Some of the biggest questions about the 2022 NFL season comes from a group of teams with something in common. They drafted QBs in 2021, and are looking for a jump in 2022. With so many crucial questions revolving around Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Justin Fields, Mac Jones, and Davis Mills, let’s dig in.
Whether or not these teams – Jacksonville, New York Jets, Chicago, San Francisco, New England, and Houston – have the right quarterbacks is key to whether they can match or exceed expectations this year. Click on the odds anywhere in this article to bet now, including win totals at BetMGM Sportsbook.
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Jaguars 2021 Record: 3-14
2022 Win Total: 6.5 (over +110/ under -130)
Trevor Lawrence had a shockingly bad first season in the NFL, with the No. 1 overall pick throwing for 12 TDs, 17 Interceptions, and only averaging 214 yards passing in his full first season. How much of that is fair to put on him is unclear, but he was hugely disappointing last season.
The positives for the Jaguars are numerous – Urban Meyer isn’t there anymore, and the Jaguars did spend a lot of money on weapons for him – but even after Urban left, he only averaged 226.5 yards per game in the air, and he still had a 3:3 TD:INT ratio in those four starts.
Christian Kirk should provide another dimension to the Jags’ offense, and having 2021 first-round pick Travis Etienne in the backfield after missing all of 2021 will help, but the Jags weren’t just bad last year, they were truly terrible. Worst in the league by DVOA, Over bettors are really hoping that Doug Pederson’s reputation for QB whispering works.
They also play a tough schedule, drawing the AFC West and NFC East this season. That said, if Lawrence is the quarterback he was at Clemson, then the Jaguars’ NFL win total odds are fair. It’s just decidedly unclear, based on his 2021 play, that he can be that.
Trevor Lawrence Prop Bet Odds
Jets 2021 Record: 4-13
2022 Win Total: 6.5 (over +125/ under -160)
The Jets are also similarly reliant on a quarterback who showed little in his rookie season with Zach Wilson, whose 9:11 TD:INT ratio and 190 yards per game in the 12 games he finished not inspiring much confidence.
If you squint hard enough, you can (kind of) find some optimism in the numbers – in the seven games after returning from injury, Wilson only threw two interceptions, but even that wasn’t a function of him getting better, it was a function of him taking almost no chances. He ranked 27th in Intended Air Yards over the season, and his Intended Air Yards went from 253.5 per game before the injury to a putrid 197 per game after.
If Mekhi Becton can justify his 2020 first-round selection on the offensive line, giving Wilson more time may help him. He did get sacked 44 times in 13 games. If the Jets don’t trust Zach Wilson more than they did in the second half of the season, they’re going nowhere fast.
Playing the AFC North and the NFC North is a tough schedule, even though they get the advantage of playing the Browns during a likely Deshaun Watson suspension, and six games against their division foes – all of whom project to win more games this season – has the makings of a rough season. Zach Wilson needs to show he can outperform his back-up QBs in 2022.
Zach Wilson Prop Bet Odds
49ers 2021 Record: 10-7
2022 Win Total: 9.5 (over -140/ under +115)
The Niners did suffer some losses this offseason in their defense, but with their elite pass rush still intact and Charvarius Ward now in the Bay, their horrific secondary might not be too bad, which has been their glaring weakness in the Garoppolo era. But, all that is secondary to the real question in San Fran, which is whether or not Trey Lance can be the guy or not.
Unlike with Lawrence and Wilson, Lance’s 2021 stats aren’t meaningful. He only started in spot duty, and he was always intended to be a developmental quarterback who would take over in year two. Garoppolo served the role of Alex Smith in his last season in Kansas City, before handing the reigns to the quarterback often described in the draft process as some version of “raw, with huge upside, but equally large downside.”
Whether or not that bet pays off is unclear, but the thing about Lance is he just has to play as well as Jimmy G did in 2021, to hit this total, and that’s not that high a bar. Jimmy G only threw for 254 yards per game, had a 20:12 TD:INT ratio and was 24th in the league in Intended Air Yards, with a decent chunk of that yardage coming from Deebo Samuel making things happen after the catch.
Now that Deebo’s contract situation has been resolved, this comes down to whether Lance is it or not.
Trey Lance Prop Bet Odds
Bears 2021 Record: 6-11
2022 Win Total: 6.5 (over +120/ under -145)
The Bears have the smallest gap between their expected wins and their current record, which is odd given that Justin Fields wasn’t very good last year in any sustained way. He had moments when he popped – most notably his Monday Night Football duel (of sorts) with Pittsburgh – but he was stuck in a team and a coaching staff that was terrible.
For some reason, Jacksonville is given the benefit of the doubt that their fired coach cost them games, but the constantly changing QB carousel and the unimaginative offense is held against Fields and the Bears.
Yes, the Bears traded Khalil Mack, but that loss is less than the name suggests given his injury history. If Fields improves with consistent playing time and a new staff, the Bears should easily cross this number, especially playing the AFC East and NFC East, divisions where the Bears will have chances in almost every game.
Justin Fields Prop Bet Odds
Patriots 2021 Record: 10-7
2022 Win Total: 8.5 (over -115/ under -105)
Unlike the other four teams, we have a decent sense of who Mac Jones is. He was good at Alabama with a murderer’s row of receivers, and now he’s throwing to one of the worst receiving corps in the league.
Jones’ upside is less handsome Jimmy G – a serviceable quarterback who won’t make any mistakes and can manage a game – and he did that well enough last year that they made the playoffs. The problem is, that doesn’t change the fact that he threw for 13 interceptions and 224 yards per game.
Belichick clearly didn’t trust him – only having him throw three times in the wild wind game in Buffalo last year, and keeping him in a restrictive offensive set deep into the Wild Card round drubbing at Orchard Park. If that’s the case in 2022, the Pats will have the worst quarterback in most games. That’s not a problem when you’re betting a team to win a small amount of games, but it is one when you’re playing the AFC North and the NFC North, two physical divisions.
There’s also a chance Belichick will trust Jones more and throw more often. The team no longer has a fullback on the roster entering training camp. Perhaps that’s a sign the team intends to be less run heavy in 11 and 12 personnel vs. 21 and 22. If the defense can replicate their elite performance or Jones takes a serious step forward, over the win total is in the range of outcomes. But how reachable is that ceiling?
Mac Jones Prop Bet Odds
Texans 2021 Record: 4-13
2022 Win Total: 4.5 (over -115/ under -105)
The Texans, with new Head Coach Lovie Smith and after trading Deshaun Watson and ridding themselves of the question marks of his situation, are looking to see whether Davis Mills can be the guy or not. The only non-first round pick of the bunch, Mills started 11 games last year, and this is a crucial year to see if the Texans need to go with a QB at the top of the draft or not.
Mills had an underwhelming first season, passing for 205/game and throwing 10 interceptions in 13 games, but he did break 300 yards passing twice in the last five games of the season and he did lead the Texans to a Week 17 victory over the Chargers.
There’s still not much around Mills, with the Texans having traded numerous first round picks in recent years, but if Mills can show the form that occasionally popped towards the end of the season more consistently, then the Texans could go over this number, especially if they can do decently in the not-that-great AFC South.