AFC West Divisional Futures Predictions – Odds to Win The Division 2020
Out of the eight NFL divisions, there isn’t a bigger odds-on favorite than the Kansas City Chiefs to win the AFC West.
The Super Bowl Champs have won the AFC West four years in a row, and a fifth straight divisional title seems likely in 2020.
There aren’t many arguments I can make against the Chiefs. Instead, it’s about trying to find another team that can rise to their level and give them at least a scare.
Can the Broncos, Raiders, or Chargers rise to the challenge?
Odds to win the AFC West division in 2020
|Kansas City Chiefs||-400|
|Los Angeles Chargers||+950|
|Las Vegas Raiders||+950|
|Bet On The AFC West Division Winner At|
Kansas City Chiefs -400
It’s hard to find any weakness in this Chiefs’ team. Even if their defense doesn’t play at a top-level, QB Patrick Mahomes will overshadow any of the D’s flaws with his uncanny talent.
Last season they were down by double-digits in all three games in the playoffs, and we know the result. Mahomes brought them back every time to win Super Bowl LIV.
Since 2016, the Chiefs have a 22-2 record against teams inside the AFC West, including a sweep against the division last season.
In 2020 they will have to replace three well-known names, but nobody will make any drama about it. RB LeSean McCoy moved to Tampa Bay as a free agent while RB Damien Williams and RG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif opted out of the season.
Williams In The Super Bowl
Williams was fantastic in the Super Bowl against San Francisco, recording 133 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. But Damien entered the lineup to replace RB Kareem Hunt after the Chiefs cut him. It seemed unlikely he would have just as big of an impact, but he did.
Rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire is in the same scenario. He will try to ease up on the unexpected loss of an established running back. Edwards-Helaire shouldn’t have any problem fitting in an offense that is based on passing the football first.
I know laying down $400 for a future bet is not attractive, but the bet on the Chiefs winning the division is as close of a lock as it gets.
Denver Broncos +800
The Broncos finished 7-9 last season, including a 4-1 record in the five games QB Drew Lock started. That one loss was in Kansas City in the middle of a December blizzard.
Lock finished the season completing 64.1% of his passes for 1020 yards, seven touchdowns, and three interceptions. Those are decent numbers for a rookie QB. Yet, the Broncos let go of OC Rich Scangarello to bring Pat Shurmur.
The last time we saw Shurmur as an offensive coordinator, he led QB Case Keenum and the Vikings to the NFC Championship game. The key? Play-action. I think the Broncos are looking for the same recipe.
Denver added RB Melvin Gordon to help tailback Phillip Lindsay. It should be a fantasy football nightmare, but Lindsay should carry most of the load.
The Problem With The Broncos
The problem with the Broncos offense is the offensive line. LT Garett Bolles is a complete liability and RT Ja’Wuan James opted-out of the season. Also, their center, Lloyd Cushenberry, is a rookie. It doesn’t look promising.
The Broncos defense lost CB Chris Harris, who is now in Los Angeles. They replaced him with CB AJ Bouye. The team also added DT Jurrell Casey, who might be a steal after the Broncos sent a 7th round to the Titans for the big man.
Denver’s defense should improve in 2020, but it’s hard to think it will be enough to deal with the Chiefs.
QB Drew Lock still will show signs of growing pains. He will have a nice year, especially with the addition of rookie WR Jerry Jeudy, but his o-line is a huge issue.
Los Angeles Chargers +950
I must confess I forgot the Chargers finished the season with a 5-11 record. It didn’t feel that bad when it was happening, but everything went wrong for LA in the last year of QB Philip Rivers with the franchise.
The Chargers left Rivers walked and now will use QB Tyrod Taylor as interim. He’s just warming up the seat for rookie QB Justin Herbert. However, Taylor should be good enough to keep the team in contention, but not great enough to lead them to the playoffs.
The LA Chargers will transition to a less attractive offense with Taylor under center. He’s an option player that completes short passes, mostly. During his last year in the league as a starter (2017 with the Bills), Taylor averaged 6.7 yards per pass.
If you are thinking of drafting WR Keenan Allen or Mike Williams for your fantasy football team, let’s pump the breaks. Both should see their production take a massive hit going from Rivers to Taylor.
Los Angeles Defense
Los Angeles added enough excellent talent on defense to think HC Anthony Lynn wants a defensive-oriented team. On offense, they will run and take care of the ball.
DT Linval Joseph is a tremendous addition to the middle of the defense. DEs Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram will play outside while the big man Joseph pushes through the middle. The team also added veteran CB Chris Harris from Denver.
Harris, Casey Hayward Jr., Desmond King II, and Derwin James will make one of the best secondaries in 2020.
The Chargers will be better than a year ago, but not good enough to win the division.
Las Vegas Raiders +950
HC Jon Gruden will enter his third year with the Raiders with the obligation to lead the team to a significant leap in 2020.
“Chucky” doesn’t have the rebuilding card in his pocket anymore. In year three, the Raiders should have a winning record. Otherwise, the moves made in the last two seasons will gain notable critics.
Las Vegas posted a 7-9 record in 2019 as a team still playing in Oakland. The mark is a little sketchy when you look closely. Three of those seven wins were against backup quarterbacks. The team even lost to Jacksonville and Denver’s backups.
The good news is the Raiders won’t be as mediocre on defense as they were a year ago. They added talent and mostly experience by signing LB Cory Littleton, edge Carl Nassib, linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, safety Jeff Heath, and defensive tackle Maliek Collins.
2020 Is Crucial For QB Derek Carr
Can they beat the Chiefs in the division? Of course not. But quietly, Las Vegas has been adding talent on both sides of the ball. They are thinking about a wildcard spot in the playoffs.
2020 will be a crucial year for QB Derek Carr. He completed 70.4% of his passes last year, but no one seems to care. He only threw 21 touchdowns against eight interceptions, despite being one of the less pressured QBs in the league last season.
Carr has mentioned in recent months that he feels disrespected. The Raiders drafted Henry Ruggs III and added WR Nelson Agholor and TE Jason Witten to give Carr better options. Derek shouldn’t have any excuses at the end of the season.
The Raiders might be a year away from being AFC West contenders. In 2020, they will be looking for respect, but the Chiefs, Chargers, and Broncos will make them earn it.
AFC West Division Winner Prediction
Kansas City shouldn’t have a problem inside the AFC West. They have the same talent as the previous year, the same coaching staff, and all they have been saying during the offseason is #RunItBack.
Well, it all starts by winning the division. Laying down -400 might not be attractive, but it’s the right bet.
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