- BetOnline lists Kansas City (11.5) and Baltimore (11) with the highest win totals in the AFC
- The Steelers’ defense and Roethlisberger’s return should make them a lock for 9 victories
- Philip Rivers’ rumored move to the Colts could help Indianapolis hit the OVER on 7.5 wins
With NFL free agency still about a month away, a handful of brand-name quarterbacks could be on the move across the league.
Philip Rivers is already out the door in Los Angeles and other AFC signal callers such as Tom Brady and Ryan Tannehill may also sign with new teams.
Before the QB carousel gets underway, let’s look at early team win totals at BetOnline and see if we can find a few bargains.
2020 AFC WIN TOTALS
|AFC Teams||Regular-Season Win Totals||Over Odds||Under Odds|
|Kansas City Chiefs||11.5||-115||-115|
|Las Vegas Raiders||7||-115||-115|
|Los Angeles Chargers||7.5||-130||+100|
|New England Patriots||10.5||-115||-115|
|New York Jets||6.5||-150||+120|
BALTIMORE RAVENS: UNDER 11 WINS
With the addition of a star receiver (AJ Green perhaps?), it’s easy to imagine the Ravens running roughshod over the league again next year.
Magical seasons like Lamar Jackson’s 2019 campaign have proven impossible to replicate in the NFL, however, and you would think teams will have a better game plan against Greg Roman’s ground attack after an offseason of tape study.
Let’s say it one more time…
Not bad for a running back ?@Lj_era8 | @Ravens pic.twitter.com/YYwAWggGyQ
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) February 12, 2020
Prior to going 14-2 last year, John Harbaugh hadn’t hit the 10-win mark since 2011. The AFC North should also be better next season with Joe Burrow likely to be in Cincinnati, Ben Roethlisberger back from injury in Pittsburgh and Freddie Kitchens no longer running the show in Cleveland.
All that said, Baltimore is gifted with the NFC East and AFC South on their 2020 schedule and could hit their win total while losing three more games than they did in 2019. This one is tough, but I like the UNDER.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS: OVER 9 WINS
Sticking in the AFC North, it’s hard not to be impressed with what Mike Tomlin pulled off in Pittsburgh last season. If a long-awaited Super Bowl victory punched Andy Reid’s ticket to the Hall of Fame, then going 8-8 with a combination of Mason Rudolph and “Duck” Hodges should put you in on the first ballot.
Big Ben morphed into Matt Patricia’s twin brother while on the sideline with an elbow-injury last season, but despite his hefty weight and advanced age (38 in March), he should be plenty good enough to guide his club back into the playoffs if the Steelers defense plays anywhere near the same level they did in 2019.
Antonio Brown to Ben Roethlisberger: Never realized how good I had it https://t.co/V9XuOdEWRJ
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) February 12, 2020
With Defensive Player of the Year runner-up TJ Watt, sophomore linebacker Devin Bush and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, Pittsburgh might even be a sneaky bet to win the Lombardi Trophy at +2000.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: OVER 7.5 WINS
When connecting the dots, Philip Rivers’ most-logical landing spot is in Indianapolis with his old offensive coordinator Frank Reich and position coach Nick Sirianni. In addition to providing a clear upgrade on Jacoby Brissett, the former Chargers QB would also benefit from playing in a dome behind one of the league’s best offensive lines.
The question is whether that beefy O-line and Reich’s quick-strike passing game could turn back the clock for a father of nine who was looking every bit of his 38 years last season. Then again, even if things turn bad, Rivers will have access to owner Jim Irsay’s personal pill stash.
From NFL Now: Where does QB Philip Rivers land? The #Colts are one potential option, but where else depends on what happens in a wild March. pic.twitter.com/xMkwpzRKYb
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 10, 2020
While it’s a bit risky to roll the dice now, we’d expect the quarterback’s arrival to boost the Colts’ win total up a game to 8.5. And even if we are reading the tea leaves incorrectly, general manager Chris Ballard’s strong drafting record provides a nice fail-safe when betting the OVER.