Upcoming Free Picks

2018 AFC West Season Preview- The Best Division In The AFC

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The 2018 NFL Season is nearly here, and today we will take a look at AFC West. The Chiefs won the division last year with a 10-6 record and will be in the mix to win it again, but the Chargers, Raiders, and Broncos are all improved and will be gunning for them. This is the toughest division in the AFC so let’s take a peek at how the AFC West stacks up this year. Below I have the win total predictions for each team. 

Broncos Should Get better Quarterback Play

The Denver Broncos were just 5-11 last year, the first time since 2010 finished with a losing record. Their big issue was an offense that averaged only 18.1 ppg, which was 27th in the league. They were just 20th in the league in passing but should have a far better passing game with Case Keenum as their signal caller. He nearly took the Vikings to the Super Bowl last year, but we also note that he had far more weapons than he will have here in Denver. They did take WR Courtland Sutton with their 2nd pick, but still, this is not a good receiving corps. Denver was 12th in rushing last year and could be better this year, especially with Royce Freeman being taken with their 3rd pick. Keenum is an upgrade over Siemian, and this offense should be better than last year, but should still finish in the lower half of the league in scoring.

The defense was one of the best in the league last year as it ranked 3rd in the league in yards allowed. The problem was turnovers, and overall bad play from the offense set their opponents up with some short fields. The Broncos ended up allowing 23.9 ppg, which was 22nd in the league. The offense should be able to take better care of the ball with Keenum at the helm, and that means that the Broncos won’t allow as many points. This defense was very tough, to begin with, and they made it even better by drafting Bradley Chubb with their first pick in the draft. He was a tremendous playmaker at NC State and should do the same in the NFL. 

Chiefs Look To Repeat As Division Champs

The Kansas City Chiefs won the AFC West last year with a 10-6 record, but then went on to lose to lost to Tennessee at home in the wildcard round of the playoffs. Can they make it back to the postseason? You’re gonna have to wait for that answer. The Chiefs were t5th in the league in total offense and 6th in scoring, putting up 25.9 ppg. Do not look for them to be that successful this year. Alex Smith had a great year but was traded to Washington in the offseason. The offense will now be in the hands of 2017 first-round pick, Patrick Mahomes. He has a big arm, but is unproven and could struggle in his first year as the guy. He does have a decent WR corps, and the running game will be solid, but the Chiefs will not top 23 ppg this year.

The Chiefs allowed just 21.2 ppg last year, which was 15th in the league, but they also allowed 365.1 ypg, which was 28th. They need to improve on that side of the ball, especially with what should be a much weaker offense. The Chiefs tried to address their needs by using all six of their draft picks on this side of the ball. The defensive line could be one of the better in the league with Chris Jones leading the way. He was 2nd on the team in sacks with 6.5 and had four forced fumbles, plus seven passes defensed. The Chiefs used their first two picks in the draft on the line, which will make it even stronger. Overall, this defense will improve on last year numbers. 

Chargers Look To Build Off Last Year’s Strong Finish

The Los Angeles Chargers seem always to finish strong one year, come into the next with high hopes, and then not live up to expectations. Will that be the case this year? The Bolts started last year  0-4, and their home games were drawing more opposing fans than their own, but they went 9-3 the rest of the way and now have high hopes for 2018. The Chargers had one of the best offenses in the league last year led by the best passing attack. Philip Rivers showed that he still has it and should have another big year as he still has plenty of weapons. Melvin Gordon gives them an excellent ground attack, and their offensive line is very strong. They will be without TE Hunter Henry for the year, and it will leave Rivers without a strong player at that position for the first time many years. This will still be a top five offense once again.

The defense for the Chargers was very solid as they allowed just 17.0 ppg, which was 3rd in the league. The pass defense was 3rd in the league, but the Bolts were also just 31st in the league against the run. They will need to clean that up this year, and they hope that taking linebacker Uchenna Nwosu with their 2nd pick will help. They have a hole in the secondary after losing cornerback Jason Verrett for the season in camp. Still, he played in just one game last year, and the pass defense was one of the best in the league, plus they grabbed safety Derwin James with their first pick. Many feel he was a steal at #17. 

Can Gruden Lead The Raiders To The Playoffs?

The Raiders went 12-4 back in 2016 and won the AFC West, but last year they dipped to just 6-10, and that was the end of Jack Del Rio. In steps Jon Gruden, who spent four years here from 1998-2001 and took them to the postseason in his final two seasons. The Raiders have been to the postseason just twice since he left. He is an offensive guru and should have his team improve on the 18.8 ppg they put up in 2017. Derek Carr is a solid quarterback, and he has big-time weapons in Amari Cooper, Martavis Bryant, and Jordy Nelson. This has a chance to be a top-five passing unit this year. The ground game also got a boost with the addition of Doug Martin to go along with Marshawn Lynch and an emerging Chris Warren. This offense has many weapons, and it should easily top last year’s numbers.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Raiders were 23rd in the league in yards allowed and 20th in points, giving up 23.3 ppg. They should be a bit better this year, especially since they used five of their picks on this side of the ball. The secondary has a shot at being one of the best in the league, especially with the addition of Marcus Gilchrist (Houston), Daryl Worley (Carolina) and Nick Nelson (4th round pick). They were 26th in the league against the pass but should be much improved this time around. Their biggest concern is the holdout of Khalil Mack, who is their best defender. 

Betting Prediction:

+175 1) The Bolts are strong on both sides of the ball, but can they finally put it all together and live up to expectations. It won’t be easy as this is the toughest division in the AFC.

+270 2) Overall, this defense should crack the Top 10 this year, while the offense could be one of the best. The Raiders will be in the mix for a division title and a playoff spot.

+325 3) The Chiefs have an improved defense, but their offense will be weaker. Still, Andy Reid is an excellent coach and will have them in the mix for a postseason berth.

+325  4) If the Broncos get much more from their offense, then they have a shot in this very tough division.

How Does The AFC West Stack Up? (Season Win Totals + Division Winner)

The Denver Broncos have a strong defense and a solid running game and while they have upgraded their quarterback position, they still don’t have many weapons in the passing game. They have a decent team, but are just not as strong as the rest of the division and should come up just a bit short of their posted Win Total. Denver Under 7 Wins (+110).

The Kansas City Chiefs will be solid on defense and they have some weapons in the passing game, but Patrick Mahomes is still very green and that could keep them out of the playoffs. Despite that, the Chiefs do have a solid overall team and should top their posted win total. They also should grab one of the two AFC Wildcard spots. Kansas City Over 8 Wins (-145).

The Oakland Raiders have Jon Gruden back running the show and he has a very solid corps of players to work with. His offense should be one of the better in the league, while the defense will be much improved. This is clearly a playoff team and should top their posted win total. I feel the Bolts will win the division, but should they underachieve once against, then this could be your AFC West winner. You might want to put a little on the raiders to win the division at +300.  Oakland Over 8 Wins (Even).

The San Diego Chargers started 0-4 last season but went 9-3 the rest of the way. They missed out on the postseason, but that shouldn’t happen this year. They have one of the best offenses in the league and one of the best pass defenses, plus have upgraded their run defense. The Chargers have what it takes to win the division and if their run defense really improves, then they have a shot at making a deep run in the postseason. San Diego Over 9 Wins (-165) & +135 To Win The Division.

David Hess

I have always had a fascination with numbers and sports, so I combined the two to become a handicapper and a blogger. I love sports and I love writing about them and all the info I put in my blogs is well-thought-out and well-researched. I am a big fan of all the major sports and the colleges, plus I know golf pretty well, tennis and the WNBA. I am very versatile. Hope you enjoy my content.

Login

Forgot Password?
Forgot your password? Enter your email and we'll send you a reset token:

Return to login
Enter the token from your email and a new password. Don't forget to check your spam folder if you didn't get the email.

Upcoming Free Picks

Bank the Bet Podcast
Thursday, Jan 17
NBA
#541 New York Knicks 228
#542 Washington Wizards -6.5
3:05pm
View Pick
#543 Philadelphia 76ers 224.5
#544 Indiana Pacers -3
7:05pm
View Pick
#545 Sacramento Kings 230
#546 Charlotte Hornets -3
7:05pm
View Pick
#547 Phoenix Suns
#548 Toronto Raptors
7:35pm
View Pick
#549 Chicago Bulls 212
#550 Denver Nuggets -12
9:05pm
View Pick
#551 Los Angeles Lakers 226
#552 Oklahoma City Thunder -10
9:35pm
View Pick
NCAAB
#601 FAU 151
#602 Marshall -9
7:00pm
View Pick
#603 Charleston 139.5
#604 Northeastern -3.5
7:00pm
View Pick
#605 Georgia Southern -2
#606 Troy 161
7:00pm
View Pick
#607 UNCW 152
#608 Hofstra -12.5
7:00pm
View Pick
#609 James Madison 134
#610 Delaware -4
7:00pm
View Pick
#611 Towson 146
#612 Drexel -5.5
7:00pm
View Pick
#613 Wright State -5.5
#614 Youngstown State 141.5
7:00pm
View Pick
#615 Southern Miss -4.5
#616 Charlotte 122.5
7:00pm
View Pick
#617 Louisiana Tech 129
#618 ODU -6.5
7:00pm
View Pick
#619 Northern Kentucky -9
#620 Cleveland State 142
7:00pm
View Pick
#621 UTSA -3.5
#622 Middle Tennessee State 137.5
7:30pm
View Pick
#637 Georgia State -5.5
#638 South Alabama 141
8:00pm
View Pick
#635 UTEP 132
#636 UAB -8
8:00pm
View Pick
#633 Michigan State -1
#634 Nebraska 144
8:00pm
View Pick
#631 Illinois - Chicago -3
#632 Wisconsin-Milwaukee 142.5
8:00pm
View Pick
#629 IUPUI 163
#630 Wisconsin-Green Bay -4
8:00pm
View Pick
#627 FIU 163.5
#628 Western Kentucky -13
8:00pm
View Pick
#625 Arkansas - Little Rock 140
#626 Texas State -11.5
8:00pm
View Pick
#623 Arkansas State 139.5
#624 UT Arlington -4.5
8:00pm
View Pick
#639 Loyola Marymount
#640 Gonzaga
9:00pm
View Pick
#641 Stanford 138
#642 Washington -10
9:00pm
View Pick
#643 Oregon 130
#644 Arizona -4.5
9:00pm
View Pick
#645 San Francisco -6.5
#646 Pacific 138
9:00pm
View Pick
#647 Hawaii 148
#648 Cal State Northridge -2
10:00pm
View Pick
#649 California
#650 Washington State
10:00pm
View Pick
#651 Oregon State 141
#652 Arizona State -5.5
10:00pm
View Pick
#653 San Diego -10
#654 Portland 134
10:00pm
View Pick
#657 UCSB -3
#658 UC Davis 131.5
10:00pm
View Pick
#659 Santa Clara
#660 St Marys
11:00pm
View Pick
#661 BYU -2.5
#662 Pepperdine 163
11:00pm
View Pick
NHL
#31 New Jersey 6
#32 N.Y. Islanders -150
7:05pm
View Pick
#33 St. Louis 5.5
#34 Boston -175
7:05pm
View Pick
#41 Anaheim 5.5
#42 Minnesota -180
8:05pm
View Pick
#43 Los Angeles 5.5
#44 Dallas -175
8:35pm
View Pick
Saturday, Jan 19
NCAAB
#629 James Madison
#630 Drexel
2:00pm
View Pick
Sunday, Jan 20
NFL
#311 Los Angeles Rams 56.5
#312 New Orleans Saints -3.5
3:05pm
View Pick
#313 New England Patriots 58
#314 Kansas City Chiefs -3
6:40pm
View Pick