe Burrow is that guy. Not only is Burrow potentially a generational talent but he’s armed with the best WR group in the NFL, a solid veteran RB in Joe Mixon and an improved offensive line compared to 2021. That’s all you need to win the AFC North this year to be blunt. QB is one of those prerequisite positions to truly compete in the NFL and the Steelers/Browns will be severely lacking in that category for most if not all of 2022. I can appreciate arguments both ways between the Bengals or Ravens winning their division this year… but any other team is definitively out of the question for 2022 in my opinion.
AFC South Champion: Colts (-120) (1 unit)
Here’s one team that DPJ and I agree on 100%. The Colts are loaded on both sides of the ball and it’s truly difficult to find their Achilles heel. Their defense has been (and should continue to be) stingy, Jonathan Taylor and company are the best running back group in the league and Matt Ryan brings a “been there before” presence to a young/talented team that was seemingly missing that one piece to put it all together last season. Their schedule is relatively easy this year and Frank Reich is a great coach (not to mention they don’t have to deal with the curse that is “Hard Knocks” as a distraction in 2022). I’m not quite as bullish as DPJ to call them Super Bowl contenders just quite yet, but there’s no question in my mind that they will absolutely dominate the AFC South this season. Their competition for the division title are the Jags, Texans and Titans… Two teams in the throes of rebuilds and one team staring down the barrel of an impending rebuild within the next couple of years.
Comeback Player of the Year: Derrick Henry (+500) (0.4 units)/Christian McCaffrey (+1000) (0.4 units)/Brian Robinson (+550)***
***I firmly believe that Robinson’s odds for Comeback Player of the Year are heavily inflated currently simply due to timing. I’m planning on laying 0.2 units on the rookie once people start to forget about the recent shooting and push his odds in a more favorable direction. For context, most books either have Robinson listed as the favorite to win the award right now… or don’t have him listed at all. That’s not volatility I’m trying to commit to at the beginning of the season so this will be a situation to monitor throughout the year. Stay tuned!
So this has been my favorite futures bet heading into the 2022 season for months and despite adjusting a bit given recent circumstances, I think I love it even more now. I felt as though CMC or Derrick Henry would be absolute locks this year for Comeback Player of the Year considering their recent injury history and the likelihood that at least one of the two would return to MVP level form in 2022. That was, until Brian Robinson’s recent misfortunes. Brian Robinson was set to take over the Commanders’ backfield as a rookie from the jump coming into 2022 and unfortunately he suffered multiple gunshot wounds during an attempted armed robbery a few days ago. Sounds like a season ender at best right? Wrong. Robinson was shot in the glute and his lower leg, neither injury posing any serious harm to his well being or his ability to play in 2022… so much so that Washington was contemplating not even putting him on the Non Football Injury list (NFI List). The reasoning behind CMC and King Henry making this list are obvious and go without saying but the massive appeal behind Brian Robinson to win this award in 2022 is simply his story. The media loves a good story and if Brian Robinson can produce even remotely well as a rookie this season then he’ll deliver them just that. Including CMC and Derrick Henry in the unit because I think they’re the most likely to actually win but including Brian Robinson since he has by far the best potential “comeback story” of the year thus far.
DPJ’s Favorite NFL Future Bets
Super Bowl Winner: Indianapolis Colts (+2000) (1 unit)
This pick is 50% my belief in what the Colts will look like in 2022, and 50% what I think is incredible value at +2000. Indy comes in with a new QB under center in Matt Ryan. Let’s not forget Matt Ryan was one Kyle Shanahan brain aneurysm away from beating Brady and the Pats in the SB. I strongly believe he is the perfect person to take over for Wentz in this offense. He’s a great leader, locker room guy, and seems like an all around better person than Wentz. He also won’t sprain both of his ankles in one game like Wentz did last year, an injury that is still impressive to me to this day. Matty Ice has been plugged into a team with a great O-Line, arguably the best RB in the league, what could be a top 5 defense, and a great head coach. What makes it even better is they play in the AFC South which gives them a real shot at finishing with the best record in the AFC and a first round bye. You won’t find me arguing that the Colts are better on paper than the Chiefs or the Bills but I think the path for Indy to secure a bye is very real which would increase their odds exponentially at a SB run. +2000 is just too irresistible for me so I’m laying a full unit on my Indianapolis Colts.
MVP: Patrick Mahomes (+750) (0.5 units)
I love the narrative that is surrounding Mahomes and the Chiefs coming into 2022. Expectations are shockingly lower than usual which sets them up nicely for a big season and most importantly a Mahomes MVP. I can already see the talking heads of ESPN foaming at the mouth… “Mahomes is doing all of this with no Tyreek Hill!” “This guy is incredible, you take away his best weapon and he’s putting up even better numbers in 2022!”. That is precisely what I anticipate, similar production from Pat and the Chiefs with seemingly less weapons. The old saying ‘under promise, over deliver’ is exactly what I have in mind. Plus, I know my guy Nick Wright will have the propaganda machine working double time in 2022 after a let-down-year for the Chiefs in 2021. The MVP award is partially stats driven but also very narrative heavy. The other side of this coin is the Bills/Josh Allen. Expectations are so high for Josh to light the world on fire in 2022 that I fear if he even slightly under delivers he won’t be holding the MVP trophy when all is said and done. Mahomes is the play for me this season.
AFC North Champion: Ravens (+145) (1 unit)
The 2022 Ravens fascinate me in many ways. I am very tempted to put an AFC Champ and Super Bowl future on them as well, but for now I’m sticking with AFC North champ. You look around at the AFC North and you see 1) Cleveland, who paid a zillion dollars to a known (alleged) rapist who is now suspended 11 games thus ending their season. 2) Pittsburgh, who replaced a different known (alleged) rapist with Mitch Trubisky and a rookie QB. A team that still has a god-awful O-Line and is almost certainly not sniffing the playoffs. 3) Cincy, the Ravens only real competition and a team that will be good but I fear could have a little bit of Super Bowl fatigue. The Bengals were very fun last year but you can’t deny there was some serious luck in that playoff run and I won’t be surprised when they don’t win the division and lose in the wild card round. Baltimore on the other hand was on an 8-3 start last year despite being one of the most injured teams in recent memory. The wheels eventually fell off after Lamar got hurt but their offense should be even better in 2022, and the defense should be significantly better. I like the Ravens to win the AFC North and potentially be a first round bye threat just like I wrote for the Colts. That could set them up nicely for a deep playoff run.
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