2022 NFL season odds and best bets for player over/under touchdown totals: Justin Fields to make a leap in year two
With the 2022 NFL campaign a little more than a month away, it’s certainly time to start looking ahead toward the long-awaited festivities. The dog days of summer will soon give way to the best time of the year: football season. A ferocious five-month battle for the Lombardi Trophy begins on September 8 with Thursday Night Football featuring the Bills and Rams. Sure, why don’t we get started right away with a potential Super Bowl preview?!
For now, though, we are discussing individual players. NFL player props are among the most popular betting markets in the business, and season-long touchdown numbers are no exception. Let’s take a look at the best plays to be made in 2022.
Justin Fields over 18.5 passing touchdowns (-110)
The sample size of Fields’ professional work is small – which is a good thing since that sample isn’t great. Fields started only 10 games last year for the Bears, splitting time with veteran quarterback Andy Dalton. More interceptions (10) than touchdowns (7) is alarming, but there is no reason to be discouraged if you are Fields or a Fields backer. He was a rookie playing on a bad team with an even worse head coach (Matt Nagy).
Chicago probably won’t make a big leap as a team in 2022, but at least the franchise has a new head coach (Matt Eberflus) and new offensive coordinator (Luke Getsy). Getsy spent the last three seasons as the Packers’ quarterbacks coach and he was also their passing game coordinator in 2021. It’s true that Aaron Rodgers can make anyone look good, but that is a legitimate reason for optimism surrounding Getsy.
As for player personnel, the Bears added receivers Byron Pringle and Velus Jones Jr. to help Fields. Tight end Cole Kmet (612 yards last year) should only improve in his third season. Nobody is going to confuse Chicago’s pass-catchers with being elite, but nobody is going to confuse 18.5 with being a big number. Look for Fields to make significant strides as a full-time starter in year two and reach the 20-mark in passing scores.
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Najee Harris over 9.5 rushing touchdowns (-105)
Double-digits in the touchdown department is not too much to expect from a player I believe can emerge as the best running back in the league sooner rather than later – and by “sooner” I mean “this season.” Harris is 24 years old and entering his second go-around in the league. In the current NFL landscape, 24 years old and one year of experience under the belt is the prime of a running back’s career. The former Alabama standout scored 7 rushing TDs in 2021 (also 3 receiving) with Ben Roethlisberger under center for Pittsburgh. Now it will be either Mitchell Trubisky or rookie Kenny Pickett running the show.
Regardless of how that quarterback battle pans out, it’s safe to say Harris will be the focal point of the Steelers’ offense – to an even greater extent than he was last season. He is going to be one of those guys whom you can just assume going into each week will give your fantasy team at least one touchdown and/or cash your anytime touchdown scorer bet.
Adam Thielen under 7.5 receiving touchdowns (-120)
Thielen is on the wrong side of 30 (he is 31), which doesn’t necessarily spell disaster for a wide receiver, but certainly is worrisome. In his first five years in the NFL, Thielen played a full 16 games. He has failed to stay on the field for a full schedule in each of the past three seasons for the Vikings. That shouldn’t come as any surprise. The Minnesota State product still found the endzone 10 times in 2021, but he scored 14 TDs in 2020. Thielen is wearing down, and I expect his numbers to continue doing the same.
Meanwhile, Justin Jefferson is becoming one of the best receivers in the game and K.J. Osborn – also drafted in 2020 – is on the rise. Keep in mind that Minnesota still has Dalvin Cook manning the backfield, so Thielen is nowhere near one of the top options in that offense. There are only so many TDs a mediocre QB like Kirk Cousins can throw, and I don’t anticipate Thielen being the recipient of many.
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