The Buffalo Bills are heavy favorites to win the AFC East for the third-straight season, sitting at odds of -225 at BetMGM. Meanwhile, while some improvement is expected, the New York Jets are a longshot to capture the division title (+2200).
Since there isn’t a whole lot of drama regarding the two New York representatives in the division, we’re going to focus on the preseason odds for the AFC East win totals.
Here’s a look at where the four teams stand, this time from DraftKings:
|2022 OVER-UNDER WIN TOTAL
|New England Patriots
|New York Jets
Bills Have a High Number With a Tough Schedule
Buffalo is the betting favorite to win Super Bowl 56, but their win total is set at 11.5, meaning that the Bills could lose five games and still hit the over.
The Bills dominated the division last year, going 5-1 both straight up and against the spread (6-1 if you count a win over New England in the playoffs) with the only loss coming in a brutally windy game at home against the Patriots.
Buffalo has a tough start to the schedule, facing the defending Super Bowl champ Los Angeles Rams in Week 1 along with games against Tennessee, Miami, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Kansas City before the bye. After the week off, the Bills take on Green Bay.
Following that tough start lies a stretch that could see the Bills win eight in a row. In that span, they play the Jets twice, Patriots and Dolphins once each, Detroit, Cleveland (without quarterback Deshaun Watson), Minnesota, and Chicago.
Last year, the Bills largely showed up for the big games, losing tight games at Tennessee and Tampa Bay. What was concerning in 2021 were losses at home as heavy favorites to Pittsburgh and Indianapolis along with a shocking 9-6 loss at Jacksonville.
After the Bills’ devastating overtime playoff loss at Kansas City (that forced an NFL rule change that will now see each team possess the ball in a playoff overtime game), Buffalo appears to have a chip on their shoulder, so we’re not expecting a letdown against inferior teams this year, which should minimize their losses and push past the total.
Prediction: Over 11.5 wins
Lots of Money Being Put on the Jets’ Over
A modest improvement is expected from the Jets this year since their over-under AFC East win total is set at 5.5, which is 1.5 wins more than they accrued a season ago.
Second-year head coach Robert Saleh dodged a major bullet when it was discovered that second-year quarterback Zach Wilson only suffered a minor knee injury in the first preseason game and may not miss any regular-season contests.
Even with the slight injury concern, bettors remain bullish on the Jets.
The Jets play all four AFC North teams in the first four weeks of the season. Last year, they upset eventual AFC champion Cincinnati 34-31. They also play Cleveland without Watson and Pittsburgh with an unsettled quarterback situation in Week 4 before hosting Miami in Week 5.
The problem for the Jets is that the Browns and Steelers games are on the road, and New York won one game away from home last year, so if New York isn’t at 2-3 after Week 5, the over is in trouble early.
The next five are at Green Bay, Denver, home against Buffalo, and two with New England. Realistically, 1-4 would be good in that stretch.
So if the Jets are 3-7, there are still four winnable games remaining on the schedule: home games with Chicago, Detroit, and Jacksonville, and at Seattle in Week 16.
If Wilson and the rookies progress to expectations, New York can realistically win three of those four games.
We don’t think it’s a slam dunk where so much money should be going on the over for New York, but maybe some of that is due to optimistic Jets fans now that sports betting is legal in New York. We’ll join them and lean towards the over.
Prediction: Over 5.5 wins