The Kansas City Chiefs have been the kings of the AFC West for the past seven years, mostly due to the stability of Head Coach Andy Reid, and now Superstar Quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The Market once again makes them the chalk favorites against everyone in the division, but does anyone have a realistic chance of knocking them off their perch? Let’s explore and see how everyone is priced in the market.
Best Available Division Prices in Market
Denver Broncos +600 (BetRivers)
Kansas City Chiefs
The Bull Case – Patrick Mahomes. No Seriously, we could sum this up in two words, but for the sake of this article let’s break it down. So long as they always have a healthy Patrick Mahomes winning the division is the expectation. He’s that good. But outside of that, the defense should take a step forward. They’ve used a lot of draft capital the past few years on the defense (12 of the 17 Draft Picks the last 2 years have been on the defensive side of the ball). And they were much better defensively in the 2nd half of last year.
The Bear Case – New Offensive Coordinator to go with two new offensive Tackles and the loss of two starting Wide Receivers in JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman. That and Travis Kelce is getting up there in age, so there may be concerns of slowing down/injury. An insanely difficult schedule this year (3rd hardest according to opponents forecasted win totals)
The Bull Case – New offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore could unlock and take Quarterback Justin Herbert to the next level. They added a new weapon in the first round of the draft in Wide Receiver Quentin Johnston. They were hit hard with injuries to key players last year (LT Rashawn Slater, WR Keenan Allen, WR Mike Williams, CB J.C. Jackson, EDGE Joey Bosa). Despite all those injuries they still finished with 10 wins.
The Bear Case – A lot of their players are getting older, and you hope it doesn’t grind on them later in the year. Their secondary is a gigantic question mark and I’m not sure how they hold up against the elite passing attacks in the AFC. They’re in a division with Patrick Mahomes.
The Bull Case – New Head Coach Sean Payton has found success everywhere he’s gone. It’s also a gigantic improvement from last year’s abysmal coaching performance of Nathaniel Hackett. They had a really good off-season, filling in a lot of positions of need. This is one of the more well balanced rosters in the NFL. They were hit hard with a lot of injuries last year.
The Bear Case – How much does Russell Wilson have left in the tank? If he’s anywhere close to as bad as last year, this team will not win the division. The defense may regress from the top five level they were playing at last year due to an inconsistent Pass-Rush. They’re in a division with Patrick Mahomes.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Bull Case – It’s very hard to make the case for the Raiders but here goes. They were better than their record indicated last year. They blew three 17 point leads and lost every game. That is statistically improbable. They also went 4-8 in one-score games last year with several tough luck losses. If both those metrics improve, and the addition of some of the pieces on the Roster maybe the Raiders will be better than last year. Head Coach Josh McDaniels could be better in his 2nd year.
The Bear Case – They have a new Quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo with health concerns. They seem to have an unhappy Davante Adams, who’s off-season comments have stirred the pot. They didn’t do much to improve their offensive line in the off-season. And the defense has gigantic concerns everywhere except for Edge Rusher. They have the 4th most difficult schedule according to opponents forecasted win totals. Oh yeah, and they’re also in a division with Patrick Mahomes.
Power Ratings and Projected Win Totals
Kansas City Chiefs – 1st in my Power Ratings. 11.89 Projected Wins
L.A. Chargers – 10th in my Power Ratings. 9.24 Projected Wins
Denver Broncos – 18th in my Power Ratings. 8.26 Projected Wins
Las Vegas Raiders – 23rd in my Power Ratings 6.99 Projected Wins
I have the Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders clearly as the best and worst teams in the division, but feel there’s a lot more uncertainty between the Chargers and Broncos.
Bets I’m Making for AFC West Division
Denver Broncos 2nd in the Division +270 – Can be Found at DraftKings
Las Vegas Raiders Under 2.5 Division Wins -125 – Can be Found at DraftKings
Bets I’m Making for Win Totals
Nothing on the Board that I like
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