AFC West Preview
Kansas City has been in the Super Bowl two consecutive years but only enjoyed one of them. Can anyone in the division compete with the cream of the AFC crop? Let’s take a look at the last division in our preview and see where there might be opportunities to place some futures bets. If you want the full slate of futures – including four NFL MAX plays from BTB and BTBJesse, you just need to click above. Let’s get to it!
Last season: 14-2, first in division
After being embarrassed in the Super Bowl by the Buccaneers, the team went slightly back to the drawing board and reassembled the offensive line to protect the most valuable asset in all of sports – the quarterback. Patrick Mahomes is arguably the most talented quarterback in the league right now and behind an improved offensive line, the team could make a return to the Super Bowl. Injuries are always a risk, but the win total for this year is listed at 12.5. The juice is on the under, meaning that most people think that they won’t win 13 games. I’m a lot higher on their defensive changes in the offseason than most are, so I love that there is plus money on the over and will play it. To hit the under, they need to lose five games. To be honest, I only see four games that I’m iffy about on their schedule, and that includes the inevitable divisional loss where they just don’t play well. I’m not going to go crazy on this, but I do think the over is a strong multi-unit bet.
Last season: 8-8, second in division
The first year in Las Vegas turned out to be mediocre, but not all that surprising for the Raiders. Jon Gruden gets another year with the team, and Derek Carr really needs to step forward and play consistently if the Raiders can compete for a Wild Card. Henry Ruggs has moved up the depth chart, and needs to be the impact player that they drafted him to be. He has only four touchdowns as his over under for the year and I fully expect him to take a step forward, receive more targets and opportunities for touchdowns. I am hitting his over on that. Darren Waller also should be able to eclipse his over 7.5 touchdowns. As far as the total on their wins, I do expect the Raiders to get over seven wins. I don’t feel as strongly about this as I have others, but there are few scenarios where I don’t see this hitting.
Last season: 7-9, third in division
Is Justin Herbert the truth or did he just have a great rookie season? After a 31 touchdown, 10 interception season, he has to follow up with at least as good of a campaign this year. I am unimpressed with the Chargers roster though. The team has a new coach, and he has a history of being defensive minded. They did pick up Joe Lombardi – formerly with the Saints – who has a strong track record of helping quarterbacks achieve great potential. The problem for the Chargers is their wide receiver core is injured more often than Kanye West’s feelings. Keenan Allen is a great receiver for the 10 games he plays a year. I expect Jared Cook to have a good year. He is currently listed at 4.5 touchdowns and I think that he gets over that total, especially since he should be familiar with Lombardi’s schemes.
Last season: 5-11, fourth in division
The Denver Broncos are still trying to find that spark that they received years ago when Peyton Manning came under center for them. Now they get another injury derailed quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater. He will take the ball after winning the job from Drew Lock. The strength of this team should still be their defense, but will their offense be able to keep up with the other teams in their division? The Denver Broncos have a win total of 8.5. While this seems like a stretch based on last year’s performance, the team has continued to put the right coaches and players in place over the last year or so. I don’t have faith in them to go over, but I wouldn’t be shocked either. I’d say if you think they will get nine or more wins, you’re better off betting the To Make the Playoffs bet at +115.
- David Troy
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