The NFL season is around the corner, with teams (generally) leaving preseason pretty healthy this year. This is one of the most up-and-down leagues in world sport, and every year, some teams rise up and exceed expectations throughout their 17-game schedule. These teams are unlikely to win the Super Bowl this year, but they do look like contenders to surpass their win totals assigned to them by offshore sport betting models.
New York Jets
While I don’t expect the Jets to make a playoff run, I do think that they will be multiple wins better than their projected win total. Much of this is to do with an offense that has to be seen as the best that Gang Green will have fielded in easily a decade, with the wide receiver combination of second-year player Elijah Moore (who has been unreal in preseason) and first-rounder Garrett Wilson particularly exciting.
Their schedule is brutal early – teams like the Ravens, Bengals, Packers, Broncos, and Bills all feature before the Jets’ bye – but even picking off a couple of wins during that stretch will set head coach Robert Saleh’s team up for a run at their win total over the course of the second half of the season.
The Jags have been a bad team for a long time in a league where the system is set up to make bad teams better in a hurry. The Urban Meyer experiment was a complete disaster, but the Jags may have struck gold with the hiring of former Super Bowl-winning head coach Doug Pederson.
This is another team with a young offense that can take it places. The difference is that Year 2 of the Trevor Lawrence era should give the Jags a quarterback they can rely on to make the right throws to win them games. Christian Kirk improves their wide receiver corps, while Travis Ettiene will be a breakout star after losing his rookie year to a foot injury.
Plus, they get to play the Texans twice, which is a big boost towards their win total.
New Orleans Saints
Buying Jameis Winston does feel a little weird, but it is worth noting that Winston was playing at a high level before his ACL injury last season.
Much of this pick relies on Michael Thomas coming back and being a threat – albeit not the threat he was with Drew Brees at quarterback when he might have been the best wideout in the league. Alvin Kamera looks less and less likely to be suspended, while the Saints’ defense could be the most valuable part of the team in 2022. The likes of defensive end Cameron Jordan and ball-hawking safety Tyrann Mathieu will give this squad a new focus this fall.
If the Saints can avoid injury – only Baltimore lost more games from starters to injury in 2021 – they burst past this win total in an average division.