After claiming their fourth consecutive AFC West division title last season and topping that off by winning Super Bowl 54, the Kansas City Chiefs are clear-cut favorites to win their fifth straight division title in 2020. However, it’s always possible that Kansas City could suffer a Super Bowl hangover and that they could potentially be beat out for their division crown along the way. Following free agency and the recently completed NFL draft, let’s find out what lies in store for the Chiefs and their division rivals and which teams are offering the best value against their AFC West division winning odds.
NFL AFC West Divisional Odds After Draft
Kansas City Chiefs
- Odds To Win AFC West: -425
The Chiefs went 12-4 during the 2019 regular season before going on to win Super Bowl 54. With that said, the Chiefs are back, almost completely intact, though they’ve made a few decent moves this offseason. In addition to their modest free agent signing, head coach Andy Reid stunned almost everyone by selecting LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire with the final pick in the first round of the NFL draft when it was almost universally expected he’d take Georgia running back D’Andre Swift with the pick. Kansas City also selected TCU tackle Lucas Niang in the third round. Defense is where the Chiefs made most of their offseason moves.
Kansas City put their franchise tag on star defensive end Chris Jones while signing veteran cornerbacks Antonio Hamilton and Bashaud Breeland in free agency. The Chiefs then selected Mississippi State linebacker Willie Gay Jr. in the second round, Louisiana Tech defensive back L’Jarius Sneed in the fourth round, Michigan defensive end Mike Danna in the fifth round and Tulane cornerback Thakarius Keyes in the seventh round. Even if the Chiefs never made a single move to improve their roster this offseason, they’d still be the prohibitive favorite in the AFC in 2020, based mostly on the fact that they have arguably the best quarterback in the game today in Patrick Mahomes.
- Odds To Win AFC West: +1000
The Broncos went 7-9 in their first year under head coach Vic Fangio and they look poised to take a step forward in 20202. To improve an offense that finished a discouraging 28th in scoring by putting up just 17.6 points per contest,
Denver signed veteran running back Melvin Gordon in free agency while adding gifted Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy with the 15th overall pick in the draft and Penn State wideout K.J. Hamler in the second round. The Broncos were solid on defense in 2019 in finishing 10th in points allowed (19.8 ppg), Denver’s success in 2020 will hinge largely on the play of second-year quarterback Drew Lock after he led the Broncos to a 4-1 mark over their final five games.
Los Angeles Chargers
- Odds To Win AFC West: +800
The Chargers took a huge step backwards from their 12-4 mark in 2018 to record just five wins in 2019. More importantly, they’ll have a new quarterback under center for the first time in ages after parting ways with longtime franchise signal-caller Philip Rivers. Now, the Bolts are likely to turn to veteran Tyrod Taylor to start the season although they picked former Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert with the sixth overall pick in the draft. Los Angeles also added another immediate starter in former Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray with the 23r overall, pick in the draft and they added former perennial Pro Bowl cornerback Chris Harris in free agency while putting their franchise tag of tight end Hunter Henry. In a season of change, the Chargers look like a team that will be good, but definitely not great as they wait on Herbert to take the reins at some point in the near future.
Las Vegas Raiders
- Odds To Win AFC West: +1000
The Raiders went 7-9 last season in Year 2 of the Jon Gruden era, but they had a solid free agency and draft and that should help them improve an offense that finished 24th in scoring (19.6 ppg) last season. Las Vegas signed veteran wide receiver Nelson Agholor, tight end Jason Witten and quarterback Marcus Mariota in free agency while drafting lightning fast Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs II with the 12th overall pick and fellow wide receivers Lynn Bowden Jr. (Kentucky) and Bryan Edwards on consecutive picks in the third round.
Las Vegas finished he 2019 campaign ranked an uninspiring 24th in points allowed (26.2 ppg). To improve their generous defense, the Raiders signed veteran safety Damarious Randall, defensive end Carl Nassib, safety Jeff Heath, defensive tackle Maliek Collins and linebackers Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski in free agency. Las Vegas also drafted Ohio State cornerback Damon Arnette with the 19th overall while also selecting Clemson linebacker Tanner Muse in the third round and Louisiana Tech cornerback Amik Robertson in the fourth round.
2020 Division Analysis
There’s not a whole lot of sense in beating around the bush with my pick on this division winner, seeing as how Kansas City is years ahead of their division rivals. Denver and the LA Chargers look like they’ll approach .500 at best, leaving only Las Vegas to really “challenge” Kansas City for division supremacy. While I like many of the Raiders moves this offseason, I think they blew it by passing on CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy in favor of Henry Ruggs III. There are also question marks at quarterback and whether Derek Carr will remain the starter or be supplanted by Marcus Mariota. The bottom line for me when it comes to the AFC West is that, as long as Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid are joined at the hip, you can expect Kansas City, to not only contend for the AFC West division crown every year, but Super Bowl titles!
Pick: Kansas City Chiefs