NFL Power Rankings, Week 1: Are Chargers Undervalued by Betting Market?

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With Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season upon us, it’s time to take a stab at our NFL power rankings. Here, we list the league’s 32 teams in order of their chances to win the Super Bowl in February.

The best futures odds from DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and PointsBet are listed beside each team. (To save scrolling time for Jets fans, hit the down arrow until you reach bottom).

1. Buffalo Bills (+650 PointsBet)

Buffalo is the unanimous favorite to take home the Lombardi Trophy this season and with good reason. Behind the play of QB Josh Allen, the 2020 MVP runner-up, along with WR Stefon Diggs and RB Devin Singletary (4.6 yards a carry), the offense is formidable. But outside of OLT Dion Dawkins, the Bills offensive line isn’t great shakes. As for the defense, the Bills have a unit that yielded more than 33 yards per game fewer than any other team in 2021. If not for that controversial OT loss in Kansas City that resulted in an overtime rules change, perhaps the Bills (10-7-2 ATS last year) would now be going for their second straight crown.

2. Tampa Bay Bucs (+900 PointsBet)

Way back when, in early March, the Bucs had odds of 50-1 at the South Point in Vegas to win Super Bowl 57. But that was before QB Tom Brady announced he was unretiring. And thus the odds shortened considerably. Helping Brady along is one of the league’s most talented receiving corps, led by Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Julio Jones, and Russell Gage. But the offensive line took a beating this summer, and that could make it difficult for their 45-year-old QB to steer clear of trouble. Among the ailing is center Ryan Jensen (knee), who’s almost surely out for the year. The defense looks strong across all levels and plays in one of the weakest divisions.

3. LA Chargers (+1400 DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM)

The Chargers made some offseason noise defensively with the signing of six-time Pro Bowl linebacker Khalil Mack to join four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Joey Bosa and safety Derwin James, a first-team All-Pro last year. And QB Justin Herbert ranks among the best QBs in the business and has versatile RB Austin Ekeler and now Sony Michel, the Rams’ leading rusher last year who just switches locker rooms at SoFi. It also helps that LAC has a third-place schedule. With regard to win expectancy, the Chargers have the same number as defending AFC West champ Kansas City at 10.5.

Chargers QB Justin Herbert
Chargers come out higher in our NFL power rankings than their 14-to-1 odds suggest (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire)

4. San Francisco 49ers (+1700 PointsBet)

When quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo opted to take a pay cut in order to remain with the team, he gave the 49ers a giant safety net to throw under second-year QB Trey Lance in the event he struggles as the regular starter or gets injured with a heavy load in the running game. Regardless, TE George Kittle is one of the best, as is all-purpose runner/receiver Deebo Samuel, who just got paid. But accuracy remains a concern with Lance, who played only one full season in college at North Dakota State. The defense is a mixed bag, with one of the top-rated defensive lines and weakest secondaries.

5. Kansas City Chiefs (+1000 across board)

The Chiefs, who have won six consecutive AFC West titles, have the longest odds of any division favorite this year on the DraftKings board at +175, but shouldn’t be hurt too much with the loss of fleet WR Tyreek Hill. After all, Mecole Hardman is almost as fast, averaged more yards per catch, and had a higher catch rate last season. Plus KC added to QB Patrick Mahomes’ target choices with Green Bay’s Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Pittsburgh’s JuJu Smith-Schuster this offseason and also added ex-Bucs RB Ronald Jones. The defense needs to step up, especially after giving up TD drives of 70-plus yards on their foes’ last 12 playoff possessions.

6. Cincinnati Bengals (+2200 DraftKings, FanDuel)

The Bengals are heralded by the NFL.com folks for having the best QB/RB/WR trio in the league with Joe Burrow, Joe Mixon, and Ja’Marr Chase, who helped lead Cincinnati to the AFC crown last year. And this year, Cincinnati went all-in upgrading an offensive line that allowed Burrow to get sacked a league-high 70 times last year, including the postseason. In 2021, Cincinnati benefited from a last-place schedule, but now it has a first-place slate that includes four of last year’s division winners (Dallas, Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Tennesse) that its division rivals won’t face. And, FYI, Burrow is expected to be 100 percent for the opener after his summer appendix operation.

7. LA Rams (+1200 DraftKings)

As long as DT Aaron Donald, CB Jalen Ramsey, WR Cooper Kupp, and QB Matt Stafford are around, the Rams are a threat to win it all again, and maybe this time their backers will cash in, too, after a 10-11 ATS season. It was almost the same deal when they reached the Super Bowl in the 2018 season and went only 9-9-1 ATS. Stafford, a 14-year veteran, has been dealing with a sore elbow all summer, which has RamsNation and coach Sean McVay concerned. It’s reported Stafford will be able to play but have to withstand the discomfort. A big boost is that RB Cam Akers is back to start the season after missing the first 16 games last year with an Achilles injury.

8. Baltimore Ravens (+2000 DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM)

The Ravens were holding the top seed in the AFC after their 8-3 start last season, but then came the ankle injury to QB Lamar Jackson and the resultant season-ending six-game losing streak that locked them out of the playoffs. The good news? Jackson is back and the team has an attractive last-place schedule. The bad news is that key RBs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards, who both suffered knee injuries that cost them last season, apparently aren’t at full strength. Defensively, the Ravens welcome back the return of former Pro Bowl cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters to a unit that allowed the most air yards last season a year after ranking sixth best.

9. Indianapolis Colts (+2500 DraftKings)

A strong offensive line, the league’s rushing leader (Jonathan Taylor), and newly acquired veteran QB Matt Ryan from Atlanta, the league MVP in 2016, give the Colts the look of a savvy winner. Defensively, if three-time All-Pro LB Shaquille Leonard, just off the PUP list (back surgery), can stay healthy all season, Indy should fare well with a schedule that includes two games apiece against division bottom feeders Jacksonville and Houston. Also on that defensive unit is Pro Bowl DT DeForest Buckner.

10. Dallas Cowboys (+2200 DraftKings)

There are a lot of questions surrounding the Cowboys, starting with their current shortcomings at receiver and with the injury last week to star OLT Tyron Smith. But Dallas, like Indianapolis, is in a relatively weak division and should be able to thrive. If QB Dak Prescott keeps an eye on his blind side, he’ll provide plenty of offense with throws to TE Dalton Schultz and WR CeeDee Lamb. And then there’s RBs Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, a sort of Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside combo, who also can catch. And that defense created a league-best 34 takeaways in 2021. Can the Cowboys do it again?

11. Minnesota Vikings (+4000 DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM)

An offense that features RB Dalvin Cook and WR Justin Jefferson should make it tough for enemy defenses this year, and if steady QB Kirk Cousins can up his game up a notch and avoid having to miss time with another positive COVID test, the Vikings will be hard to beat. On defense, Jeffery Simmons leads one of the league’s top lines. The Vikings will get a stern test in Week 1 when they play host to Green Bay, but at a time the Packers may be temporarily short-handed on the offensive line.

Rising: Justin Jefferson’s Offensive Player of the Year odds

12. Tennessee Titans (+4000 DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM)

RB Derrick Henry, who led the league in rushing in 2019-20 and probably would have taken the title again in 2021 if not sidelined for nine games with a foot injury, is back at full speed. In the passing game, QB Ryan Tannehill won’t have A.J. Brown (to Philly), but ex-Ram Robert Woods is on board and Arkansas’ Treylon Burks, who was their No. 1 draft pick (+1800 DraftKings to be offensive rookie of year), has already meshed with Tannehill. The team has a robust defensive line (the Titans sacked Joe Burrow nine times in their divisional playoff games last season) and has an improved secondary.

13. Green Bay Packers (+1200 DraftKings, BetMGM)

The absence of WR Davante Adams (to Las Vegas), who was second in the league with 123 catches last year for 1,556 yards, third most, likely will throw a thick wrench in the plans for QB Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Also gone is Marquez Valdez-Scantling. Since Rodgers already has been griping about the play of his receivers this summer, all is not well. But at least GB returns RBs Aaron Jones and bulldozing AJ Dillon. The Packers also rate highly at all levels of the defense, which ranked ninth overall in 2021.

14. Denver Broncos (+1800 PointsBet)

Rookie coach Nathaniel Hackett will have the benefit of working with Super Bowl-winning QB Russell Wilson, who was kept out of harm’s way this summer. He’ll be the sixth QB starter in six years for the Broncos. And with RBs Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon fighting for carries, they’ll be giving 190 percent, or whatever. The defense is highlighted by one of the top league secondaries, which will come in handy going against Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, and LV’s Derek Carr.

15. Philadelphia Eagles (+2500 BetMGM)

Coach Nick Sirianni was the only one of seven rookie coaches last season to reach the postseason. If his Eagles are to get there again, more will be expected from QB Jalen Hurts, who was ranked 22nd on the passer-rating chart. Philly will be relying again on a rushing unit that was tops in the league in 2021. But how long before defenses cause the Eagles to have to go to the air and expose Hurts’ vulnerabilities, like Tampa Bay did in last year’s wild-card round?

16. Miami Dolphins (+4000 across the board)

Mike McDaniel, another rookie boss, has the good fortune of being the only first-year boss in the league the past four seasons to take over a team that had a winning record the year before (9-8). The Dolphins made moves to improve their line by signing ex-New Orleans Pro Bowl left tackle Terron Armstead and their collection of running backs includes Chase Edmonds, who averaged 5.1 yards a carry in 2021 for Arizona, and speedy Raheem Mostert, who played in San Francisco when McDaniel was there.

Also: How to read NFL odds

17. Cleveland Browns (+5000 DraftKings)

The Browns are a tempting futures wager for bettors if they think the Browns can remain in the playoff hunt till December behind backup QB Jacoby Brissett while Deshaun Watson sits out his 11-game suspension. Before that penalty was announced, the Browns’ odds were +2000 at some sites when Watson originally was only going to miss six games. No matter who the passer is, the Browns have one of the top one-two RB tandems in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt operating behind a special offensive line. And don’t forget ex-Cowboys WR Amari Cooper. On defense, in addition to star pass rusher Myles Garrett are a pair of top corners.

18. Las Vegas Raiders (+4000 DraftKings, FanDuel)

The Raiders just completed a 4-0 exhibition season under new coach Josh McDaniels and will feature the pass-catch combo of eight-year veteran QB Derek Carr and former Fresno State WR buddy Davante Adams, who was Rodgers’ go-to guy in Green Bay. But to win the Super Bowl, Vegas will have to break the Hall of Fame Game Curse. Excluding this year, there have been 56 such preseason-opening games since 1962 (three games had been canceled) and not one of the 112 teams that participated won the NFL title that season.

19. Arizona Cardinals (+4000 DraftKings, PointsBet)

QB Kyler Murray got his big contract in the offseason after pouting on social media and eliminating references to playing for the Cardinals. But can he overcome his inefficient play that played a part in the team losing seven of its last 11 games, including a dreary playoff defeat, after a 7-0 start? It won’t help that leading receiver DeAndre Hopkins will have a six-game suspension to open the season and pass-rush specialist Chandler Jones is gone.

20. New England Patriots (+5000 DraftKings)

The Bills put a 30-point whipping on the Patriots and rookie QB Mac Jones in the wild-card playoff round last year, which is at least a small indication of how much Bill Belichick’s guys have to go to be among the best. Since 2005, of the seven teams that previously were routed by 30-plus in the postsesaon, five failed to make the playoffs the next year. But there’s hope with a pass defense that held five QBs to their worst day of the season (based on passer rating), including Buffalo’s Josh Allen and the Chargers’ Justin Herbert.

21. New Orleans Saints (+4000 DraftKings, FanDuel)

Which Jameis Winston will we see? The one who had five TDs and no INTs in the opener last year vs. Green Bay, or the QB the next week who had no TDs and two INTs against Carolina? At least this year the Saints, under head coach Dennis Allen for the first time, get back star receiver Michael Thomas, who had an NFL-record 149 catches in 2019 before sitting out last year (ankle). And when the Saints face the Bucs, their stout defensive line, led by Cam Jordan, could give Tom Brady and relatively weak OL some grief.

22. Washington Commanders (+8500 FanDuel)

Likely Week 1 starting RB Brian Robinson suffered non-life-threatening injuries during a carjack shooting last week. Thus, fumble-prone Antonio Gibson will be getting his first-team job back. And then there’s Carson Wentz, who will be a Week 1 starter for a different team for the third straight season after getting a quick heave-ho from Indy last year and his former position coach, Frank Reich. Defensively, the Commanders will be vulnerable with below-average talent at linebacker and in the secondary.

23. Carolina Panthers (+13000 DraftKings)

Nice odds here for the Panthers, who will start QB Baker Mayfield in Week 1 against a Browns team that unceremoniously sent him packing to Carolina after the acquisition of Deshaun Watson. Since backup Sam Darnold is out (ankle) and rookie Matt Corral (torn Lisfranc ligament) is gone for the year, Mayfield’s not going to be looking over his shoulder. If he can fare well early, and if RB Christian McCaffrey can stay healthy and dazzle again, a fast start could be in order. But then again, Carolina opened 3-0 last season and still finished 5-12.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers (+9000 DraftKings)

Mike Tomlin finally veteran Mitch Trubisky as his starting QB, but until the offensive line is rebuilt (OL guys who achieved a total of 17 Pro Bowl appearances left after 2020) it won’t much matter. There’s only so much RB Najee Harris can do. And defensively, the Steelers always get after the passer, but if they don’t improve their run defense from last year when they allowed a franchise-worst 5.0 yards a carry, they could be doomed to finish in the AFC North cellar.

25. Detroit Lions (+15000 DraftKings)

The Lions ended last season in a flourish, for them anyway, by going 3-3 and with much-maligned QB Jared Goff having nine TD passes and only two INTs his final four starts, which included three victories. Detroit, which overachieved with an 11-6 ATS record last while having a 3-13-1 SU mark, has a chance to improve to semi-relevance this year behind one of the best offensive lines in the league. The defense will improve for sure with the addition of second overall draft choice Aidan Hutchinson, a pass-rushing standout from Michigan, who said he’s thrilled to be a Lion.

26. NY Giants (+15000 FanDuel)

Speaking of much-maligned, Daniel Jones returns for his fourth season after missing the team’s final six games of 2021 with a neck injury. By comparison, he played great, with 10 TDs and seven INTs; the team’s other passers were a combined 5/13 and the offense had a league-high 30 giveaways. Blech! If that doesn’t change, this ranking is way too high. But RB Saquon Barkley is said to look as physical as he was his standout rookie year, so hi-gives there.

27. Jacksonville Jaguars (+13000 DraftKings)

Jacksonville was a league-worst 3-14 last year and didn’t do their backers any favors in going 6-11 ATS. But first-year coach Doug Pederson, who guided the Eagles to the Super Bowl crown five seasons ago, has helped instill new energy into a franchise that went through heck last season under coach Urban Meyer, who was fired at midseason for a variety of on-field, off-field reasons. The combo of QB Trevor Lawrence, the 2021 top draft pick, and ex-Giants TE Evan Engram should hit it off. The Jags also added WR Christian Kirk, who was Arizona’s leading receiver. RB Travis Etienne is back after sitting out last year (foot). But what was with that 0-4 exhibition record?

28. Chicago Bears (+15000 DraftKings)

Second-year QB Justin Fields, who was a sack magnet during his 2-8 stint as a starter last year, returns again and not only will be operating behind a relatively weak offense line but with a receiving corps that was gutted in the offseason. And on defense, Khalil Mack is gone as well as the starters in the defensive trenches. Beating out the Lions for third could be a test.

29. Atlanta Falcons (+25000 FanDuel)

The Falcons have all-purpose star Cordarrelle Paterson and talented receivers in standout TE Kyle Pitts and rookie WR Drake London, the eighth overall pick out of USC, but little else. Marcus Mariota, who’s been a little-used backup the past two years after losing his job in Tennessee, was brought in this offseason. But it might be the job of Cincinnati rookie Desmond Ridder in short order. Plus, only two other teams gave up more points than the Falcons at 27 a game. Ugh!

30. Seattle Seahawks (+15000 DraftKings, FanDuel)

How bad is it for Seattle that the QB battle is between Geno Smith and Broncos reject Drew Lock, who had three INTs in his exhibition finale? And with veteran LB Bobby Wagner let go in the offseason, where’s the hope? There also was this ugly stat from last year: Foes had 247 more offensive snaps than the Seahawks. The next worst margin was 109 for the Jets.

31. Houston Texans (+30000 FanDuel)

The Texans were one of six undefeated teams this summer, but that’s not an indication of success going forward. Last year seven teams had perfect summers and only three made the postseason. In 2008 Detroit was unbeaten in the summer and went 0-16 in the regular season. Anyway, under the tutelage of first-year coach Lovie Smith the team will need to focus on improving a running game before making headway. Houston’s norm of 3.4 a rush was the worst by any team the past two years. And they’ll likely be counting on a second-round rookie RB to carry the load, Dameon Pierce of Florida.

32. NY Jets (+15000 FanDuel)

The Jets’ skies were already overcast before QB Zach Wilson’s knee injury during the preseason made the team’s forecast even darker. His backup, veteran Joe Flacco, hasn’t been the same since leading the Ravens to the title 10 years ago. Then there’s the news one of their receivers, Denzel Mims, is moping about not enough targets and wants out. And their presumed starting OLT, Mekhi Becton, is on IR with a knee injury. One more thing, is a 0-10 start in the offing? In the early lines, the Jets are not listed as a favorite till Week 11 vs. Chicago.

Check: NFL Week 1 odds | Super Bowl 57 odds

About the Author
Bob Christ

Bob Christ

Bob Christ, based in New Mexico, has been a gaming writer (primarily the NFL) for almost four decades, with his work appearing in publications/websites across North America. He's a big fan of the Arkansas Razorbacks, Philadelphia's Eagles and Phillies, and inexplicably the NHL's Winnipeg Jets.

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