As we prep for the 2022 NFL season, one area worth keeping an eye on is betting trends from the 2021 season. While coaches and personnel have changed for many teams, it remains a worthwhile exercise. Which teams were the most profitable against the spread (ATS), and which teams went under at the highest rate?
We’ll dive in and also circle a few Week 1 games that stick out off these trends, just in case they carry over into the fresh season.
Best teams ATS
- Dallas Cowboys (13-5)
- Cincinnati Bengals (14-7)
- Green Bay Packers (12-6)
- Detroit Lions (11-6)
- San Francisco 49ers (12-8)
The Lions are the lone outlier here, as the other four teams all made the postseason. Jared Goff is back as quarterback for Detroit, and the team has made some notable additions to both sides of the ball, headlined by first-round picks Aidan Hutchinson and Jameson Williams.
Worst teams ATS
- Carolina Panthers (5-12)
- Jacksonville Jaguars (5-12)
- Chicago Bears (6-11)
- New York Giants (6-11)
- New York Jets (6-11)
- Atlanta Falcons (6-10-1)
All four of these teams found themselves near the top of the draft board this past April. Well, the Bears weren’t, but that’s only because they traded their 2022 first-round pick in a package to acquire Justin Fields in 2021.
Fields enters his second year with an alarmingly weak supporting cast. It could be another year of fading Chicago.
Of the teams above, we’d be most optimistic of the Jaguars being more competitive ATS with Doug Pederson in town.
While Baker Mayfield is a better quarterbacking option for Carolina, it’s worth noting that Cleveland was 20-30-1 ATS over the past three seasons with Mayfield under center.
Best teams: Overs
- Minnesota Vikings (11-6)
- Kansas City Chiefs (12-8)
- Los Angeles Chargers (10-7)
- New York Jets (10-7)
- Philadelphia Eagles (10-8)
- New England Patriots (10-8)
Minnesota has all of its offensive skill position players back, and the Vikings made a concerted effort to improve their secondary this year, which was quite the culprit in so frequently going over the total points.
The Chargers and Eagles both also made notable additions to the defensive side of the football to shore up some 2021 vulnerabilities.
Best teams: Unders
- Denver Broncos (12-5)
- Jacksonville Jaguars (12-5)
- New York Giants (11-5-1)
- Seattle Seahawks (10-6-1)
- Cincinnati Bengals (13-8)
At first, we’d argue that the Broncos may be going under less frequently with Russell Wilson in town, but then you see that Seattle also found itself on this list.
You may find Cincinnati’s placement on this list curious, but with the Joe Burrow-Ja’Marr Chase duoe making waves, the Bengals’ totals started to become quite inflated, thus reflecting this 13-8 mark against the under.
Week 1 overlaps from 2021 trends
San Francisco 49ers (-7) at Chicago Bears
This is a natural spread to consider, even with Trey Lance under center to start the year for San Francisco. These two teams are very much on opposite ends of the quality spectrum in the NFC, and there’s every indication that a rough season is in store for the Bears. San Francisco was 8-4 ATS on the road last season.
Denver Broncos @ Seattle Seahawks: Over/under 44.5 points (-115) Wilson’s homecoming is immediate, as the Broncos head to Seattle on “Monday Night Football” this week. Two teams that went under in over 62% of their games last season will meet in what is a very modest total. While Wilson should be more effective this season and has solid weapons around him, the Seahawks’ inability to keep up may aid the under here. Geno Smith is the starter this season, and the total points never exceeded 43 points in his four appearances last year.