The NFL season is nearly upon us and everyone will be vying to wrestle the Superbowl trophy from the New England Patriots and Tom Brady’s grip. How will the Pats and the rest of the AFC fare? Our NFL expert looks ahead to the new season from the AFC side.

East

Tom Brady is 40 years old now. So few QB’s perform past this age that you can’t help but look at the Pats depth chart to see what they have in reserve, and the answer is Jimmy Garoppolo. The 2014 2nd round pick has started just 2 games in his career, surely a niggling worry for the New England faithful. This fear is compounded by seeing that Brady has been chosen to grace the cover of Madden 18, and, given his advanced years, looks a prime candidate to continue the ‘Madden Curse’ which has affected, or ended, the seasons of 17 of the last 20 players featured. Bad Ju Ju folks.

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Their competition in the AFCE is less than inspiring, however. The Jets will be praying for Jamal Adams to show some worth from his 6th overall position in the draft to lift them off of the AFC basement, but a decent Strong Safety does not a Superbowl team make. The Bills and Dolphins should put together winning seasons, but it will take something special to dethrone this year’s Superbowl favourites.

Tip: New England Patriots Regular Season Wins: Over 12.5 . They’ll look for 16-0, 13-3 is in no way beyond them.

North

Now, this could be one of the most interesting AFCN outings for a while, with the Browns looking to be the only real weak link in the division, whilst the Ravens and Bengals look to survive the season and make it to 2018 with their roster intact. The Steelers’ should come through to hold top spot come January, somewhere in the region of 11-5. The line on Steelers wins at O/U 10.5 therefore looks about right, so one to avoid for me.

Tip: Bengals NOT to make the playoffs . Lump on.

South

The AFCS is the best division in the NFL. Me saying that has nothing to do with the fact that I’m a Titans fan (promise), but more to do with the fact that we FINALLY have a division in which all four teams are comfortably capable of beating one another at home and on the road. The Texans and The Titans will head the pack, with the Jags and Colts making up the numbers, but for me, Mariota and co, who have strengthened in the off season thanks to some heavy pick trading, will find the depth to hold out against a breakthrough season for DeShaun Watson in Houston.

Tip: Titans to make the playoffs . Finally.

West

Marshawn Lynch, now causing all sorts of trouble for the Raiders’ opposition, will need to recreate his best to drag them to the top of the AFC West this season. The Chargers will hope not to struggle from their tiny new home in L.A., whilst the Chiefs hope for a big season from Justin Houston to shore up their defensive frailties.  The Broncos have it in them to be the dark horse (awful pun), and whilst I have questions about their ability to maintain over a 16 game season, they have a very winnable, confidence boosting Week 1 matchup against the Chargers.

Tip: Marshawn Lynch Most Rushing Yards This Season is a stretch, but you know he’ll see plenty of the ball. For a safer option, head for game 1. Chargers @ Broncos Total pts Over 43 , doubled with The Titans to cover their 2 point spread against the Raiders in week 1 should help bolster the bank balance as we head to week 2.

Superbowl Winner

As much as I’d love to tell you that this years’ Superbowl winner comes in the form of the Titans @ 33/1 (which, if they do perform, could easily get you a run for your money)- I think the best advice from the AFC would be that the 7/2 available about the Patriots is the lay of the year. Granted, the Brady Bunch are good – but there’s just too much quality elsewhere for that price to be realistic.

My speculative 4th and long punt: Comes from our Superbowl ‘Name The Finalists’ market. Tennesee v Seattle on February 4th in Minnesota with us at BetVictor. Sky Bet are only offering 66’s. I’ve heard they read me religiously. #Value.

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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