Odds To Win AFC WestJosh Bailey
The Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs are expected to duke it out for the AFC West division title in 2017 after finishing with an identical 12 victories last season, but they may not be alone in their quest for division supremacy this coming season. If you’re looking to find out which Super Bowl hopeful in the loaded AFC West is offering the best value as far as winning the division this upcoming season, then you’ve come to the right place!
What Are The 2017 Odds To Win The AFC West?
Oakland Raiders +180
The Raiders (12-4 SU, 10-6 ATS) are now the prohibitive favorites to win the AFC West in 2017 after being co-favorites with Kansas City virtually the entire offseason, but I’m not sure they improved their defense enough in order to get the division title they’re looking for this coming season.
Young quarterback Derek Carr is a genuine star and I love wide receiver Amari Cooper (1,153 yards), but I’m not really sure that letting former starting running back Latavius Murray walk in favor of retired former Seattle star Marshawn Lynch was the right move, seeing as how Lynch appeared to be slowing down in his last season with the Seahawks and Murray is the same kind of power runner.
Yes, the Raiders have an explosive offense that ranked seventh in scoring (26.0 ppg) last season, but until I see otherwise, I’m going to remain a bit skeptical about their defense after watching them finish 26th overall and 20th in points allowed (24.1 ppg) last season.
I do like the additions of Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley with the 24th overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft and safety Obi Melifonwu with the 56th overall pick.
Kansas City Chiefs +220
The Chiefs (12-4 SU, 9-7 ATS) may have won a dozen games last season while beating Oakland twice, but that hasn’t stopped oddsmakers everywhere from installing the Raiders as favorites to win the AFC West in 2017. No matter, I still think Alex Smith and company are a great pick to win back-to-back division titles seeing as how they finished a respectable 13th in scoring last season (24.3 ppg) and a stellar seventh in points allowed (19.4 ppg).
I know veteran quarterback Alex Smith doesn’t have the strongest arm around and doesn’t throw the deep ball very well – or very often, but the Chiefs have an outstanding defense led by perennial Pro Bowlers in safety Eric Berry, cornerback Marcus Peters and linebacker Justin Houston. While I didn’t like Andy Reid making the draft day jump up the board to take Texas Tech star Patrick Mahomes with the 10th overall pick when Clemson superstar Deshaun Watson was still on the board, I’ve got to give Reid the benefit of the doubt seeing as all he does is record double-digit winning seasons.
Los Angeles Chargers +380
The Los Angeles Chargers (5-11 SU, 7-9 ATS) finally got gun-slinging quarterback Philip Rivers an elite wide receiver by nabbing former Clemson wideout Mike Williams with the seventh overall pick in the draft. The Bolts also used their second and third-round picks on guards Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney while also adding veteran tackle Russell Okung in free agency to help shore up their uninspiring offensive line.
I absolutely love L.A.’s hiring of former Bills running backs coach Anthony Lynn as head coach, who in turn, hired Gus Bradley as defensive coordinator and Ken Whisenhunt as offensive coordinator. While Bradley and Whisenhunt both failed as head coaches, I believe all three coaches will make a huge difference for the relocated Chargers in 2017.
Unfortunately, I just don’t think Los Angeles did enough to improve a defense that ranked a pitiful 29th in points allowed last season (26.4 ppg). The good news, if you want to call it that, is that Los Angeles lost four games by a field goal or less in 2016 and they could very well run those close losses into wins in 2017 if all goes according to plan.
Denver Broncos +425
I have no idea why the Broncos (9-7 SU, 9-7 ATS) are +425 favorites that are lesser favorites to win the AFC West than Los Angeles, but I love the value that Denver is offering seeing as how they finished the 2016 season ranked a stellar fourth in points allowed (18.6 ppg) and made a really good offseason hire by naming Vance Joseph as their new head coach.
Denver is trying to figure out who will be their starting quarterback between 2016 starter Trevor Siemian and 2016 first round draft pick Paxton Lynch, but the Broncos still have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball with receivers like Demaryius Thomas and Emanuel Sanders and linebackers Von Miller and Brandon Marshall and defensive backs Chris Harris and Aqib Talib.
AFC West Winner Pick
I’m going with the Kansas City Chiefs to win back-to-back division titles, although the fact of the matter is that the AFC West looks like it’s going to be a knock-down, drag-out fight to the finish in 2017.
Pick: Kansas City Chiefs