The AFC West was home to two of the best teams in the NFL last season. The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers both finished the regular season 12-4, but they were both upended by New England in the postseason. Still, it’s no surprise that the AFC West betting odds have the Chargers and Chiefs as the runaway favorites to win the division, while the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos are seriously lacking.
2020 AFC West Sports Betting Preview
John Elway’s search for a quarterback continues. Trevor Siemian, Case Keenum, and Paxton Lynch have all come and gone, and now Elway is hoping either Joe Flacco or Drew Lock can be the guy.
Flacco came over in a trade from Baltimore this offseason, and he is presumably the starter. The former Super Bowl winner has been incredibly average the last few seasons, but he is hoping that a change of scenery will kickstart his career. Flacco will have some solid options to throw to in Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton, and Noah Fant was taken to help him succeed.
There is a player among the best at his position at every level in Denver’s defense. Everyone knows about Chris Harris Jr. and Von Miller at this point, but Bradley Chubb is an elite talent too.
Kansas City Chiefs
Pat Mahomes didn’t waste any time setting the NFL on fire. Some thought that Andy Reid possibly cut the cord on Alex Smith a little too soon, but Reid knew that Mahomes was ready for big things.
Mahomes reminded us of Dan Marino with an electrifying season that saw him surpass 5,000 yards, throw for 50 ouchdowns, and run away with the NFL MVP award. He is the primary reason the Chiefs are favorites to win the division per the AFC West betting odds.
Plenty of questions surround this team though. Kareem Hunt was released for an alleged domestic violence incident, and Tyreek Hill could be suspended or released for a domestic violence incident as well. Not having Hill would deprive the Chiefs of a major weapon.
The Chiefs have an eye for the Super Bowl, and they made some big moves on defense as a result. Kansas City’s defense let them down constantly in 2018, so the team added Frank Clark and Tyrann Mathieu through trade and free agency, and they brought in other pieces too.
Los Angeles Chargers
Philip Rivers does not receive nearly the amount of praise as his contemporaries, but he keeps chugging along and putting up excellent numbers. He has two big weapons in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, and Hunter Henry is back and ready to go after a season-ending injury sidelined him in 2018.
The running back situation is murky. Melvin Gordon is threatening a holdout in a contract year, which would thrust Austin Ekeler or Justin Jackson into the starting role.
This secondary has two stars in Casey Hayward and Derwin James, and the Chargers have some awesome talent in the front seven too. Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, and Thomas Davis have shined over the last few years making the Chargers a safer play if you’re betting on the AFC West.
Jon Gruden’s return to the NFL was about as rocky as everyone expected. Oakland was the worst team in the division by a significant margin last year, and it may take time for that to change.
The Raiders did give Derek Carr another major weapon to use in Antonio Brown, and AB is looking to prove himself outside of Pittsburgh. However, the offensive line threatens to be a disaster, and that could make this team one-dimensional. Josh Jacobs is looking to erase a trend of Alabama running backs underwhelming in the NFL. Jacobs is the clear No. 1 back on the Raiders coming into the season, and Gruden is expected to lean on him.
This defense is a mess. Without Khalil Mack, the Raiders were abysmal on defense in 2018, and using the No. 4 pick on Clelin Ferrell won’t help things much. This stands to be one of the worst defenses in the NFL once more.
Check out the latest AFC West betting odds at the online sportsbook.