With nearly one quarter of the 2021 regular season in the books, many of the league’s divisions are starting to show which teams are the frontrunners to win their respective divisional crowns.
Currently, no other team is a larger favorite to win their division with NFL betting sites than the Buffalo Bills. But, are they a good bet right now or should we wait to see how things unfold before making any wagers on divisional winners?
Let’s huddle up to examine the Bills’ chances of winning the AFC East, see how their odds compare to other divisional winners, and hopefully score a TD with these NFL betting predictions.
It’s no surprise that the New York Jets are listed as a massive longshot to win the AFC East. What is a surprise is the fact that the Jets have already won a game in 2021.
I didn’t think that the Jets would win a game until their showdown with the Houston Texans around Thanksgiving. And, yet, New York took advantage of a banged up Tennessee Titans team without their top two wide receivers and scored the upset.
The Jets started out 0-3 on the year with losses to the Panthers, Patriots, and Broncos. They were outscored 70 to 20 in those three games.
However, New York bounced back to beat the Titans 27 to 24 in OT and are no longer one of the winless teams in the league.
Another surprise right now is with the online betting sites where the Lions (+10000) and the Falcons (+6500) are bigger underdogs to win their divisions than the Jets.
Ironically, the Jets and Falcons play this weekend in London, which should settle the debate on who the worst team is.
The Jets have played hard all season long, but they lack the talent on both sides of the ball to win more than three games on the year.
Saddled with a rookie QB who already has eight INTs to four TDs, a poor offensive line than can’t run block, and a defense that’s lacking top shelf talent, along with a first year head coach, the Jets are going to be picking near the top of the NFL Draft in 2022.
They’re not even worth considering for a small flier.
Miami Dolphins (+1000)
The Dolphins were a sneaky consideration for winning the AFC prior to the start of the 2021 season. They even started off the year with a big win over divisional rivals the New England Patriots.
Heading into the Week 2 matchup with the Bills, there was talk that if Miami could win and start off 2-0 in the AFC East that they could be real contenders to win the division.
Those talks quickly died in their game against Buffalo as not only did they lose 35-0, but Miami also lost starting QB Tua Tagovailoa for several weeks after breaking a few ribs.
The Dolphins promptly responded with losses to the Raiders and the Colts in consecutive weeks and now sit 1-3 on the season with a Week 5 matchup against Tampa Bay.
Miami’s offense has been terrible so far this season averaging just 15ppg. The defense, which was supposed to be their strength, is giving up 27.2ppg.
And, to make matters worse, their top running back Myles Gaskin has just 142 rushing yards and zero touchdowns through the first month of the season.
In his 2 ½ games, backup QB Jacoby Brissett has 583yds, 2TDs and 1 INT. The problem is that he’s not putting up points.
Dolphins’ fans, don’t lose faith just yet. After Miami loses to Tampa Bay to fall to 1-4, they have winnable games against the Jaguars, Falcons and Texans along with losable games against the Bills and Ravens.
Miami is clearly not a realistic contender to win the AFC East. But, a strong finish to the regular season could still put them in the conversation for one of the Wild Card spots.
New England Patriots (+650)
Sitting tied with the Jets and Dolphins at 1-3 is the Patriots. Prior to the season, New England was the trendy pick by some of the “cool” analysts to win the AFC East division.
There was a lot of buzz over what the Patriots did in the offseason and how that will restore them as the divisional champs. After four games, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
If it weren’t for a Week 2 matchup against the lowly Jets, the Patriots would be winless on the year. With losses to the Dolphins, Saints and Buccaneers, New England certainly has a hole to dig out of.
With That Said, I Believe This Team Will Still Finish Above .500 on the Year
As much of a hater as I am towards the Patriots, I was really impressed with how New England looked in almost beating the Buccaneers and Tom Brady in his big return to Foxboro in Week 4.
There’s talk of New England adding Jamie Collins to the defense. With Collins and the return of many players who opted out last year, this Patriots defense could possibly become a Top 10 unit.
Rookie QB Mac Jones seemed to mature right before our very eyes against the Bucs and I can see him evolving throughout the season.
As of now, I would hold off on any wagers on New England other than their impending destruction of Houston in Week 5.
Buffalo Bills (-500)
Despite the chatter of the Patriots upstaging the Bills for the AFC East, Buffalo is clearly the best team in the division after the first month of the season. In fact, it’s not even a debate right now. Additionally, Buffalo is considered to be one of the best teams in the AFC and the NFL.
Like Green Bay, and a few other teams, Buffalo was sluggish in Week 1 and dropped their season opener to the Steelers. It was almost as if the Bills, and other teams, were still in preseason mode during the opening week.
Since then, Buffalo has gone on to absolutely destroy their next three opponents: the Dolphins, WFT, and the Texans. They pitched shutouts against Miami and Houston and combined to beat all three teams by the total score of 118 to 21.
For the season, Buffalo has scored 134 points and have allowed just 44 points. They’re setting a blistering pace of scoring on offense and are currently the best defense in points allowed.
Taking It a Step Further:
The Bills defense ranks in the Top 5 for most major categories. We already knew about the talent in the secondary and linebacker positions. The big question mark coming into the season was the defensive line.
After four games, there’s no longer any questions about the front four. In fact, the d-line has become the catalyst for the entire resurgence of this Buffalo defense.
Rookie 1st round pick Grego Rousseau has brought energy and athleticism to the defensive end position. Along with second year AJ Epenesa, these two have made the pass rush even more explosive.
It can’t be stated enough how much Buffalo missed DT Star Lotulelei last year when he opted out. This year, the massive DT is helping to stuff the run, take up two blockers, free up linebackers, and collapse the pocket on opposing QBs. He’s been a huge factor in the improvement of the d-line.
The offense ranks high in many categories including being ranked second in the league in scoring at 33.5ppg. QB Josh Allen appears to be back on track for MVP consideration this year. Allen finished runner-up last year.
Buffalo has a strong chance at finishing with one of the best records in the conference and the entire league.
Is now the right time to bet on Buffalo to win the AFC East? I’ll answer that question near the end of this article.
Comparing Bills Odds With Other Division Favorites
Los Angeles Rams (+150)
Baltimore Ravens (+100)
Kansas City Chiefs (-105)
Tennessee Titans (-250)
Dallas Cowboys (-250)
Green Bay Packers (-400)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-450)
The Los Angeles Rams (+150) and Baltimore Ravens (+100) have positive odds to win their divisions. Currently, the Rams are one game back of the Cardinals in the NFC West and the Ravens are tied for first with the Browns and Bengals in the AFC North.
Of the two, I would take the Rams’ odds right now since they’re built for the long-haul compared to the Cardinals. I would avoid the Ravens right now as Cleveland looks like the better team.
I would jump on the Chiefs right now as well. They’ve started off sluggish on the season, but Mahomes and company are still the best in the AFC West despite their 2-2 record.
The Titans and Cowboys are winning teams, but they have the added luxury of playing in bad divisions where the rest of the teams will be lucky to have a .500 record.
I see the odds only increasing for both teams to win their divisions. You might want to hop on the lines now before the value is completely gone.
Like Tennessee and Dallas, Green Bay plays in a bad division where the Lions and Bears will have losing records. Minnesota has talent, but will be lucky to stay above .500 due to inconsistent play. Green Bay could win the division by Thanksgiving.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-450) were my preseason pick to finish with the best record in the NFC and easily win the NFC South. After a month, the Bucs are tied with the Panthers for the divisional lead. However, I see that changing over the next few weeks.
Tampa is the one team that could end up with bigger odds than the Packers and the Bills to win a division especially after the next few games.
AFC East Bet: Should We Bet the Bills, Another Team or Wait?
Really, this comes down to whether or not you think that the Patriots still have a chance at winning the AFC East. Personally, I don’t see that happening.
The Dolphins and Jets have no chance of winning the divisional crown, but the Patriots could still make things tight in the division.
With that said, the AFC East is Buffalo’s to lose. They appear to be the most balanced team on both sides of the ball throughout the entire league.
“Our organization, we have one goal in mind and that’s to win.”
However, I would wait to wager on Buffalo to win the AFC East until after they play the Chiefs in Week 5 and the Titans in Week 6.
Both the Chiefs and Titans embarrassed Buffalo last year. Additionally, the Bills have to go out on the road for both games.
A loss to the Chiefs and a win by the Patriots will drop Buffalo’s odds down from the -500 to maybe even -400 or so. Two losses by the Bills, and heading into their Week 7 Bye at 3-3, would definitely drop their odds even further. That’s when you can jump on Buffalo to win the division.
More than likely, take the Bills’ divisional odds prior to the Week 6 matchup against the Titans as they should beat Tennessee this year.
The flip side to all of this is that if Buffalo beats the Chiefs and Titans, their odds to win the division will definitely grow and bettors would’ve missed the boat.
However, until they beat the Chiefs, it’s hard to be 100% confident in their chances of winning the Week 5 matchup despite how great Buffalo looks this year so far.
Wait Until After Week 5 to Bet on Buffalo to Win the AFC East
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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