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2022 NFL Dark Horse Division Winner Picks Post-NFL Draft (Don't be Scared of Extreme Turnarounds)
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2022 NFL Dark Horse Division Winner Picks Post-NFL Draft (Don't be Scared of Extreme Turnarounds)

Here are dark horse picks for every division in the NFL.

The NFL draft is over and we can finally pay attention to real football ahead.

I made my picks earlier today regarding which teams are best set to win their division. However, stuff happens in professional football that makes the league unpredictable. 

Taking a few shots in the dark with the right odds is sometimes the best thing to do. Here are my top dark horse division winner picks for the 2022 season. 

All odds listed are via WynnBET.

2022 NFC Divisional Winners

North: Detroit Lions (+1100)

I know I said that the Lions can’t compete with the Packers this season. However, I like Detroit more than any other team in the NFC North.

The Lions played hard last season and actually don’t look terrible on paper. They had their hearts broken plenty of times (which I guess is a Lions’ staple). Yet, they can compete with the rest of the division and might mess around and get to the top if Green Bay becomes dysfunctional. 

South: New Orleans Saints (+450)

After the Bucs, the Saints have the best overall roster in the NFC South. If Jameis Winston can be healthy and play solid football, the Saints could steal a few wins.

They’ve always given the Buccaneers problems in the past, and if any team could spoil the Bucs' parade, it's New Orleans.

East: Washington Commanders (+475)

Picture this. Carson Wentz goes into his old division and raises a team from the depths of controversy and sub-.500 years to lead them to a division title.

I know it sounds unlikely, but the Commanders were 7-10 last season and had two four-game losing streaks. Wentz should give them some semblance of stability at quarterback and the NFC East is always unpredictable. 

West: San Francisco 49ers (+160)

The 49ers are second in the division odds, which makes it weird to treat them as dark horses. However, they have a young quarterback at the helm and are currently beefing with the most important player on their offense.

Turmoil is already ensuing in the Bay Area, which makes me doubt them a little bit. 

2022 AFC Divisional Winners

North: Baltimore Ravens (+220)

This is going to be a defining year for Lamar Jackson. His No. 1 and No. 2 receivers from last season are gone, and he’ll be leaning on Rashod Bateman to take a big leap to drive the offense. I still have faith in the Ravens though, because they have some of the best coaching in the league and are aggressive – which can leading to an advantage in close wins.

The Bengals still have issues on the offensive line and the Steelers have Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback in a division with great QB play.

South: Jacksonville Jaguars (+500)

Once again, the AFC South isn’t a great division.

The Colts, who are the favorites, could fall apart and leave the door wide open. A team goes from worst-to-first nearly every season in the NFL, and the Jaguars have a good case to be that team. Urban Meyer is gone, the defense got better and Trevor Lawrence will have an entire offseason to work with his team.

It shouldn’t be out of the question. 

East: New England Patriots (+425)

The Patriots have Bill Belichick and I never feel right betting against that man. He was able to put the Pats in position to win the division last year with a rookie quarterback, no receivers and a running back by committee.

If the Bills have similar blunders like last year, the Patriots are close.

West: Los Angeles Chargers (+230)

The Chargers are third on the odds list to win the AFC West, but their defense got huge additions with J.C. Jackson and Khalil Mack. On top of that, they have the second-best quarterback in the division.

I understand the Chargers have a way of losing in spectacular fashion, but the pieces are there for them to compete. 

You can find Donnavan Smoot’s full betting record here.

This article was originally published on as 2022 NFL Dark Horse Division Winner Picks Post-NFL Draft (Don't be Scared of Extreme Turnarounds).