When it comes to the AFC East, figuring who is going to give New England a push is about as exciting as being a storm chaser in the desert, since there is not a whole lot going on to keep one's interest.
The gap between the Pats and AFC East pack is exemplified in the NFL odds when looking at the present season win totals, where the difference is five games, which means the Patriots will should have the division wrapped up some time around Thanksgiving. However, we are all aware Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are not interested in hanging division banner titles and instead play for the Super Bowl rings.
Here is a preseason preview from some of my sharp betting friends and my thoughts blended in. All odds listed are courtesy of 5Dimes.
New England Patriots
This is not news, but Belichick remains the best coach in the NFL. When you break New England down position by position in overall talent, the Pats are fourth or fifth in the NFL. When you add the coaching and teaching in the individual groups, that is what separates them. No quarterback at Brady's age (40) has not seen a fairly noticeable dropoff; can he defeat Father Time? Look for receiver Brandin Cooks and running back Mike Gillislee to flourish in this offense. All the experts agree, New England is the team to beat in the NFL, and for win total either bet 'over' or pass for NFL picks.
Odds To Win Division (as of 7/20)
New England -900
N.Y. Jets +10000
Adam Gase proved more than ready to take over as a head coach in the NFL, and Miami improved by four wins, reached the playoffs and played with toughness, something not seen in South Florida for years. Ryan Tannehill is a far more dependable quarterback with a running game, and Gase coached him to look further down the field to let plays develop. The low season win total compared to last year's 10 victories is based on a suspect defense that lacks speed and if Tannehill's knee will hold up after avoiding surgery on his ACL. If the offensive line stays healthy to protect Tannehill and the defense makes strides at linebacker and in the secondary, the Dolphins are an 'over' play on the win total.
Season Win Totals (as of 7/20)
New England Ov12
N.Y. Jets Un4
With Rex Ryan gone, Buffalo players will be forced to pay closer attention to detail in all aspects, which is new coach Sean McDermott's top priority. QB Tyrod Taylor is good enough to play in the NFL, just not to have them be a winning team. The Bills' offense really needs a big season from receiver Sammy Watkins to be more explosive. Not much depth in the Buffalo defense, but expect a large improvement in efficiency and being in the right positions after a year with both Ryan dopes out. Expect the Bills' NFL-high 17-year playoff drought to continue, and most believe their win total is about right.
Odds To Win AFC (as of 7/20)
New England +203 (1st in AFC)
Miami +2350 (11th)
Buffalo +600 (14th)
N.Y. Jets +12500 (Last)
New York Jets
In 2015, first-year head coach Todd Bowles and the Jets won 10 games. Last year it was five, and the oddsmakers win total is four coming into to the season. Unless Bowles wins seven times, another coaching change is coming. The Flyboys do not have one offensive player you have to game-plan for. The defense has talent, just in the wrong positions. In today's NFL you need one if not two or three edge pass-rushers, and New York does not have any. Bowles looked bewildered all last year that his team was not better and did not seem to know what to do next. Who has a worse quarterback situation than the Jets? None of them can play. Though all experts concur New York should be a 3-13 team, none wanted to touch their win total.Bet On NFL Futures At SBR's Top Sportsbooks