Giving our Best Future Bets: AFC East

The Miami Dolphins

Caesars’ Odds

Super Bowl Winner: Dolphins: +3500

Conference Winner: Dolphins: +1800

Division Winner: Dolphins: +450

To Make the Playoffs:

Dolphins: Yes +130; No -155

Regulars Season Win Total:

Dolphins: O 8.5 -135; U 8.5 +115

The Dolphins had a year of hot-and-cold swings last year; they started 1-7 before going 8-1 to end with nine victories overall.

A few new names come in Miami to build on the success from the late season. After letting go of previous head coach Brian Flores, the Dolphins decided to bring in 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel. They strengthened their offensive line in free agency while also acquiring standout wide receiver Tyreek Hill from the Kansas City Chiefs.

For the first time since 2016, the Dolphins will be hoping that these personnel adjustments will be sufficient to get them into the playoffs.

I find it challenging to determine whether the Dolphins’ offseason additions make them unquestionably a superior team than at least nine of their opponents in order for them to surpass 8.5 wins.

The two difficult bookends of this schedule are Weeks 1-4 and Weeks 13–18, when I think there is a good probability Miami will only record two combined victories. Will they lose motivation playing for a new head coach and an inexperienced quarterback if I anticipate properly that they have a bad start?

Despite all their strong offseason additions—Hill foremost—I still have concerns about Tua Tagovailoa’s future in this redesigned scheme. Although Miami’s terrible offensive line, an area in which it clearly made improvements during the summer, may be blamed for a lot of the team’s previous issues, there is something fishy about betting on Tua to surpass this total, particularly at a price of -135.

Despite this, there are still positive aspects of the Dolphins. On a defense that, according to Football Outsiders, finished 10th in the league in terms of total defensive DVOA, they return 10 starters. Additionally, the signing of Hill and the hire of McDaniel, an offensive genius who worked under Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco, could enhance an offense that finished last season 24th in team DVOA.

However, the Dolphins also face defenses that finished in the top half of the total DVOA last season in the bulk of their games (nine to be exact). Six of those teams, the Bills, Patriots, Browns, Steelers, 49ers, and Vikings, are, in my opinion, good chances to retain that title this year.

Future bets (Odds provided by Caesers Sportsbook):

  • Dolphins U 8.5 wins: +115

The New York Jets  

Caesars’ Odds

Super Bowl Winner: Jets: +15000

Conference Winner: Jets: +5500

Division Winner: Jets: +2200

To Make the Playoffs:

Jets: Yes +650; No -1000

Regulars Season Win Total:

Jets: O 5.5 -150; U 5.5 +126

For the New York Jets, this is their year. It may not be time to win the Super Bowl, but it is time to make a significant advancement.

Zach Wilson will fall in love again, this time with his new weapons, wide receiver Garrett Wilson and running back Breece Hall. But hold on—more. there’s Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, hailed as one of the top college football corners in NCAAF Division 1 history, was the Jets’ top pick throughout the selection process. The Jets are hoping that Gardner, who was selected in the first round as their fourth cornerback in the twenty-first century, will be more Darrelle Revis than Kyle Wilson and Dee Milliner.

The Jets have improved their lineup after only managing four victories the previous year. GM Joe Douglas sought and failed to trade an arsenal of draft selections for Tyreek Hill, a glaring indication that the Jets are all-in.

Given their squad changes, asking for only two more victories is a pretty realistic request given that their season victory total is now set at 5.5. It is possible that the Jets struggle early this season given that they only won four games last year and that their whole squad is fairly young. An 0-3 start is quite feasible, and their early schedule isn’t particularly encouraging either.

Overall, 5.5 wins is a fair goal for the next season, although the early season schedule is a serious source of concern. The optimistic view is that the early challenges may mold them into a youthful, combat-tested force.

In light of this, it is possible to predict that the Jets will face the Bears, Lions, Jaguars, and Seahawks as favorites or contenders. Additionally, this season, the Jets ought to be able to pick up one or two divisional victories. This excludes any surprises, like the Jets’ victory over the Bengals as 11-point underdogs on Halloween last year.

Future bets (Odds provided by Caesers Sportsbook):

  • Jets Alternate Over: O 6.5 wins: +170

The Buffalo Bills

Caesars’ Odds

Super Bowl Winner: Bills: +600

Conference Winner: Bills: +300

Division Winner: Bills: -240

To Make the Playoffs:

Bills: Yes -600; No +430

Regulars Season Win Total:

Bills: O 11.5 -140; U 11.5 +118

Few seasons in NFL history have finished in such desperation, rage, and misery as the Bills 2021 campaign did. The Bills, who felt they were one victory away from a Super Bowl appearance after scoring a touchdown against the Chiefs with 13 seconds remaining in the AFC Championship Game, now have the difficult chore of cleaning up the pieces. Of course, Kansas City then scored at the start of overtime and won, 42-36.

It may be difficult to bounce back from such a setback, but the Bills’ front office has given the team the boost it required. The additions of Von Miller and Roger Saffold III are a huge help on both sides of the ball in the trenches.

With rookie first-round choice Kaiir Elam at cornerback, they also intend to cover a significant gap there. Elam has shown promise throughout the preseason, and he should get plenty of playing time with Tre’Davious White aiming to avoid the PUP list after recovering from an ACL tear and Jordan Poyer dealing with an elbow issue.

The secondary’s early injuries are alarming. However, at -240 betting favorites to win the AFC East, the Bills are hoping to sweep the division and have a healthy squad for the postseason in order to live up to their standing as favorites.

The Bills’ season opens against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on September 8 in what should have been the Super Bowl of the previous year.

Despite playing in a relatively poor division, Buffalo’s schedule is far from easy. The Bills are ranked as having the 10th-hardest schedule in the NFL.

It will be challenging to play the Rams, Ravens, and Chiefs before their Week 7 bye. The Over wager would have to produce a record of 12-5 or higher because their total win forecast is set at 11.5 wins.

Future bets (Odds provided by Caesers Sportsbook):

  • Bills O 11.5 wins: -140
  • Bills to win the division: -240

The New England Patriots 

Caesars’ Odds

Super Bowl Winner: Patriots: +4000

Conference Winner: Patriots: +2200

Division Winner: Patriots: +475

To Make the Playoffs:

Patriots: Yes +140; No -165

Regulars Season Win Total:

Patriots: O 8.5 -125; U 8.5 +105

Thanks to the performance of their rookie quarterback Mac Jones, the New England Patriots made the playoffs again in 2021 after missing them in 2020.

The Patriots still need to put in a lot of effort to regain their position at the top of the AFC, as seen by their 47-17 defeat to the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card round. Given that Jones is starting his second year in the NFL, this season could be an interesting one.

The Patriots won 10 games last season, but bookmakers have placed their victory total for this year at 8.5. Following Josh McDaniels’ move to Las Vegas, Jones will work for a different offensive coordinator. And in typical Bill Belichick manner, the Patriots are unsure of who will succeed McDaniels as play-caller.

Instead, the Patriots are reportedly adopting a more cooperative strategy with the combination of Joe Judge as the offensive assistant and quarterbacks coach and Matt Patricia acting as a senior football advisor/offensive line coach.

What’s remarkable is that, despite being past head coaches, neither Judge nor Patricia has much expertise on the offensive side of the ball. Patricia’s prior experience with the Patriots was as their defensive coordinator from 2012 to 2017, and Judge served as their special teams coordinator from 2015 to 2019.

You can be sure that arguments over who runs the offense will go on all season if the Patriots start off poorly.

Given the advancements the Dolphins made in the offseason, New England is in a much more competitive division. After all is said and done, the Patriots may end up being the AFC East’s third-best team, behind the Dolphins and the Bills. I tend to lean under 8.5 wins because of this.

Future bets (Odds provided by Caesers Sportsbook):

  • Patriots U 8.5 wins: +105

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