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Analyzing AFC West bets after NFL free agency

To say that the NFL offseason has been a wild one would be doing a disservice to the word “wild.”

Superstars have been sent all around the league in a flurry of moves that have tilted the NFL’s axis on its head – with no shortage of those moves taking place in the AFC West. 

So how does Vegas view the best division in football now? Despite massive attempts at bulking up, the other teams in the AFC West are still looking up at the Kansas City Chiefs in the recent futures odds (via BetMGM) to win the division.

Here’s how things have shaken out:

Kansas City Chiefs +135

Despite trading away superstar wide receiver Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs remain the betting favorites to win the division. I guess that’s what happens when your quarterback is Patrick Mahomes. In a division that added a ton of talent in the offseason, the questions surrounding this offense without Hill in the fold is reason for pause. I’m not putting my money on KC. 

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes
Getty Images

Los Angeles Chargers +270

The Chargers were able to bring back Mike Williams on a three-year, $60 million contract, they traded for outside linebacker Khalil Mack from the Chicago Bears, and signed cornerback J.C. Jackson to a five year, $85.2 million deal. They’re backing up the Brinks truck to capitalize on having Justin Herbert on a rookie contract, and they have top-tier playmakers all over the field. Their progress on defense will be critical this year, but they look ready to take the jump.

Denver Broncos +280

Shockingly, Russell Wilson is no longer a Seahawk. Denver made a move to bring in the top-tier quarterback to go along with a loaded roster that has a stout defense and plenty of offensive weapons for Wilson to get the ball to. Finishing last in the division in 2021, the Broncos have some very winnable games on their schedule this year, including the Jets, Texans, Panthers, and Jaguars. They’ll also have a date with the Seahawks, which will be interesting. There’s plenty of reason to believe they will be dramatically better than last season.

Davante Adams greets Derek Carr
Derek Carr greets Davante Adams after a 2015 game between the Raiders and the Packers.
MediaNews Group via Getty Images

Las Vegas Raiders +600

This is egregious, and I’ll probably put a little of my own money on this team. As the Chiefs shipped out Tyreek Hill, the Raiders added arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL in Davante Adams. Adams and Raiders quarterback Derek Carr were college teammates at Fresno State, so the chemistry and familiarity is already there. Adams is far and away the best receiver that Carr has ever had, and there’s a solid chance that he leads the NFL in targets this season. The impact that Adams will have on the offense will be dramatic.

The Raiders also added defensive end Chandler Jones to pair with Maxx Crosby, giving them a formidable pass rush. This squad went 10-7 last year, finishing only two games behind the Chiefs, and they only got better. 

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