2009-10 AFC Divisional Odds & Picks

May 12th, 2009 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor)

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AFC East

Odds to win the AFC East:
Buffalo Bills +600
Miami Dolphins +1000
New England Patriots -400
New York Jets +700

The AFC East was among the most exciting playoff division races of 2009. Miami, New York, and New England all entered the last two weeks of the season with chances to make the playoffs and many were shocked when the Patriots dynasty failed to make the post-season. The Patriots lost QB Tom Brady early in the year and it quickly leveled the playing field among the division. Miami was among one of the biggest turnaround stories in recent memory and became the only team in the division to make the post-season. However, Brady is back and so are the expectations for the Patriots to return to dominance in 2010. The Patriots put together some depth through the NFL Draft and WR Brandon Tate could find away to fit into the air attack in the future. The Jets had a great draft as well landing Mark Sanchez to fill the shoes at quarterback. However, it will take Sanchez some time and the Jets need someone to make an immediate impact. Chad Pennington turned the Dolphins team around in 2009 throwing for over 3600 yards and 19 touchdowns. The Dolphins had an unexpected successful year, but that may have been more of a sign of how weak the division was instead of how well the Dolphins were playing. Buffalo struggled to move the ball last season as they only averaged 305 yards of total offense. The Bills addressed some defensive needs in the draft, but they are in desperate need for playmakers on offense. The Patriots appear to be a lock in the AFC East this year with their high power offense and solid defense. However, if Brady goes down again this year they will have a lot bigger problems as Cassel is not there any longer at backup.

Pick – Patriots -400

AFC North

Odds to win the AFC North:
Baltimore Ravens +250
Cincinnati Bengals +800
Cleveland Browns +800
Pittsburgh Steelers -200

The Pittsburgh Steelers wrapped up their NFL record 6th Super Bowl victory last season and they will of course be rather sizeable favorites to win the AFC North in 2010. The Steelers were involved in some hard fought battles with Baltimore throughout the season, but in the end the Steelers beat the Ravens in all 3 games played. Heading into next year it is fairly safe to say that the division will likely be a two horse racing again. Cleveland and Cincinnati ranked as the bottom two teams in the NFL in 2009 in terms of overall offense. Cleveland averaged 249 yards per game and the Bengals somehow were even worse at 245 yards per game. These two teams combined to only average 26 points per game last season. Seven teams averaged at least 26 points per game last season to just give an idea of how poor these offenses were. Do not expect any dramatic improvements next year. The Steelers and the Ravens were propelled by two very strong defenses in 2009. Pittsburgh’s defense was perhaps the best to take the field in the last decade as they were ranked number 1 in 3 out of 4 major defensive categories. Baltimore’s defense was ranked number 2 behind the Steelers in nearly every category and the two tangled for some low scoring defensive controlled games. The difference this year could be Joe Flacco ability to continue to mature at quarterback for Baltimore. The Ravens used Flacco’s arm to pursue the deep ball more often towards the end of the year and Baltimore could develop into a strong offensive team as well. We will pick the Ravens to play spoiler against the defending champions in the AFC North.

Pick – Baltimore +250

AFC South

Odds to win the AFC South:
Houston Texans +400
Indianapolis Colts +160
Jacksonville Jaguars +200
Tennessee Titans +300

The AFC South should without a doubt be the strongest division in the AFC next season from top to bottom. The Tennessee Titans started 2009 a perfect 10-0 as one of the breakout teams in the league. The Titans will look to stick to strong defense and an offense led by the legs of Chris Johnson. Draft picks Kenny Britt and Jared Cook could become potential weapons after time to develop. Cook has a lot of speed for a tight end that could present some big mismatches in the secondary. The Texans added a lot of focus to the defense during the off-season. Houston allowed 24 points per game last year and things must change for them to contend. Steve Slaton had strong year running the ball and will need similar efforts for Houston this year to keep the offense affective. Jacksonville did a wonderful job adding some premier talent to the offensive line with Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton during the draft. The offensive line allowed a miserable 42 sacks last season and these two young guys will change that. The question is how long will it take? The Jaguars defense is a work in progress and they could be a playmaker away on offense from shaping out to be a great team. The Indianapolis Colts got off to a horrible 3-4 start last year before rattling off 9 straight wins to close out the season. Indianapolis appears on the outside looking in to be primed for 2010. However, the release of Marvin Harrison along with major changes in the coaching staff after Tony Dungy retired and the Colts have a lot of question marks. However, Peyton Manning behind center is all anyone could ask for even when times are tough.

Pick – Indianapolis +160

AFC West

Odds to win the AFC West:
Denver Broncos +350
Kansas City Chiefs +600
Oakland Raiders +800
San Diego Chargers -225

The San Diego Chargers became the first team to enter the playoffs that did not have a winning record last season in nearly two decades. The Charges finished 8-8 on the season, but it was good enough as they held the tie breaker over Denver who was also 8-8. Darren Sproles made a big impact during the playoffs as the speedy running back will get his share of touches with LaDainian Tomlinson. San Diego’s late season success could be a good indication of what to expect in 2010. The Denver Broncos gave up star quarterback Jay Cutler. Does Kyle Orton come in to run the offense? If so we have seen the show before and it did not work out so well in Chicago. The Broncos did add Knowshon Moreno to the roster with the first pick. Moreno could be a solid back with unbelievable lateral quickness, but how much of an immediate impact he will make is the question. Oakland shocked the world by taking Darius Heyward-Bey in the first round over Michael Crabtree. However, the Raiders were going after an immediate big play threat. Heyward-Bey’s speed gives the down field threat on any given play. However, Oakland needs a lot more help to improve from the 16.4 points and 272 yards of offense from 2009 which were both among the worse in the NFL. Kansas City went after a few defensive needs with the draft selecting Tyson Jackson and Alex Magee for the defensive line. The Chiefs defense was flat frightening in all the wrong ways last season so any help has to be a plus. Kansas City still has a lot of question marks all over the field on the offensive side of the ball as well. The Chiefs should win more than two games this year, but perhaps not enough to consider contending for the division crown.

Pick – San Diego -225


Posted in NFL Football on Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 at 10:32 pm (EST)
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