AFC West Odds: The arms race, and 2022 picks!

The AFC West odds sum up what should be an epic 2022 NFL season in arguably pro football’s best division.

Four teams, all making big offseason splashes in a bid to ensure postseason play, it all points to popcorn-worthy football come Fall. Can’t they play each other every week? And now Week 1 is closing in real fast.

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We’ll give you all the latest intel and odds changes throughout the summer and then into preseason and the real thing come September. It should be one of THE best lines in NFL betting in 2022.

AFC West Odds

A year ago the AFC West futures line showed the Kansas City Chiefs as a dominant favorite, but not any more. The opposition has beefed up massively for a run at the division title. Even the Raiders – +2200 a year ago – is now a third of those odds. Here is the latest from major online bookmakers:

NB: Odds correct on May 27, 2022

AFC West Predictions

Okay, with free agency and the 2022 Draft now firmly in the rear-view mirror, it’s time for us to make our (way too early) predictions for the upcoming season.

The first thing to note here is that we love the value about the Chiefs here – remember they were a really heavy favorite going into 2021. Yes the competition is tougher now and yes, there is no Tyreek Hill any more, but don’t let that fool you.

While all the focus nationally has been on the moves the Chargers/Broncos/Raiders have made to upgrade their rosters, we actually love the offseason KC has had.

While Mahomes will have no Tyreek to throw to in 2022, he will have second-round draft pick Skyy Moore (we love the value there) plus deep threats JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

KC didn’t stop there either – the secondary has undergone significant upgrades despite the departure of Tyrann Mathieu, and ditto the pass rush.

While the competition has indeed made moves to get closer to KC, the odds reflect that. There is little value left in any of the other three teams.

KC on the other hand, we love the +175 available right now, and our advice is to take it. If the Chiefs start the season well, those type of odds will not be around for long…

Our other early futures wager is on Russell Wilson and those Denver Broncos – or more specifically against them. We remain unconvinced that Russ is still as elite as he once was, and we are even less convinced that Denver will emerge from this brutal division with a postseason berth.

Take the +120 available right now that Nathaniel Hackett’s team is on the outside looking in when the tournament truly begins in January 2023.

You can of course claim some of our terrific signup bonus offers to help get your 2022 season betting started – we have risk-free bets and matched deposits available right now.

OddsCritic AFC West Predictions & Best Bets

Offseason moves: Free agency and trades

Wow, where to start. The biggest storylines in the offseason have mostly come in the West:

Kansas City Chiefs: One of the reason the odds are so tight is that the Chiefs have actually lost more than they gained since the end of the 2021 season. Mainly via the blockbusting trade which sent star WR Tyreek Hill to Miami. KC did make good use of the draft capital it acquired, and had a stellar 2022 selection meeting. CB Trent McDuffie and DE George Karlaftis were excellent first-round picks while second-round receiver Skyy Moore should be a star catching passes from Patrick Mahomes.

Los Angeles Chargers: A team doing it absolutely right in our book – trying like crazy to capitalize on that rookie window for budding superstar QB Justin Herbert. He is two years into his NFL career so you are likely looking at one more year of cheap labor before he gets paid a massive contract. Which of course takes up a big chunk of cap. L.A needed defensive additions and wow did it deliver, trading with Chicago for pass rusher Khalil Mack (also terrific vs the run, an area of Charger weakness) and signing Pats CB J.C. Jackson in free agency. Taking another OL in the shape of Boston College guard Zion Johnson in the first round of the draft further solidified the protection for Herbert. Great offseason for the Chargers, who are now primed to contend in the West.

Denver Broncos: The Broncos had been THE likeliest destination for the biggest QB trade this offseason since for over. First it was reigning league MVP Aaron Rodgers but finally Denver settled on trading for Russell Wilson from Seattle. It got a pretty nice deal too though it had to throw in TE Noah Fant to sweeten the pot. The other big offseason addition for Denver came in the shape of former Dallas DE Randy Gregory. It appeared the Cowboys had Gregory locked up for another five years but before he could ink the deal, contractual issues saw the whole thing fall through. Denver swooped to get their man in a $70million, five-year pact. Gregory has freakish talent, he just has to show it consistently over more than a few games. He showed the potential to be a game wrecker in Dallas (remember that game in New England in 2021?) but can he do it over 17 games?

Las Vegas Raiders: The Raiders could not afford to stand still to keep up with the crazy arms race unfolding around the division – and they definitely didn’t. The acquisition of Arizona edge rusher Chandler Jones – along with signing Maxx Crosby to a contract extension – gives Vegas in theory a fearsome pass rush. Then came the biggest fish of all, that trade to reunite Derek Carr with his former Fresno State teammate Davante Adams. The deal gives Carr arguably the best WR in the entire NFL to beef up an offense which lacked that deep threat in 2021. Vegas overachieved to make the postseason last year, this season it will be expected to contend.

AFC West Schedules for 2022

We don’t know when the games will be played yet, but we do know each team’s 2022 opponents:

Kansas City Chiefs

Home: Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans

Road: Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Las Vegas Raiders

Home: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers

Road: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans

Los Angeles Chargers

Home: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins

Road: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers

Denver Broncos

Home: Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers

Road: Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans

Who is favored in the AFC West?

Right now Kansas City has the edge in the AFC West odds at +160, but the Chargers (+250) and the Broncos (+260) are close behind. We could easily have a new favorite before the regular season!

How many Super Bowls has the AFC West won?

The AFC West has produced eight Super Bowl champion teams – 3 each for Las Vegas and Denver with Kansas City accounting for the other two. The Chargers were blown out by that great 49ers team headed by Jerry Rice and Steve Young in their only Super Bowl appearance to date in early 1995.

What are the tiebreakers in the AFC West?

If two or more teams finished tied for wins at the end of the regular season, it works out like this:
* Head-to-head record
* Best division record
* Best record in common games.
* Best conference record
* Strength of victory in all games.
* Strength of schedule in all games
* Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed in all games.
* Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed in all games.
* Best net points in common games.
* Best net points in all games.
* Best net touchdowns in all games.
* Coin toss