NFL Handicapping: The AFC East
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NFL Handicapping Insight
You can just about set your clock to the AFC East, as the New England Patriots have been locked into winning the division for a decade now, missing out on only one AFC East banner since 2003. Not surprisingly, they’re once again the heavy favorites as their division rivals struggle to free themselves from the Patriots’ grasp.
2019 AFC East Predictions: Buffalo Bills
Bills Odds to Win 2019 Super Bowl: +10000
Bills Odds to Win 2019 AFC Conference: +6000
Bills Odds to Win 2019 AFC East Division: +1000
The Bills have gone all-in on Josh Allen, as all that’s behind him on the depth chart is Derek Anderson and Matt Barkley. They’ve given him some new weapons in John Brown and Cole Beasley to join Zay Jones. Brown isn’t a No. 1, but he’s an underrated option in the passing game.
LeSean McCoy is the oldest 31-year-old in football. He got an early start to his career and has a lot of wear on him, so the Bills brought in 36-year-old Frank Gore. On the bright side, Ed Oliver fell to the team at No. 9 in the draft. He’ll be a starter in Week 1.
2019 AFC East Predictions: Miami Dolphins
Dolphins Odds to Win 2019 Super Bowl: +20000
Dolphins Odds to Win 2019 AFC Conference: +10000
Dolphins Odds to Win 2019 AFC East Division: +7500
As bad as things might look in Buffalo, they’ll probably still finish ahead of the Dolphins, who are the favorite to claim the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft. The team brought in Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen to duke it out for the starting quarterback gig on what will be a bad team that’s clearly in tank mode.
Kenyan Drake could turn in a nice season now that Adam Gase isn’t around to hold him back. Brian Flores is the team’s new head coach and he should take the shackles off Drake as a defensive-minded coach who should help the team on that side of the ball as they work through what will be a long rebuild.
2019 AFC East Predictions: New York Jets
Jets Odds to Win 2019 Super Bowl: +7500
Jets Odds to Win 2019 AFC Conference: +3500
Jets Odds to Win 2019 AFC East Division: +500
There are a lot of new faces in New York, starting with Adam Gase, who’s taken over as head coach and general manager, at least for the time being on that second title. Le’Veon Bell figures to have the biggest impact on the field of the new additions. After sitting out a year, it’ll be interesting to see how long it takes Bell to shake the rust off.
The team drafted Quinnen Williams – a defensive tackle out of Alabama. Drafting defensive tackles is nothing new for the Jets. Williams will play under Gregg Williams, who joins the Jets as the new defensive coordinator under Gase.
2019 AFC East Predictions: New England Patriots
Patriots Odds to Win 2019 Super Bowl: +700
Patriots Odds to Win 2019 AFC Conference: +350
Patriots Odds to Win 2019 AFC East Division: -500
Tom Brady will be 42 years old when Week 1 of the season begins, but there’s no question he remains the best quarterback in this division by a wide margin. Coming off a sixth Super Bowl title, Brady will go to work without tight end Rob Gronkowski, who retired in the offseason, or Chris Hogan. The team’s had difficulty working in new pieces in the past, so it’ll be interesting to see how quickly the new pass-catchers integrate themselves into the offense.
On defense, the team brought back linebacker Jamie Collins, who enjoyed some very successful seasons in New England. Michael Bennett also enters the fold to help ease the losses of Trey Flowers and Malcolm Brown. Bill Belichick should have this unit humming by the postseason like he always does.
Cappers Picks 2019 AFC East Predictions
It’d be a fool’s errand to wager on the East winner backing any team other than the Patriots, but there’s simply no value in backing them at that price.
For futures bettors looking to back the Patriots, it’s best to look forward to the AFC crown or another Super Bowl victory, even if an 11th consecutive division title seems automatic.
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