With football season on the horizon, it is never too early to get those bets in.
As we get closer to the fall, more markets will become available and bettors will want to jump on them early before the prices move. WynnBET recently released win totals for all 32 teams in the NFL ahead of the 2022-23 season, and there are many numbers that already jump out.
I thought it was best to take a closer look at these win totals on a division-by-division basis to help determine what the best plays are. Let’s start with the AFC West, which figures to be one of the more competitive divisions in all of football.
AFC West Win Totals
All information as of Monday, June 6.
Place your bets at WynnBET’s online sportsbook today.
Kansas City Chiefs
Over 10.5 wins (-120)
Under 10.5 wins (+110)
2021 record: 12-5
WynnBET only has odds for the opening week of the 2022-23 NFL season, but you can figure out what the market thinks of these teams by looking at betting lines for the entire season at other sportsbooks. That’s where I started anyway to get a better idea of how many games Vegas expects each team to win.
Kansas City is currently favored in 14 of its 17 games, though it is worth mentioning that 11 different contests are within a field goal in either direction. The Chiefs getting points has been a rarity in the Patrick Mahomes era. Despite their slow start, the Chiefs were favored in every game of the 2021-22 campaign.
In fact, per SportsOddHistory, the last time Kansas City was an underdog in a game that Mahomes started in was back in Week 3 of 2020. That is when the Chiefs cruised to a 34-20 win over the Ravens in Baltimore as 3.5-point underdogs.
Currently, the Chiefs are getting points against the Buccaneers, Bills, and Chargers. All three of those squads — along with the Chiefs — are power rated inside the top-five, so that should help provide more context for the early betting odds.
Chiefs are currently getting points in 3 different games this upcoming season: at Bucs (Week 4), vs. Bills (Week 6), and at Chargers (Week 11).— Shane Jackson (@SJacksonBET) June 6, 2022
They haven't been an underdog in a Patrick Mahomes start since Week 3 of 2020. KC won that game, 34-20, in Baltimore. pic.twitter.com/Ne7aunFbgD
As a result, there might actually be a buy-low opportunity on Kansas City. But I’m not sure that should be on the win total. The Chiefs will have to adjust to life without Tyreek Hill and there are plenty of new faces in that receiver room. I’m more interested in keeping an eye on Kansas City in the futures market and jumping on a better price, assuming this team has another slow start.
Because as long as the best quarterback on the planet is in Kansas City, the Chiefs will always have a shot to make a run.
Los Angeles Chargers
Over 10.5 wins (+110)
Under 10.5 wins (-120)
2021 record: 9-8
After just missing the playoffs last season, it certainly seems like everything is set up for the Chargers to contend this year. You will want to jump on the bandwagon before it is too late.
Los Angeles loaded up its defense with the additions of Khalil Mack and J.C Jackson. The hope is that the Chargers improve on that side of the ball under second-year head coach Brandon Staley. The defense ranked 25th in EPA per play last season, and gave up the third-most rushing yards in the league.
The offense, meanwhile, ranked fifth in EPA per play and was led by second-year quarterback Justin Herbert. Only four signal callers in all of football posted a better Pro Football Focus grade than Herbert, who threw for 5,014 passing yards and 38 touchdowns. Herbert is +1000 to win the MVP award this year at WynnBET.
With the Chiefs in transition, and Herbert still on a rookie deal, this season certainly seems like the best time to strike for the Chargers. But how will Stanley's squad handle such expectations? Los Angeles went 9-8 straight up and 8-9 against the spread a season ago, including 6-6 SU and 5-7 ATS as a favorite.
Over 10 wins (-120)
Under 10 wins (+110)
2021 record: 7-10
Speaking of transition, the Denver Broncos finally have a quarterback that they believe in after landing Russell Wilson in the offseason.
Wilson had a down year in Seattle last fall, throwing for 3,113 yards and 25 touchdowns in 14 games. He ranked 19th among all quarterbacks with a PFF grade of 73.9. For comparison, Wilson had been a top-six QB via PFF’s grading system in each of the three previous seasons. The Broncos are counting on the 33-year-old signal caller to produce at that level in a tough division.
If Wilson is back in form, this is a team that can be in the mix. The Broncos have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball, but ranked 18th in total DVOA (via Football Outsiders) last year while being 12th in offensive DVOA and 20th in defensive DVOA.
The Broncos will be a polarizing team entering this season. The optimistic outlook is that it all clicks with Wilson right away and the Broncos are in contention for a division crown for the first time since 2015. Of course, one could also point out that Denver has finished higher than third in the AFC West just once over that span.
Denver went 7-10 outright and 8-9 against the spread a year ago. The under hit in 12 of the 17 games last season, something to keep in mind when betting the current total of 41 points for Denver’s season opener against Seattle on Monday Night Football.
Las Vegas Raiders
Over 8.5 wins (+100)
Under 8.5 wins (-110)
2021 record: 10-7
It will be tough to follow up last year’s double-digit win campaign, but that isn’t necessarily the Raiders’ fault.
Las Vegas tried to keep up with the arms race that is the AFC West, landing star receiver Davante Adams from the Green Bay Packers in the offseason. He reunites with quarterback Derek Carr, as the two once teamed up together at Fresno State at the collegiate level.
But it still might not be enough with the rest of the division having win totals of 10 or more. Las Vegas ranked 21st in team DVOA last year, including 19th on the offensive end. Carr threw for 4,804 passing yards and 23 touchdowns, but he was intercepted a career-high 14 times.
The Raiders were actually the only team in the division with a negative point differential, as they were outsourced by 65 points last year. They were on the right side of some close wins, including a wild overtime thriller against the Ravens in Week 1.
Las Vegas might have improved in the offseason, but it also might not show up in the record column this year. The Raiders went 9-8 ATS last season, while the under ended up hitting in nine of the 17 games as well.
My favorite win total is under 10 wins at plus-money for the Denver Broncos. I’m daring this team to win 11 games for the first time since they won the Super Bowl back in 2015.
There will likely be an adjustment period for Wilson and this entire organization. There is no guarantee that Wilson is the same player he once was either, especially in a division where he will be the third-best quarterback at best.
The Broncos are currently favored in exactly 10 games, while two other contests on the schedule are a pick 'em. It does help that Denver has a back-loaded schedule, so the favorable games will be in the early months while the team is meshing together.
But I’ll still bet on this team finishing behind both the Chiefs and Chargers in the division with about eight or nine wins on the year.
The AFC West runs through Kansas City until proven otherwise. This year feels like the best shot at dethroning the Chiefs, who have finished atop the AFC West in each of the last six season.
WynnBET still has Kansas City as the favorite with a +150 shot to win the AFC West. The Chargers are +225, while the Broncos come in right behind them at +275. The Raiders are the long shot with a price of +600.
So, why should I argue with the oddsmakers?
1. Kansas City
2. Los Angeles
4. Las Vegas