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Examining the Over/Under 2015 Win Totals for the AFC West


It'll be a three-team race in the AFC West with Denver, Kansas City and San Diego all in the mix. It'll be a long season for the Raiders once again, but they are on their way up with a young nucleus. Watch out for Oakland in 2016 and '17 when the other teams in the division will be trying to get younger.

Much like I did with the college football win totals, I will break down the schedules in terms of home and road opponents outside the division. In most situations, I'll give a split to each team in divisional play with them winning at home and losing on the road. Vegas is much more on the ball in the NFL compared to college football so the numbers are a lot sharper.

Note: Over/under odds courtesy of 5Dimes Sportsbook

AFC West

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Denver Broncos

(Over 10.5 wins +120, Under 10.5 wins -140)

Record Last Year: 12-4

Offense: A lot of the talk out of Denver is that the Broncos are going to run the ball more, and they have the personnel to do so. C.J. Anderson had 648 rushing yards in the team's final six games and should get a breather when Montee Ball takes the field. Demaryius Thomas is happy with his new deal and will get some help from Emmanuel Sanders, who had 101 receptions. Owen Daniels tries to replace Julius Thomas at tight end while the offensive line will have to move on without Ryan Clady.

Defense: The biggest difference will be up front with Terrance Knighton going to Washington. Shane Ray was a nice addition in the draft and he should join Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware as the primary pass rushers. The secondary is stout once again with Aqib Talib and Chris Harris as well as T.J. Ward at safety.

Schedule: Denver has four of its first six on the road with the road dates coming back-to-back in Weeks 5-6 against Oakland and Cleveland. The toughest stretch comes after the bye in Week 7 when the Broncos host the Packers before playing in Indy. They also host the Patriots in Week 12.

Prediction: Slight lean to the over. I think the loss of Clady at tackle is going to be a problem in terms of protection for Manning and because of that, I feel he'll miss a game or two this season. The running game is capable of winning tight contests, which is huge come November and December.

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Kansas City Chiefs

(Over 8.5 wins -115, Under 8.5 wins -105)

Record Last Year: 9-7

Offense: There's going to be a touchdown thrown to a WR this year. Let's get that out of the way after the Chiefs' wideouts went all of 2014 without finding the end zone once. Jeremy Maclin has been reunited with Andy Reid and represents a significant upgrade over Dwayne Bowe, who's now in Cleveland. One can see why the WRs didn't get much love though with weapons like Jamaal Charles and Travis Kelce. The tall tight end had almost 900 receiving yards in 2014. The offensive line shuffled personnel this offseason.

Defense: Justin Houston had 22 sacks last year and is armed with a new deal. Kansas City worked on its defense in the draft and made a nice addition to the secondary with Marcus Peters out of Washington. This unit was seventh in the NFL in yards allowed last season and didn't lose much so it should be just as solid in 2015.

Schedule: It gets rough early for KC, playing road games at Houston, Green Bay and Cincinnati to open the season, along with a Thursday night home date against Denver. The Chiefs also play three of four on the road coming out of their Week 9 bye - at Denver, San Diego and Oakland.

Prediction: The under is the play here and it's mostly because of the schedule. Kansas City's home-field advantage is good enough to steal a game or two, but the Chiefs also play at Minnesota and Baltimore in addition to the other matchups already mentioned. This is a good team that was dealt a rough hand.

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Oakland Raiders

(Over 5.5 wins +105, Under 5.5 wins -125)

Record Last Year: 3-13

Offense: Derek Carr experienced a lot of growing pains last year, throwing 12 interceptions, but that's going to change. Carr now has rookie Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree to throw to besides Rod Streater and Mychal Rivera. Oakland also has a solid backfield with Latavius Murray, Trent Richardson, Roy Helu Jr. and Marcel Reece. The fullback Reece in particular is a Swiss Army knife-type player that can help in many ways whether it's blocking, catching or running the football.

Defense: Oakland continues to go the veteran route on defense with the additions of Nate Allen, Curtis Lofton and Malcolm Smith. This side of the ball needs Justin Tuck to return to form and D.J. Hayden to stay healthy. The safeties are veteran Charles Woodson and Allen, who wasn't very good in Philly.

Schedule: The Raiders close out the year with three of five at home. It's a good opportunity for a young team to gain a little momentum. Oakland hosts a pair of AFC North teams (Cincinnati, Baltimore) to start out the year. All in all, it's not the worst schedule.

Prediction: No real feel for this one. I'm clouded by the fact that the Raiders should be better in 2016 and '17. For the first time in a while, Oakland will win more games then the year before. The question is how many more. If you absolutely need a selection, then I'll take the under.

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San Diego Chargers

(Over 8 wins -130, Under 8 wins +110)

Record Last Year: 9-7

Offense: Philip Rivers is back for his 12th season with the Chargers. If you haven't done so, go look at his numbers and you'll realize they are better then you probably think. This year's San Diego offense is without stalwart Ryan Mathews as well as Eddie Royal. They are replaced by Stevie Johnson and Jacoby Jones out wide. Antonio Gates is out for four games, so Rivers will have to do without his favorite target for a fourth of the season. The good thing is that San Diego added running back Melvin Gordon in the draft and big things could happen with him.

Defense: It was a surprise last year to see San Diego finish fourth in passing defense in the NFL considering the Chargers had just 26 sacks. This unit is solid across the board, but it doesn't have that one dominant talent to rely on. Melvin Ingram staying healthy and Manti Te'o taking the next step would both help this defense round into form.

Schedule: Road trips to Green Bay and Baltimore are going to be tough for the Chargers. Their most friendly stretch is from Weeks 4-9 when they host Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Oakland and Chicago. San Diego also finishes the season with back-to-back divisional road games (Oakland, Denver).

Prediction: Slight lean to the over here. San Diego is the picture of consistency with three of its last five seasons ending with nine victories in the regular season. Ironically, that is what I project for the Chargers again in 2015. It's just a solid team all around.

— 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.