- BetOnline has the New England Patriots (+325) and Kansas City Chiefs (+400) as the top AFC contenders
- Andrew Luck’s surprise retirement dropped the Colts to 25/1 to win the AFC Championship
- The New Orleans Saints (+450) are the favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl
Loaded with talent on both sides of the ball, the Colts were the trendiest of Super Bowl picks heading into the NFL’s 100th season. Then, out of nowhere, 29-year-old quarterback Andrew Luck shocked the football world (and ruined O.J. Simpson’s fantasy team) by announcing his retirement.
Listed at 16/1 to hoist the Super Bowl just last week, Indianapolis is now 25/1 to win the AFC Championship. Let’s look at BetOnline to see how teams in each conference are stacking up following week 3 of the preseason.
ODDS TO WIN AFC CHAMPIONSHIP
|New England Patriots||+325|
|Kansas City Chiefs||+400|
|Los Angeles Chargers||+700|
|New York Jets||+3300|
KEY AFC PRESEASON DEVELOPMENTS
Widely viewed as the team’s biggest weakness, Cleveland’s offensive line struggled in their regular season tune-up against the Buccaneers.
After a mustachioed Baker Mayfield completed just 10 of 26 attempts for 72 yards and an interception, many NFL fans may be wondering if we’ve truly seen the last of the lowly Browns.
I should probably keep my day job, I am not nice with the ?!! ?? pic.twitter.com/1i9mQSR8to
— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) August 26, 2019
In stark contrast, their AFC North-rival Steelers looked crisp in Ben Roethlisberger’s preseason debut against the Titans. On the game’s third drive, Big Ben marched 58 yards down the field on nine plays, connecting with JuJu Smith-Schuster on a 17-yard touchdown.
James Conner ran for 41 yards on five carries and sophomore wide receiver James Washington continued his hot preseason with a 41-yard score, giving Steelers faithful another reason to believe they will be just fine without Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell.
ODDS TO WIN NFC CHAMPIONSHIP
|New Orleans Saints||+450|
|Los Angeles Rams||+600|
|Green Bay Packers||+800|
|San Francisco 49ers||+1400|
|New York Giants||+3300|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+4000|
KEY NFC PRESEASON DEVELOPMENTS
Drew Brees quickly reminded everyone why the Saints are the favorite in the NFC, capping off his only series of the entire preseason with a 19-yard TD pass to Michael Thomas.
Handsome Jimmy Garoppolo rebounded from an ugly performance in week 2 of the preseason, completing 14 of 20 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown against the Chiefs.
The news was much worse for Cam Newton, who left Gillette Field in a walking boot after being sacked by the Patriots. With X-rays coming back negative and Cam expected back for the season opener, the Panthers are still an intriguing NFC underdog at 20-1.
— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) August 25, 2019
After throwing for 141 yards against the Bengals, Giants rookie QB Daniel Jones has now completed 25 of 30 passes for 369 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions through three preseason games.
The biggest preseason development in the NFC East, however, has been the standout play of Cowboys rookie RB Tony Pollard, who looked downright explosive on a 20-yard carry against the Texans on Saturday.
If Ezekiel Elliott continues his holdout into the season, it shouldn’t torpedo Dallas’ playoff chances.