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2011 AFC Conference Odds – NFL Futures

NFL Futures – AFC Championship Odds

With the 2011 NFL regular season set to kick-off in a couple of months (Hopefully), it is time to take a look at each team’s current odds to win their conference as we begin to put the pieces together to try and figure out which two teams will meet next February in Super Bowl XLVI.

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The nfl lines makers have instilled the usual suspects to win it all again this season.

Enough Lockout talk already – let’s get to what really matters. The AFC is littered with some very good teams and the competition will be as tight as ever. Who will surprise, who will disappoint and who will emerge from the back of the pack to challenge for the AFC Championship?

The Favorites

New England Patriots +275: The New England Patriots still have Tom Brady throwing the ball and Bill Belichek patrolling the sidelines – that should be enough for this team to be considered a favorite. It was interesting that the Pats didn’t go after a stud receiver in the draft – my suspicion is that New England will sign a big time free agent – just a hunch. The defense looked to gel at the end of last season making the Patriots looking like the most attractive team.

Pittsburgh Steelers +450: It is very interesting that the oddsmakers have the Steelers ahead of the Colts – just sayin. The do have last year’s defense (the one that allowed only 14.5 points per game last year) intact and hope are that Troy Polamalu is able to stay healthy. They will also have the benefit of Ben Roethlisberger from the start of the season. Also, the Steelers are blessed with the fifth easiest schedule in the NFL.

For me, a healthy Indianapolis Colts are the true threat to the New England Patriots. At +450, I would have to take a pass.

Indianapolis Colts +500: Health is the huge issue for the Colts going into this season. Last year, injuries absolutely descimated this team especially on offense. Joseph Addai, Donald Brown and Mike Hart all spent a fair amount of time on the injured list and the receiving corp. was a revolving door – they still won the AFC South! This year the only reliable player Peyton Manning is scheduled for a second neck surgery. The defense has to be better as well and should be primed to do so – the departure of Bob Sanders may actually be a blessing!

On the down side they have the third hardest schedule in the NFL but they are still an OK bet at +500.

New York Jets +500: The Jets have certainly talked the talk but fortunately for them they have walked the walk as well. They will be competitive for sure but the big hump that they have to get over is the Patriots and I don’t think it will happen this year.

Middle of the Road

San Diego Chargers +600: The Chargers are destined to disappoint again right? They still play in the worst division in football and they still go into the season having the reigning top offense and defense. But they are also the same team that finished 9-7 and out of the playoffs last season. All they have to do is win a few games coming out of the gate and better position themselves for December – easier said than done for Norv and the boys!

The oddsmakers have some faith that the Chargers may make some noise this summer – I just can’t be that optimistic. This team has burned before and I am too scared that they will do it again.

Baltimore Ravens +600: The Ravens are a scary team going into the season. They have a terrorizing defense and an offense that absolutely needs to be better. The fact remains however that there are much better teams in the AFC at the moment.

Quality Long-Shot

Kansas City Chiefs +1400: If you are into a long shot, take a look at the Chiefs. This team was close last year and with Matt Cassel looking every bit the bonafide NFL quarterback they could be scary. They have the elite running back duo, an emerging quarterback, a stud wide receiver and a defense that showed flashes last year – they are a team to think about if you are a the risk/reward type.

NFL Odds to win 2012 AFC Championship:

– Baltimore Ravens +600
– Buffalo Bills +7500
– Cincinnati Bengals +3000
– Cleveland Browns +2500
– Denver Broncos +3000
– Houston Texans +1800
– Indianapolis Colts +500
– Jacksonville Jaguars +3000
– Kansas City Chiefs +1400
– Miami Dolphins +2000
– New England Patriots +275
– New York Jets +500
– Oakland Raiders +2000
– Pittsburgh Steelers +450
– San Diego Chargers +600
– Tennessee Titans +3000

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  1. Jets and Colts at +500 look pretty inviting don’t they?