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With the Chargers, Ravens & Browns Losing in Week 3, Can You Bet Anyone Other Than the Patriots or Chiefs to Win AFC?

Brady and Belichick talking on sideline
Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots have played in eight consecutive AFC Championship Games. Are they destined for a rematch with the Kansas City Chiefs in this season's AFC title game? Photo by Andrew Choy (flickr) [CC License].
  • Oddsmakers heavily favor the Patriots (+160) and Chiefs (+275) in their AFC Championship odds
  • New England has played in eight straight AFC title games
  • Which AFC teams offer the most betting value after Week 3?

The Los Angeles Chargers have lost two in a row. The Cleveland Browns are 0-2 at home. The Baltimore Ravens came up well short in their Week 3 showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Is there any team that is capable of running with the Chiefs or New England Patriots in the hunt for AFC supremacy?

Latest AFC Championship odds say no, putting New England (+160) and Kansas City (+275) in a class by themselves.

2019-20 AFC Championship Odds

Team Over/Under
New England Patriots +160
Kansas City Chiefs +275
Baltimore Ravens +1000
Houston Texans +1100
Los Angeles Chargers +1200
Cleveland Browns +1400
Buffalo Bills +1600
Indianapolis Colts +1600

*Odds taken on 09/20/19. 

Patriots AFC Championship Games

The Patriots have turned the AFC Championship Game into the NFL’s version of Wrestlemania, with Tom Brady and company playing the role of Hulk Hogan, minus the tights.

New England has appeared in eight successive AFC title games. Every year, it seems, there’s a new challenger being built up as heir to the throne. The Pats have faced six different teams in that eight-year span, and just once has there been a rematch. That came in 2011-12 and 2012-13, when New England and the Ravens faced each other in consecutive AFC Championship battles.

Unbeaten this season, the Patriots have allowed an astonishing 5.7 points per game so far. New England is the #1 NFL defense (199 yards per game), and also #1 at stopping both the run (36.7 ypg) and the pass (162.3 ypg).

No Sophomore Jinx

The Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes have picked up right where they left off. Reigning NFL MVP Mahomes leads the NFL in touchdown passes (10), passing yardage (1,195) and passer rating (134.9). His TD-to-interception ratio is 10-0.

In Sunday’s showdown with Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, Mahomes was the clear winner. Jackson didn’t pass for a single TD.

The Chiefs are first in the NFL in passing yardage (392.3 ypg) and second in the league in total offense (487 ypg). The only place they lack, what again could prove the Achilles heel that keeps them from reaching the Super Bowl for the first time since Super Bowl 4, is a defense that ranks a dismal 24th in the NFL (395.7 ypg).

Is A Rematch Likely?

That Patriots-Ravens rematch was the fourth since the AFC Championship Game was born in 1970. Pittsburgh and Oakland met three times in a row in 1974-75, 1975-76, and 1976-77. The Steelers and the Houston Oilers clashed in 1978-79 and 1979-80. The Browns and Denver Broncos butted heads in 1986-87 and 1987-88.

That works out to a 10.2 percent chance of the Chiefs and Patriots facing each other in this season’s AFC title game.

Who Could Turn Off The Instant Replay?

It seems like nothing ever changes with the Chargers. Going back to the days of Dan Fouts and Air Coryell, they tease but they don’t deliver on their promise.

The Browns look to be more hype than hope. Houston’s offensive line can’t keep other teams from assaulting QB Deshaun Watson, who’s been sacked 12 times.

The lone hope for an AFC sleeper remains the Ravens. They still rank #1 in the NFL in points per game (36.7) and total offense (511.7 ypg).

If you’re looking for an AFC play with a price, the Ravens are the best bet.

Pick: Baltimore Ravens (+1000)

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