- Buffalo (+225) remains the AFC Championship favorite after winning three of its first four games
- The Baltimore Ravens (+1000) host the division-rival Cincinnati Bengals (+1100) in Week 5
- Cleveland (+3000) and Jacksonville (+3300) are decent longshots in a top heavy conference
With the first month of the NFL season in the books, oddsmakers still favor the Buffalo Bills to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. However, the Kansas City Chiefs are surging up the board following a 41-31 dismantling of the Buccaneers on Sunday Night Football.
AFC Championship futures
|Kansas City Chiefs||+375||+350|
|Los Angeles Chargers||+1000||+1100|
|Las Vegas Raiders||+2800||+2800|
|New England Patriots||+6600||+10000|
|New York Jets||+10000||+15000|
Bills Favored over Chiefs
After losing to Miami in Week 3, the Bills (+225) trailed Baltimore 20-3 on Sunday before mounting an impressive comeback. Josh Allen proved his mettle in tight games, as he had been 0-7 in his career when trailing by 17 or more points. Buffalo will get their biggest test yet in Week 6 when they travel to Kansas City for an AFC Divisional Game rematch.
The Chiefs (+375) displayed why they’re still an AFC superpower on Sunday Night, scoring in each of their first three drives against the Buccaneers. Enacting his revenge for a humbling Super Bowl 55 defeat, Patrick Mahomes toyed with Tampa Bay’s defense all night while becoming the fastest quarterback in history to throw for 20,000 career yards.
WHAT WAS THAT?! @PatrickMahomes
— NFL (@NFL) October 3, 2022
Ravens or Bengals?
The Ravens (+1000) are a contender as long as they get MVP-level play at quarterback. But, Lamar Jackson threw two costly interceptions in the loss to Buffalo and couldn’t move the call by land or air in the second-half. Their defense is also struggling under new DC Mike Macdonald, allowing 425 yards per game. Third-worst in the NFL.
Coming off consecutive wins, Cincinnati (+1100) will travel to Baltimore in Week 5. Joe Burrow obliterated their AFC North rivals in two meetings last year, passing for 941 yards, nine touchdowns and one interception in two blowout victories. The Bengals are a value play at +1100.
What about the Jaguars?
Jacksonville is still available at +3300 despite an impressive start that saw them defeat the Colts (+3300) and Chargers (+1100). They also hung with the 4-0 Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday even with Trevor Lawrence turning the ball over five times. His four fumbles lost were the most in a single game by any QB in over 30 years.
Assuming the sophomore quarterback can improve throughout the season, the Jaguars are at the very least a good bet to win the AFC South at +160. With defensive end Josh Allen and rookie Travon Walker coming off the edge, their defense is legit.
— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) October 2, 2022
Circling the drain
While the NFL season is long and full of constantly shifting narratives, it’s hard to see Indianapolis (+3300) or Denver (+2000) competing for an AFC Championship anytime soon. Same goes for Josh McDaniel’s Raiders (+2800) and Bill Belichick’s Patriots (+10000).
If you’re looking for another longshot in the conference, the Browns (+3000) are intriguing. If they can tread water until Deshaun Watson’s return, Cleveland will be a tough out in the playoffs while pounding the ball with Nick Chubb.
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