The defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs figure to rule once again, but the Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, and Los Angeles Chargers have all made moves to position themselves nicely for the future. The Raiders have a new home although there won't be any fans in the stands at Allegiant Stadium as they make their Las Vegas debut. Meanwhile, the Chargers (who also will be moving into a new stadium) and Broncos are both hoping young quarterbacks can give them hope for the future. Let's take a look at the AFC West win totals.
(Numbers provided by Westgate's Superbook)
Over 8 Wins +110... Under 8 Wins -130
Offense: If Drew Lock can get things going, then this side of the ball could be a lot of fun. They also need to get a lot better production from the offensive line because while it should be improved it's still not great, and right tackle Ja'Waun James opting out this season won't help. The backfield is crowded with Melvin Gordon III joining Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman. The first two figure to get the majority of the workload, so we'll see if Freeman could be traded. Denver also clearly went after speed by drafting wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler in the first two rounds. They'll pair nicely with Courtland Sutton.
Defense: Jurrell Casey is a very nice addition to the defensive line, and he only cost a seventh-round pick in a March trade with Tennessee. Casey figures to make life a little easier for Von Miller and Bradley Chubb. The front seven should be strong with an improved secondary that has A.J. Bouye and Bryce Callahan at corner as well as Kareem Jackson and Justin Simmons at safety. There's a lot of potential here.
Schedule Note: Week 6 is a home game vs. Miami, and it's sandwiched between a road trip to Foxboro and a home contest with the Chiefs. I'd expect Denver to win, but it might be a bit of a struggle.
Prediction: Eight wins sounds pretty good here.
Over 11.5 Wins -120... Under 11.5 Wins EVEN
Offense: Continuity has been the key for the Super Bowl champions, although Damien Williams opting out of the season will hurt. It just means LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire will take on a bigger piece of the run game. Patrick Mahomes is back along with all of his skill position guys and while the offensive line will look different, it could end up being a better overall group. Good health means there's no reason why this team shouldn't average 30-plus points every night.
Defense: There weren't a ton of changes made here either. Kendall Fuller is no longer in the secondary, but Kansas City will inject a bunch of younger players to try and improve the depth behind Bashaud Breeland and Charvarius Ward at cornerback. The safety pairing of Juan Thornhill and Tyrann Mathieu has the potential to be one of the best. Up front, Frank Clark will wreak havoc along with Derrick Nnadi, Chris Jones, and Alex Okafor.
Schedule Note: I can't decide if the flat spot is Week 5 hosting the Raiders or Week 6 on Thursday night in Buffalo. Before the Vegas game, Kansas City takes on the Ravens and Patriots, and Week 7 is the always tough roadie to Denver.
Prediction: Lean to the under here. The schedule is really tough.
Over 7.5 Wins EVEN... Under 7.5 Wins -120
Offense: There's potential here, but the big question is at quarterback. This offseason has featured plenty of talk about how much the team actually likes Derek Carr. His backup is now Marcus Mariota, who head coach Jon Gruden has been particularly fond of. Josh Jacobs was really good last year and has great support in Jalen Richard and the intriguing Lynn Bowden Jr., who did it all for Kentucky last year. Henry Ruggs III adds some genuine speed to the wide receiver room, and Nelson Agholor comes over from Philly on a prove-it contract.
Defense: There's a healthy mix of youth and veterans on this side of the ball. Las Vegas spent a high pick on cornerback Damon Arnette from Ohio State, but I'm intrigued by Amik Robertson from Louisiana Tech. The secondary is full of veterans with Prince Amukamara pairing with Trayvon Mullen, who will try and build off of his promising rookie campaign, at cornerback and Damarious Randall and Lamarcus Joyner among the options at safety. If second-year safety Johnathan Abram can stay healthy, the Raiders' defensive backfield could be really solid. It's Year Two for Clelin Ferrell, as well, who will try to play up to his high draft status, and the team upgraded at linebacker with free agents Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski. A lot of nice pieces here, but can they come together during this weird offseason?
Schedule Note: Hard to believe, but a flat spot could occur in Foxboro Week 3 after opening up Allegiant Stadium on "Monday Night Football" against New Orleans. There could also be a flat spot either Week 12 in Atlanta or Week 13 in New York against the Jets after two straight home division games.
Prediction: Slight lean to the under.
Over 8 Wins -130... Under 8 Wins +110
Offense: Things will look different under center with Tyrod Taylor taking over for Philip Rivers. The organization really likes the former Buffalo starter despite drafting Justin Herbert in the first round. There are reports that the team would prefer Herbert learns all season. Austin Ekeler moves to the No. 1 running back spot, with Justin Jackson and a host of rookies led by Joshua Kelley also vying for touches. The skill position guys are pretty much the same, with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams at wide receiver and Hunter Henry at tight end.
Defense: This is one of the best defenses in the league, and it got even better because of some offseason acquisitions. They picked up Chris Harris Jr. from Denver to play cornerback opposite Casey Hayward Jr. The linebackers got a little younger with Kenneth Murray Jr., who they drafted 23rd overall. Finally, up front, a group that already had Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram III got even better with the arrival of Linval Joseph at nose tackle. I really think this side of the ball is going to be stout.
Schedule Note: Week 3 at home against Carolina could be a problem after hosting the Chiefs the week prior with road games against the Buccaneers and Saints to follow.
Prediction: I like the over here. The key will be how good the offense is with Taylor leading it and if the defense stays healthy.
— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.