As we head toward the 2020 NFL season, it's a great time to take a look at the betting lines surrounding pro football, which marks one of the busiest times of the year for online betting sites in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and other states.
One of the most popular areas of any gambling site is the ever-popular futures section, which is exactly where we are headed to make betting picks for each NFL division.
Next on our list is the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, and Miami Dolphins as we make 2020 AFC East predictions!
Who Will Win The AFC East In 2020?
Oddsmakers see this division as a clear two-horse race between the 21-time AFC East-winning Patriots and the upstart Bills. Both Miami and New York are in clear rebuilding stages and are very unlikely to compete for anything other than a bottom-10 pick in the draft.
Any betting selection on this division needs to be on the new-look Patriots or Buffalo, with both teams having nearly identical odds.
So who will win the AFC East in 2020? Could it finally be time to crown a new champion?
Buffalo went 10-6 last season and things ended in the same place they did for the Pats: the Wild Card round. The Bills were a late-game collapse away from the divisional round of the playoff and that experience combined with their improvements on offense could lead to taking the next step and dethroning New England.
But it won't be easy. Bill Belichick and New England are moving on from the Tom Brady era with another former MVP in Cam Newton, although it's not guaranteed he starts over Jarret Stidham. It wouldn't be all that surprising for the Patriots to unlock an entire new resection of the playbook with a mobile qrarterback and immediately go back to winning 11 or 12 games.
With that said, this isn't the season for it. There's either going to be a first-year starter under center or a former MVP with a severe learning curve due to the new offense and lack of reps with teammates before the season.
Sometimes, it's best not to think too hard about betting lines. The win totals and division odds are set where they are for a reason and if oddsmakers aren't quite buying the Patriots, we aren't either. So back Buffalo at plus-money for its first division win since 1995 for your AFC East predictions.
AFC East Division Winner Pick: Buffalo Bills (+125 at BetMGM)
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For similar predictions regarding the rest of the league, check out our NFL division prediction series:
AFC East Win Total Predictions
- Buffalo Bills Over 8.5 (-143 at DraftKings)
Even with slight regression from last year's win total, the Bills can still hit this over. Buffalo managed 10 wins despite a 3-3 division record and this time around, the AFC East up for grabs with New England and the other two teams are both inferior. That said, we can't see a reason to take this under, even with a tough schedule.
Buffalo returns the sixth-rated defense according to widely-used DVOA statistics and added dynamic playmaker Stefon Diggs to help out quarterback Josh Allen, who heads into his third season after taking a significant jump in year two.
The Bills should be able to net a 4-2 record inside the division, which will go a long way to notching at least nine wins. The schedule is no cakewalk but home games against both LA teams, the Steelers, and the Seahawks could lead to a couple of wins. Away clashes with Arizona, Las Vegas, and Denver provide some other chances to bring that total to nine.
- New England Patriots Over 8.5 Wins (-134 at DraftKings)
We are trying to balance that New England isn't the same team we are used to seeing with the fact that disrespecting this group would be a mistake. The Pats may miss a beat at the start, but they won't be a hapless bunch out there by any stretch. According to last season's win percentage, the Patriots actually have the easiest schedule in the NFL.
This team has had double-digit wins in every season since 2003 and if there's one group that can overcome the toughest schedule in the NFL, it's probably this one.
New England went 5-1 in the division last year and we'd be surprised to see that again. There's a loss to Buffalo in there and to feel safe, we are going with 4-2. Some very tough opponents await this season but there are also games against Las Vegas, Arizona, both Los Angeles teams, Denver, and Houston that will be important for the Patriots to reach this win total.
- New York Jets Under 6.5 (-134 at DraftKings)
The Jets provide little drama on the field, but tons of drama off of it. The defense is going to take a huge hit with C.J. Mosely opting out and on top of that, All-Pro safety Jamal Adams is gone in a trade. New York did a great job getting assets for him and might be poised for a big future, but 2020 is going to be a lean year.
New York is either the third or fourth-best team in its own division, depending on where you put Miami. The Jets have upgraded their offensive line and should see some more from third-year QB Sam Darnold, but there are just too many holes on the rest of the roster. With the second-toughest schedule to overcome, this could get away from the Jets rather quickly if they aren't careful.
This team would be lucky to go 3-3 in the division and win a handful of other games to clear the over as Darnold continues to develop. But how things stand now, this is a five or six-win team because a 6-2 close to the year probably isn't happening again.
- Miami Dolphins Under 6.5 Wins (-143 at DraftKings)
The Dolphins drafted their franchise quarterback, we just don't know if we'll see Tua Tagovailoa this season just yet. If not, it will be wildly entertaining veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick taking snaps once again.
Miami won the last two games in 2019 to surpass its win total and get to five. Despite the regression of the Jets and perhaps New England, we can't see the Dolphins getting too many more wins, especially considering their schedule.
With the AFC East slated to play the AFC West and NFC West, some of the out-of-division games are tough and some of the lesser opponents are on the road. This could wind up being six exactly, so if you find over 5.5 or six and want to pounce on the over, we wouldn't blame you.
2020 AFC East Record Predictions
On top of giving our thoughts on total wins, we are turning our attention to AFC East record predictions. This can be a useful exercise since some sites offer lucrative odds for selecting the exact number of wins a team may have.
It may not be the easiest thing to do before a season begins. As bettors, we are guessing a bit just like the oddsmakers are. With that said, there's definitely some value at betting sites on over-under wins or exact wins markets.
Here are our AFC East 2020 record predictions:
- Buffalo Bills Record Prediction: 10-6
- New England Patriots Record Prediction: 9-7
- Miami Dolphins Prediction: 6-10
- New York Jets Record Prediction: 5-11
AFC East Best Bets
To go with odds on win totals and record, there are lines for plenty of AFC East prop bets too. The exact markets and their odds vary from site to site but the benefit is that you can legally access a seemingly endless number of betting options until you find something you prefer.
After digging through the NFL betting markets on various online sportsbooks, here are some of our AFC East best bets for the 2020 season. These selections are a combination of likelihood and value of odds, which is most important in many cases.
- Buffalo Over 8.5 Wins (-143 at DraftKings)
- Buffalo To Make Playoffs: Yes (-176)
- Buffalo First Loss: Week 5 At Tennessee (+900 at BetMGM)
- New England First Loss: Week 2 at Seattle (+100 at BetMGM)
- New England To Make Playoffs: No (+200 at BetMGM)
- New England Exactly 9 Wins (+270 at BetMGM)
- New York Jets Exactly 6 Wins (+280 at BetMGM)
- New York Jets To Start 0-4: Yes (+400 at BetMGM)
- New York Jets 5-8 Wins (-323 at BetMGM)
- Miami First Win: Week 3 at Jaguars (+300 at BetMGM)
- Miami Under 6.5 Wins (-134 at DraftKings)
- Miami Third Place AFC East (+170 at DraftKings)
Stay tuned for more 2020 NFL betting predictions for each division as Week 1 gets closer!