Offseason minicamp is over for the New England Patriots, so it’s only fitting that we break down the entire AFC East division from a betting standpoint.
After all, what could possibly change between June 17 and September 12?
In all seriousness, sportsbooks already are taking bets on season win totals, whether a team will make or miss the playoffs and the AFC East division champion. I’ve always been adamant that it doesn’t matter when you bet — it’s the price you get.
So if you feel strongly about a number in mid-June, it’s OK to attack.
I compiled a list of win totals, playoff odds and divisional prices for the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. My favorite wagers are listed below in bold.
New England Patriots
Over 9 wins (-133) at DraftKings
+145 to make playoffs at SugarHouse
+350 to win AFC East at BetMGM
I’ll give you two-for-one with my New England angle. I already wrote about taking “Over” 9 wins in early May. Bill Belichick spent two straight months scheming and plotting his free agency spending spree and I expect the moves to work out. The Patriots are notably better after bolstering the offensive and defensive lines and adding big targets like Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry.
“The Patriots made some serious upgrades,” PointsBet Sportsbook senior sports analyst Andrew Mannino told NESN back in March. “They’re spending a lot of money, but they’re also addressing needs and getting quality players into that room. These are calculated decisions and smart roster fits. You have to believe Belichick knows what he’s doing.”
I agree with Mannino and think the Pats are worth a flier at +145 to make the playoffs. They can very easily be the second-best team in the division, and with seven teams from each conference qualifying, I’ll take my chances. Count me in for 11-6 and a playoff berth.
Over 11 wins (-110) at DraftKings
-333 to make playoffs at William Hill
-150 to win AFC East at FanDuel
Buffalo won the division by three games last season and should be even better in 2021. Barring an injury to quarterback Josh Allen, the Bills are winning the division. Quarterback play separates the great teams from the good ones and they have a special one in Orchard Park.
A -150 betting favorite implies a 60 percent chance of probability. I would argue the number should be higher considering the quarterback competition inside the division. Cam Newton isn’t a superstar anymore and Miami needed to remove Tua Tagovailoa late in games last year so Ryan Fitzpatrick could finish the job. Allen’s ability to take over games with his arm and legs should have the Bills closer to -200.
Don’t overthink it.
Under 9.5 wins (-130) at BetMGM
-145 to miss playoffs at FanDuel
+340 to win AFC East at BetMGM
I’m shorting the Fish big time this season. I usually love to fade sophomore NFL quarterbacks because the league tends to be much more prepared with a full offseason of film and preparation. The training wheels have to come off Tua Tagovailoa, which isn’t exactly a good thing. He only threw 11 touchdowns in 10 games and odds are good that teams will do their best to keep him in the pocket.
Realistically, Miami could start the year 1-4 or 0-5 with the way the schedule starts out of the gate. They’ll be underdogs at New England, at home against Buffalo and at Las Vegas. Then they return to South Beach for a coin-flip game against Indianapolis then face the Buccaneers in Tampa.
If the Dolphins faceplant early, the walls could come crumbling down.
New York Jets
Over 6 wins (-110) at BetMGM
-750 to miss playoffs at DraftKings
+2100 to win AFC East at FanDuel
This one won’t be popular and that makes me like it even more. I’m willing to buy the Jets mostly because Adam Gase was kicked to the curb. The guy was a terrible head coach when it came to having his team prepared and making adjustments. Gase was so bad, he couldn’t even win the Tankathon for Trevor Lawrence.
Expect new head coach Robert Saleh to restore order to the defensive side of the ball. And it’s not like the offense doesn’t have weapons for rookie quarterback Zach Wilson. New York will sneak up on some teams with Corey Davis and speedsters Denzel Mims and Jamison Crowder.
And Jets brass has done an admirable job rebuilding the offensive line with two first-round picks in the last two drafts. Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur comes from the Kyle Shanahan tree and he’ll put Wilson in strong positions to succeed.
I like the Jets to win six (push) or seven (win) games.