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Winners Club: Examining the 2022 NFL Schedule

Plus NBA and NHL playoff spreads and USFL bets.

Good morning! A lot happened last night in the sports world, and it we’re set for a weekend of elimination games ahead.

The NFL released its 272-game schedule in full last night after days of teases and leaks. There’s revenge games galore in the second season of the 17-game slate—more on that and how the schedule was built later.

In the NBA, the Heat became the first team to advance to the conference finals after defeating the 76ers on the road. And in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Blues upset the Wild in six games to advance to the second round.

Keep reading for NBA and NHL playoff bets, NFL games to watch and more.

NFL Schedule Dropped

The complete NFL schedule is out following the league’s Thursday night TV special. That means we know the kickoff game, all the prime-time games, the Thanksgiving games and the Christmas games. Yep, watch out NBA: Dec. 25 falls on a Sunday this year and the league is taking full advantage with a tripleheader.

SI has comprehensive coverage of the schedule release from every angle.

Want to check out every single team’s 17-game schedule?

Interested in an inside look at how the NFL developed the schedule? (More than 100,000 schedules were spit out by computers before the league decided on one.)

How about record predictions for every single team in the league?

What are the top 10 games for 2022? There’s plenty of revenge games on the docket.

Russell Wilson and his former coach Pete Carroll

And then there’s the five best games to bet on for the coming year. Jen Piacenti singled out those five games, here’s a rundown of a few of those matchups:

Week 3: Packers at Buccaneers
Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022 | 4:25 p.m. ET | Fox

“How will Rodgers look without Davante Adams? Will Tom be playing without Gronk?

The last time these two faced off was the 2021 NFC championship game, which the Buccaneers won, 31-26, on their way to the Super Bowl. Green Bay was favored by 3.5, but Tampa Bay pulled the upset and the game exceeded the projection of 52.5.

MVP vs. GOAT. Get your bets in.”

Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady meet on field.

Week 6: Bills at Chiefs
Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022 | 4:25 p.m. ET | CBS

“In what could be a preview of the AFC Championship game, Josh Allen and Mahomes will duel again at Arrowhead Stadium.

In what was the most adrenaline-pumping game in recent memory, the Chiefs won a shootout in overtime in last season’s divisional round, obliterating the 54.5 game total and covering the 3.5-point spread on their way to the AFC Championship game.”

Celtics, Grizzlies Facing Elimination

The Celtics and Grizzlies both need wins tonight to keep their seasons alive and force Game 7s, both of which would be played Sunday. Boston and Memphis are both on the road, and the oddsmakers don’t like their chances against Milwaukee and Golden State, respectively.

On Thursday, the Heat took down the 76ers, 99-90, resulting in an unceremonious exit for Philadelphia. Joel Embiid said after the game of his co-star James Harden: “Obviously, I am sure since we got him, everybody expected the Houston James Harden but that’s not who he is anymore.”

Embiid, playing through a slew of injuries, finished with 20 points on 24 shots and Harden had a series-low 11 points. Former 76er Jimmy Butler, who had his own postgame words for his old team, had 32 points in the closeout game.

Out West, the Mavericks beat the Suns, 113-86, to send the series to Game 7, the first of these NBA playoffs. Dallas once again rained down threes on Phoenix’s defense and Luka Dončić led the way with a 33-point triple-double. Chris Paul and Devin Booker combined for 32 points.

7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN): Celtics vs. Bucks (-1.5) | Milwaukee leads series, 3-2

10 p.m. ET (ESPN): Grizzlies vs. Warriors (-8.5) | Golden State leads series, 3-2


Time/TV TBDMavericks vs. Suns (-5.5) | Series tied, 3-3

Bring On the NHL Game 7s

The first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs have been wildly competitive.

Only one series (Predators-Avalanche) ended in less than six games. Wins on Thursday by the Lightning, Bruins and Kings set up a trio of Game 7s on Saturday. And the Blues advanced to the second round to play the Avalanche after sending home the Wild in six games.

Three more series can either end tonight or head to potential Game 7s on Sunday. Catch up with today’s NHL playoff storylines here.

7 p.m. ET (TNT): Rangers (-118) vs. Penguins | Pittsburgh leads series, 3-2

7:30 p.m. ET (TBS): Panthers (-175) vs. Capitals | Florida leads series, 3-2

9:30 p.m. ET (TNT): Flames (-167) vs. Stars | Calgary leads series, 3-2


4:30 p.m. ET (ESPN): Bruins vs. Hurricanes (-133) | Series tied, 3-3

7 p.m. ET (TNT): Lightning vs. Maple Leafs (-118) | Series tied, 3-3

10 p.m. ET (ESPN): Kings vs. Oilers (-213) | Series tied, 3-3

In Other News

USFL Week 5 Betting Breakdown: The Birmingham Stallions are undefeated through four weeks and they’re the favorites to win the 2022 championship. See what bets you should take this weekend and what trends are taking hold early on in the season.

Rich Strike to Skip Preakness Stakes: The long shot winner of the Kentucky Derby will not race in the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown, on May 21. His stable is focused on the Belmont Stakes in June in order to give Rich Strike more recovery time.

Ja Morant Knee Injury Won’t Require Surgery: The Grizzlies’ All-Star point guard is out of the lineup with a bone bruise, though coach Taylor Jenkins said Morant will not undergo knee surgery. Morant is doubtful to return in the playoffs after suffering the injury in Game 3.

That’s all for today. Enjoy your weekend, chock full of Game 7s.