The AFC’s days of being top heavy are seemingly over and there are now 6 teams within +900 to win the AFC this year and no one is better than +300. This should be one of the best top 6 teams in a conference in a long time if these teams play how they are expected to and I am really excited to see these teams get started
There are two co-favorites here and they are the two teams that met up in the AFc Championship game last season that eventually went to overtime. The Patriots and the Chiefs are both listed at +300 to win the AFC and I think that this is fair for both teams.
The Chiefs are probably the more improved team over the offseason with the additions of Tyrann Mathieu and Frank Clark to a defense that struggled at times last year. On the offensive side of the ball, the Chiefs obviously lose Kareem Hunt, but he was gone for the stretch run of the season and I really don’t think that this offense missed a beat after that situation.
On the other hand, the Patriots didn’t make many huge splashes over the offseason and they obviously lose one of the best tight ends ever in Rob Gronkowski. They did draft N’Keal Harry to try and help make up for the loss of Gronk as a one on one receiver, but Harry is not Gronk at the end of the day.
It is really hard to bet against this Patriots team because they ALWAYS seem to figure out a way to get it done, especially at a number like +300. In all likelihood, I would hold off on betting either of these teams right now and see how the beginning of the season goes.
I expect teams like the Browns and the Colts to impress early and possibly lower their odds, especially with a team like the Patriots that notoriously start slow. The Chiefs are my favorite if I had to pick from these two, but I am concerned that teams will be focused on stopping this offense all offseason.
The Second Tier
There are 4 teams that are looking to make a jump into the upper-echelon of the NFL scene and I really like 3 of these teams long-term. The Colts (+600), Browns (+800), and the Chargers (+900) are all really interesting options to bet on right now and I wouldn’t even be opposed to just betting all three teams and calling it a day.
These three teams can all attempt to make a case for the deepest roster in football and I would listen. The Steelers are also in this tier at +900, but I just think they don’t compare to these other three from a roster standpoint.
Normally in a situation like this, I would look to the early part of a schedule to see if I can find an edge when betting on a team that I expect to do well early. In this case, I don’t think any of these three teams have a very different early schedule, so that is not super helpful.
I prefer the Colts and the Browns to the Chargers here because I really think that it will be difficult for the Chargers to have a bye and they also play the Colts on week 1. The odds would drastically decrease for a three seed compared to a two seed simply because they have to win one more game, which is something we would rather avoid if we can. I think that down the line, you will likely be able to snag the Chargers at a similar or better number if you like how they are trending.
For the Browns and the Colts, I think both have elite offenses and sound defenses that could really storm the league this year. I would like odds to bet one of the two get a first-round bye and I think their odds will decrease once people watch them for a few months.
In all honesty, I don’t think there are any Cinderella teams in the AFC this year because there is too much talent at the top. All of the 5 five teams are just way deeper and more reliable than the teams below them and I would have a hard time seeing all 5 of them fail to make the Super Bowl.
If I had to choose one team that I think is valued too low in the market right now and I expect to see move up the board in the future, it’s the Jets. The bad news there is that the Jets have a really tough early schedule before seeing a the Dolphins, Giants, Redskins, Raiders, Bengals, and Dolphins in a row. Those are ALL games that the Jets could be favorites in depending on their play before then.
Pick to Win Conference
I like Colts right now at +600. I expect an improved defense and elite passing game with their offensive line and Andrew Luck dominating most teams on their schedule. No matter if you are betting on the Colts or another team, use our favorite pay per head bookie site at http://www.PayPerHead247.com
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Steelers are my pick to come out of the AFC