NFL betting: Chiefs are still favorites to win the AFC West, but maybe they shouldn't be

·3 min read

Oddsmakers will not give you a discount on the Kansas City Chiefs after their 2-2 start.

Want to bet the Chiefs at good odds to win the Super Bowl? Nope. They're still the favorite at BetMGM with +600 odds. Want to get them to win the AFC West after a slow start? You'd still pay a tax. The Chiefs are the favorite at -115.

Do we trust that the Chiefs' relatively slow start is no big deal and they'll start running away with the division soon? Or is this the time to find value in other AFC West teams?

Chiefs still favored to win AFC West

The Chiefs are -115 to win the AFC West at BetMGM, despite being in last place. You won't see that too often.

The three teams ahead of them, all at 3-1, are getting good odds. The Los Angeles Chargers are +250, the Denver Broncos are +500 and the Las Vegas Raiders are +700.

It's a rare opportunity to get a 3-1 team like the Broncos or Raiders at some good odds. You can make a case that either team has great value. But the better play might be the Chargers.

The Chargers are 3-1. They already won at Kansas City, meaning a Dec. 16 rematch in Los Angeles could clinch the tiebreaker for the Chargers. The Chargers also pass the eye test, whatever that is worth. Quarterback Justin Herbert is not having a sophomore slump. The defense, led by new coach Brandon Staley, has faced some good offenses and presented problems for each one. And they're still getting +250 odds. That's not as juicy as the +600 odds they were getting before the season, but still a pretty good number for a team that is 3-1, has looked pretty good and already has a win over the Chiefs.

However, betting anyone else to win the AFC West has to do more with what you think of the Chiefs than anything else.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has a big test this week against Buffalo. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has a big test this week against Buffalo. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Can the Chiefs fix their issues?

The Chiefs are great, as usual, on offense. Defense is an issue.

Kansas City ranks first in offensive DVOA, Football Outsiders' opponent adjusted metric, and 32nd in defensive DVOA. It's hard to be the best offense in the league and the worst defense, or vice versa, but through a month of the season the Chiefs are pulling it off. The Chiefs are No. 8 overall in DVOA.

The Chiefs get a matchup against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday night. Buffalo has the type of offense that could put up a lot of points and yards against the Chiefs. The Chiefs are 3-point favorites at BetMGM, but it wouldn't be a huge shock if Buffalo won. If that happens, the team with the best odds to win the Super Bowl would be 2-3.

The most likely outcome this season is that the Chiefs figure out their defensive issues to some extent, or it doesn't even matter because Patrick Mahomes and the offense can outscore most teams. But that reputation is why they're significant favorites even though they trail in the race.

If you believe that maybe someone else can take a turn winning the division, now is the time to bet it.