Welcome to the Thursday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
I’m not sure if you’ve looked at your calendar today — or if you even own a calendar — but I did look at mine and noticed two crazy things: It’s somehow already September and the start of the NFL season is just ONE WEEK AWAY.
To mark the occasion, we’re going to celebrate here at the newsletter by previewing the 2022 season from a different angle every day between now and next Thursday when the Bills and Rams kickoff in Los Angeles.
Today, we’re going take a look at the best teams to bet on to win the Super Bowl, plus we’re going to rank the last-place teams from 2021 that have the best chance of finishing in first this year. Oh, and we’re also going to talk about Russell Wilson’s monstrous new contract extension.
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 teams to bet on to win the Super Bowl
If you want to win money betting on the NFL this season, then you’re going to want to make sure to listen to today’s episode of the Pick Six podcast, because Will Brinson and Tyler Sullivan decided to reveal the teams they’re thinking about betting on to win Super Bowl LVII.
The two guys actually added a twist to their Super Bowl picks by making three picks for each conference: an obvious pick, a value pick and a longshot pick.
So who’d they come up with? Let’s check it out. (All odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook).
Sullivan’s obvious pick: Packers (+1100)
Sullivan’s value pick: Eagles (+2500)
Sullivan’s longshot pick: Saints (+4000)
I think Brinson copied Sullivan’s homework with their NFC answers. Anyway, if you want to hear the guys explain their picks, 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. Russell Wilson lands monstrous extension from Broncos
New Broncos owner Rob Walton has been on the job for less than a month, but he’s already taken care of his biggest order of business, which was getting Russell Wilson signed to a long-term contract.
Here are the details of Wilson’s new mega deal:
- Wilson gets PAID. The Broncos quarterback is getting a five-year extension worth a total of $245 million. That includes $165 million in guaranteed money, according to CBS Sports NFL Insider Josina Anderson. Playing for the richest owner in NFL history is definitely already paying off for Wilson.
- How Wilson’s contract stacks up to other quarterbacks. The new portion of Wilson’s contract will pay him a total of $49 million per year, which is the second-highest total in NFL history behind only Aaron Rodgers ($50 million per year). His total guarantee of $165 million is the third-highest ever behind only Deshaun Watson ($230 million) and Kyler Murray ($189.5 million).
- Wilson is now under contract through the 2028 season. Thanks to the new deal, there’s a good chance Wilson will finish his career in Denver. The QB had two years left on his prior deal, which means he’s now under contract through the 2028 season when he’ll be 39 years old. (He’ll actually turn 40 midway through that season).
- Wilson’s total money. If you combine his extension with his old contract, this deal makes a ton of sense for the Broncos. They now have Wilson under contract for seven years at a total cost of $296 million, which is an average of just $42.3 million per year. The $296 million total is the second-highest total deal in NFL history behind only Patrick Mahomes, who signed a $450 million extension in July 2020.
- How Wilson’s deal could impact the QB market. Lamar Jackson is likely going to be the next QB to land a monstrous extension and Wilson’s deal could actually have an impact on what the Ravens star is able to get. Jackson reportedly wants a fully guaranteed deal and that’s likely not going to happen now for two reasons: First, the deal by Wilson follows a deal by Kyler Murray where neither guy got a fully guaranteed contract. This makes Deshaun Watson’s deal look like an anomaly rather than the new standard. Also, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti had already been critical of Watson’s deal, and Wilson’s new contract will allow him to further justify not giving Jackson a fully guaranteed deal. The one upside for Jackson is that the QB market just went up. Instead of trying to top Murray’s $230.5 million contract, Jackson can now legitimately ask for $245 million to $250 million since that’s now where the market is. If Jackson does get a deal done, don’t be surprised if it’s a five-year contract worth about $250 million with the guarantees somewhere between $170 million to $190 million.
We took a look at the next quarterbacks who could be in line to receive a huge contract, and you can check that out by clicking here.
3. Ranking the teams most likely to go from worst-to-first in 2022
One thing that makes the NFL so entertaining every year is the fact that it’s one of the most unpredictable sports on the planet, and nothing proves that more than the league’s uncanny ability to produce at least one team every season that goes from worst to first.
Last year, that team was the Cincinnati Bengals. After finishing with an ugly record of 4-11-1 in 2020, the Bengals bounced back and made the Super Bowl in 2021, which should give some hope to every team that finished at the bottom of their division last season.
So which team has the best chance to be this year’s Bengals?
Here are the rankings I came up with (If you feel like yelling at me on Twitter about how bad the rankings are, feel free to do so here).
Teams with the best chance to go from worst to first:
If you’re wondering how I came up with these rankings, then you’re going to have to read my full story, which you can do by clicking here.
4. 2022 NFL win totals: Best bets to make on the over/unders
Last year, our bosses asked us to give out our two best win total bets for the 2021 NFL season, and since both of mine hit (Packers OVER 10.5, Patriots OVER 9.5), I have been asked to return for 2022 and give out two more.
Of course, since there’s a 50% chance I’ll completely whiff on this year’s picks, we had CBS Sports’ Jordan Dajani round up two picks from each of our NFL writers.
Here’s a small sample of our best bets:
- Breech’s pick: Chargers OVER 10 (-150). I once swore to myself that I would never bet on anything involving the Chargers, but I have decided to break that vow because I feel like they’re a lock to hit this over. I actually think they might win 12 or 13 games, which will get them easily past 10.
- Breech’s pick: Buccaneers UNDER 11.5 (-140). The Buccaneers have lost so many offensive linemen this offseason that I’m not even sure they’re going to have enough to field a team this year. By Week 4, Tom Brady is probably going to be wishing he had stayed retired.
- Jared Dubin’s pick: Chiefs OVER 10.5 (-125). “This feels like stealing. In Patrick Mahomes’ four seasons as the starter, the Chiefs have never won fewer than 12 games. How does 10.5 make sense as this line?”
- Pete Prisco’s pick: Patriots UNDER 8.5 (+105). “I just don’t see the talent on this roster and the offense has been a mess this preseason. This pick goes against the history with Bill Belichick, but I am bucking the trend that he will have a losing season in New England.”
- Shanna McCarriston’s pick: Panthers OVER 6.5 (+105). “The Panthers are certainly a team with a lot of questions, but the lack of strength of their division and their schedule makes me think they are capable of putting up more than six wins. Baker Mayfield will be determined to prove himself and as of right now, star running back Christian McCaffrey is ready to go for the season.”
Remember, this is only five of our bets. Dajani rounded up a total of 32 best bets and if you want to check out all of them, be sure to click here.
5. 2022 All-NFC South team: Tom Brady and the Buccaneers lead the way with nine players
The Buccaneers are coming off a season where they just won the NFC South title, so it probably won’t come as a huge surprise when we tell you that they ended up with the most players on our all-division team for the NFC South.
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 South team, NINE OF THEM came from Tampa Bay. The biggest surprise on this list is probably the fact that Tom Brady is the quarterback of the All-NFC South team. I’m not sure how he did it, but he somehow beat out three former first-round picks (Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston and Baker Mayfield).
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the offense for the NFC South’s all-division team:
QB: Tom Brady, Buccaneers
RB: Christian McCaffrey, Panthers
WR: Chris Godwin, Buccaneers
WR: Mike Evans, Buccaneers
WR: D.J. Moore, Panthers
TE: Kyle Pitts, Falcons
FLEX: Alvin Kamara, Saints
OT: Tristan Wirfs, Buccaneers
OT: Ryan Ramczyk, Saints
OG: Shaq Mason, Buccaneers
OG: Chris Lindstrom, Falcons
C: Bradley Bozeman, Panthers
If you want to see the defensive side of the NFC South’s All-Division team, plus the special teams representatives, then be sure to click here.
6. Rapid-fire roundup: Aaron Donald breaks silence on the helmet swing
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.
- Aaron Donald gets asked about helmet swing. It took nearly a week, but Donald was finally asked about the helmet swing on Thursday and he went full Allen Iverson. “It was just a practice,” Donald said on “The Zach Gelb Show” earlier this week. “Obviously, people got phones out and things like that, but I’m not going to sit and talk about negative stuff that happened at a practice.” For more on Donald’s comments, be sure to click here.
- Vikings pull off trade for Jalen Reagor. The Vikings added another first-round receiver to their arsenal by making a trade for Reagor, who the Eagles selected with the 21st overall pick in 2020 (Reagor was taken ahead of his new teammate Justin Jefferson). In exchange for Reagor, the Eagles will be getting a 2023 seventh-round pick and a 2024 conditional fourth-round pick from the Vikings.
- Chargers to sign Sony Michel. After a short stint in Miami, Michel is now headed back to Los Angeles. The running back signed with the Chargers on Wednesday, adding some depth to a backfield that already includes Austin Ekeler, Isaiah Spiller and Joshua Kelley. The Chargers will be hoping Michel’s 2022 season in L.A. goes just as well as it did last year when he won a Super Bowl while playing for the Rams.
- Titans sign Josh Gordon. After being released by the Chiefs this week, the receiver has found a new landing spot on Tennessee’s practice squad. Gordon once led the NFL in receiving (2013), but his career slowed down after multiple suspensions and he didn’t do much during a full season with the Chiefs in 2021.
- Bills have a new punter. Less than a week after releasing Matt Araiza, the Bills have found his replacement in Sam Martin, who signed a one-year deal on Wednesday. Martin was one of the NFL’s better punters last season, ranking third overall in the all-important punter stat of net yards per punt with an average of 42.8.
- Panthers have a new kicker. With Zane Gonzalez on injured reserve, the Panthers were in need of a new kicker and they found their guy on Wednesday in Eddy Pineiro, who signed a one-year deal. The kicker was cut by the Jets earlier this week after losing a kicking competition with Greg Zuerlein. The upside for the Panthers is that they’re getting a kicker who hit every field goal he attempted (8 of 8) in 2021.
- Michael Gallup likely to miss season opener. The Cowboys are likely going to be down a receiver in their opener against the Buccaneers. Jerry Jones said Gallup’s healthy, but the team doesn’t want to risk his health just yet. “If Tampa were the Super Bowl, he would be lining up and playing,” Jones said. “And, so, we’re going to be cautious — not cautious, but conservative — with him. He won’t be out there more than likely against Tampa, but if it were the Super Bowl, he would be out there.”
- Jason Peters set to visit Cowboys. With the Cowboys struggling to find a starting left tackle after the injury to Tyron Smith, they might end up turning to an old division rival. The 40-year-old former Eagles tackle is set to visit the Cowboys and if things go well, he could end up signing. Peters is a nine-time Pro Bowler who has been in the NFL since 2004.
- Baker Mayfield denies saying the thing that someone says he said about the Browns. Earlier this week, a reporter claimed that Mayfield had told her “I’m gonna f— them up” when he was asked about playing the Browns in Week 1. According to the quarterback, that story simply isn’t true. You can get his side of the story by clicking here.