NFL 2022 Totals Update: Go ‘Under’ When Betting on Worst Quarterbacks
Through Six Weeks, ‘Unders’ Command the Totals
NFL Games Continue to Go ‘Under’ Thanks To…
Terrible quarterbacking. Through six weeks, only four quarterbacks have a passer rating better than 100. In comparison, 2021 had eight, 2020 had 10, and 2019 had nine. Several quarterbacks, led by the great pair of Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, are doing much worse than their 2021 versions. Who’d have thunk it? If you want to make money in this 2022 NFL season, just keep betting on the worst quarterbacks.
The Brady Bunch: QBs Showing Their Age
Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Russell Wilson. What do these three have in common? A spot in Canton when they hang up the cleats? Maybe. But as of now, the trio is playing like they are past their prime; all their passer ratings are lower than last season and their career averages. Brady and Rodgers have legitimate excuses. Other than being old, the two have a worse offense than they did last season.
Brady’s Buccaneers is banged up and is most notably missing two key members of the offensive line. Rodgers is missing Davante Adams and his ragtag group of receivers isn’t cutting it, especially when tight end Robert Tonyan is the top choice. As for Wilson, he’s also dealing with a hamstring injury. But prior to that, the once-prolific quarterback has looked washed up under Nathaniel Hackett in Denver.
While it may be an exaggeration to implicate them on the “betting on worst quarterbacks” take, their teams’ games have combined to go under on 14 out of 18 games. This includes Week 3 where Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers played each other to a total of 26 points, the second-lowest scoring game of the week. The game that scored lower? Denver and San Francisco combined for 21.
Beyond these three, other top quarterbacks struggling are the Rams’ Matthew Stafford, the Cardinals’ Kyler Murray, and the Colts’ Matt Ryan. Uncoincidentally, these teams have each gone under in five of their six games. They are ranked 25th, 22nd, and 27th in points per game along with some teams with some of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL.
Can We Credit Defenses?
On the other side of the ball, the quarterbacks’ struggles can be attributed to many defenses playing effectively. Of the eight teams that have just gone over the total once, five have defenses ranked in the top 10. And of the top 12 scoring defenses statistically, 10 have had games go under the total at least 60 percent of the time.
Buffalo, the NFL’s top-scoring defense, has seen just one game go over the total. This is also in spite of their offense producing the second-most points per game (29.3). Buffalo Bills have held teams to 20 points or fewer in four of their six games. San Francisco, just behind Buffalo in points allowed, has limited five of its six opponents to under 20 points. It allowed 28 to Atlanta last week with several of its starters on defense absent.
So instead of just betting on the worst quarterbacks, you can take a more positive spin to it and bet on the best defenses. It’s a reason why teams like Tampa Bay (3-3), San Francisco (3-3), and Indianapolis (3-2-1) have stayed in playoff contention despite some pedestrian performances from their offenses.
Injuries and Departures are Also to Blame
And of course, injuries and departed players are part of the NFL and a part of why we are seeing some historically bad games from an offensive standpoint. We mentioned the Buccaneers dealing with plenty of absences on offense. The Titans also have a stripped-down offense outside of running back Derrick Henry, who is still not back to his dominant form after recovering from a knee injury.
Tennessee, like Green Bay, traded away its star receiver. And the receiver they drafted in the first round to replace him is on the NFL injury report. The Titans have gone under the total in three of their five games. And the Rams, who have only gone over the total once, have a hurt quarterback in Stafford.
Injuries to starting quarterbacks have also been rampant this NFL season. Carolina, New England, Dallas, New Orleans, Miami, the Jets, Washington, and now Denver either have their main quarterback currently or previously injured. Of these teams, only New Orleans Saints has had more games go over the total (4-2).
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