NFL Betting: Breaking Down the AFC East for 2018

By Loot, NFL Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

There are a lot of shifting fortunes in the NFL, where teams that have been suffering are getting better, while some perennial playoff teams are receding to the pack. The AFC East might be one of the divisions more-resistant to change. It’s still the Patriots’ division until we are shown otherwise. The conference champion from last season won this division for the 9th straight time and 14th time in the last 15 seasons last season. They remain rampant favorites to take down the AFC East again this season. But Buffalo quietly went 9-7 last season, while the Jets and Dolphins have a certain underdog appeal heading into this season. Let’s take a look at what’s to like and what’s not to like about each AFC East team. Loot also includes his over/under take on each team’s projected win total from this season. Take a look!

Buffalo Bills (9-7 last season)
Pros:
Should be on the rise after finally making playoffs in ’17
More-interesting possibilities at QB with McCarron and Allen
Nice running game
Receivers could be good with Benjamin, rising Zay Jones, Coleman, and other youngsters
Draft and free agency could help “D”
Vontae Davis nice addition at CB, along with rookie Edmunds
Beefed up up-front on defense
Won 9 games last season
Good value for those looking to go “over”
Defense a unit on the rise
O-line should be solid and with good RB, it’s good for young QB
Bills added beef up-front on “D”
Cons:
Made playoffs despite not moving ball well
Lose the element of ball-control with Taylor gone
QB upgrade made with unproven talent
Playmaking ability looks dicey on offense
Need a lot of stars to line up to not regress
Offense still appears a bit pedestrian
No real playmaking out of LeSean McCoy
Schedule looks exceptionally tough, especially early
Loot’s Pick for Over/Under Wins: Over 6.5 wins at +165. Nice price on the over for a playoff team from last season. The winning formula has been disrupted and the schedule is tough, but we see a 7-win season as wholly doable.

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Miami Dolphins (6-10 last season)
Pros:
Ton of additions make them an X-factor
Veterans Frank Gore, Albert Wilson, and Danny Amendola should help
Tannehill returns and had been on upswing prior to injury
Urgency high for Tannehill to establish his brand
With Tannehill, they won ten games two seasons ago, so…
Everything that could go wrong last season did, should have better fortune
Rookies like S Minkah Fitzpatrick and TE Mike Gesicki could contribute immediately
Draft has elements of promise with some difference-makers
Lot of resources put into “D” through draft and free agency
Should have strong pass-rush and a secondary on the rise
A lot needs to go right, but a lot of pieces are in place
Schedule negotiable to open, could get off to fast start
Lot of potential upside
Cons:
Too dependent on Tannehill’s health and form?
Receiving corps took step back last season
Not a lot of juice on either side of ball in 2017
Defense had minimal playmaking ability last season
Roster doesn’t look very good
Replacements for departed contributors seem worse than predecessors
No obvious difference-makers stand out
Lost stars in Landry and Suh
Lot of potential downside
One of the more-difficult teams to gauge for the upcoming season
Loot’s Pick for Over/Under Wins: Over 6.5 at -120. A lot of this rides on Tannehill’s health and form, but they were a 10-win team two years ago with a healthy Tannehill and with improvements on “D,” a 7-9 season seems doable.

New England Patriots (13-3 last season)
Pros:
Massive winning inertia
Top coaching and front office
Urgency high with Brady and Belichick’s time running out
Got interesting back in rookie Sony Michel
Added heat up front with Adrian Clayborn and Danny Shelton on “D”
New interesting piece at WR in Eric Decker
They’re a dynasty for a reason
Despite status, sometimes undervalued in a betting sense
Draft could help “D”
Added some potential power on O-line
Cons:
Lot of personnel turnover
Getting older at key positions
Without Edelman first four games (suspension)
How well can “Gronk” hold up?
Will Brady start to show his age?
Will holes on defense start to resonate, as they were poor in some areas?
Seem to be more questions than normal looming over them
Lost a lot of their core—Amendola, Butler, Lewis, Solder, etc.
New leadership and players on defense
Need more juice up-front on “D” and additions could help
Some issues at corner, showed some terrible pass “D” last season
Schedule tough in spots
Loot’s Pick for Over/Under Wins: Under 11 at +135. A lot more questions loom than normal and from a roster standpoint, getting to 12 wins seems like it would be a big ask from this bunch.

New York Jets (5-11 last season)
Pros:
Exciting QB talent incoming with third pick Sam Darnold
Added insurance in Teddy Bridgewater, with resurgent Josh McCown remaining
Team seems to get most of what it has
Blossoming young talent like S Jamal Adams
Added pieces like Pryor, Crowell, and CB Trumaine Johnson
WR Quincy Enunwa back from injury
Quietly effective last season, especially against the spread
Easy to underrate, giving them overall bargain-appeal
Didn’t add stars, but added a slew of lower-key players who can contribute
Added juice on O-line
Young talent on defense could start really paying off
Cons:
No real depth or playmaking on offense
No huge difference-makers on defense
Asking for a lot of stars to align
They don’t expect to win
No longer has the power up-front on defense
Need more juice in front seven on “D” to aid rising young secondary
Schedule very tough in second half of season
Loot’s Pick for Over/Under Wins: Over 6 at +120. They won 5 games last season with not a lot going their way. With improved personnel in several areas, maybe even a push to a .500 mark isn’t out of the question. Make this bet for FREE by taking advantage of a massive 100% sign-up bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets!