Mark’s AFC Guide
It is now the AFC’s turn for me to incorrectly predict wins way too early for the upcoming season.
Cleveland Browns – Odds to Win Super Bowl: 14/1, Odds to Win AFC Championship: 13/2, Over/Under Wins: 9
Cleveland has made a significant overhaul to their roster over the offseason. They added strong defensive pieces in Olivier Vernon, Sheldon Richardson, and Morgan Burnett. On the offensive side, they have an established quarterback in Baker Mayfield and added superstar quality players in Odell Beckham Jr. and Kareem Hunt. I am fully on the Cleveland hype train, especially since they took all of the players from the Giants. They will win this division and over nine wins.
Baltimore Ravens – Odds to Win Super Bowl: 40/1, Odds to Win AFC Championship: 13/1, Over/Under Wins: 8
The team got a little bit better with additions of Earl Thomas and Mark Ingram, two solid veterans that can still play at a high level at their respective positions. However, they lost key role pieces in C.J. Mosley, Eric Weddle, Terrell Suggs, and John Brown. I think Lamar Jackson can keep the team together for them to get at least 8 wins. Over 8 wins or push.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Odds to Win Super Bowl: 25/1, Odds to Win AFC Championship: 13/1, Over/Under Wins: 8.5
Pittsburgh took big losses when Antonio Brown was traded too Oakland and Le’Veon Bell signed with the Jets in the offseason. Big Ben is also 37 years old and his age isn’t going to help the team get any better. Although they brought in key players like Donte Moncrief, they are not enough to make this team competitive. Good luck to JuJu and everyone else on that team, it won’t be pretty this year. Under 8.5 wins.
Cincinnati Bengals – Odds to Win Super Bowl: 150/1, Odds to Win AFC Championship: 60/1, Over/Under Wins: 6
Free A.J. Green, please. I don’t care if he loves being a Bengal, he doesn’t deserve Andy Dalton and a front office that doesn’t really attempt to add talent to the roster. Under 6 wins.
Indianapolis Colts – Odds to Win Super Bowl: 15/1, Odds to Win AFC Championship: 15/2, Over/Under Wins: 9.5
Andrew Luck is going into the new season after playing a full healthy season for the first time in what feels like forever. Last year, they performed at a high level and the offseason acquisitions of Justin Houston and Devin Funchess should build on that success. The Colts are going to be competitive this year as long as the team can stay healthy. Over 9.5 wins.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Odds to Win Super Bowl: 40/1, Odds to Win AFC Championship: 22/1, Over/Under Wins: 8
The team has finally gotten rid of Blake Bortles and Nick Foles has swooped in to claim the starting quarterback position. He is clearly a better option than Bortles and I hope his time in Philly wasn’t a fluke. Offseason acquisitions of key role players such as Chris Conley and Geoff Swaim combined with a stalwart defense makes Jacksonville a serious Super Bowl contender for the upcoming season. Over 8 wins.
Houston Texans – Odds to Win Super Bowl: 40/1, Odds to Win AFC Championship: 15/1, Over/Under Wins: 8.5
Houston declined to make any serious moves this offseason. They let Tyrann Mathieu walk and did not boost their offensive line even though desperately need to. This team needed to make some changes but they did not do what was necessary in order to compete for a ring this year. Maybe DeAndre Hopkins is that good and he can just carry them by never dropping another pass again. Under 8.5 wins.
Tennessee Titans – Odds to Win Super Bowl: 70/1, Odds to Win AFC Championship: 35/1, Over/Under Wins: 8.5
Tennessee signed former L.A. Ram Rodger Saffold in order to strengthen the offensive line and protect quarterback Marcus Mariota. The team also addressed problems in their receiving corps by signing wide receiver Adam Humphries in free agency. Ryan Tannehill was brought in as a backup for only $2 million in case Mariota gets injured again. I am not sure what version of this team we are going to see this year but with the rest of the division being strong, I do not think they’ll hold their ground. Under 8.5 wins.
New England Patriots – Odds to Win Super Bowl: 6/1, Odds to Win AFC Championship: 7/2, Over/Under: 11 Wins
With the Patriots, they really did not need to make any big moves. Instead, they resigned key players like Phillip Dorsett and Jason McCourty. They also made a trade for Michael Bennett, adding a significant big body in the trenches. This team won the Super Bowl and as long as they have Belichick, they are going to compete and be serious Super Bowl . contenders. Over or push at 11 wins.
New York Jets – Odds to Win Super Bowl: 60/1, Odds to Win AFC Championship: 30/1, Over/Under Wins: 7
The Jets had a very productive offseason. They won the Le’Veon Bell sweepstakes and also brought in a great linebacker in C.J. Mosley. Sam Darnold also gets a new weapon in Jamison Crowder at the slot receiver position. The Jets made all the right moves and I think that this offseason propels them to make a serious playoff run. Over 7 wins.
Buffalo Bills – Odds to Win Super Bowl: 125/1, Odds to Win AFC Championship: 60/1, Over/Under Wins: 6.5
The team gave Josh Allen some new targets for the season in Cole Beasley and John Brown, and also gave Allen some protection in several offensive linemen. Aging veteran Frank Gore is also on the team. Still, this team is not ready to compete yet. Under 6.5 wins.
Miami Dolphins – Odds to Win Super Bowl: 200/1, Odds to Win AFC Championship: 100/1, Over/Under Wins: 5
This team is shooting for a complete rebuild and they are tearing everything down in the process. The Fins knew they were not going to compete with the roster they had, so it was time to start over. They have eleven picks in next year’s draft and have just traded for Josh Rosen as their franchise quarterback for the future. The Dolphins are going to be low on the power rankings each week this season, but it looks like they have a plan to turn it around eventually. Good luck to Miami sports fans, it’s going to be rough. Under 5 wins.
Kansas City Chiefs – Odds to Win Super Bowl: 10/1, Odds to Win AFC Championship: 9/2, Over/Under Wins: 10.5
This team was able to turn Dee Ford into Frank Clark on the defensive end, which seemed like a win of a haul. They also pulled in Tyrann Mathieu for to strengthen the defense, which was the Chief’s main concern from last year’s team. As long as the Chief’s young core can continue to produce, I see this team performing up to their expectations this season. Over 10.5 wins.
Los Angeles Chargers – Odds to Win Super Bowl: 19/1, Odds to Win AFC Championship: 17/2, Over/Under Wins: 9.5
The Chargers did not do too much to change their roster this offseason. They added Thomas Davis and a few pieces through drafting. They kept most of their free agents as well, with only Tyrell Williams and Jason Verrett leaving the team. This team won 12 games last year, so the question is if they can keep that up. I think a repeating record is unachievable for this roster, especially with Melvin Gordon having his gripes with the organization recently. Over 9.5 wins.
Oakland Raiders – Odds to Win Super Bowl: 80/1, Odds to Win AFC Championship: 35/1, Over/Under Wins: 6.5
“Hard Knocks” with this team will be very entertaining during the summer. The acquisitions of Antonio Brown, Vontaze Burfict, and Richie Incognito are pretty puzzling to me because I can only imagine those personalities clashing immensely on and off the field. They also brought in Lamarcus Joyner and Trent Brown to fill some holes. On paper, this team has a lot of individual talent, but I do not see them all working together on the field. Maybe 7 wins is attainable depending on how the team plays together, but I believe they can muster it up. Over 6.5 wins.
Denver Broncos – Odds to Win Super Bowl: 60/1, Odds to Win AFC Championship: 25/1, Over/Under Wins: 7
This team needed a quarterback, and they got two of them in Joe Flacco and Drew Lock. Flacco is not amazing, but anything is a step up from the quarterback carousel this team has had since Peyton Manning retired. Drew Lock is also a nice prospect that could show to have some real talent. The team brought in other pieces like Kareem Jackson and Ju’Wuan James, but I think they lost more than they gained. They could have the same record as last season or worse. Under 7 wins.
Bets I Like:
Indianapolis Colts: Win Super Bowl 15/2
Cleveland Browns: Win AFC Championship 13/2
Tennessee Titans: Under 8.5 wins
New York Jets: Over 7 wins