The 2022 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, and much more.
Top 10 Things to Know About the 2022 NFL Schedule
1. Strength of schedule matters!
- Of the 10 NFL teams that actually had the hardest 2021 schedules, only three went over their projected win total.
- And of the 10 NFL teams that actually had the easiest 2021 schedules, only three went under their projected win total.
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 and likewise, winning consistently against an easy schedule to overachieve vs expectations is quite regular.
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, 93 out of 272 games will be played with one team having a rest disadvantage.
That’s up from 85 games last year. And represents 34% of the NFL schedule.
- All 93 games are detailed here on our NFL Schedule Grid analysis.
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 2022 Football Preview — which is now available for pre-sale at a discount.
4. The teams with the biggest edge in net rest advantage? The Bills, Lions, Broncos, Cowboys, and Buccaneers.
The teams with the biggest disadvantage? The Packers, Patriots, Texans, Jets, and Saints.
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 the NFL expanded the schedule. Having rest edges late in the year was particularly valuable: in the NFL’s first 17-game season, teams with a rest advantage over their opponent from weeks 14 thru 18 went 21-11 (66%) and covered 58% of games.
5b. Lack of rest hurts teams with worse coaching and worse rosters most. Good and great teams can overcome rest disadvantages. But look at what happens when a worse team must play with a rest disadvantage:
Since 2005, underdogs of 4+ points playing with a rest disadvantage are 86-305 (22%) and have covered just 45.8% of games. Compare to dogs of 4+ points who are not playing with a rest disadvantage, and they cover 49.2% of games.
The last two years alone, underdogs of 4+ points playing:
- with a rest disadvantage? 42.1% ATS
- no rest disadvantage? 48.4% ATS
This is a major factor and has a tremendous impact on the outcome of games. That’s why it’s vital to know which teams have rest disadvantages and when those games occur.
6. There is a big difference between: Strength of Schedule and Difficulty of Scheduled Timing of Games
Strength of schedule is calculated on WHO you play. Difficultly 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 Panthers, Lions, Dolphins, Browns, and Seahawks.
The teams with the worst edges? The Packers, Patriots, Saints, Eagles, and Cardinals.
No team played more than four such games. It’s so rare that in the last 30 years, only twice has a team played six games vs opponents on short weeks.
But this year, the Cowboys play six games vs opponents who have less than a week to prepare for Dallas:
- In Week 5 vs the Rams, LA is on a short week off MNF
- In Week 8 vs the Bears, Chicago is on a short week off MNF
- In Week 12 vs the Giants, NY is playing on the road on a short week on Thanksgiving
- In Week 13 vs the Colts, Indianapolis is playing on a short week off MNF
- In Week 16 vs the Eagles, Philadelphia is playing on a short week as the game is Saturday
- In Week 17 vs the Titans, Tennessee is playing on a short week as the game is Thursday
Not all of these games present rest edges (only three of them do) but it is an extreme anomaly for a team to play six games vs opponents on short rest when the NFL average is 2.6 and no team in the last few years played more than four such games.
8. There is no game worse than a road game on short rest.
But this year, the NFL increased the number of short week road games, issuing 43 of them, up from 28 in 2021.
Last year, no team had to play more than two short week road games in a season.
This year, the Philadelphia Eagles play four short week road games:
- Week 3 in Washington off of a Week 2 MNF game
- Week 9 in Houston on Thursday night off a Week 8 Sunday game
- Week 11 in Indianapolis off a Week 10 MNF game
- Week 16 in Dallas on a Saturday afternoon off a Week 15 Sunday game
How rare is this? No team in the last 16 years has played four short week road games in one season.
Half of the Eagles’ eight road contests force them onto the road on short rest. Meanwhile, 21 teams play either zero or one short week road game.
The Eagles play four. Five other teams play three.
9. Pay close attention to the tail end of the Washington Commanders schedule in 2022.
Washington is one of three teams to play four different opponents who are coming off a “mini-bye” (while not a full bye week, this happens when a team plays on Thursday and has three extra days of rest before next playing two Sundays from their prior game).
Last year, no team played four opponents off of mini-byes.
But not only does Washington do just that this year, it’s particularly brutal for Washington as the games are all bunched tightly at the end of a long, 17-game season.
Those four games for the Commanders:
- Week 10, Washington plays the Eagles, a team off a mini-bye after playing Thursday of Week 9.
- Week 13, Washington plays the Giants, a team off a mini-bye after playing on Thanksgiving.
- Week 16, Washington plays the 49ers, a team off a mini-bye after playing Thursday of Week 15.
- Week 18, Washington plays the Cowboys, a team off a mini-bye after playing Thursday of Week 17.
Washington is at a 3-day rest disadvantage in every game and their opponents, late in the season, have the benefit of critical extra rest.
Not only is that brutally difficult, considering that only three of 32 teams face four opponents off of mini-byes, it’s hardly fair. And is an increase over 2021 considering not one team was asked to perform such a gauntlet.
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:
2022 Fantasy Football Rankings by Position:
- Wide Receiver Fantasy Football Rankings
- Quarterback Fantasy Football Rankings
- Rookie Rankings for Fantasy Football
- Running Backs Fantasy Football Rankings
- Tight End Fantasy Football Rankings
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