The one constant for most of the last two decades has been the New England Patriots winning the AFC East. Behind the dynamic duo of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, the story in the AFC East has been the Patriots and everyone else.
But that will not be the case in 2020.
With Bill Belichick calling the shots and Tom Brady pulling the trigger, the Patriots have won the AFC East for the last 11 seasons and in 17 of the last 19. However, in 2020 the team is not going to look the same, which can only mean one thing.
The odds of the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, and Miami Dolphins are now a whole lot better. While New England may still be favored to win the AFC East for a 12th consecutive season, the Patriots are far from a lock (odds according to DraftKings):
- New England Patriots +100
- Buffalo Bills +160
- New York Jets +750
- Miami Dolphins +900
So—who’s going to win the division?
One thing is for sure— the odds on the Patriots winning the division are bound to go up until they secure a proven quarterback (if they do). So, if you want to bet on them, you are better off waiting since longer odds will mean a larger payout.
Who knows, maybe Jarrett Stidham is the next Tom Brady, and Belichick proves he is a genius once again. However, it is worth keeping in mind that along with Brady, the team is losing three key defenders, Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, and Danny Shelton.
The name of the game in Buffalo last season was defense (No. 2 in scoring with 16.2 points/allowed per game). But they struggled to put points on the board (No. 23 in scoring with 19.6 points/game). While the addition of Stefon Diggs should help give the offense a boost, the defense lost a couple of guys.
But then it also gained a few. So, while we’ll have to wait to see how well either side of the ball plays, on paper, they both look better.
As for the Jets, their outlook will depend on Le’Veon Bell earning his paycheck and Sam Darnold continuing to grow. To that end, the team has bolstered the offensive line in free agency. So, there is a reason for optimism, but enough to bet on them to win the division?
Then there’s the Miami Dolphins. Ryan Fitzpatrick, the guy who led them in passing yards and rushing yards last season, is going to be back behind center. The idea of betting on them sounds ludicrous. However, the run game is going to be better with the addition of Jordan Howard, they have added a ton of talent on the defensive side of the ball, and have three first-round draft picks.
Miami is going to be vastly improved in 2020. So much so that they could be the worst to first team? Maybe.
So—who should you bet on?
The Buffalo Bills would be the smart pick, but as crazy as it sounds, there is value in the Miami Dolphins. If the odds get any shorter, it will not be worth skipping a few lattes so you can put a few bucks on them. But at +900 with all the question marks on the other three teams, it would not be crazy to put a little on Miami.