NFL Betting – AFC West Odds and Preview 2020

Written by:
Phil Simon
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With every other team in the division starting over – either with personnel or in a new home or both – the AFC West is there for the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs to claim for a fifth straight season. You’ll have to pay dearly, but is there another team capable of knocking them off? To make things worse for the rest of the division the Chiefs brought the gang back for another go at a championship. Denver has some pieces in place but leaning on a young quarterback might not be the answer. The burning question is how many times the Raiders will be referred to as Oakland. The new digs in the desert are overshadowing a decent team that Jon Gruden put together.

Odds to Win 2020 AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs -515
Los Angeles Chargers +945
Denver Broncos +980
Las Vegas Raiders +1250

AFC West Preview

Two teams have had their way in the division over the last decade. Most recently it’s been the Chiefs with four straight titles and prior to that the Denver Broncos won five in a row. The Chargers haven’t won a division crown since 2009 and the Raiders are working on a two decade streak without a title. And considering the circumstances, the Chiefs are a prohibitive favorite to win the AFC West again.

Not only are the Chiefs the defending Super Bowl champs, they return 20 of 22 starters. With Patrick Mahomes running the show they’ve exhibited one of the best offenses in the NFL. Mahomes won the league MVP for the 2018 season and was stellar last year despite missing two full games and parts of another with a knee injury. Still, Mahomes threw for over 4,000 yards with 26 touchdowns and only five interceptions.

Scoring will not be an issue for the Chiefs. They averaged the fifth-most points in the league last season behind an aerial attack that produced 281.1 yards per game. Mahomes will have targets at his ready with playmaking Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce hounding opposing defenses. The trio combined for 207 catches and 15 touchdowns. And to strengthen last year’s 23rd ranked running game the Chiefs drafted LSU all-purpose back Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

The defense wasn’t spectacular but the group came up big when it had to. The Chiefs allowed chunks of yardage all season but stiffened in the red zone. They surrendered nearly 350 yards per game but ranked seventh in points against with 19.3 per game. KC has some spots that need to be addressed, especially on defense, but they are easily the class of the division. The only problem facing them is complacency after winning the first Super Bowl title in a half century.

The other teams are closely bunched as far as odds go. The Chargers are currently the second favorite with a lofty payout. They went the last decade without a first place finish even though they had one of the best quarterbacks in Philip Rivers. It looks like age finally caught up with him. Rivers had a decent season statistically, but the Bolts were horrendous in close games going 2-9 in encounters decided by seven points or less. It led to a 5-win campaign and the end of an era.

Whoever starts will not have the pedigree of Rivers. Tyrod Taylor is the veteran on the roster and the club drafted Justin Herbert. Those two will battle for the starting job at the beginning of the season with Herbert the eventual long-term solution. The team also moved on from Melvin Gordon, though a number of playmakers are still around. Creating turnovers should be a point of emphasis after the Bolts forced a league-low 14. Their minus-17 turnover margin was also the worst.

If Drew Lock can build off his late season audition the Broncos are a sleeper and worth dropping a few bucks on. Taking over late in the year, Lock led the Broncos to four wins in their last five games with their two highest scoring outings in that stretch. Still, only four teams scored fewer points so the club went all in drafting Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler to build a more efficient passing game.

For the second time in their existence the Raiders stiffed the faithful in Oakland for the money grab in another city. The Raiders made a lot of moves this offseason, none bigger than heading to Las Vegas. Several players were brought in to shore up a weak defense, but Derek Carr is the key to any success the Raiders might have. A high amount of player turnover in a tumultuous offseason leaves the Raiders with a big hill to climb.

2020 AFC West Pick

There is no value with the Chiefs having such steep odds. And while it might be tempting to throw a few bucks on another team, which one? The other clubs made moves, but not enough to scare KC. The defending champs have the personnel and coaching to make another run. Dropping some coin on a conference title or Super Bowl is a better strategy.

Access live betting lines from your mobile device at BookMaker sportsbook! Real-time spreads, totals, props and money line are all available so start betting with BookMaker today.

- Phil Simon,

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