NFL Odds & Picks Preview for AFC Divisional Favorites
Do you remember the 2012 NFL season? It was notable for the fact that all four AFC division winners were repeat champions: the New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans and Denver Broncos all won their respective divisions the year before and then in 2012. We haven’t seen all four winners repeat since in a following year. Might it happen in 2016? Here are the NFL betting odds for the four favorites.
Taking A Closer Look at the NFL Odds & Picks for AFC Divisional Favorites
New England Patriots (-210 to win AFC East)
New England has owned this division this century. In 2012, the Patriots broke a tie with the Dolphins for winning the most division titles; with subsequent division titles in 2013, 2014, and 2015 the Patriots have won 18 AFL/AFC East division titles to Miami’s 14. Last year, the Pats won it for a seventh straight season. But it might be tougher this season with Tom Brady set to serve a four-game suspension to start the season. Receiver Danny Amendola was recently asked what backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo, who has never started a game, brings to the offense: “He’s a great player,” Amendola said. “He’s been in the system a couple of years now and he’s learned a lot. He’s picked up everything that Tom has taught him and then also what Coach [Bill] Belichick has to offer him. So we’re all excited to see where he goes and see what the future holds for him.”
Pittsburgh Steelers (-120 in AFC North)
The big question for Pittsburgh, which already has lost No. 2 receiver Martavis Bryant to a season-long suspension, is the health of Pro Bowl running back Le’Veon Bell, whose season ended early last year due to MCL and PCL knee injuries. Bell wants to able to “cut and run freely” before reporting to camp. Bell wants to be a full participant from the get-go in camp, but the Steelers are expected to exercise early caution. Bell is unlikely to play before Week 3 of the preseason. One interesting note about the Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger said he wants the Steelers to go for two-point conversions after every touchdown this season. I don’t think Coach Mike Tomlin will be on board with that, however.
Indianapolis Colts (+160 to win AFC South)
Indy was a heavy favorite to win the South again last year, but star QB Andrew Luck was limited to seven games due to injury and the Colts finished second to Houston and missed the playoffs for the first time since Luck arrived in the NFL. Despite missing nine games in 2015, Luck still ranks fourth in NFL history with 101 passing touchdowns through his first four seasons, trailing only Dan Marino, Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson. As long as he’s healthy, Indy will contend for the South. All signs have pointed to Luck setting a new record for quarterback contracts, but it should be noted that each of the league’s five highest-paid QBs currently have won at least one Super Bowl. Luck hasn’t been there yet.
Kansas City Chiefs (+185 on NFL lines in AFC West)
Two major injury concerns for Kansas City as camp approaches. Coach Andy Reid said running back Jamaal Charles (torn ACL) might not be cleared for training camp. “We’ll have to see with Jamaal,” said Reid. “You don’t want to take any steps back.” Charles did some individual work at OTAs but should be OK to go for Week 1 of the season. But linebacker and 2014 NFL sack king Justin Houston (knee) will open training camp on the active/PUP list. Houston is four months into his 6-12 month timetable. He could miss all of camp and is doubtful for Week 1. Houston is a candidate to open the season on reserve/PUP, costing him the first six games.