AFC East proposition bets

Wednesday, 08 August 2018 11:15 EST

AFC EastWhile the preseason continues and we await the departure of wide receivers from the Green Bay island, NFLbets continues our look at NFL futures and proposition bets for 2018. As we’ve said before, we just love the “Over/Under Wins” and “To Win Division” futures/props for the upcoming season. Today, NFLbets ponders the AFC East.

Ah yes, the AFC East. Since the turn of the century, the NFL’s low-risk, low-reward division – unless Tom Brady’s injured for an entire season.Tell you this, though: The dark times are ending for, as the great Sir Charles – NFLbets swears he was the first to declare thusly publicly – Father Time is undefeated.

Nevertheless, the sportsbooks believe the Great Equalizer (no, not Denzel Washington, silly!) will be staved off for one more year, and reckon that the AFC East’s also-rans again aren’t worth the money in the “To Win Division” prop.

AFC East O/U wins to win div. (open) to win div. (current)
New England Patriots 11 -700 -700
Buffalo Bills +1200 +1100
Miami Dolphins +1200 +1100
New York Jets 6 +1000 +1600

 

This is likely to be NFLbets’ shortest of all futures/proposition bets columns, as betting on either the “To Win Division” or “Over/Under Wins” props vis-à-vis the AFC East comes down to two simple questions:

•  Is this the year Brady, Gronk et al (now including, NFLbets supposes, Eric Decker) finally fall to the time reaper’s scythe; and

•  If not the Patriots, then who?

In short, NFLbets would answer “Yes, a bit more” and “the New York Jets.” (No, really.)

The latest revolving door of an offseason for New England included the departures (and subsequent trash-talking) of former Brady fave Danny Amendola and Malcolm Mitchell followed by the additions of Decker and Cordarrelle Patterson. Only Gronk keeps away the comparison to the days when Reche Caldwell was The Man in Patriotland. 

On the defensive side of things, DE Adrian Clayborn and CB Jason McCourty came aboard during the past offseason. Fair enough, but McCourty is just about the only recognizable name among the pool of the 17 cornerbacks and safeties admitted to Patriots training camp. Resetting what was an absolutely abysmal passing defense in 2017 – You wanna know why Malcolm Butler was cockblocked out of the Super Bowl and therefore ignored in free agency? Poor performance, bro! – seems like a decent enough idea, but can Belichick really craft a working machine from this particular lot of spare parts? 

NFLbets just simply cannot go to the overhyped well again. Take the under on the Patriots over/under 11 wins prop.

•••••

The dusk of the Belichick/Brady Patriots will not only be good news for the league’s up-and-comers but is tremendous news for NFL bettors. O, sure, the Belichick/Bardy Patriots have often been swell cash cow during the regular season: In the glory year of 2007, for example, the Pats started the season at an easy 8-0 ATS, followed by a nearly-as-agreeable 3-5 ATS in the second half as the point spreads were set ever-insanely higher. An astute NFL bettor should probably have gone about 14-2 betting on the Pats that year – and woof, until the Super Bowl, did the bookmakers lose money!

In fact, the Super Bowl is the main reason that NFL bettors will be happy to see Belichick ‘n’ Brady depart the scene, as these dudes have f#&^&#^*ed up Super Bowl bets zillions of times. Despite the Lombardi Trophies and all, the New England Patriots are 3-6-1 ATS in Super Bowls; in the Belichick Era, they’re 3-5. The Pats have pulled off the biggest ATS Super Bowl upset and were later victimized as harshly. On three occasions has the ATS outcome differed from the SU outcome in Patriots Super Bowls, and Belichick’s bunch went 13 years (and four appearances) between ATS wins in the big game.

•••••

Sadly, NFLbets would guess the glorious day of Belichick and Brady’s fall from the top is still one year away. In the AFC East, the 2017 Buffalo Bills couldn’t even tank successfully last season and must seriously be considered for the title of Worst NFL Playoff Team of All-Time. 

Over in Miami, head coach Adam Gase brought in his old buddy Jay Cutler down to South Beach to play QB, and thus did the 2017 Miami Dolphins cutler like nearly every Jay Cutlered team before them. These Dolphins were a bottom-5 team in most metrics on both offense and defense, earning Miami its 10th season of the past 12 in which the team played .500 ball or lower.

This season, Ryan Tannehill and his 37-40 career record are back at QB, and the sportsbooks apparently reckon that makes the Dolphins a half-win better than in 2017. Yeeeeeah, not really buying that. NFLbets would half-heartedly advise taking the under on even 6½ wins for these guys.

•••••

This leaves the New York Jets, who, according to the lines on these NFL futures, is about the only AFC East team that NFL bettors are *not* enthused about. But there’s a case to be made – at least for racking up more wins that most expect.

And those expectations are key. The truth is that the Jets are bringing more unknowns into 2018 than perhaps any other NFL side. They’re likely to sport the youngest roster in the league, as just three players over 29 were invited to camp (the oldest, 39-year-old Josh McCown seems unlikely to be around by week 17). By all reports, Jets brass is high – hopefully not literally – on top draft pick/future franchise QB Sam Darnold and ever the flashy add-ons the Jets made this offseason, e.g. Terrelle Pryor and Isaiah Crowell, feel like players of immediate impact.

While the offense should have the element of surprise on their side, the defense can only improve if given a bit less time on the field in 2018. The Jets were a bottom-5 team in time of possession in ’17 and were held to 10 points or fewer four times in the final seven games. Ugly. Nascent superstar Jamal Adams will look even better in his second season if his unit isn’t continually gassed, NFLbets believes.

Whether or not the Jets can top six wins is all down to the schedule. The opening month is reasonable enough, going at Detroit Lions, vs Miami, at Cleveland Browns and at Jacksonville Jaguars. A 3-1 mark would hardly be unbelievable early on and the NFL bettor going over 6 wins on the Jets is already halfway home by early October. 

The rest of the Jets’ schedule is hardly easy at all, but on the plus side they’ve drawn four teams with rookie head coaches (again the element of surprise works in the Jets’ favor) and have games against X-factors such as Chicago, Indianapolis and Tennessee. Thus the six-win mark will likely come down to games against Buffalo and Miami. Last year, the Jets split these series, winning both home games and losing away twice. A mark of 3-1 against these rivals is a must; getting a fourth win within the AFC East would seemingly ice at least six wins for New York. So all signs point to taking the New York Jets to win over 6 games.

As for those 18/1 odds to win the division outright, well, that’s a fan’s bet. NFLbets may be speculative, but we aren’t freakin’ crazy...

NFLbets’ best bets for AFC East betting:
•  New York Jets over 6 wins.

NFLbets’ recommendations for NFC West betting:
•  New England Patriots under 11 wins
; and
•  New England Patriots to win division (preferably in a perlay).