The 2023 NFL regular season schedule has officially been released in full for the league’s 17-game, 18-week regular season.
Get an early sports betting edge with our analysis across strength of schedule, rest-disparity, short weeks, road games on short rest, prep & rest ranking, team schedule notes and much more.
Top 10 Things to Know About the 2022 NFL Schedule
1. Strength of schedule matters!
- Of the 7 teams that actually had the easiest 2022 schedules, 6 went to the playoffs (Eagles, 49ers, Jaguars, Cowboys, Chargers, Chiefs)
- Of the 7 teams that actually had the hardest 2022 schedules, 2 went to the playoffs (Dolphins, Bengals)
- Of the 11 teams that actually had the hardest 2022 schedules, only 3 went over their win total (Bengals, Steelers, Jets)
Although it makes perfect sense, far too often it’s not incorporated by analysts enough.
Trying to exceed and overachieve against a brutal schedule rarely happens (2 out of the top 7 in 2022) and likewise, winning against an easy schedule and overachieving compared to expectation was quite regular (only 1 out of the top 7 did not).
2. The 10 easiest schedules, the 10 hardest schedules, and every team in between are detailed on our updated NFL Strength of Schedule breakdown.
It’s VITAL to calculate these schedule strengths properly AND it’s vital to use updated data.
3. Rest Disparity matters: this year, 95 out of 272 games will be played with one team having a rest disadvantage.
That’s up from 93 games last year and represents 35% of the NFL schedule.
But it’s a massive disappointment the NFL is making games less equitable by adding more games with rest disparity. HOWEVER, it provides a huge opportunity from a betting standpoint to be aware of these edges.
Continue reading below to see the effect of rest disparity in recent NFL history and why it’s impactful.
More so, Warren will be tracking EVERY SINGLE ONE in his 500-page book out this summer: the 2023 Football Preview — which is now available for pre-sale at a discount.
4. The teams with the biggest edge in net rest advantage? The Jets, Bears, Commanders, Titans, and Browns.
The teams with the biggest disadvantage? The 49ers, Rams, Chiefs, Falcons, and Giants.
5. Why does rest disparity matter?
Because having a rest disadvantage can be a big problem in a variety of circumstances. Let’s dive into a few:
5a. Last year, teams with a net rest edge of three or more days went 32-24-1 (57%) and covered the spread at a 54.4% rate.
It is even more valuable later in the season.
Since 2015, teams with a three or more day rest advantage from Week 13 onward have won 55.2% of their games and have covered the spread in 55.7% of games over a 106-game sample.
5b. Last year, three teams had net rest edges of negative-10 days or worse: Packers (-12), Patriots (-10), and Texans (-10). All three fell below their expected win total.
The two teams with the best net rest edges last year, the Bills (+12) and Lions (+11), went over their win totals. Buffalo hit the over despite one fewer game because of the Demar Hamlin injury, and the Lions were one of the most surprising success stories of 2022.
6. There is a big difference between strength of schedule and difficulty of scheduled timing of games.
Strength of schedule is calculated by WHO you play. Difficulty of scheduled timing is calculated by WHEN you play your opponents. And the NFL has complete control over it.
There are two ways to measure edges from the timing of games:
- The first is the net rest edges which we previously discussed.
- The second is looking at Prep & Rest Rankings, which we calculate using the following factors: opponent days to prepare (over or under a week), games with more rest than opponent, games with less rest than opponent, short week road games, games off road SNF or MNF and negated by weeks.
The teams with the best edges in Prep & Rest Rankings? The Colts, Commanders, Browns, Cardinals, and Titans.
The teams with the worst edges? The Chiefs, 49ers, Eagles, Vikings, and Giants.
7. The Super Bowl Champion Chiefs have a net rest edge of negative-13, the third-worst in the NFL this year.
But for the Chiefs, it’s not just that they have less rest in general. They have less rest than their opponent for six straight weeks, from Week 12 through Week 17:
- Week 12 they are off a Monday Night Football game when they play the Raiders, so one day less rest.
- Week 13 they play the Packers who played on Thanksgiving the week prior, so three days less rest.
- Week 14 they play the Bills who are off a bye, so seven days less rest.
- Week 15 they play the Patriots who are off a Thursday Night game, so three days less rest.
- Week 16 they play the Raiders who are off a Thursday Night game, but because KC is off a Monday Night game, it is four days less rest for the Chiefs.
- Week 17 they play the Bengals who are off a Saturday game, but because KC is off another Monday Night game, it is two days less rest for the Chiefs.
It would be one thing to have the third-worst net rest edge in the NFL. But for there to be six games in a row where they are dealing with (most often) multiple days rest disadvantage, and for them to come late in the season as they do, will be extremely challenging on the Chiefs.
And for the record, in 2021 the Chiefs were plus-nine in net rest edge (fifth best), and in 2022 the Chiefs were plus-seven in net rest edge (sixth best).
So it has been a long time coming for them to be on the opposite end of the spectrum, but that will certainly be the case in 2023.
The Chiefs will be -20 in net rest from Week 12 through the end of the season.
8. The Eagles have a negative-six-day net rest edge, tied for sixth-worst in the NFL. They have only one game that features more rest than their opponent, and it is extremely early in the season.
In Week 2, the Eagles play on Thursday night. As a result, prior to their game in Week 3 against Tampa Bay, they have extra rest. And that is the only game of the entire year the Eagles have the benefit of a rest advantage over their opponent.
Even for their bye week (Week 10), their opponent, the Chiefs, has a bye week the same week.
Additionally, there is a three-week span, from Week 12 through Week 14, that the Eagles will play with a rest disadvantage. And all three games are against powerhouses:
- Week 12 they are off a Monday Night Football game when they play the Bills, so one day less rest.
- Week 13 they play the 49ers who are off a Thanksgiving game the week prior, so three days less rest.
- Week 14 they play the Cowboys who are off a Thursday Night game the week prior, so three days less rest.
9. Long has the NFL hoped a marquee quarterback would grace a marketplace like New York, and they got their wish when the Jets acquired Aaron Rodgers this offseason.
Suddenly, the Jets are given the best net rest edge in the NFL.
The Jets have a total of plus-12 days of net rest edge and play five games with more rest than their opponent (more on that later).
They get a bye week ahead of playing the Giants in Week 8. Luckily for the Jets, that game counts as a road game despite them playing at their home stadium.
So from October 5 through November 12, the Jets don’t leave New York.
They also have an advantage in key divisional games which could ultimately make a difference in who wins the AFC East.
The Jets don’t have a single rest disadvantage in any games they play against their division.
But in Week 11, the Jets get to play the Bills after Buffalo plays on Monday Night Football, thus putting the Bills on a day less rest.
In Week 15, the Jets take on the Dolphins. And similarly, the Dolphins play on Monday Night Football the week prior and have less rest before they face the Jets.
Finally, in Week 18 the Jets take on the Patriots. The Jets play on Thursday Night Football the week prior (Week 17) which gives them three more days to rest and prepare to face New England.
Not accounted for in the above example of having extra rest is another nugget which is what happens in Week 12 against the Dolphins.
The NFL decided to schedule their first Black Friday game ever. That game obviously is the Friday after Thanksgiving. And you can guess who they wanted to be the spotlight of such a historical game. The Jets. And for the game to be in New York.
As a result, the Jets’ opponent for that game (Miami Dolphins) must travel on a short week and play on the road, which presents a disadvantage to the team making that road trip on a short week.
In summary, the Jets play four divisional games late in the season. All four of those games give them a key rest advantage over their opponent. And these advantages add up and could definitely help the Jets in 2023 in the AFC East.
The Jets are the only team in the NFL to play four games with a rest edge from Week 11 onwards. Meanwhile, 14 teams have either zero or one game with a rest edge from Week 11 onwards. That is a notable benefit for Rodgers’ new team.
Before the schedule was released, we already knew of another key advantage the Jets had, and that was the ability for them to play 10 games in their home stadium. But the way the games were scheduled provides added edges.
10. The NFL Schedule Grid is now live and you need to save or print your copy to view all the edges as quickly as possible:
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