Odds and Predictions
The Broncos have won the last three AFC West titles and it’s hard to see how that streak will stop unless Peyton Manning gets hurt. Even though the Chiefs had a great season with 11 wins, it still wasn’t enough to top Denver’s 13 wins. The same can be said about the Chargers that had a solid nine wins. since the Broncos aren’t expected to regress, they are huge favorites.
Odds to win AFC West
courtesy of 5dimes
Denver Broncos -360 (field wins +300)
San Diego Chargers +550
Kansas City Chiefs +625
Oakland Raiders +3200
The Denver Broncos were close to unstoppable on the offensive end last year, scoring a ridiculous 606 points for the season. While it didn’t end in a Super Bowl win, you can’t deny what this offense can do. The only real changes are that Knowshon Moreno and Eric Decker are both gone. Montee Ball is expected to be a feature back and they picked up the viable Emmanuel Sanders for Decker’s spot. Needless to say, as long as Manning is running this offense, they aren’t going to let up. The defense could also become a force with the additions of DeMarcus Ware opposite of Von Miller, to go along with Aqib Talib and T.J. Ward set to take starting spots in the secondary. If the defense can stay healthy, it’s seeming close to impossible for the other teams to win the AFC West. The odds at -360 are high for a reason.
The next best odds are for the San Diego Chargers, which is a bit surprising considering they finished two wins behind the Chiefs last year. They didn’t do much in the offseason, and still have mostly the same offense intact. Philip Rivers will have Keenan Allen and Antonio GAtes to work with, although LAdarius Green could see more targets. They also added Donald Brown in the backfield, making it a trio of backs that will all see touches. The Chargers have a good defense, but it’s not overwhelming. They added guys like rookie CB Jason Verrett and veteran CB Brandon Flowers, but this is still a group that needs work. Even with the second-best odds, there’s no reason to think this group can win the division.
The Kansas City Chiefs are getting no respect after last year, mainly because everyone thinks they outperformed themselves. Jamaal Charles is expected to regress (number wise) and no one thinks Alex Smith is a Game changer. Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery are still Smith’s top two targets yet both are on the downside of their careers. There’s no doubt they have a great defense, but it’s unlikely they’ll improve on last year’s run, especially after losing to the Colts in the playoffs, giving up 45 points.
The Oakland Raiders picked up Matt SChaub and Maurice Jones-Drew in the offseason, but to think that they will make this team a contender would be a mistake. SChaub doesn’t have Andre Johnson to throw the ball up to which is a problem for him. The defense is good and added some new faces in LAMarr Woodley, Justin Tuck and Khalil MACk, but how much can they improve in one season?
The Broncos are set to win their Fourth straight AFC West title and there’s no stopping them. Reaching 13 wins is oNCe again a possibility for this team with Manning.