Can anyone in the AFC East stop the Patriots in 2017?
When it comes to winning the AFC East division title, it’s the New England Patriots – and then it’s everyone else!
Not only did the Patriots win Super Bowl 51 in historic comeback fashion to claim their fifth championship in the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick era, but they did so after watching their future Hall of Fame quarterback miss the first four games of the regular season due to his alleged role in the now, long-gone, Deflategate saga.
Making matters worse for their division rivals is the fact that the Pats recorded a league-high 14 victories in 2016 and basically never broke a sweat in beating the hell out of their division rivals – and almost everyone else last season. If you’re looking to find out which team is offering the best value as far as bagging the AFC East division title in 2017, then let’s get started, although, I’ve got to admit, it’s a no-brainer of a pick.
What Are The 2017 Odds To Win The AFC East?
New England Patriots -840
Maybe it’s me, but I find it a bit sickening that the Patriots (14-2 SU, 13-3 ATS) have won eight straight AFC East division titles and 13 of the last 14 overall. Making matters worse for their division rivals heading into 2017 is the fact that the Pats actually improved their roster in the offseason by adding a new No. 1 wide receiver in former New Orleans Saints star Brandin Cooks and a new starting running back in Mike Gilislee, among other additions.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 26, 2017
New England went 5-1 against their division rivals last season with their only loss coming in Week 4 against the Buffalo Bills in a 16-0 aberration. Now heading into 2017, the Pats are favored to win Super Bowl 52 – and the AFC East – and there really isn’t much of an argument to say they won’t accomplish both goals.
New England ranked fourth in total offense last season, fourth in passing, seventh in rushing and a stellar third in scoring (27.6 ppg). However, that’s not the worst part of New England’s success last season if you ask me. No, it’s the fact that the Patriots, despite not having any ‘big name’ players on defense, the Patriots managed to lead the league in fewest points allowed last season (15.6 ppg). Believe it or not, even at a staggering -840, the Patriots are offering stunning value.
Miami Dolphins +900
I’m just about sick and tired of the Miami Dolphins and this, from a guy that has been a die-hard fan ever since they last won the Super Bowl way back in 1972. Sure, I was quite impressed with Miami’s 10-6 campaign in Adam Gase’s first season a year ago, but right now, I’m completely and utterly disgusted that the Fins chose to go out and sign cry-baby quitter Jay Cutler to a one-year contract after starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill was lost for the year just before the start of the preseason.
Miami finished an uninspiring 24th in total offense and 17th in scoring (22.7 ppg) and I just don’t see Cutler making those numbers any better in 2017, although I will admit that Miami is lucky to have found out they have a legitimate star in running back Jay Ajayi (1,272 yards).
Miami needs to improve a defense that ranked 18th in points allowed and actually gave up more points than their offense scored last season. The Fins brought in defensive end Williams Hayes, safety T.J. McDonald and veteran linebacker Lawrence Timmons while using their first round draft pick on Missouri defensive end Charles Harris but have already lost their second round pick, linebacker
Raekwon McMillian to a season-ending injury.
Buffalo Bills +1600
The Bills (7-9 SU, 6-10 ATS) may have been the only AFC East team to record a win against the Patriots last season, but they’ll have a completely different look in 2017 after firing head coach Rex Ryan and hiring former Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott to lead them in a new direction. Unfortunately, Buffalo has clearly already given up on the 2017 season and are building for the future as they stunned everyone just over a week ago by trading No. 1 wide receiver Sammy Watkins and their top cornerback in veteran Ronald Darby. The Bills drafted cornerback Tre’Davious White with the 27th overall pick in the first round and quarterback Nathan Peterman in the fifth round, but this is a franchise that is clearly preparing for the day that Tom Brady retires – if that ever happens.
New York Jets +2000
The New York Jets went 5-11 SU and 6-10 ATS last season and have all sorts of problems, mostly at quarterback as they get set for the upcoming 2017 campaign. The Jets ranked a discouraging 28th in points allowed (25.6 ppg) last season and an awful 30th in scoring (17.2 ppg), which is why head coach Todd Bowles is the favorite to be the first head coach fired this coming season.
New York parted ways with interception-tossing veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and are praying right now that Christian Hackenberg can beat out both, veteran Josh McCown and former Baylor star Bryce Petty. New York drafted hard-hitting safety Jamal Adams with the sixth overall pick and another safety in Marcus Maye with the 39th overall pick, but again, this is a team that isn’t ready to challenge for much of anything right now. The Jets are pretty dysfunction in their front office, starting with Donald Trump-loving owner Woody Johnson and that alone should tell you all you need to know about New York’s state of mind heading into 2017.
The AFC East Winner Pick
Seriously? There is no other pick to win the AFC East besides the New England Patriots. I wouldn’t think twice about dropping the -840 that it will take to cash in on the Pats winning the AFC East again in 2017.