The New England Patriots have won yet another AFC East title while the rest of the field is playing for their playoff lives. Find out how the AFC East stacks up in Super Bowl 50 betting markets.
New England Patriots Win AFC East
Surprise, surprise. The defending Super Bowl champions New England Patriots win the AFC East title. Their seventh straight title, twelfth since 2000.
From the beginning of the season the Patriots were the runaway favorites to win the AFC East this season, matched at -163 NFL future odds or thereabouts to clinch the title. Winning therefore is par for the course. If there’s one thing that perhaps stands out about their divisional title winning run it’s their fierce start to the season, reeling off ten straight victories before hitting a stumbling block at Mile High.
What may be surprising to some NFL bettors about the AFC East is how the rest of the field stacks up. According to preseason betting markets, the Dolphins were expected to challenge the Patriots – they were the second favorites albeit at distant +400 NFL future odds. The Buffalo Bills were third in the hierarchy at +425 NFL futures while the New York Jets rounded out the AFC East field as the whopping +900 NFL futures pick to win the AFC East.
Obviously, neither of these three is going to come through on those NFL futures odds now that the Patriots have cashed as the runaway favorites. What’s interesting to note, is that the so-called long shots of the group, NY Jets, are sat in second place and well inside the playoff hunt. The Dolphins, meanwhile, have underperformed and currently prop up the division.
AFC Conference Standings For Playoffs:
Battle For Home Field Advantage Between CIN, DEN and NE
1. Cincinnati Bengals (10-2, 8-1 AFC NORTH CHAMP)
2. Denver Broncos (10-2, 6-2 AFC WEST CHAMP, head-to-head win over NE)
3. New England Patriots (10-2, 7-1 AFC EAST CHAMP, head-to-head loss to DEN)
TEAMS THAT ARE IN AHEAD OF WEEK 14
4. Indianapolis Colts (6-6, head-to-head win over HOU)
5. Kansas City Chiefs (7-5, 6-2 AFC)
6. New York Jets (7-5, 5-4 AFC)
TEAMS ON THE FRINGE OF PLAYOFF HUNT:
7. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5, 4-4 AFC)
8. Buffalo Bills (6-6, 6-5 in AFC, head-to-head win over HOU)
9. Houston Texans (6-6, 4-5 AFC, head-to-head losses to IND & BUF)
10. Oakland Raiders (5-7, 5-4 AFC)
11. Miami Dolphins (5-7, 3-6 AFC)
12. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8, head-to-head win over BAL)
13. Baltimore Ravens (4-8, head-to-head loss to JAX)
Week 14 is Pivotal
Week 14 is pivotal to all the teams in the AFC East for various reasons. The New England Patriots need to turn around a two-game losing streak if they hope to continue the chase for home field advantage in the AFC and a first round bye. That means a couple of things: a win over the Texans on Sunday Night Football, along with losses by the Bengals to the Steelers and the Broncos to the Raiders. .
For the 7-5 SU Jets to reach the postseason they need a different set of results. Of course, a win over the Titans is the first step. Then to keep the chasing pack firmly below them they need the Eagles to beat the Bills, Bengals to beat the Steelers and Chargers to beat the Chiefs.
The Buffalo Bills are sat on the fringe of the playoff hunt with control of their destiny fairly slim. Best case scenario for them is for their main rivals to flounder, particularly in week 14. Best case scenario, they win their game over the Eagles. Then Bengals beat the Steelers, Titans beat the Jets and the Chargers beat the Chiefs.
The Dolphins are on the edge of a cliff. A loss to the Giants in MNF would topple them over that cliff and into the abyss for the season. Naturally, if they win on Monday Night and the Titans beat the Jets earlier in the week they could still see a glimmer of hope going into week 15.
There are many complex clinching scenarios for the playoffs that could materialise over the last four weeks of the season, some of which we’ve highlighted above.
New England Patriots Class of AFC
Although the New England Patriots are sat third in the AFC rankings, they remain the class of the AFC as the +170 NFL pick to win the Conference. The Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos, meanwhile, are tied on +300 NFL odds while the Pittsburgh Steelers emerge as the sleeper NFL pick, despite lurking on the fringes of the AFC playoff hunt. It’s worth noting that the Jets, Bills and Dolphins are summarily priced as long shot NFL picks for the AFC betting picture in the playoffs.
In table 2, we offer up the current landscape for the AFC Conference with corresponding NFL future odds to win outright.
Super Bowl 50 Betting
Almost for the entire first 12 weeks of the season, the New England Patriots led the Super Bowl 50 betting market. Then week 13 happened. A horrific, shocking, inexplicable loss to the sputtering Philadelphia Eagles at Gillette Stadium that marked a second straight loss for the Patriots. That loss combined with the Carolina’s continued surge on the season, improving to a 12-0 SU mark behind a come-from-behind win over the Saints in week 13 NFL betting, conspired to send the Patriots down a rung in the NFL odds board and, at the same time, propelled the Panthers into first place.
As it is, the Panthers lead the Super Bowl 50 serving with +350 NFL odds while the Patriots slip to +400 NFL odds. To be fair though, the Patriots are probably still one of the most popular NFL picks to win it all. The experience, quality and talent they have as well the fact that they are defending champions are the main flashpoints behind such an NFL betting impetus.
As far as the rest of the AFC field is concerned, their playoff upside is meagre to put it mildly. With the Jets trading as the whopping +5000 NFL pick, the Bills as the +10000 NFL pick and the Miami Dolphins as the staggering +25000 NFL pick, the sum of their chances are slim to none. It would take a diehard fan to tickle any one of those three long shots to win it all.