Every year is quite the battle in the AFC. The traditional powers such as the New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers remain at the top. There are several other teams that have a chance to get out of their division, and possibly make a run at the Super Bowl. Many experts feel Houston is poised and ready to take off this season.
Can Cincinnati regain their magic of last season?
Will Tim Tebow with the Jets or Peyton Manning with the Broncos make those two teams contenders?
Who will win the always tough AFC North?
We are here to give you a few answers to these questions with our 2012 AFC Preview and a preface to our 2012 Superbowl Picks Early Season.
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New England Patriots -650 – Tom Brady and company came up a game short last season, losing to New York in the Super Bowl. Look for that to change this season. Brady continues to get older, but still has it. We like New England to take the whole thing this season. Within the AFC East – they will not lose a game all season.
New York Jets +650 – Tim Tebow is now the back-up for Mark Sanchez in New York. If the Jets can get by Buffalo and Miami both times without faltering, they could be in line for a wildcard spot. At +650, that’s not a horrible bet if you were thinking someone could de-throne the Patriots. It won’t be Buffalo or Miami; so if you are in the mood to gamble – this is the pick here.
Buffalo Bills +775 – Buffalo is just too inexperienced and too young to compete for postseason play. The Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for over 3,800 yards, but late in the season was very erratic. Look for Buffalo to finish with near 6 wins in 2012 as well.
Miami Dolphins +975 – The Dolphins will be looking like a rebuilding team all season long. Miami will be transitioning to the 4-3 defense this season, so look for them to get burnt early in the season with the deep ball. The Dolphins actually outscored opponents last season, despite winning just 6 of 16 games.
This division is the Patriots to lose. At -650, that is a very tough bet to make. You are not going to get rich off that bet. The best bet to make here is the New York Jets at +650. They are the only team in this division that has a chance of knocking off the Patriots.
Baltimore Ravens +110 – Baltimore and Pittsburgh. These two teams will go at it for another season. The Ravens won the division a season ago, due to the blow-out win in week one over Pittsburgh. Baltimore is locked and loaded for another season of smash mouth, tough nosed defense. The Ravens start the season with divisional foe Cincinnati, so a fast start is certainly in their plans.
Pittsburgh Steelers +115 – The Steelers are barely the underdog in this divisional race. I guess when two teams are matched up this close, the defending champions gets the nod. The Steelers were the best defensive team against the pass a season ago, and would love to claim that mark again this season. Pittsburgh would like to keep Big Ben Roethlisberger healthy behind center, if they truly want to get out of the AFC in 2012 – 2013.
Cincinnati Bengals +350 – Look for team’s to be more prepared for the Cincinnati Bengals this season. After a 9-7 season, they will not surprise anyone. The question marks for this year’s team is can Andy Dalton continue his magic ways behind center. A.J. Green had a huge rookie season for Cincinnati, but will the tough AFC North figure out how to defend him?
Cleveland Browns +2075 – The biggest underdog in all of the AFC. The Browns were the worst team in the NFL last season against the run, and it does not appear they got much better. Cleveland won just four games all of last season, and it’s a stretch to say they will improve on that this year.
This is a tough one to call. We are going to go with the Pittsburgh Steelers at +115 to win this one. It just seems like one of those years where things go right for the folks in Pittsburgh. Both teams – Baltimore and Pittsburgh are aging, but they also have veterans that can get it done. In the end, we think Pittsburgh will edge out Baltimore by a single game. The Ravens will also be in the postseason.
Houston Texans -775 – Folks keep calling for 2012 – 2013 to be the year for the Houston Texans. We would like to see Arian Foster stay healthy all season, and see what kind of numbers he can put up. When he is healthy, teams have not shown the capability to slow him down. Matt Schaub at quarterback seems to be confident about the season as well.
Tennessee Titans +375 – The Titans made a strong push for the postseason a season ago, but fell a tiebreaker short of getting in. It would be to their favor to not get off to such a bad start this season. Chris Johnson, after all sorts of problems a season ago, is ready to regain his former self as the team’s top running back.
Indianapolis Colts +1700 – The Colts are going to go with Andrew Luck from the get-go. Indianapolis will run into some growing pains, especially early – but look for this team to be on the rise as the season goes. We actually feel the Colts will win a couple divisional games and be an improvement from the dreadful season of a year ago.
Jacksonville Jaguars +1700 – The Jaguars won just five games a season ago, and do not look to be much more improved. There are problems with the owner, the stadium and the city. Things do not look pretty in Jacksonville right now. Look for them to win an AFC low amount of games this season.
Just like the Patriots – Houston should win this division. But, once again, if you are a gambling man – the Titans at +375 is not a bad bet to make. Indianapolis will not be ready and the Jaguars will be brutal. The Houston Texans will win the division, but any slip up, and Tennessee will be knocking at the door.
San Diego Chargers +155 – With all that talent, the question each season is – why can they not win their division? Phillip Rivers would like to know the answer to that. What we do know is the head coach is on his last chance. How will San Diego screw it up this year?
Denver Broncos +155 – Peyton Manning. Is he the answer? Can he bring the proud Broncos franchise back to the Super Bowl. We are not sure Manning is as healthy as he can be, so it may be tough at times for Denver to show their full capabilities. Look for the quarterback to be healthy and strong late in the season.
Kansas City Chiefs +310 – Matt Cassell and the Chiefs will do anything to regain the 2010 season. Will Kansas City be able to avoid huge injuries, which is something they were not able to do in 2011. The Chiefs still have talent on the roster, so certainly a team to look out for.
Oakland Raiders +455 – The Raiders have got to fix some things from the defensive side of the ball of a season ago. If they do that, look for them to be in the mix around the .500 mark within the division.
This is going to be an interesting division. It always is. Norv Turner has to win the division this season, or he will be unemployed. Will bringing Manning into Denver be the answer, and can he stay healthy? The Chiefs just won the division two seasons ago, and Oakland certainly will have the ability to play spoiler. In the end, we like the talent of the Denver Broncos; as they have improved both offensively and defensively, plus they are the defending champions of the AFC West. We are taking the Denver Broncos at +155.
Bookmaker.eu Teams Chances to Win the AFC
Here is what Bookmaker has to say about the teams chances to win the AFC. Our pick is the New England Patriots at +280. Sure, they are the favorite, and they will not pay out nearly as high as others, but they are the best team here. We look for Houston to not quite have enough defensively, and Pittsburgh and Baltimore with their style of play will be beat up too much to win in Foxboro in the AFC title game. Our prediction to win the AFC is the New England Patriots +280.
Odds to Win AFC:
- New England Patriots +280
- Houston Texans +450
- Pittsburgh Steelers +675
- Baltimore Ravens +675
- Denver Broncos +750
- San Diego Chargers +750
- New York Jets +950
- Cincinnati Bengals +1500
- Kansas City Chiefs +2000
- Buffalo Bills +2500
- Miami Dolphins +2500
- Oakland Raiders +2500
- Tennessee Titans +2500
- Jacksonville Jaguars +5000
- Indianapolis Colts +5000
- Cleveland Browns +5000
Enjoy betting on the National Football League this season. Both the AFC and the NFC should be a fun race. Be sure you do your homework before you make any future bet regarding the AFC, or anything in regards to the National Football League. Good luck!