A lot of teams are still waiting for their free agent signings to become officially official once physicals are complete, but we have a pretty good idea of what each team is going to look like in terms of current professional football players.
The NFL Draft is a month away and there are a lot of moving parts that come with that, including trades and all of the smokescreens that will be put out there by media desperate for sports stories during the coronavirus outbreak. It is going to be an intriguing month of April for the NFL to be sure.
We’ve seen a ton of player movement, especially on the quarterback side, with new teams for Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Teddy Bridgewater, Nick Foles, Case Keenum, and Marcus Mariota. We’re still waiting to see where Jameis Winston and Jacoby Brissett end up, but we can still take a look at the division futures picture.
Here are the AFC Division odds
|New England Patriots||-110||+103|
|New York Jets||+700||+775|
|Kansas City Chiefs||-350||-460|
|Las Vegas Raiders||+800||+950|
|Los Angeles Chargers||+800||+1300|
Comparing books side-by-side is important for a variety of reasons. For one thing, shopping around for the best price is always the goal. It is also interesting to see how the books are set up and to see if there is any movement one way or another on these based on the action that has been coming in. There is still a ton of time for the news cycle, additional signings, and potentially injuries to move these numbers around in advance of the NFL Draft.
Here are some quick thoughts on each division:
AFC East – The Patriots and Bills are in a two-horse race for the division crown. Right now, New England’s quarterback options are Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer. It seems highly unlikely that the Patriots are going to go into the season with just those two options. Perhaps that will be the landing spot for Cam Newton? Maybe the Patriots can find some way to fall bass ackwards into the unhappy Deshaun Watson?
If the Patriots do not get a quarterback, we’ll have to see how the line moves down on the Bills. If the Patriots do get a quarterback, expect any plus-money price to go away and the -110s to look more like -135 or higher.
AFC North – Many will tell you that the Baltimore Ravens are the best team in the NFL going into this season and they could very well be right. The only error that I see in these odds is having Pittsburgh ahead of Cleveland as the second favorite. The Browns now have a legitimate coach and added to their offensive line to protect Baker Mayfield. If Baker isn’t the guy or doesn’t perform up to expectations, Case Keenum is one of the better backups in the NFL. The Steelers have a good defense, but also Ben Roethlisberger returning from a major injury and Pittsburgh wasn’t even as potent of an offense after Antonio Brown left.
The Browns probably don’t have enough to topple the Ravens and the -178 price looks pretty attractive, but we should see enough activity for the Browns and Steelers to be flipped over the spring and summer.
AFC South – The AFC South is very wide-open. The Indianapolis Colts are the favorites on paper based on the odds, but the Tennessee Titans should be the favorite sometime over the spring or summer. The acquisition of Philip Rivers could actually weaken the Colts. Jacoby Brissett was fine. Rivers is clearly on the decline and completely immobile. Brissett would not be the optimal decision, but he’s probably an upgrade to Rivers. It would be tough to see Rivers make $25 million to be the backup QB to anybody, so it is his show.
The Titans were a completely different team after Ryan Tannehill took over. Tennessee has to replace some losses on the offensive line, but this looks like the most complete team in the division. While it is perfectly fair to mention Indy’s injury woes from last season, the Titans should be the favorite.
The Texans are +250 without DeAndre Hopkins and now with a disgruntled Deshaun Watson that seems to want to play elsewhere. Their price is likely to go down, which is likely to drag down the other prices on the Colts and Titans. If you like one of those two, these may be the best prices that we are going to get.
AFC West – The Kansas City Chiefs will repeat as division champions. They are a contender to repeat as Super Bowl champions as well. There really isn’t a great value grab on any of the other teams in this division because they are all too flawed relative to the Chiefs. A price of -350 at BetOnline implies a 77.78% probability that Kansas City wins the division.
Barring a long-term Patrick Mahomes injury, that seems low, but the injury risk is always there in the NFL, so it is a tough sell to take a price that low.