NFL Betting Trends- 2013 AFC Championship Futures
As the NFL offseason gears-up for the start of free agency in March and the college draft in April, every team president, general manager and head coach is busy analyzing exactly what their roster needs to make a run at a conference title next season. This week, NFL Betting Trends will take a closer look at BetOnline’s futures odds for a few of the teams favored to win the AFC next year.
The team at the top of the list is definitely no stranger to being touted as the favorite to not just win the AFC but the Super Bowl as well. The New England Patriots have been opened at +275 to win the conference after bowing out of the playoffs this past season in the AFC Championship Game. With Tom Brady signed to an extension that will free-up some cap space to add some missing pieces this offseason, there is little reason to doubt that this team will be right in the thick of things again in 2013. The one big loss could be wide receiver Wes Welker, who has been one of Brady’s favorite targets during a number of the Patriots’ championship runs. They will also have to plug some holes on a defense that was ranked 25th in the NFL in total yards allowed.
The second-favorite to win the conference at +350 is the Denver Broncos. The reemergence of Peyton Manning as one of the top quarterbacks in the league fueled a regular season run that produced the best record in the conference last season at 13-3. A tough loss to Baltimore in double-overtime ended their run, but if Manning can maintain the form he showed last year, Denver should be right back up there again next season. Manning aside, the Broncos showed tremendous balance last season with the fourth-best offense in the league in total yards and second-best defense in total yards allowed.
The way the Houston Texans rolled through the first half of the regular season, many people thought they were a lock to win the AFC in 2012. Unfortunately things came unglued down the stretch with three losses in their final four games followed by a lopsided loss to New England in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. This time around, Houston has been opened as a +550 third-favorite to take the next step and win the AFC. It still will have Arian Foster running the ball and Andre Johnson catching it, but quarterback Matt Schaub will undoubtedly come into next season with more questions than answers as to whether or not he can get the job done.
The last time a team won back-to-back AFC titles was the Patriots in 2004 and 2005, so it is easy to see why the Baltimore Ravens have been opened at +700 to win the conference again. Not only will the Ravens have to battle a Super Bowl hangover that has plagued the majority of the past champions, they will have a gaping hole to fill on defense with the loss of Ray Lewis. Baltimore remains talented enough to win its division but another run to a conference title does not appear to be in the cards.
The odds for a few of the other main contenders to win the AFC next season include Pittsburgh at +900, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and San Diego at +1600, Miami at +2000 and Kansas City at +2500.
2013 AFC Championship Futures Odds
Baltimore Ravens +800
Buffalo Bills +5000
Cincinnati Bengals +1500
Cleveland Browns +2500
Denver Broncos +300
Houston Texans +500
Indianapolis Colts +2000
Jacksonville Jaguars +7500
Kansas City Chiefs +2500
Miami Dolphins +2500
New England Patriots +200
New York Jets +2500
Oakland Raiders +7500
Pittsburgh Steelers +800
San Diego Chargers +2500
Tennessee Titans +5000
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.