The AFC East has been pretty top heavy in terms of its champion during this millennium. Since the NFL division realignment in 2002, the New England Patriots have won 15 out of 17 division crowns. One each for the Jets(2002) and Dolphins(2008), and Buffalo is still searching for numero uno. Could things change here in 2019? Everyone, who is not a Pats fan, is waiting (more like praying) for the tide to shift in the AFC East. Tom Brady isn’t getting any younger and the other three franchises have acquired QBs from the 2018 draft in their attempt to dethrone New England. How this division could shape up is predicated on the development of 2nd year quarterbacks. In this article, we will examine the win totals for each squad in the AFC East and give our betting advice. Enjoy!
New England Patriots
2019 Win Total: 11 (OVER -150/UNDER +130)
2018 Wins: 11
Many pundits have already penned in the Pats for another AFC title. I include myself in that groupthink however, I’m not so sure that 11 wins will be such an easy task. Luckily for them, 9 or 10 wins can still get it done for the AFC East crown. Rob Gronkowski is retired (for now) and Josh Gordon is most likely not returning to this lineup, despite what we read in the reports. Matt LaCosse, albeit 6’6”, doesn’t exactly instill faith at TE to me and Ben Watson is suspended for the first four games. Isaiah Wynn, a 2nd year player coming off an Achilles injury that derailed his rookie season, is slated to play Left Tackle. He has some big shoes to fill protecting Brady’s blindside. We know what Edelman can do obviously but it’s a wait and see approach with N’Keal Harry. He’s impressed the staff so far but what happens when it’s for real? The defense still looks solid headed into 2019, but former coordinator Brian Flores will be missed. I’m undecided on the signing of Michael Bennett to replace Trey Flowers. He could be a chemistry problem in that locker room. I’ve got 8 solid wins on their schedule (Weeks 3-7 and 15-17). Sounds like 11 wins should be no problem, but a few key contributors must stay healthy. Sony Michel, Stephon Gilmore, Donta Hightower and Wynn will play key roles this year and if some of those guys are injured then 11 wins will be a hard get.
PREDICTION: 10-6 UNDER
New York Jets
2019 Win Total: 7.5 (-110 either way)
2018 Wins: 4
The Jets were able to sign the prized Running Back in free agency this offseason in Le’Veon Bell. The Jets also signed Linebacker C.J. Mosley and drafted Nose Tackle Quinnen Williams to bolster their 27th ranked defensive unit from a year ago. The Jets should be better under new coach Adam Gase, but it all depends on Sam Darnold, who enters his second year as the starting QB. I believe there are 5 games on the schedule that they SHOULD win. A few 50/50 games at Jacksonville, Baltimore and Miami. They could surprise a few of these playoff contenders, but to me it already seems like there are chemistry issues between Gase and his new recruits. The win total will increase but I see this team at 6-10 or 7-9, staying under the 7 ½ total. Caveat though, I won’t be betting this.
PREDICTION: 7-9 UNDER
2019 Win Total: 6.5 (OVER -160/UNDER +140)
2018 Wins: 6
The Bills got their first taste of playoff football this century in 2017. Josh Allen and co. couldn’t repeat the success last season, but overall toward the latter part of the year the Bills looked like a team that could compete. The defense was ranked 2nd in the NFL and I really like the additions of John Brown at WR and Frank Gore at RB. The backfield’s theme this year will be “Fresh Legs” with Shady McCoy, Gore, T.J. Yeldon and rookie Devin Singletary. No one should be overused back there (which also means no Fantasy Value). I can realistically see 7 to 9 wins on this schedule so long as Josh Allen limits mistakes. The defense and running game should be solid in helping Allen manage the game. I believe the Bills will finish 8-8 (+/- 1 game), however since the over is -160 there’s no value in betting that this team will do that.
PREDICTION: 8-8 OVER
2019 Win Total: 5 (OVER +100/UNDER -120)
2018 Wins: 7
A lot of fans and media are already claiming this team as the worst in football, but I don’t necessarily agree with that statement. I don’t see them as AFC East championship contenders (despite having them on a ticket at 75/1 to win the East) but they could approach 6-7 wins again if we get another dose of Fitz Magic in 2019. If the Patriots slip back to the pack and Miami can win most (or all) of their division games, then 9-7 could be the ceiling for this team. Either that or Josh Rosen develops into a playmaker and this team becomes a threat in the so-called “AFC Least”. The defense is young but talented and I believe they will keep this team in games. Depending on the totals, I’ll probably look to bet a lot of unders with this Miami squad. Kenyan Drake is going to need to step up for this team.
PREDICTION: 6-10 OVER