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Patriots Favored to Win AFC East
But More Value With Bills or Jets
Betting on the Patriots to win the AFC East can only be classified as insane. Not because we don't think they can. The Patriots are solid on both sides of the ball and have one of the best QB's in history at the helm. But at odds of -600, or laying 6/1, you simply have to look elsewhere or not bet at all. It's simply not a smart bet at those odds. The Bills or the Jets present much more value as you're getting +800 or 8/1 odds.
With that in mind let's take a look at the AFC East for the 2009-2010 NFL season complete with current odds to win the AFC East as well as a team by team analysis.
New England Patriots (Odds
to win AFC East -600) You know your fans expect big things when they are
disappointed about an 11-5 season. Although they didnít make the playoffs last
year, the Pats put together a good year behind Matt Cassel who played for the
injured Tom Brady. Bellichick will be all smiles when he views his Golden Boy
under center once again this year. He could provide the catalyst that brings
them back to the dominance they saw in 2007. The addition of seasoned veteran
Joey Galloway at WR will make things easier on Brady. Randy Moss has Olympic
type speed and will be as good as ever. Although 2008 provided a hiccup, the
Patriots should be back on top this year.
The Patriots will have defense on lockdown. The defensive line has stars like Richard Seymour and Jarvis Green. The linebacker corps is still strong despite the loss of Mike Vrabel. The secondary was a weakness in 2008 but looks to be improved this year. This team ranked 8th in the NFL last year in points allowed. They figure to be in the top 5 in 2009. Tom Brady is one of the best QBs in the history of the NFL and he will lead this team to at least 12 wins. The Patriots are back.
Miami Dolphins (Odds to win AFC East +800) After taking down the AFC East with a magical run in 2008, the Dolphins will be up against it. Their 11-5 record in 2008 was a massive improvement from the 1-15 record they had put together just one year ago. Chad Pennington will lead the team for the second and final time. He was the NFLís Comeback Player of the Year after throwing for 3,653 yards and completing 67.3% of his throws last year. Michigan alum Chad Henne is being groomed to take over in 2010.
The Dolphins strength lies in their Wildcat offense, which was adopted in a week 3 win over the Patriots last year. They will have to prove it can be effective against better teams this season, as they have one of the toughest schedules in the NFL. Miamiís biggest weakness is their defensive line. NT Jason Ferguson is an excellent player, but things could get rough if he were to get hurt. Ferguson is surrounded by young players on the line. It wonít be easy to repeat as the AFC East champs, but nothing is out of the range of possibility for a talented Miami Dolphins team.
Buffalo Bills (Odds to win AFC East +800) Mediocrity has been the best the Bills could muster in recent years. After finishing 7-9 during the 2008 season, Buffalo has largely revamped their team. Terrell Owens has been added at WR. He has largely been a misfit during his NFL tenure, but this time could be different. They signed Dominic Rhodes. He will make a reliable backup runner. Three new starters have been added to an offensive line that was weak last year. The Bills also picked up a nice pass rushing DE with their first round draft pick. Does this guarantee success? Certainly not, but it could in the future.
QB Trent Edwards looks primed for a career best season. The talented Stanford graduate will have several great targets including WRs Lee Evans, Terrell Owens, and Roscoe Parrish. The defense looks strong on the whole. The linebacker should be particularly good thanks to Paul Posluszny and Kawika Mitchell. The secondary could use work, but altogether they should be more than capable of getting the job done. While 2009 may not be the year, the Buffalo Bills are taking the steps needed to become the AFC East champion in the future.
New York Jets (Odds to win AFC East +800) There is truly a new sheriff in town. After showing his genius in Baltimore as a defensive coordinator, Rex Ryan takes over as the Jets head coach. He inherits a team that missed the playoffs last year but finished 9-7. USC prodigy Mark Sanchez will see instant action in his rookie year at QB. He wonít have the type of talent he was passing to at USC. WRs Jerricho Cotchery is good, but everyone else is unproven. TE Dustin Keller will provide some relief, but could grow battle weary without a competent backup.
The defense looks very solid and should benefit from the blitz happy schemes that Rex Ryan will undoubtedly implement. The Jets have a great defensive line and linebacker corps, and as a result they were 7th in the NFL in sacks last year. They also ranked 7th in the NFL against the rush. The secondary will improve. The potential is certainly there, but I donít expect Rex Ryan and company to truly make noise until 2010 or 2011 at the latest.