AFC West Preview, Betting Odds and Free Picks [2023]

The AFC West is all about catching the Kansas City Chiefs and preventing them from being tabbed a Dynasty. Since Patrick Mahomes took over under center, Kansas City has been to three Super Bowls (won two) and lost in overtime twice in the AFC Championship game. The rest of the division isn’t bad, it’s just that Kansas City is so good, they are the odds on betting favorites heading into 2023.

AFC West Standings [2022]


The Chiefs are loaded top-to-bottom and continue to add key pieces everywhere in free agency and the draft. The defending Super Bowl champs open the season at home on Thursday night against Detroit. The schedule does have some challenges outside of the division including the Lions on opening night, the Jets, Dolphins, Eagles and Bengals. It’s no surprise this team has five scheduled prime time games. Their total of 11.5 wins seems high, but the Chiefs have won at least 12 games each of the last five seasons.

Odds to Win AFC West (as of 7/31/23):
Kansas City Chiefs -165
Los Angeles Chargers +300
Denver Broncos +575
Las Vegas Raiders +1100

The one team that has a chance to unseat the Chiefs atop the AFC West could be the Los Angeles Chargers. It was a long offseason thinking about that disaster of a wild card game at Jacksonville last January. The Chargers were up 27-0 and couldn’t advance to the Divisional Round. Part of the reason I can’t pick this team to win the division is the head coach. Brandon Staley does not have a good track record when it comes to closing out games. L.A. will get their share of wins because Justin Herbert is a top five quarterback. This team just needs a bit more talent and different head coach.

Week 1 NFL Lines

Speaking of head coaches, the Denver Broncos got one of the best of all-time this offseason in Sean Payton. The Broncos have missed the playoffs each of the last seven seasons, but Payton brings instant credibility and accountability to this organization. He is also the perfect guy to help turnaround Russell Wilson, who had the worst season of his career in 2022. Payton went out and shored-up the offensive line, which should give Wilson more time.

Season Win Totals (as of 7/31/23):
Kansas City Chiefs 11.5 o145
Los Angeles Chargers 9.5 o135
Denver Broncos 8.5 u125
Las Vegas Raiders 6.5 u150

Picked to finish last in the division are the Las Vegas Raiders. They did get rid of Derek Carr and brought in the reliable Jimmy Garopolo. The offense is solid and capable of scoring points, but the defense is horrendous and might take a few years to be good enough to close out games. There won’t be much of a homefield advantage this year either, with some of the most popular fans coming to Vegas in Green Bay, New England, Pittsburgh and Minnesota. Raiders fans could be outnumbered in almost every game this season.

Jay’s Season Win Total Best Bet: I really like this Denver team to finish over .500. I don’t think Wilson is done yet and the addition of Payton makes an immediate impact. I believe this team will make the playoffs as a wild card and win 9-10 games.
Broncos OVER 8.5 (+105)

Jay’s Pick to Win Division: This division is clearly Kansas City’s to lose. Obviously, the team needs to avoid major injuries, but if they do, another Super Bowl appearance is in the cards. Don’t worry about laying the juice with this team.
Chiefs -165

To see more odds and props for the AFC West, click here.

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