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Chiefs Open as Odds-On Favorites to Win AFC West in 2019; Chargers Only Other Team With Odds Better Than 11-1

Patrick Mahomes Chiefs QB
Patrick Mahomes aims to lead the Chiefs to a fourth straight AFC West title. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire)
  • The Chiefs have won the AFC West each of the last three years
  • NFL divisional odds have opened for the 2019 season
  • KC is once again favored to win the division; see the odds for all four teams below

Two teams have dominated the AFC West over the last nine years: the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs.

The Broncos reign lasted five straight seasons (2011-2015), with Peyton Manning at the helm for all but the first year. The Chiefs won the division in 2010 and have now claimed the throne each of the last three seasons.

Online sports betting sites believe KC’s rule will stretch at least one more season, as they have opened as the odds-on favorites to win the AFC West in the 2019 NFL season. Unfortunately for those in #BroncosCountry, Denver isn’t the team sportsbooks believe can challenge the Chiefs this year.

Odds to Win the AFC West in 2019

Team Odds at Bovada
Kansas City Chiefs -160
Los Angeles Chargers +200
Denver Broncos +1100
Oakland Raiders +1200

*Odds taken May 2

It’s the Chargers, who had an identical 12-4 record to the Chiefs last season, that are expected to be the lone team who can push Patrick Mahomes and company for the AFC West title.

The Chargers are the last team not named the Chiefs or Broncos to win the division, coming in 2009. The Raiders have not claimed the AFC West since 2002, the year they would lose to the Bucs in Super Bowl 37.

Can the Chiefs Offense Excel Without Tyreek Hill?

The Kansas City Chiefs scored an NFL-high 35.3 points per game last season. Tyreek Hill played in all 16 games, but he was not a major factor in all 16 games.

There were four games in the 2018 regular season where Hill was held to less than 55 yards receiving: Week 3 vs SF, Week 4 @ DEN, Week 13 @OAK, and Week 15 vs LAC. In those four games, Patrick Mahomes averaged 289 passing yards – he averaged 318.6 per game for the season – and the Chiefs averaged 33.3 points per game.

And perhaps most importantly, Kansas City was 3-1 in those games, losing the Week 15 tilt with the Chargers 29-28.

The point here is that Tyreek Hill does not make this offense go. He is an extremely explosive piece of it, but the offense goes with Patrick Mahomes. And I don’t foresee him all of a sudden being stopped.

If the Chiefs are without Hill this season, second-round pick Mecole Hardman will do just fine playing the role of speedy deep threat.

Do the Chargers Offer Value to Win Division?

I really liked the Chargers as a good value bet to win Super Bowl 53. They had an offense that was dangerous through the air and on the ground, as well as a defense that could apply pressure on opposing quarterbacks and could stop the run well enough.

All of those things remain true in 2019. And the best thing going for the 2019 Chargers may be the fact that they avoid New England in the regular season.

LA possesses the easiest schedule of AFC West teams, according to our strength of schedule based on win totals. With the division title coming down to a tiebreaker last season, the lighter schedule should be seen as being quite significant.

While the Chiefs are concerning themselves with replacing their lead runner and potentially their top receiver as well as trying to repair a defense that ranked 31st in yards allowed, the Chargers have just added to one of the most complete rosters in the NFL.

The Chargers are the best bet to win the AFC West right now.

Are the Broncos or Raiders Worth a Small Wager?

After a little more than a full year of Jon Gruden calling the shots, I have zero faith he is going to turn the Raiders into a winning football team anytime soon.

Antonio Brown’s talents are going to be wasted in Oakland and although I like some of the additions they made on the defensive side of the ball, they didn’t do enough to make that much of a difference to a defense that allowed the most points in the league last year.

Looking to the Broncos, I do foresee Vic Fangio turning Denver’s defense back into one of the best in the league. I also believe Joe Flacco will give them more under center than they’ve had in the last three years.

But the Broncos face a brutally tough schedule in 2019, the second-toughest in the NFL. Expecting them to win eight games this season is reasonable. Expecting them to win the AFC West is not.

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After receiving a bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Ottawa ('15), Matt spent two years with Rogers TV as a host, producer, and play-by-play commentator. He has been with us since 2016 and serves as SBD's Editor-in-Chief and sports betting expert.