2012 AFC Preview – Conference Odds and Predictions
The start of another NFL season is right around the corner as all 32 teams head into training camp with aspirations of making it all the way to Super Bowl XLVII. The following is a look at each team’s current odds to make it to the title game by winning the AFC Championship as provided by Bovada.
- New England 3/1
- New York 12/1
- Buffalo 25/1
- Miami 25/1
In what seems like an annual tradition over the past decade or so, the Patriots have once again been anointed as the odds-on-favorite to win the AFC this season.
The pieces remain in place and the motivation is high considering last year’s bitter loss to the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI, but keep in mind that the last time a team that lost a Super Bowl made it back the following season was Buffalo in 1994.
The Jets could be the most intriguing team of the other three as there is probably an ‘over/under’ somewhere on when Tim Tebow will become the starting quarterback.
Buffalo and Miami have both improved during the offseason, but not quite ready to overtake New England this year.
- Baltimore 7/1
- Pittsburgh 7/1
- Cincinnati 16/1
- Cleveland 75/1
The two regular season showdowns between Baltimore and Pittsburgh should once again decide the AFC North title, but the Ravens’ aging defense gives the edge to the Steelers to take the crown back this year.
This will be especially true if quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can quickly adapt to Pittsburgh’s new offensive scheme.
The Bengals could possibly emerge as legitimate threats to overtake both of these teams if quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver AJ Green continue to develop as one of the most dynamic duos in the league.
Cleveland appears headed for another four or five win season.
- Houston 11/2
- Tennessee 25/1
- Indianapolis 60/1
- Jacksonville 75/1
Houston should cruise to the division title in light of major issues will all three other teams, but if it is going to have any chance to win the conference, the Texans will need a full, productive season from quarterback Matt Schaub, wide receiver Andre Johnson, and running back Arian Foster.
The Titans could provide some resistance if Jake Locker takes the next step as a legitimate NFL starting quarterback.
First-round draft pick Andrew Luck will be as good as the team that Indianapolis can put around him and Jacksonville is already in line for the top pick in next year’s draft.
- Denver 7/1
- San Diego 10/1
- Kansas City 20/1
- Oakland 30/1
If Peyton Manning can return to form after missing all of last season, then Denver’s gamble on the future ‘Hall of Fame’ quarterback will not only payoff with a second-straight division title, it could land the Broncos in New Orleans in early February.
Philip Rivers remains one of the best quarterbacks in the league, but too many of the pieces that helped San Diego dominate the AFC West for so many years are gone. Kansas City is the team to watch if Denver falters. It was decimated by injuries last season after winning the West in 2010.
The Raiders are another team that continues to put the right pieces in place and could be a dark horse candidate for the division title if Carson Palmer returns to form at quarterback.