With the NFL offseason in full swing, it has been noticeable that the AFC has been the destination for many top names across the league. Top-flight quarterbacks, pass rushers, and wide receivers have switched conferences, making the race for the AFC title more intriguing than ever. This article will cover the five teams with the highest odds to win the conference along with my personal pick.
5. Cincinnati Bengals (+1000)
The AFC champions from a year ago, the Cincinnati Bengals look to capitalize on the momentum currently going for them and roll with Joe Burrow to another AFC crown. Cincinnati is a young team loaded with playmakers on the outside and in the backfield, including offensive rookie of the year Ja’Marr Chase.
Defensively, the unit stepped up greatly in the playoffs and is headlined by pass rusher Trey Hendrickson and linebacker Logan Wilson. The unit’s most impressive performance came in the second half of the AFC title game where they held offensive juggernaut Kansas City Chiefs to only three second half points.
In free agency the team has already started investing in the biggest flaw from a year ago, the offensive line. The addition of former Buccaneer Alex Cappa will already go a long way in rebuilding a unit that gave up the most sacks in Super Bowl history.
4. Los Angeles Chargers (+850)
Despite not even making the playoffs a year ago, the Los Angeles Chargers currently have the fourth highest title odds to win the AFC. The team has already been one of the highest spenders of the offseason, adding “Mr. Int ” J.C. Jackson and Khalil Mack to a defense that ranked fourth to last in points allowed per game.
If the defense is in fact straightened out next season, it will be difficult for any team to match up against Los Angeles. Offensively, Justin Herbert is leading one of the most explosive units, which includes two elite wide receivers and a running back that scored 20 total touchdowns in 2021.
On paper this team is a legitimate title threat, and I will not be shocked to see the second consecutive Super Bowl won by a Los Angeles team.
3. Denver Broncos (+700)
Another team that has benefited hugely from the off-season, the Denver Broncos finally acquired a franchise quarterback to lead them into the future. Russell Wilson has proved to be an elite quarterback with a winning pedigree, and now has a supporting cast that includes great young playmakers and an above average offensive line.
Defensively, the signing of Randy Gregory gifts Denver with a terrific front seven, which already included young pass rush phenom Bradley Chubb. This will be the best defense Russell Wilson has had since the “Legion of Boom” disbanded.
I understand why they have such high odds to win the conference, but I believe this team is a little too new to put it all together in year one.
See who these team might be taking in the NFL Draft.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (+425)
This is the first time since 2018 that Kansas City did not have the best odds to take the conference. Personally, I do not think this should have been the case.
Patrick Mahomes continues to play at a Hall of Fame level in his early career, and with the supporting cast of Andy Reid, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce there’s no true answer to slowing this team down.
They seemed to be well underway for the third consecutive AFC title before collapsing against the Bengals, but I do not think that will happen again. While the AFC West has improved mightily, I still trust the Chiefs take on the division, and if I had to bet on a team to win the AFC it would be them.
1. Buffalo Bills (+400)
Although I would bet on the Kansas City Chiefs to make it out of the AFC, this Bills squad makes the decision very tough. Josh Allen continues to play at an elite level even without a true number one running back, and the team is on the short list of best offenses in the entire NFL.
Defensively, Buffalo was first in yards allowed per game and points allowed per game a season ago and now have added future Hall of Famer Von Miller. This team has no real weaknesses, so I understand why it has the best to to take the conference.
However, they have not been able to dethrone the Chiefs, and until they do I’ll take the boys from Arrowhead to win the AFC.