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Examining the Over/Under 2018 Win Totals for the AFC West


There have been a lot of changes in the AFC West whether it is evident on the roster or sideline. The most intriguing new sight might be in Oakland where Jon Gruden is back as head coach. All of this turnover means that it should be a fun season for this division. Let's take a look at the season win totals provided by the South Point sportsbook for each AFC West team and see if there's any value in the over/under.

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Denver Broncos

Over 7.5 wins -105...Under 7.5 wins -115

Offense: The Broncos are hoping that a quarterback change can turn around their fortunes. Case Keenum comes over from Minnesota to take over under center as former first-round pick and one-time starter Paxton Lynch has fallen to third on the depth chart. Denver also needs to get more from its running back, and rookie Royce Freeman has impressed during training camp and the preseason. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are back once again with rookie Courtland Sutton pushing for the No. 3 receive role. The former SMU standout was very good in college and could be someone to watch out for in the future when the veteran duo leaves.

Defense: Denver was the No. 3-ranked defense in 2017 but will look a little different this season. Bradley Chubb was taken fifth overall to help against the run and bolster an already fierce pass rush. Von Miller is a terror coming off of the edge as he was responsible for 10 of the team's 33 sacks last year. Cornerback Aqib Talib was traded but Chris Harris and Bradley Roby should be able to hold down the fort. Darian Stewart and Justin Simmons are the starters at safety with former Redskin second-round pick Su'a Cravens looking for a fresh start after missing all of 2017 due to health and personal issues.

Verdict: The offense should be able to offer more support than last year and could surprise some teams if the pieces all come together. If the defense continues to be strong, this team could be a sleeper in the division. The Broncos open up with four of their first six at home so there's an opportunity to start fast. I think the over could be worth a look as this might be an 8-8 or 9-7 team.

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Kansas City Chiefs

Over 8.5 wins EVEN...Under 8.5 wins -120

Offense: Andy Reid is going to have to work some of his quarterback magic on Patrick Mahomes, who has struggled in training camp with interceptions. Mahomes has a fantastic arm, but he's got to work on the other intangibles it seems. Kareem Hunt was great in his rookie season after taking over for Spencer Ware, who returns from a serious knee injury. Sammy Watkins joins Tyreek Hill as probably the quickest wide receiver duo in the league. Add in Travis Kelce and the pieces are there for this side of the ball to be strong if Mahomes puts the ball where it needs to be.

Defense: One of the biggest surprises of the offseason was that the Chiefs were able to pry young cornerback Kendall Fuller away from Washington in the Alex Smith deal. Fuller has talent and will step right in for Marcus Peters, who was traded to the Rams. Eric Berry is one of the best safeties in football, provided he can stay healthy. The other two starters in the secondary are question marks. The linebacker position will look different with Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali gone. Anthony Hitchens was signed in free agency while Breeland Sparks was the team's second-round pick. Justin Houston is still around, but he will need to improve on the 9.5 sacks he totaled in 2017.

Verdict: This could be a transition year for Kansas City as Mahomes learns on the job. The Chiefs have four of their first six on the road including trips to Pittsburgh, Denver and New England. The payoff comes at the end of the year with three of their last four at home. I agree with the line move although if Mahomes is better than we think, this team could easily win the division.

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Los Angeles Chargers

Over 9.5 wins EVEN...Under 9.5 wins -120

Offense: The usual suspects are back for another run starting with Philip Rivers under center. Rivers is 36 years old and still doing tremendous stuff at quarterback. Melvin Gordon is the lead back with Austin Ekeler getting some carries and maybe rookie Justin Jackson gets in on the action. Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams and Mike Williams are the team's top three wide receivers. Losing tight end Hunter Henry to a torn ACL hurts, but it could mean a reunion with future Hall of Famer Antonio Gates. The offensive line could be a force if the starters stay healthy.

Defense: Cornerback Jason Verrett tore his Achilles on the first day of training camp, the latest season-ending injury for the 2014 first-round pick. The secondary should be OK with Casey Hayward leading the way at cornerback and first-round pick Derwin James joining Jahleel Addae and Rayhawn Jenkins in the mix at safety. Up front is where it all starts as Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram accounted for 23 sacks in 2017 and form one of the better pass-rushing duos in the league. The Chargers need more production out of guys like Corey Liuget and Denzel Perryman if this defense wants to maximize its potential.

Verdict: The Chargers need to stay healthy and have already lost two key players for the season before Week 1. This team specializes in the close, late finish and most times it's with Rivers having the ball with a chance to win. The schedule lines up really nicely for the Chargers with not a ton of tough teams coming to Los Angeles. I think the over might be worth a look here.

Oakland Raiders 2019 Schedule

Oakland Raiders

Over 8 wins -120...Under 8 wins EVEN

Offense: Derek Carr put up decent numbers in 2017 with 22 touchdowns to just 13 interceptions, but at times he didn't seem comfortable in the pocket. We know Jon Gruden loves running the ball so Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin figure to be busy early and often. Michael Crabtree was released and has been replaced by Jordy Nelson. He pairs off with Amari Cooper, who is looking to bounce back after a disappointing 2017campaign. The team has invested plenty in its offensive line, which will add first-round pick Kolton Miller to the mix.

Defense: The outlook for this side of the ball depends upon what happens with Khalil Mack. He is by far the biggest playmaker but has yet to report to training camp due to a contract holdout. Even with Mack, this unit struggled when it came to putting pressure on the quarterback, forcing turnovers, and stopping the pass. Bruce Irvin, Derrick Johnson and Tahir Whitehead aren't a terrible group of linebackers. I have some questions about the secondary which will look quite different from last year's group. The Raiders are hoping 2017 first-round pick Gareon Conley can take a huge step forward at cornerback with former Carolina starter Karl Joseph having an impact at safety.

Verdict: I think the Raiders this year could be an absolute disaster. I don't like what I'm hearing from Oakland and don't know if throwing all this money at Gruden is going to work. The defense without Mack could be atrocious. Oakland has just three true home games the first half of the season. The under here is the way to go.

-- Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.

(Top photo by Tony Gonzales/Oakland Raiders, courtesy of