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2023 NFL Season Smart Picks

By Hank Blaine

The 2023 NFL Season kicks off on Thursday, Sep 7, which means we have about three weeks before we switch from making future bets to making plays on regular season games. With that in mind, it’s time to get serious about the smartest picks this upcoming NFL Season.

Smartest Picks of the 2023 NFL Season And Why

Bengals player Joe Burrow to win NFL MVP

Based on the odds, Burrow is the second choice behind Patrick Mahomes at around +710, Joe Cool isn’t the best choice to win NFL MVP. But Burrow has the makings of this season’s top player.

When Joe has struggled, it’s because the Cincinnati offensive line has struggled protecting him. Left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. now plays for the Bengals. If Burrow has time this season, and he should have more time than he ever has in his young, pro career, Joe Cool will lead the league in yards, possibly lead the NFL in touchdowns, and throw fewer interceptions than he did last season or in any of his previous pro seasons.

Detroit Lions player Jahmyr Gibbs to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year

Bijan Robinson is a +230 choice to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. The odds make sense. Atlanta drafted Robinson in the first round to carry the football.

But although Bijan will have a great season, Jahmyr Gibbs’ season will be better. Detroit drafted Gibbs with the idea that Jahmyr is their Alvin Kamara.

Kamara won the 2017 offensive rookie of the year award. Alvin secured the hardware by not only rushing for a lot of yards, but also catching passes from Drew Brees.

Gibbs is going to catch passes, a lot of passes, from Jared Goff this season. If things come together, the Detroit Lions first round draft pick should run away with the rookie of the year award. At +920 odds, Gibbs is an overlay.

New Orleans to go over 9.5 wins at +105

As of mid-August, the total for the amount wins the New Orleans Saints will have this season is at 9.5. In July, the total was 8.5.

So the trend is moving up. Also, a quick review of the Saints’ schedule reveals that New Orleans should have at least 7 wins before their NFL Week 11 bye.

Then after the bye, New Orleans should win 4 games for sure. So the Saints should blow by the 9.5 by winning 11.

Denver’s Sean Payton to win NFL Coach of the Year at +1025

Sean Payton has his choice of head coaching jobs. Payton chose Denver because he wanted to work with a veteran quarterback who played behind a strong offensive line.

It also helps that the Broncos should field one of the AFC’s better defenses. Sean isn’t looking to rebuild. He’s looking to win playoff games and possibly the Super Bowl.

Although second choice to win NFL Coach of the Year, Payton is the play. If the Broncos beat the Chiefs for the AFC West title, Sean’s award is a foregone conclusion.

The Cincinnati Bengals to win the AFC Championship at +530 odds

The Bengals offer low odds, but Cincinnati is third choice behind Kansas City and Buffalo. The Bills were supposed to win the Super Bowl last season.

We must question Josh Allen’s playoff form. Twice in a row, Allen has disappointed. Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are always a threat, but Mahomes must play behind an offensive line missing the Chiefs’ left tackle from last season, Orlando Brown. Jr. The impact of losing Brown Jr. could reach all the way to the AFC Championship. The Bengals are the play.

New England to take the AFC East Division at an overlay +810

The Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, and Miami Dolphins offer lower odds than the New England Patriots to win the AFC East Division. But the Bills, Jets, and Fins haven’t improved much more than the Pats.

In fact, a case can be made that the Patriots are one of the most improved teams in the NFL. How?

Bill Belichick hired Bill O’Brien to run the offense. O’Brien is one of the more creative play-callers in football. He’;s also familiar with Mac Jones.

Belichick used New England’s first three draft picks on defensive players. There’s a chance the Patriots boast the league’s top defense. If O’Brien and Jones come through, the offense will also rock.

Kansas City to go under 11.5 wins at +116

The schedule is brutal. KC must not only play improved Denver, the rival Raiders, and the Chargers twice this season, but the AFC East and NFC North are on the schedule.

The AFC East includes the Dolphins, Bills, Jets, and Patriots. The NFC North includes the Packers, Vikings, Bears, and Lions.

Philadelphia is on the schedule. So is Cincinnati. 6 losses in 17 games isn’t just a possibility. It should be reality.

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