The AFC has been the dominant conference in the NFL for years with the New England Patriots running the show. But with Tom Brady now playing in the NFC, confidence is not high in the Patriots continuing their dominant ways—a dominance that began with controlling their division, the AFC East.
Controlling the division is not necessarily imperative to a Super Bowl run. But a sweep of those three opponents can give a team a good base for a playoff run. The Patriots didn’t sweep the AFC East the last four seasons but did go 5-1.
Coincidentally, three of the last four seasons ended with them in the Super Bowl. So, who in the AFC could sweep their division this season? BetMGM.com has posted odds for each team:
- New England Patriots +1600
- Buffalo Bills +1200
- New York Jets +10000
- Miami Dolphins +15000
- Baltimore Ravens +450
- Pittsburgh Steelers +2500
- Cleveland Browns +5000
- Cincinnati Bengals +100000
- Houston Texans +3000
- Tennessee Titans +1400
- Indianapolis Colts +1200
- Jacksonville Jaguars +100000
- Kansas City Chiefs +240
- Denver Broncos +20000
- Las Vegas Raiders +25000
- Los Angeles Chargers +10000
Some of these teams can easily be eliminated from consideration. While the payout for betting on the Jaguars would be a dream come true, expectations in Jacksonville are extremely low this season. The same could be said for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Hopes are high for the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins. But while they will probably be better than they were last season, it is hard to see either of them sweeping the AFC East. It is probably safe to go ahead and overlook the Broncos, Raiders, and Chargers, too. They are not going to beat the Chiefs.
The AFC South teams are going to be hard-pressed to get it done as well. Competitively speaking, no one stands out as the dominant team. Despite their dreadful offseason, the Texans will be tough to beat this season. If the Titans can pick up where they left off, they will be tough to beat as well. The addition of Philip Rivers to the offense in Indianapolis has many believing in the Colts this season.
That leaves the Patriots, Bills, Ravens, Steelers, Browns, and Chiefs.
In the AFC North, the best bet is not hard to figure out—the Baltimore Ravens. They went 5-1 in division play last year, losing an early-season contest to the Browns. But with how the rest of the season went, it is not hard to envision them getting it done this season.
As for the Steelers and Browns, they are going to be better than they were last season. To beat the Ravens, though, they are going to need Lamar Jackson to have a bad day.
So—who should you bet on?
The Chiefs, the only AFC team to sweep their division last season, are a safe bet to do it again this season. Baltimore would not be a bad bet, either. But if you are looking for a longshot, consider the Patriots or Bills.
Both have excellent defenses and have the luxury of playing in a weak division. However, with the question marks surrounding their offenses, there is a good chance neither does it.