Monday, September 26, 2022

Picking a winner in each NFL division, plus revealing our predictions for NFL MVP and Super Bowl best bets

Welcome to the Friday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!

Not only is it Friday, but it’s the best kind of Friday: It’s a Friday before a holiday weekend. Also, it’s the last Friday before the start of the NFL season, and just in case you’re wondering, I am clearly excited that it’s Friday because I’ve already mentioned the word Friday five times and we haven’t even made it through one full paragraph in today’s newsletter. 

With Sunday football on the horizon, this is my last weekend off until February, so obviously I’ll be doing what any normal person in my situation would do: Drinking as much beer as possible.

Before we move on, I should tell you that there WILL be a newsletter on Labor Day, and you’re definitely going to want to read it because that’s when I’ll be unveiling ALL of my predictions for the entire 2022 season. Speaking of predictions, we’ll be going big on them today. Not only will we be making our MVP pick, but we’ll also be getting predictions from each of our NFL writers on who’s going to win each division and who’s going to win the Super Bowl

As always, here’s your weekly reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. All you have to do is click here and then share the link. Let’s get to the rundown. 

1. Today’s show: Best NFC team win totals to bet on

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Justin Jefferson USATSI

Somehow, it has suddenly turned into gambling week on the podcast. Yesterday, we went over our favorite Super Bowl bets, and today, we decided to slightly switch gears to win totals. For those of you who know nothing about gambling, win totals are the same thing as over/unders. Each team is assigned a win total in Las Vegas, and then you bet whether you think a team will go over or under its total. 

For today’s show, not only did Brinson and I give our opinion on all 16 team win totals in the NFC, but we also revealed our five favorite over/under bets.   

Brinson’s best bets

49ers OVER 10 wins (-110)

Bears UNDER 6 (-125)

Falcons UNDER 5 (-145)

Breech’s best bets

Panthers OVER 6.5 (-120)

Buccaneers UNDER 11.5 (-140)

Cardinals UNDER 9 (-140)

Best bets we agreed on

Eagles OVER 9.5 (-140)

Vikings OVER 9 (-135)

Not only does Brinson think the Eagles are going to hit their over, but he also sees them as a dark horse to get to the Super Bowl! Brinson was clearly drinking before the podcast began. 

Anyway, if you want to hear us explain our over/under bets for every team in the NFC, you’ll have to listen to the podcast, which you can do by clicking here. You can also watch today’s episode on YouTube by clicking here

2. Who’s going to win MVP this year? Here are our staff picks 

Between now and the start of the NFL season, we’re going to be bombarding you with NFL picks and predictions here, so please get mentally prepared. For one of our predictions today, we rounded up nine of our NFL writers here at CBSSports.com and asked them to predict who’s going to be voted NFL MVP for the 2022 season. 

After going through all the votes, I noticed that the only position we voted for was quarterback, which I guess makes sense since the MVP has been won by a quarterback for nine straight years. (Adrian Peterson was the last non-QB to take home the award and that came all the way back in 2012.)

With that in mind, here’s a look at our pick for MVP. (Next to each player’s name, you can see their odds at Caesars Sportsbook for winning the award and how many votes they received from each writer):

T-1. Justin Herbert (+900 — Win $900 off a $100 bet): Three votes

T-1. Josh Allen (+700):
 Three votes

T-3. Patrick Mahomes (+800):
 One vote

T-3. Tom Brady (+900): One vote

5. Trey Lance (+3000): One vote

One interesting thing worth noting here is that Aaron Rodgers got ZERO votes. Apparently, no one seems to think that he can win the MVP for the third straight year. In a twist, if he did pull that off, he would become just the second player in NFL history to win three straight MVPs, joining the guy who he once replaced in Green Bay: Brett Favre won the award in 1995, 1996 and 1997. 

If you want to see everyone’s full explanation for their vote, you can check that out by clicking here

3. Picking the winner of every division

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Josh Allen (left) and Stefon Diggs USATSI

After making nine of our NFL writers make an MVP pick for this year, we rounded them back up and had them pick a winner in each division. Of the NFL’s eight divisions, our writers only unanimously agreed on the winner of ONE division in each conference. In the AFC, it was the Bills taking the AFC East. In the NFC, we all like the Packers to win the NFC North for the fourth straight year. Other than that, it was pretty much a free-for-all. 

Here’s a look at each division, along with how many first-place votes each team in the division received. (Next to each team’s name, you can see their odds at Caesars Sportsbook for winning the division and how many first-place votes they received from each writer.)

AFC EAST

Bills (-230): Nine votes

AFC NORTH

Ravens (+130): Seven votes

Bengals (+160): Two votes

AFC SOUTH

Colts (-125): Six votes

Titans (+170): Two votes

Jaguars (+650): One vote (The lone Jags vote came from Will Brinson)

AFC WEST

Chargers (+220): Five votes

Chiefs (+175): Four votes

NFC EAST

Eagles (+150): Eight votes

Cowboys (+135): One vote (The lone Cowboys vote came from Jordan Dajani)

NFC NORTH

Packers (-170): Nine votes

NFC SOUTH

Buccaneers (-280): Seven votes

Saints (+320): Two votes

NFC WEST

Rams (+120): Six votes

49ers (+160): Three votes

If you want to read our explanation for each of our votes, then you’re definitely going to want to click here.  

4. Best Super Bowl bets you can make right now

We covered best Super Bowl bets on Thursday’s episode of the Pick Six podcast and we liked the topic so much that we decided to get everyone involved, and when I say everyone, I mean everyone. Although we only talked to nine NFL writers for our division title picks and our MVP pick, we talked to 16 different writers to find out what teams they think you need to betting on to win the Super Bowl. 

Here’s a small sample of our best bets: 

  • Pete Prisco’s bet: Bills win it all (+600). “Josh Allen will win MVP and the offense will be even more explosive than it was a year ago. They will be tough to stop. But it’s the defensive line that will be the difference from last year. They roll in eight guys and Von Miller gives them their sack-fumble-game-over pass rusher.”
  • Cody Benjamin’s bet: Buccaneers (+750). “Boring pick, but who cares? Tom Brady is still talented enough to be the story of the NFL at age 45, and wouldn’t it be just like his storybook career to come out of a “retirement” just to dance all over the rest of the league for a record eighth time?”
  • Jordan Dajani’s bet: Rams (+1100). “First of all, I get it. A team repeating as Super Bowl champions does not happen often. The Patriots are the only team since 2000 to do so. But I think it’s very clear the Rams are all-in on winning again. Stafford told me this offseason that getting his first Super Bowl just makes him want another one, and the front office seems to agree.”
  • Jared Dubin’s bet: Chiefs (+1100) “I’m getting 11-to-1 for a team that has Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid? I’ll take it, thank you very much.
  • Breech’s bet: Packers (+1200). The Packers have the two-time reigning NFL MVP and they’ve won the NFC North three years in a row, but somehow, people are still sleeping on them. I don’t sleep on anyone because I don’t sleep. At 12-to-1 odds, I love the value of the Packers winning it all, so I’m going to take it. 

Our biggest long shot bet came from Ryan Wilson, who actually likes the Saints as a dark horse to win it all. 

  • Ryan Wilson’s bet: Saints (+4000). “This seems crazy, I get it. But if Jameis Winston can play like he did before a knee injury ended his season last October, New Orleans can overtake the Buccaneers in the division. That doesn’t even feel controversial. Michael Thomas, Chris Olave and Alvin Kamara are all difference-makers, and the defense is among the best units in the conference. And if the Saints can get to the postseason, anything can happen, especially in the NFC where the list of Super Bowl contenders is considerably shorter than that of their AFC counterparts.”

Remember, I’ve only listed six of our bets above. We rounded up a total of 32 best Super Bowl bets and if you want to check out all of them, be sure to click here

5. 2022 All-NFC West team

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Cooper Kupp USATSI

A big reason the Rams won the Super Bowl last season is because they have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL, and it definitely shows when you look at our All-Division team for the NFC West. 

Jared Dubin went through all four rosters in the division to create one Super Team that consisted of 27 players (12 on offense, 12 on defense plus three special teams). Of the 27 players on the All-NFC West team, 11 of them came from the reigning Super Bowl champs. The Rams number was broken up evenly on offense and defense with five players on each side of the ball cracking the All-Division roster (Their 11th player was kicker Matt Gay). 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the offense for the NFC West’s All-Division team: 

QB: Matthew Stafford, Rams

RB: James Conner, Cardinals

WR: Cooper Kupp, Rams

WR: DK Metcalf, Seahawks

WR: Deebo Samuel, 49ers

TE: George Kittle, 49ers

FLEX: Allen Robinson, Rams

OT: Trent Williams, 49ers

OT: Rob Havenstein, Rams

OG: Justin Pugh, Cardinals

OG: David Edwards, Rams

C: Rodney Hudson, Cardinals

If you want to see the defensive side of the NFC West’s All-Division team, plus the special teams representatives, then be sure to click here

6. Rapid-fire roundup: Titans lose star pass-rusher for the season

It’s been a wild 24 hours in the NFL, and since it’s nearly impossible to keep track of everything that happened, I went ahead and put together a roundup for you. 

  • Harold Landry out for the year. The Titans defense took a huge hit this week with the loss of Landry, who tore his ACL in practice. Landry, who led the team with 12 sacks last season, will be extremely difficult to replace. 
  • Titans give Derrick Henry a raise. Henry is arguably the best running back in the NFL and the Titans are now paying him as such. The Titans restructured Henry’s contract on Thursday with the running back getting a $2 million raise. Henry will now be making $14 million in 2022, which will make him the highest-paid running back in the NFL for the upcoming season. 
  • ManningCast returning for 2022. Peyton and Eli Manning will be returning for a second season of the ManningCast this year. The brothers will be providing an alternate broadcast for nine Monday games plus one playoff game. If you want to see their schedule for the season, be sure to click here
  • Brett Favre questioned by FBI in Mississippi welfare scandal. This scandal just won’t go away for Brett Favre. The Hall of Famer was named in the scandal after illegally accepting money from a state welfare fund. Although Favre paid the money back, the state says that he still needs to pay back the interest. According to NBC News, Favre recently talked to the FBI to share what he knows about the case.  
  • Texans sign O.J. Howard. The tight end has a new home after agreeing to a contract with the Texans on Thursday. Howard was supposed to visit the Bengals this week, but that was called off after Cincinnati claimed a tight end on waivers. Howard was only available because he was surprisingly cut by the Bills on Tuesday.  

  • Saints starter arrested in road rage case. Marcus Maye hasn’t even played a down for the Saints yet, but he’s already making headlines, and not the ones you want your players to be making. The Saints safety was arrested Thursday and charged with aggravated assault with a firearm. Maye has denied the allegation. For more details on the case, be sure to click here.  
  • Ravens mascot out of season. It’s not easy being an NFL mascot, and if you need proof, just ask Poe the Raven, who is out for the season after suffering a serious knee injury over the weekend during a football game that was being played between mascots and youth players. The Ravens were so sad to lose Poe that John Harbaugh held a press conference to announce it. If you want to see Harbaugh’s press conference, you can check out our story by clicking here

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