It won’t be long before the NFL returns and the behemoths that roam the gridiron take center stage on Sunday afternoons. But which AFC teams look ripe for cashing in our NFL picks?
Champions – New England Patriots (12-4)
Perhaps if the Patriots did not have Jacksonville and Tennessee on their schedule this season my prediction for a 12-4 season would most likely be downgraded but even without the illustrious Darrelle Revis and the punishing presence of Brandon Browner in their secondary the Patriots did beef up their defensive line which should take the heat off their defensive backfield.
In addition some might argue that New England, absent of Tom Brady for four games, will put them in an immediate hole but if reports are true then I suspect either Brady’s suspension shrinks considerably or Tom Terrific goes all litigious and sues the NFL which will put his suspension on ice until the whole sordid affair is adjudicated which would most likely occur after the season is over. Undoubtedly the AFC East has gotten stronger and the Bills, Dolphins and Jets are no longer six guaranteed victories. However, the Pats still stand tall in the East and if you agree then peruse the NFL odds at SBR odds and lock in the Pats -142 at 5Dimes. Bet365 has the most generous NFL odds on over total wins offering 10 (O-115).
Champions - Cincinnati Bengals (10-6)
I realize that the Ravens are the NFL odds on favorites to rule the North this season followed closely by the Steelers but this is an absolutely brutal division with the Browns once again being relegated to punching bag status. However, in a three horse race that seems too close to call I will opt for betting value and select the Bengals which echoes my sentiments expressed in my AFC Sleepers article.
The key here is Andy Dalton and whether or not he can fulfill his potential – after five long years – and use all the offensive weapons at his disposal to move the chains and score tons of points. I say let’s give Andy one more chance to crack the code and come out on top when the smoke clears. Wagerweb.com is offering NFL odds of +250 for the Cincinnati Bengals to the claim the AFC North while also hanging a total of 8 ½ (O-130) for season wins.
Champions – Indianapolis Colts (12-4)
Call me Chalky Von Chalkowitz but I will gladly assume the role of the consummate chalk eater when it comes to the Indianapolis Colts being loaded for bear – or Texans or Jaguars or Titans – coming into 2015 after getting blown out in the AFC Championship last season. Andrew Luck is just waiting to be officially coronated the new king of the air while Messrs. Manning, Brady, Brees and Rogers amble down that lonely path towards retirement.
Fortunately the Colts play in the only division in football that houses two legitimate NFL teams. The Colts and Texans get a four game head start as they are lavished with the opportunity of slaughtering the Jaguars and Titans twice a season. Therefore the only rivals they have reside in Houston and though the Texans boast a tremendous defense they are without a bona fide quarterback. Indianapolis has no such issues.
Get on over to SportsInteraction as they are offering NFL odds of -400 on the Colts to reign supreme over the AFC South which is obviously considerable lumber to lay but the best odds available of all the major sportsbooks. If it’s season win totals you fancy then look to Wagerweb hanging NFL odds season wins on Indianapolis of 10 ½ (O-160).
Champions – San Diego Chargers (11-5)
I’m not feelin’ the love for Denver this season as I believe Peyton has run out the string and will be injured some time mid-season. Therefore my only two choices are the Chargers and Chiefs because we all know the Raiders aren’t going from worst to first in the West. San Diego Chargers was my sleeper choice to win this division and the only reason they are deemed as such is because the public is still infatuated with the Broncos. As stated I am not similarly smitten therefore the logical choice points me towards the Bolts.
So long as Norv Turner isn’t calling the shots in San Diego I am quite comfortable with a team that has a quarterback at the helm who experienced a resurgence last season in Phillip Rivers coupled with the ageless Antonio Gates as a formidable target in the red zone. Over 8 (-125) seems like a tempting total and you can get that at Bovada while GTBets will return +500 to win the West.