The Buffalo Bills are the new kings of the AFC East. They usurped the New England Patriots from their throne for the first time in 2020 and they haven’t looked back since.
The Bills are seeking their third straight division title and bookmakers are optimistic about their chances, tipping them as the team to beat across NFL betting markets. This year, though, the Bills have the added pressure of being everyone’s (well, almost) top favorite to win Super Bowl 57. BetUS tips Buffalo at +650 in Super Bowl LVII betting markets.
Before Sean McVay’s side can look ahead to the postseason or think about delivering on their favorable NFL odds to lift the Lombardi Trophy, they have to contend with their rivals in the race for the AFC East title.
This season, more so than in the previous two, the Bills have legitimate competition from the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins, as both have made significant improvements to their rosters in the offseason.
Can the Bills hold off the inspired Patriots and the new-look Dolphins? Find out as we weigh in on the AFC East, examine the odds and serve up some way too early thoughts..
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Odds to Win AFC East
- Buffalo Bills -200
- New England Patriots +400
- Miami Dolphins +400
- New York Jets +2000
Buffalo Bills -200
McVay, Josh Allen and the Bills et al waited a long time to ascend to the AFC East throne. So, when they did pull it off in 2020, behind a stellar 13-3-0 run and a 6-0 record against the division, it was a watershed moment for the franchise.
The fact that Buffalo’s rise coincided with the Patriots’ fall from grace is no accident, however. What does it say about the Bills’ divisional supremacy when their title-winning runs came during a period of wholesale change.
Elite dance moves. 😂😂@JoshAllenQB | #BillsMafia pic.twitter.com/GE0q6UjLY8
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) June 7, 2022
This criticism applies to the Bills beyond the division, too. They are a solid bet against lesser opposition, but against some of the league’s best, they’ve been found wanting. For instance, the Bills clinched their first win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5 of last season. However, they went on to lose to the Chiefs in the Divisional Round.
As things currently stand, the Bills are quite rightly favored at the sportsbook exchange. Moreover, there are clear signs that they are heading in the right direction with Allen as the offensive pivot. But, with the Patriots making significant strides in 2021 and the Dolphins and Jets substantially improving their rosters this offseason, it won’t be a cakewalk for Buffalo.
New England Patriots +400
Until 2019, the AFC East marched to the beat of New England’s drums. The Patriots won 17 division titles with Tom Brady as their starter and the hooded Bill Belichick on the sidelines. This includes a streak of five between 2003-2007 and a run of 11 straight between 2009-2019.
The departure of Brady in 2020 knocked back the Patriots into obscure oblivion. They finished off the podium for the first time in over a decade. As well, they suffered their first losing season since 2000. By the stats, they finished third in the standings after going 7-9-0 SU (and 3-3-0 against the division).
Last season, against all the odds, Belichick very nearly re-established the old status quo with a retooled roster and a rookie quarterback, Mac Jones. The Alabama Crimson Tide product took a few weeks to settle into the rhythm of the NFL, but once he did, he showed why he was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2020.
This season should be very interesting for the Patriots. They finished 2021 with a 10-6-0 record – just a win behind the Bills (11-7-0). It remains to be seen how they cope without Josh McDaniels, who took the head coaching gig in Las Vegas. On paper, this isn’t the most talented roster. Then again, they still have Belichick and he has an undeniable track record of success.
Miami Dolphins +400
The Miami Dolphins have been one the busiest actors in this division. After firing Brian Flores in the offseason, they’ve revamped the coaching staff. They then traded for some big-name players such as Tyreek Hill, Raheem Mostert and Terron Armstead before bolstering the roster in the draft.
The jury is still out on quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The Alabama Crimson Tide alumni have put together a decent record in his first two seasons, but he hasn’t blown anyone’s socks off. This season, the third-year quarterback, arguably, has the best supporting cast he’s ever had in his fledgling NFL career. He has no excuse not to light it up.
On the downside, new head coach Mike McDaniel is a wild card. He’s assembled an impressive staff that is rich in both coaching and playing experience, but we’ve yet to see them in action together.
Take a Look at the AFC West & AFC South Divisions Reviews
- AFC West Odds & Preview
- AFC South Odds & Preview
New York Jets +2000
The New York Jets are into the second year of their redevelopment project under head coach Robert Saleh. Their mandate is to improve on a subpar inaugural season that saw the Jets finish with a 4-13-0 record.
Who will make bigger year 2 leap:
Justin Fields or Zach Wilson? pic.twitter.com/m4bzkDySCP
— Good Morning Football (@gmfb) June 9, 2022
The Jets were the winners of the 2022 NFL Draft according to the NFL media experts. They picked up enviable talent in the first round including cornerback Ahmad Gardner (No. 4), wide receiver Garrett Wilson (No. 10), and edge rusher Jermaine Johnson (No. 26). And they continued their impressive haul through the ensuing rounds.
This team will go as far as second-year quarterback Zach Wilson takes it. His rookie year was pretty atrocious and largely unforgettable. There’s bound to be some improvement in 2022 or else the franchise has a serious problem on its hands. The question is how much improvement can be reasonably expected in year two?
Complete turnarounds can happen. Case-in-point: Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals, who went from a 2-14 record to Super Bowl 56 runner-up in the space of a year. It’s hard to imagine Wilson doing an impression of Burrow and leading the Jets to the pinnacle of the game.