- Bovada has updated playoff odds for all 16 AFC teams
- The Ravens (+180) and Lamar Jackson may be getting overlooked in a competitive AFC North
- The Jets (+300) and Sam Darnold could capitalize on an easy schedule to squeak into the postseason
Each NFL season brings at least a few postseason surprises. For instance, how many people had the Colts or Seahawks pencilled in the playoffs at this time last year?
After recommending some NFC long shots yesterday, let’s examine the odds at Bovada and try to find a few potential playoff surprises in the AFC.
Odds to Make NFL Playoffs
|AFC Teams||“Yes” odds at Bovada||“No” odds at Bovada|
|Los Angeles Chargers||-230||+190|
|New York Jets||+300||-400|
*All odds taken on 05/21/19
Baltimore Ravens (+180)
The Ravens suffered heavy losses (CJ Mosley, Terrell Suggs, Za’Darius Smith, Eric Weddle) to last year’s top-ranked defense during free agency, but did add the NFL’s premier safety in Earl Thomas, the only player in the NFL with 25-plus INTs and 10-plus forced fumbles since 2010.
While the team may allow more scores, Baltimore should be much better equipped to put points on the board. After being forced to retrofit a Joe Flacco-led offense to a Lamar Jackson-led attack on the fly last season (akin to trading in your reliable Dodge Caravan for a new Porsche), offensive coordinator Greg Roman now has a full offseason to build a scheme that capitalizes on the former Heisman Trophy winner’s strengths.
— Charley Casserly (@CharleyCasserly) May 14, 2019
He also gets to incorporate shiny new toys like wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown (No. 25 overall pick) and free-agent signing Mark Ingram.The Browns and Steelers are most people’s picks to win the AFC North, but no one should be surprised if the Ravens repeat as division champs, or at the very least, sneak into the playoffs.
New York Jets (+300)
It has been a rough spring for football franchises based in the Big Apple. After Giants general manager Dave Gettleman dominated the back page of the New York Post for overdrafting quarterback Daniel Jones, the Jets showed they’re every bit as dysfunctional by firing GM Mike Maccagnan just weeks after he ran their draft and spent $235 million in free agency.
Would the Jets really trade recently signed RB Le’Veon Bell?!?
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) May 21, 2019
While reports seem to indicate that new head coach and interim GM Adam Gase didn’t even want Le’Veon Bell, the star running back remains on the team for now. As does 21-year-old quarterback Sam Darnold, who could take the leap in his sophomore season after an impressive finish to 2018.
Don’t forget that the Jets also get to play the Bills and Dolphins twice each in 2019, along with the Bengals, Giants, Redskins, Raiders and Jaguars.
Tennessee Titans (+300)
At this point, everyone and their grandmother has Andrew Luck’s Colts winning the AFC South, while the Texans (+150), Jaguars (+300) and Titans (+300) are underdogs to even reach the playoffs.
While it’s hard to get too excited for the addition of Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee somehow went 9-7 last year despite being forced to start Blaine Gabbert multiple times in Marcus Mariota’s absence. With improved quarterback play and a better offensive line, courtesy of free-agent signee Rodger Saffold, the Titans should be able to score points as long as they’re running their offense through Derrick Henry.
Derrick Henry saw the 5th-most carries inside the opponent’s 20-yard line last season – and scored the third-most TDs in the process pic.twitter.com/O7PHNmRLcy
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) May 16, 2019
As you will remember if your opponent happened to start him against you in the fantasy football playoffs, the 6-foot-3, 247-pound monster galloped for 585 yards on 87 carries in the season’s final four games.
Tennessee’s schedule won’t be easy, but they are one of only six NFL franchises to post a winning record in each of the last three seasons.