The Denver Broncos are clearly deserving favorites in the AFC West, but they aren’t invisible anymore. Peyton Manning had a rough season by his standards last year and the Broncos also lost some important pieces.
San Diego are the biggest threat to the Broncos, but the Chiefs and Raiders will both be respectable.
Odds to Win the AFC West in 2015
Denver Broncos -185
Kansas City Chiefs +435
San Diego Chargers +475
Oakland Raiders +3150
Do I think the Broncos are worth betting at -185 odds? No! There’s a strong chance the Broncos win the AFC West, but it will be extremely close and if Manning struggles again or gets injured – the Broncos may not even earn a wild card.
With the odds the way they are – you have to strongly consider the Chiefs or Chargers in the futures market.
2015 Denver Broncos Team Preview
Last Season’s Record: 12-4 (1st in AFC West)
Key Additions: Owen Daniels, Darian Stewart, James Casey, Shelley Smith & Vance Walker
Key Losses: Julius Thomas, Orlando Franklin, Wes Welker, Terrance Knighton, Nate Irving & Rahim Moore
Regular Season Win Total: Over 10.5 Wins (+120) vs. Under 10.5 Wins (-140)
On paper – the Broncos have gotten worse this season — however they did an admirable job replacing the players they lost this off-season. Will the Broncos regress enough to open up the division? I believe they will.
The Broncos have won the AFC West four years in a row and they’ve won 12+ games in each of the last three years, but my money is on them hitting 10 wins. Manning can’t do everything at his age and the offense has gotten worse.
Denver has a solid defense and will be competitive, but I’m betting under 10.5 wins.
2015 Kansas City Chiefs Team Preview
Last Season’s Record: 9-7 (2nd in AFC West)
Key Additions: Jeremy Maclin, Ben Grubbs & Marcus Peters
Regular Season Win Total: Over 8.5 Wins (-115) vs. Under 8.5 Wins (-105)
There are some question marks on the o-line, but Charles is a beast and will have another big year if he can stay healthy for the duration. Adding Maclin and getting rid of Bowe is a great move by Andy Reid and the Chiefs.
I’m not a huge fan of Smith, as when the Chiefs go down early in games, he’s not capable of bringing them back. When they have a lead, Smith can manage the game well, but that’s not going to get it done in the NFL.
The Chiefs won’t win 9 games again – I’m betting on under 8.5 wins.
2015 San Diego Chargers Team Preview
Last Season’s Record: 9-7 (3rd in AFC West)
Key Additions: Orlando Franklin, Jacoby Jones, Joe Barksdale, Patrick Robinson, Stevie Johnson & Jimmy Wilson
Key Losses: Marcus Gilchrist, Eddie Royal, Ryan Matthews, Nick Hardwick, Jarrett Johnson & Shareece Wright
Regular Season Win Total: Over 8 Wins (-130) vs. Under 8 Wins (+110)
My pick to win the AFC West is San Diego – they have a lot going for them. Not only are Denver worse on paper, but the Chargers are better. They have Melvin Gordon at RB now and Philip Rivers is in the final years of his contract.
Rivers will wan to have a big year to get paid next off-season. Gordon will make the offense more of a threat in the run game as well. Adding some speed WR’s will open up the field too – I really like what the Chargers have done.
The defense will have to hold up, but over 8 wins shouldn’t be overly difficult to hit.
2015 Oakland Raiders Team Preview
Last Season’s Record: 3-13 (4th in AFC West)
Key Additions: Rodney Hudson, Michael Crabtree, Roy Helu, Dan Williams, Nate Allen & Trent Richardson
Key Losses: LaMarr Woodley, Tyvon Branch, Darren McFadden, Pat Sims, Antonio Smith & James Jones
Regular Season Win Total: Over 5.5 Wins (+105) vs. Under 5.5 Wins (-125)
Oakland are improving, but they’re still a couple years away from contending in the AFC West. They added some good players this year and picking up Amari Cooper in the first round was a great move to bolster this young offense.
The losses aren’t major either, but the additions aren’t great. Oakland will win more than 3 games in 2015, but they’ll be in the AFC West cellar still. Give the young guys like Cooper and Carr time to build chemistry and Oakland will grow.
I like over 5.5 wins at plus money, but it’s definitely not one of my best win total bets.