The AFC East has belonged to the New England Patriots over the course of the last several years, and that seems to be the case once again this year. Our summer continues with an AFC East preview, as we look at all of the odds to win the AFC East for four teams in this grouping.
The New England Patriots (AFC East Odds: 1 to 5 SportBet Sportsbook) are once again the bona fide favorites to walk away with this division. We do think that the Pats are one of the best teams in the league, but we think that this is just as much a case of a team being in a bad division as much as anything else. There simply aren’t any challengers for the Brady Bunch, and for as long as QB Tom Brady stays healthy, this is going to be one of the best teams in football. Some are going to cringe at the idea of losing WR Wes Welker, who has had the most catches seemingly every year for the Pats for the last half decade. However, WR Danny Amendola was looked upon as “Wes Welker Jr.” for years and years with the St. Louis Rams, except he was dealing with #1: Injuries and #2: Sam Bradford at quarterback, a combination that has limited him. The defense for New England held teams under 21 points per game last season, and this is the unit that is really going to make the difference for this team when push comes to shove as we see it.
There really isn’t much of a shot for anyone else in the AFC East, but at least the Miami Dolphins (Odds To Win AFC East: 5 to 1 SportBet Sportsbook) seem to have a chance to get the job done to get into the playoffs. This was a team that was the butt of every joke two seasons ago, and even going into last year, there was a question as to whether QB Ryan Tannehill was going to have the ability to play in this league. Tannehill wasn’t the greatest last season, but he did prove that he can play some quarterback. The offense literally scored half the points of New England last season though, and that’s bad news going forward, especially with the best offensive weapon the team had last year, RB Reggie Bush is now gone from the team. Signing WR Mike Wallace amongst others should help at least get the team towards respectability, but we still aren’t sure that this team is amongst the best six in the AFC. There is no doubt that this is the second best team on paper in the division, though that might ultimately be the case if the team only wins six or seven games, too. Unless Tannehill turns out to be the next Tom Brady in a hurry, the Dolphins will always be second best in 2013.
The Buffalo Bills (2013 AFC East Betting Lines: 18 to 1 @ SportBet Sportsbook) released QB Ryan Fitzpatrick before the NFL Draft, and they were the one team that really didn’t have a chance to get a new quarterback to start in the offseason. QB Kevin Kolb doesn’t give us all the confidence in the world. The Bills were convinced that there were, as they put it “two men” that could be franchise quarterbacks. They took one of those men in QB EJ Manuel, and he might be handed the keys to the car right away. Florida State quarterbacks haven’t had a good history of late in the NFL though, and we aren’t all that optimistic that Manuel is going to be able to step right into the fold and win games either. There has been far too much money foolishly spent by the Bills. They might be handicapped for years to come if they can’t figure out how to get their act together and make some great draft picks. As we saw with the Seattle Seahawks last season though, it only takes the right quarterback to turn a very average team into a great team.
And now, we’re sending in the clowns. The New York Jets (NFL AFC East Division Odds: 10 to 1 SportBet Sportsbook) are the third favorites in the AFC East, not the complete underdogs, but we do think that they are finishing in the gutter in the division. The QB Tim Tebow experiment is over with, and it ended in the embarrassment of Tebow getting picked up by the Patriots, who oh by the way, are the team on the schedule in Week 2 of the season. It’s amazing that Head Coach Rex Ryan wasn’t fired for the joke of a team that he put on the field last year. QB Mark Sanchez is still probably going to be the starting quarterback in Week 1, but once again, he has another quarterback looking over his shoulder in QB Geno Smith, who was the team’s second round draft pick this year. There were plenty of good draft picks for New York this year, which might be the one thing that really saves this team going forward, but we aren’t so sure that it will make all that much of a difference when push comes to shove this year. For as long as Sanchez is the quarterback for this team, there are going to be problems.
Latest 2013 Odds to Win the AFC East @ Sportbet Sportsbook (as of 6/13/13):
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New England Patriots Win AFC East -500
Field Wins AFC East +400
Miami Dolphins Win AFC East +500
Field Wins AFC East -700
New York Jets Win AFC East +1000
Field Wins AFC East -1300
Buffalo Bills Win AFC East +1800
Field Wins AFC East -2500
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