The NFL season is only less than two weeks away and we want to cover every division from a betting perspective, so now it's time for some AFC West predictions.
As Week 1 kickoff gets closer, online sports betting sites in NJ, PA, and other states are only getting busier. This is because NFL futures markets are extremely popular before the season starts and this year, sportsbooks are offering more wagering options than ever before.
There are the standard futures markets for a division winner, conference winner, and Super Bowl champion, but there are also dozens of prop betting markets for every team.
Time to get into odds for the Chiefs, Chargers, Broncos, and Raiders as we deliver some AFC West betting picks.
Who Will Win The AFC West In 2020?
The 2019 AFC West was one of the least competitive divisions in football, with Kansas City Chiefs going 12-4 and winning by five whole games. If you want to know who will win the AFC West in 2020, don't look any further than the Super Bowl champions, regardless of odds.
The betting line tells the whole story, and this is an easy one to understand. There is no value on the Chiefs at a number like this, but there's also no other option.
I suppose stranger things have happened, but there are plenty of betting markets with more value than picking against the Chiefs to win the division.
Kansas City has arguably the best player in football and the Super Bowl MVP in Patrick Mahomes II, and lost no big pieces from the offense. In fact, adding RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the draft should only make the offensive unit more dynamic.
The Chiefs' defense got rolling toward the end of the season and has nearly as much to do with the Super Bowl as the offense, but we can't expect the same type of output. If nothing else, we do expect this defense to always keep it in games, which means its offense can go win those games.
Kansas City or bust for the AFC West division winner predictions.
AFC West Division Winner Pick: Kansas City Chiefs (-455 at BetMGM)
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For similar predictions regarding the rest of the league, check out our NFL division prediction series:
AFC West Win Total Predictions
- Kansas City Chiefs Over 11.5 (-121 at DraftKings)
After winning 12 games a season ago, the total is set there once again in 2020. While it seems many teams in the league are due for some type of regression, we're not so sure about Kansas City, and taking this under doesn't feel like an option.
According to Football Outsiders, the Chiefs ranked third in offensive DVOA. Consider that Mahomes was hurt for a few games and that the team hasn't lost any huge pieces on offense, and it's easy to see some major production once again.
The schedule may be a little bit tougher but the potential for 12-4 is there and besides, who is really ready to bet against Andy Reid, Mahomes, and the Chiefs in a division they clearly own?
- Denver Broncos Over 7.5 Wins (-118 at DraftKings)
The final month of the 2019 season was the Drew Lock show and if it continues into 2020, the Broncos could definitely go. 500 and get over their total of 7.5 wins.
The only issue is that Denver has a ton of new players on offense and this pandemic-limited offseason may definitely lead to some early bumps while the new system is put in place.
One benefit is that an elite defense should make things easier on the offense, which won't need to score a ton of points. It should be a close one, but take over for the Bronco win total and hope Week 17 vs. Las Vegas is for win number eight.
- Los Angeles Chargers Over 7.5 (-134 at BetMGM)
Since 2006, Philip Rivers was the starting quarterback of the Chargers. That's all over now and most people don't know what to expect. I'll tell you what we expect: at least eight wins.
With a mobile QB in Tyrod Taylor under center, Anthony Lynn's group suddenly has so many more options on offense, and the line is improved as well. The schedule is light to begin the season and a 5-3 mark halfway through is completely plausible, which should definitely seat up at least an eight-win season.
- Las Vegas Raiders Under 7.5 (-115 at BetMGM)
The Raiders have officially moved to Las Vegas and will look to establish a new identity in the desert. Unfortunately, racking up wins won't be easy in an uber-competitive AFC West, which is why our play on the total is under.
The Raiders, like Denver and Los Angeles, are an improved team with added weapons on offense. But for our money, Las Vegas is a step behind both of those other teams, and the three teams shouldn't all have identical win totals. The Raiders may need to pull off a few upsets in order to get to eight, so we think there are some better wagers out there.
2020 AFC West Record Predictions
Now that we've taken care of over-under win totals, we turn our attention to AFC West record predictions:
- Kansas City Chiefs Record Prediction: 12-4
- Los Angeles Chargers Record Prediction: 9-7
- Denver Broncos Record Prediction: 8-8
- Las Vegas Raiders Record Prediction: 6-10
These records are educated guesses and an extremely difficult thing to nail down prior to the season beginning, but use them as a guide when going through each team's schedule.
AFC West Best Bets
The markets that are most commonly wagered on when it comes to preseason NFL futures are win totals, division winner, conference winner, and Super Bowl champion.
But in addition to these categories, online sportsbooks also have a seemingly endless number of prop markets for each individual team, which ensures all bettors find a category they feel comfortable with.
Here are our AFC West best bets:
- Kansas City Chiefs Over 11.5 Wins (-121 at DraftKings)
- Kansas City Chiefs To Win All Home Games (+140 at BetMGM)
- Kansas City Chiefs Exactly 12 Wins (+240 at BetMGM)
- LA Chargers Second Place AFC West (+195 at BetMGM)
- LA Chargers First Loss: Week 2 vs Kansas City (+110 at BetMGM)
- LA Chargers Over 7.5 Wins (-134 at BetMGM)
- Denver Broncos Over 7.5 Wins (-118 at DraftKings)
- Denver Broncos First Loss: Week 2 at Steelers (+120 at DraftKings)
- Denver Broncos Third Place AFC West (+170 at DraftKings)
- Las Vegas Raiders Fourth Place AFC West (+135 at DraftKings)
- Las Vegas Raiders First Loss: Week 2 vs. Saints (+185 at BetMGM)
- Las Vegas Raiders Under 7.5 Wins (-115 at BetMGM)
Stay tuned for more 2020 NFL betting predictions for each division as Week 1 approaches!
Photo Credit: Associated Press