2017 AFC East Predictions and Picks

By Loot, NFL Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Let’s face it; the New England Patriots are the undisputed kings of the AFC East. They have won this division 8 times in a row and 13 out of 14 seasons. They are the defending Super Bowl champions headed into 2017 and are roundly expected to haul down division honors again this season. It won’t be easy, but anyone looking to take a team other than the Pats will be receiving juicy odds. And who knows, maybe a slew of injuries or some other unforeseen circumstance can lead to something that causes the Pats to slip. As it stands now, there is no other division in football with such a wide disparity in odds. From the oddsmakers point-of-view, it’s the Patriots and then there’s everyone else.

Naturally, the Patriots are going to be heavily-favored. They won it all last season and made a lot of offseason moves that seemed to have only made them stronger. At the same time, the Dolphins did win 10 games last season and that was after a 1-4 start. They are the second choice and an interesting one at that. There is new leadership in Buffalo and maybe this is the year they can break through. The Jets are the last choice at +5000, far and away the longest shot of any team in any 2017 divisional prop bet this season.

Let’s take a look at the odds to win the 2017 AFC East, followed by 2017 team profiles and our picks:

Odds to Win the AFC East in 2017
New England Patriots -700
Miami Dolphins +800
Buffalo Bills +1500
New York Jets +5000

A Word About the Odds: The odds to win the AFC East are expressed on the money line. To win $100 on the New England Patriots at -700, you would need to bet $700. That’s how much of a division frontrunner they are heading into the 2017 NFL season. The Dolphins, Bills, and Jets are +800, +1500, and +5000, respectively. That means you win that much for a $100 bet. If you take the Dolphins at $100, you would win $800, while the same bet would earn you $1500 on the Bills and $5000 on the Jets. If looking for big odds if something weird happens, the AFC East division can be seen as an opportunity to strike it big. But let’s face it, the Patriots are prohibitive favorites for a reason.

New England Patriots (-700): At 40, Tom Brady looks to make the most of his waning time in the NFL to make another mark, following Super Bowl glory in 2016. They’re a leading contender to again win the Super Bowl, therefore they are leading favorites to take down this division. It’s hard to remember a team being -700 to win their division, but that’s how strong the stranglehold is that the Pats have on the AFC East. With additions like corner Stephon Gilmore and Brandin Cooks, optimism is still high and it’s going to take a combination of different unforeseen developments to keep the Patriots from again earning AFC East honors.

Miami Dolphins (+800): If there is one team not getting a lot of respect here, it’s definitely the ‘Fins. Despite losing their QB late and an awful 1-4 start in Adam Gase’s first year as head coach, they went on a big roll to get to 10-6 and make it into the playoffs. Injuries made it so they didn’t hold up the entire season, petering out at the end with Matt Moore behind center, but the foundation has been laid. Perhaps Gase found the right formula and is a legit rising commodity in the NFL coaching ranks. This season will tell part of the story, but those counting the Dolphins out on the basis of a quiet offseason could be surprised.

Buffalo Bills (+1500): Sweeping changes were made in the coaching ranks and throughout the front office for Buffalo, as they turn the page on yet another unsuccessful era. It was 1999 when the last time the Bills saw the postseason and despite signs of an upsurge several seasons ago, a 15-17 record in two seasons with Rex Ryan once again has the Bills looking for answers. Adding to their issues was an offseason where they seemed to lose more than they gained. You never know until you know, but they don’t seem to be in “win now” mode. Sure, they could catch fire under a new regime, but this looks to be a good season to see where they’re headed. Even at 15-to-1, they don’t seem to possess much value. If a seemingly-down Buffalo team were somehow able to outrun both the Pats and ‘Fins, you’d like to get more than 15-to-1 for calling that one right.


New York Jets (+5000): In head coach Todd Bowles’ first season in ’15, the Jets surprised many with a 10-6 mark, but whatever went right in 2015 went whooshing out of the locker-room by 2016. The Jets won 2 of their last 4 games to salvage a 5-11 mark in what was a ragged 2016 campaign. Bowles is back and some additions through free agency to the O-line should help, as should some key pick-ups in the draft that should bolster the defense. They are without a cemented quarterback and they’re going to need several players to blossom this season on that side of the ball if they hope to keep pace with the better opponents they play. In other words, there are good reasons why they are the longest shot in the entire league to win their division—going off at almost twice the odds as the Cleveland Browns!

Lootmeister’s Pick to Win the AFC East: New England Patriots

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