I know some bettors who don't believe much in trap games. I certainly believe they exist even in an NFL regular season where teams only play 16 times and thus every game matters. Here are potential 2015 traps for each AFC East team (and early odds).
New England Patriots (-150 to win East)
Week 3 vs. Jaguars (+11.5, odds shown are for opponent; that line was projected before Brady suspension): Might this be the game that Tom Brady returns from suspension? It might be if it's reduced; Brady's official appeal was being heard by Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday, although a decision won't happen right away. Many believe it will be shortened from four games to two and this would thus be Brady's return. But, still, this looks dangerous. I don't see New England losing at home to Jacksonville even with Jimmy Garoppolo at QB, but it follows very tough games Week 1 vs. Pittsburgh and Week 2 at Buffalo. Plus it's ahead of the team's way-too-early bye week. It's an "overlook" game.
Week 9 vs. Redskins (+8.5): The good news is the Patriots have extra time to prepare for Robert Griffin and Co. as they play on Thursday night in Week 8. But that's the end of a tough four-game stretch: at Dallas, at Indianapolis (Brady's return as of now), and home to the division-rival Jets and Dolphins. The week after the Washington game? At the Giants, in a matchup I'm sure Brady wants to win because of those two Super Bowl losses to Eli Manning. Sandwich game here.
Week 15 vs. Titans: Texans (+10.5): This follows perhaps the final Peyton Manning/Brady regular-season showdown ever in Week 12 in Denver, then a visit in Week 13 by the Eagles and likely tough trip to Houston in Week 14. It's also New England's home finale, likely against a rookie quarterback (Marcus Mariota) and before closing division trips to the Jets and Dolphins. How do the Pats not overlook Tennessee a bit?
Miami Dolphins (-400)
Week 2 at Jaguars (+4; line for opponent): I have a feeling you may see Jacksonville show up as a trap game for many teams this season. Throw this out if Miami loses Week 1 at Washington because if that happens the Fins will not lose focus here in trying to avoid a 0-2 start. But this just smells like trap game because the following three weeks for Miami are at division rivals Buffalo and the New York Jets (in London) followed by the bye week.
Week 6 at Titans (+3): Simply put, those London trips can take a lot out of teams, even coming off the bye week following it.
Week 12 at Jets (+1.5): Some of you may scoff that any division game could be a potential trap, but this might be because it's the only road game in a stretch of more than a month for Miami and it's likely to be rather chilly in New Jersey this time of the for the warm-weather Fins.
Buffalo Bills (+425)
Week 3 at Dolphins (-2; line for opponent): A lot of this depends on what Buffalo does in Week 1 at Indianapolis and Week 2 at the Patriots. But the fact it's off playing those two AFC heavyweights and this is the first road game of the season, well. Plus that humidity in south Florida is going to wear the Bills down.
Week 7 vs. Jaguars (+6): Here are the Jags again. This one is in London so how excited will the Bills be to fly all the way to England to face a lousy Jacksonville team? Plus the Buffalo players likely will be looking ahead to the bye week that follows.
Week 13 vs. Texans (+3): This is Buffalo's only home game in a stretch of six and follows really tough trips to New England and Kansas City. Another tough trip to Philadelphia follows this one.
New York Jets (+750)
Week 1 vs. Browns (+2; line for opponent): Hey, the Jets saw how bad Josh McCown was last year while quarterbacking the Bucs. New York might not think its season really starts until Week 2 at Indianapolis on a Monday night.
Week 6. vs. Redskins (+2): It's an out-of-conference opponent, off New York's bye week and precedes a trip to hated rival New England in Week 7.
Week 9 vs. Jaguars (+5): Off a trip to the West Coast to face the Raiders for the Jets. And they have a short-week turnaround following this game as they host Buffalo and former Coach Rex Ryan on Thursday in Week 10. Don't think Gang Green might be peeking ahead to that a bit? Especially as this will no doubt be the biggest the Jets are favored all year.