This is an interesting inflection point for the AFC East.
The Patriots’ divisional supremacy came to an end after the Buffalo Bills claimed the crown in 2020. Will Josh Allen and company repeat in 2021? The sportsbooks are hinting at that notion, making the Bills overwhelming favorites (-150 on FanDuel Sportsbook) to take the AFC East.
Buffalo certainly finds themselves in a position to thrive, and question marks surround the other three teams. However, the real predicament comes down to value. Can we confidently bet the Bills to take the AFC East at this price, or have the sportsbooks marked them up too much?
We’ll answer that question and provide a recommended pick below.
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.
Odds to win AFC East: -150
The Bills are projected for 11 wins this season. That’s among the best in the league.
Thanks to a solid defense and the progression of QB Josh Allen, Buffalo stands in as a legitimate Super Bowl contender in 2021.
Odds to win AFC East: +330
The Dolphins and Patriots have similar odds to take the AFC East in 2021. In fact, DraftKings Sportsbook has them both at +350 to win the division.
Stepping in with an optimistic win total of 9.5, the Dolphins pin their playoff aspirations on QB Tua Tagovailoa. Luckily, there’s enough help around him, especially in the defensive secondary.
New England Patriots
Odds to win AFC East: +360
This is where things get interesting. The Patriots are a wild card in the AFC East. Everyone knows that last year was an outlier in Bill Belichick’s coaching career.
The sportsbooks expect them to bounce back from a 7-9 campaign after drawing the line at 9.5 wins in this expanded 17-game season. In other words, the Patriots should be better in 2021. Will they be good enough to challenge the Bills? That’s the question.
New York Jets
Odds to win AFC East: +1600
Let’s not sugarcoat this: the Jets are rebuilding in 2021. They have a new head coach and a (hopeful) franchise rookie QB. There will be growing pains along the way, especially early on.
As a result, the Jets are looking at a win total of six, and I’m not entertaining the over. While their franchise seems to be moving in the right direction, I don’t believe it will pay dividends in 2021. The Jets are longshots for a reason.
The QB play is concerning, but New England should be ready to compete for an AFC East title in 2021. Here’s why:
- The Patriots made several improvements this offseason, and they will welcome back the opt-outs from last year.
- The defense is still one of the best in the league, and they’ll give the Patriots a fighting chance in every single game.
- New England has one of the best offensive lines in the league. They should be able to establish the run to help Cam Newton or Mac Jones manage the offense.
- Bill Belichick is still the coach, and that provides a tremendous advantage in divisional play.
Most people see a question mark surrounding the QB situation and conclude that New England is still a work in progress. Sure, they have plenty to prove on the offensive side of the ball, but they also have enough talent on the roster to rack up double-digit wins and an AFC East crown.
Because of this, I believe there’s value for the Patriots at +360 to win the AFC East.
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