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There's now less than two months remaining until the NFL kicks off their regular season. While it might be the dog days of summer, the excitement is building and we are just a few weeks away from training camps and preseason football starting up. However, betting on the NFL season doesn't have to wait until September. Throughout the offseason, bettors have been betting on which teams they think will win their division in the AFC. Who are the favorites and which teams are receiving the most action?
The favorite: The Indianapolis Colts are coming off a 9-8 season in which they missed the playoffs. It might be surprising to some that they are odds-on favorites to win the AFC South in 2022, ahead of the Tennessee Titans who were the No. 1 seed in the conference last season. However, public consensus has soured on the Titans after their poor playoff showing last year. They then parted ways with key players like A.J. Brown and Rodger Saffold over the offseason. On the other side, the Colts brought in Matt Ryan to shore up the quarterback position after a Carson Wentz late season collapse cost them a playoff spot last year. Currently, Indianapolis is -110 to win the division in 2022.
The popular bets: Unsurprisingly, Indianapolis and Tennessee are the two most popular bets in the division and they make up over 88% of all bets and 96% of the total money wagered. Most of that money is coming in on the Colts, as they've received over 66% of bets and nearly 80% of the money so far in the betting market for the AFC South. Tennessee is getting 22% of bets at +145 while the Jaguars (+700) are receiving just over 8%. Even 25-to-1 odds can't entice more than 3% of bettors to back the Houston Texans to win the AFC South.
The favorite: The New England Patriots won the AFC East eleven years in a row from 2009-2019 before the Buffalo Bills snapped their streak in 2020. The Bills now have a two-year streak of their own and are significant -190 favorites to make it three straight. The Bills are the current favorites to win the Super Bowl at BetMGM, so them being the favorites to win their division makes sense. Von Miller joins one of the top defenses in the league, and Josh Allen is the current favorite to win MVP on the offensive side.
The popular bets: The Buffalo Bills are the most popular bet in the AFC East, as over 35% of bets and over 61% of the money is backing them to finish atop the circuit at the end of the year. However, there's been plenty of action on the Miami Dolphins as well as the New York Jets. Both teams made big moves in the offseason to improve around their young quarterbacks. Nearly 33% of bets are backing the Dolphins to win the division at +400, while the long shot Jets at 18-to-1 are getting over 22% of the bets. Surprisingly, Bill Belichick and the Patriots are the least popular bet in the division, getting less than 10% of the total bets at their current odds of +400.
The favorite: The AFC North is one of the more compelling divisions out there, featuring three teams with odds of +300 or better to win the division. The favorite is not the team who represented the AFC in the Super Bowl last year, and it's not the team that gave up three first round picks and $230 million for a new quarterback. Instead, it's the Baltimore Ravens who are +150 favorites to win the AFC North despite missing the playoffs last season. Baltimore began the season with an 8-3 record, but they finished the year losing six straight games after injuries became too much for them to deal with.
The popular bets: Most of the big money bets in the AFC North are backing the Ravens to win the division, as they've received nearly 52% of the betting handle. However, the most popular team in the division in terms of sheer number of bets is the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals won the division and made it to the Super Bowl last season and are +185 to win the division again this season. At +850, the Steelers are getting over 26% of the action. Meanwhile, the quarterback uncertainty with the Browns is making them a very unpopular bet as less than 6% of the action and just over 2% of the money is backing Cleveland to win the AFC North at +300.
The favorite: The Kansas City Chiefs have won the AFC West for six straight years. Despite losing arguably their most dynamic offensive weapon and the rest of the division improving around them, the Chiefs enter as favorites to win the division again in 2022. Kansas City is currently +155 to win the AFC West. Three teams in the division are +260 or better to win the division, and even the longest shot in the division, the Raiders, are just +650 to win it.
The popular bets: Human beings get bored very easily. That's part of the reason why the Chiefs are the least popular bet in the AFC West, getting under nine percent of bets and eight percent of the money. There's also the fact that the Chargers have added Khalil Mack and JC Jackson, the Broncos added Russell Wilson and the Raiders added Davante Adams amongst others. This will probably the most competitive division in football, and bettors are split. Just under 37% of bets are backing Denver at +260, while almost 31% of bets are on the Chargers at +230. At +650, the Raiders have gotten 24% of the action. Rare is it that the favorite is the least popular bet, but that tells you a lot about how competitive this division is expected to be.