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Home / Articles / Jeff's 2022-23 NFL Spotlight Teams (NFC & AFC)


Jeff's 2022-23 NFL Spotlight Teams (NFC & AFC)

By: Jeff Hochman     Date: Jul 13, 2022
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The 2022-23 NFL season will be here before you know it. It's now time to start thinking about what handicapper or service you will be investing in. Here are my documented NFL records for the regular season and playoffs since 2008. As you can see, just three non-winning seasons which happened to be in 2010, 2011, and 2021. You can view my past records at The Sports Monitor of OK for verification.


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2021 Regular Season: 12-16-1 (-$2670) 2021 Playoffs: 2-1 (+$910)


2020 Regular Season: 13-6-1 (+$4124) 2020 Playoffs: 3-0 (+$1,320)


2019 Regular Season: 18-11 (+$2841) 2019 Playoffs: 1-1-1 (-$40)


2018 Regular Season: 23-13-1 (+$5599) 2018 Playoffs: 2-2 (+$595)


2017 Regular Season: 25-15-1 (+$2599) 2017 Playoffs: 4-0-1 (+$1900)


2016 Regular Season: 21-12-1 (+3040) 2016 Playoffs: 2-1 (+$465)


2015 Regular Season: 23-24 (+$370) 2015 Playoffs: 3-1 (+$1100)


2014 Regular Season: 27-12 (+$5500) 2014 Playoffs: 4-1 (+$1250)


2013 Regular Season: 21-16 (+$1080) 2013 Playoffs: 3-2 (+$1100)


2012 Regular Season: 27-22 (+$860) 2012 Playoffs: 4-4 (-$200)


2011 Regular Season: 20-20 (-$240) 2011 Playoffs: 3-4 (-$680)


2010 Regular Season: 28-24 (+$1600) 2010 Playoffs: 2-6 (-$1970)


2009 Regular Season: 33-27 (+$3170) 2009 Playoffs: 6-3 (+$1850)






Jeff's 2022-23 National Football Conference Spotlight Team


Carolina Panthers (5-12 last season)


Jeff's 2022-23 Outlook: My projections/models have the Carolina Panthers winning 7.9 games!


The Carolina Panthers' offense was clicking until RB/WR Christian McCaffrey went down with an injury. He's key to the Panthers' success because teams really need extra preparation time for his skill-set. When he's out, opposing defenses can just focus on stopping the team, rather than trying to contain McCaffrey. His health is key to the Panthers winning at least 6 games. Carolina signed RT Taylor Moton who will be a major upgrade. The offensive line should benefit with another year of experience from LT Ikem Ekwonu, who struggled in pass protection last season. The defense is better than you think. Carolina had the 7th-best defensive line at Football Outsiders last season. Carolina was ranked No. 24 in team defense (DVOA) in 2020 and No. 15 last season. Matt Rhule has a good history in his third season, going 10-3 at Temple and 11-2 at Baylor. Thanks to Marc Lawrence's Playbook on the Matt Rhule stat.


I realize the NFL & NCAAF are apples and oranges. It's just hard to ignore that the Panthers' defense (DVOA) ranked higher than six teams that made the playoffs last year. The Panthers ranked No. 29 in points scored (304) ahead of Houston (280), NYG (258), and Jacksonville (253). What's the old saying, if you have two QB's, you have none. I think Baker Mayfield will be a solid backup after being "humbled" in Cleveland. Instead of shooting commercials, Mayfield can now focus on improving his skill-set. With expected improvement from Sam Darnold, this team should win at least 7 games. The big key for me is the hiring of Ben McAdoo to run the offense. Yes, that McAdoo who coached the Giants (with an aging Eli Manning at QB) in 2016, going 8-3 in one-score games. They were also one of the least-penalized teams as well. Ben has a deeper pro background and his time working with Aaron Rodgers adds merit in the locker room.


The Panthers should have success ATS early in the season as teams adjust to their new offense. I don't think the Panthers will "show" much in the preseason, although they should have one of the better QB rotations in August. I think Sam Darnold will take major steps forward in his fifth season as a pro. This is when young QBs start figuring things out and I think we'll see it happen this season.


How to Bet the Carolina Panthers in 2022?


The big difference between professionals and the public is simple. Professional bettors bet numbers, while the public bets on teams. I will be looking for advantages throughout the season depending on the number. I am very interested when the Panthers are underdogs of 3.5 to 6.5 points. I also like the Carolina Panthers +4.5 in Week 1. Don't forget, the Panthers started 3-0 last season behind a ferocious defense, before everything fell apart.


Panthers Best Bet:


Over 6 wins (+105)


Panthers Preferred Bet


Week 1 (Carolina +4.5 over Cleveland)






Jeff's 2022-23 American Football Conference Spotlight Team


Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7-1 last season)


Jeff's 2022-23 outlook: My projections/models average 9.2 wins! I am way higher on the Steelers than Las Vegas.


The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off an up-and-down season, where they made the playoffs after having to win their final two games. There were many issues with this team last year, including ranking dead last in rushing yards allowed per game (146.1). You just know Tomlin and company won't accept having the worst run defense two years in a row. They hired Teryl Austin as defensive coordinator. He's very familiar with the Steelers, having been with the team since 2019 and has 18 years of coaching experience. Pittsburgh led the league in QB sacks (55) while blitzing just 24.9% (17th) of the time. The Steelers allowed 398 points which is the most in the Mike Tomlin era. They scored just 343 and still managed a winning record. I like QB Kenny Pickett more than most. I think Kenny's mobility and familiarity with the stadium/surroundings will make his transition smoother than normal.


The Steelers went 0-2 against the Cincinnati Bengals and 4-0 vs. the rest of the division. They are always competitive in division games. What I really like about this team going forward has nothing to do with personnel or coaching. It's all about the schedule. Pittsburgh won't leave the Eastern time zone! The Steelers will travel just 6,512 miles this season, which is the fewest of any NFL team. It's the fourth time since 2014 Pittsburgh will travel the fewest miles, and it's worth noting in each of the previous three years they won the AFC North. Also, teams that travel the fewest miles have averaged 9.6 wins over the past eight seasons. Thanks to CBS Sports for that nugget on the schedule.


How to Bet the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2022?


The big difference between professionals and the public is simple. Professional bettors bet numbers, while the public bets on teams. I will be looking for advantages throughout the season depending on the number. I am very interested when the Steelers come up as road dogs of 3.5 to 8 points. I think the Steelers will have success ATS early in the year as teams get more and more tape on Kenny. You can't convince me that KP won't be the starter from day one, unless he's injured of course. I like the experience of backup Mich Trubisky should things go sideways for Pickett. I don't see that happening!


Steelers Best Bet


OVER 7 wins (-125)


Steelers Preferred Bet


Make Playoffs +275 (Yes)


Follow Jeff on Twitter:@jhsportsline
 



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