Sep 5, 2022
Sep 5, 2022

NFL 2022/23: AFC Conference Outright Winner

Who will win the AFC Conference?

AFC Over/Under Wins analysis - AFC betting

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NFL 2022/23: AFC Conference Outright Winner

Will the Cincinati Bengals triumph again? Can the Kansas City Chiefs retake their throne? Is there value in backing the Patriots to win less than 9 games? Check out the latest odds and outright predictions for the NFL 2022/23: AFC Conference with expert analysis from Mark Taylor.

Which team will win the AFC Conference?

Unders/Overs win total selections reflect the value odds available using Pinnacle lines and odds at the time of writing.

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Who will win the AFC East?

Buffalo Bills - Over 11.5 wins at 1.591*

The Bills were a handful of seconds away from upsetting the mercurial Patrick Mahomes in the AFC Divisional game and go again as the NFL’s most complete team. They’ve lost their offensive coordinator to the head coach job at the Giants, but Josh Allen epitomizes the multi-talented skill set needed in a modern NFL quarterback.

The Bills defense was league leading last year.

The defense was league leading, hugely difficult to pass on or score against and has added edge rusher Von Miller along with draft talent. Their 11 wins under-performed their Pythagorean total of 13, five losses were by seven points or fewer. It’s a 56% chance they get 12 or more wins and an 80% chance they win their division.

Miami Dolphins - Under 9 wins at 1.787*

The nine win Dolphins over-performed compared to their 7.5 Pythagorean wins. They went 1-7 in the first half of the season, but flipped everything around in going 8-1 subsequently. Offense wasn’t a strength, neither aerially, nor on the ground and so they’ve beefed up that side of the ball. Tyreek Hill is the big name signing, but they’ve also made additions along the line and at running back.

QB Tua Tagovailoa has been given the ammunition to emulate their late season winning run. A solid defense from 2021, better against the pass than the run, will maintain those levels and a 57% chance for 9 or more wins puts Miami back in the newly expanded race for the post season.

New England Patriots - Under 8.5 wins at 1.934*

The Patriots lost numerous contributors from the 2021 season, either through free agency, trades or cuts. Most significantly, they also need to replace offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels, lost to Las Vegas and a post season appearance in 2021 will be tempered by the 47-17 defeat to divisional rivals Buffalo that ensued.

Mac Jones was on the cusp of a top ten quarterback spot and New England were typically leveraging good offensive efficiencies into even better scoring rates. They excel against the pass, despite neglecting their rushing defense and they rank as a top four overall defensive unit, winning ten games against a Pythagorean of over 12.5.

On the downside, they have the sixth most difficult schedule, face the Super Bowl favourites as divisional rivals and 9 wins or more is a 42% chance.

New York Jets - Under 5.5 wins at 2.110*

The Jets addressed their depleted talent on both sides of the ball in the draft and free agency, but they are going to need QB, Zach Wilson to show improvement to move the dial. A four game, mid- season injury hiatus did nothing the lift his completion rate consistently above 60%, the passing game languished near the foot of the NFL and the Jets four season wins were all by narrow margins.

They were nearly the NFL’s worst pass defense, leaking points a plenty and only the likelihood of their turnover differential of -13 relenting gives any cause for optimism. It’s a coin toss the Jets win six or more games in 2022.

Who will win the AFC North?

Baltimore Ravens - Under 9.5 wins at 2.710*

An injury plagued 2021 season halted the Ravens regular post season run and left them without Lamar Jackson under centre for five games and 19 others placed on injured reserve. They’ll face two legitimate 4th placed sides from 2021, the Jags and the Giants, despite finishing only two wins shy of the divisional title winning Bengals.

They are unlikely to stumble to the numerous 2021 defeats by 3 points or fewer and a punishing large negative turnover differential may improve with a cleaner bill of health. They had a draft that was universally well received and 10 or more wins is a 58% chance and 11 or more a still healthy 38% likelihood.

Cincinnati Bengals - No Value.

The Bengals had a shot at Super Bowl glory late in the 4th quarter, before ultimately falling just short against the “win today” Rams. Joe Burrow under centre made the passing plays, ranking in the top three for passing efficiency, but taking plenty of hits in the process. His offensive line has been strengthened at centre, guard and tackle, which will prevent a Super Bowl hangover and keep Burrow upright.

His multitude of targets largely remain, notably Ja’Marr Chase. The defense had neither strengths nor holes, turnover neither helped nor hindered, and points scored and allowed were consistent with their ten 2021 regular season wins. They are slightly odds on, 53%, to reach ten or more wins.

Cleveland Browns - Off the Board.

The Browns won the poisoned chalice that was Deshaun Watson’s signature. Talented, but facing multiple lawsuits and probably NFL suspension, he hasn’t played since early 2021. With him they are the best team in their division (which includes the Bengals), adding passing ability to an excellent ground attack and an above average run defense, paired with a near league leading pass defense.

If Watson plays some part in the season, they may challenge almost equally with the Ravens and the Bengals for the division, but there’s a big asterisk. Update, Watson has been suspended for 11 matches.

Pittsburgh Steelers - No Value.

The Steelers had long since checked out as an offensive threat as Ben Roethlisberger’s career wound down to final retirement at their close of the 2021 post season. It was testament to Big Ben’s game smarts and a defense that somehow restricted eight sides to 20 points or fewer, that the Steelers managed one last post season appearance, despite a below average passing and running offense and the league’s least efficient run defense.

Seven wins were by seven or fewer points, 9.5 actual wins compared poorly with seven Pythagorean wins and they take on a loaded AFC North with either Mitch Trubisky as a placeholder at QB or 2022 first rounder, Kenny Pickett. The move to restock the offense has begun, but there’s also been departures across the roster and eight or more wins is a shade of odds on at 53%.

Who will win the AFC South?

Indianapolis Colts - Over 9.5 wins 1.546*

Matt Ryan replaces Carson Wentz under centre hoping he reprises his impressive personal 2020 season and transform the Colts into an above par passing team to go with their already excellent ground game. Nine actual wins was scant return for their points differential and five narrow losses that was more in keeping with a 10.5 winning team. A top ten defense was difficult to score points against, while they face a relatively easy schedule and it’s a shade of odds against, 47%, that the Colts win 11 or more times.

Tennessee Titans - Over 9 wins at 2.050*

The Titans 2020 divisional title and 11 wins was bettered in 2021 with a title reprise and 12 wins, but in truth they took a step backwards. Ryan Tannehill rubbed shoulders with Herbert, Brady, Allen and Ryan when voted Comeback Player of 2020, but an extra win in 2021 masked his slide down towards the bottom third of the ratings.

With a tough schedule, the Titans have a 42% chance of 10 or more wins

Twelve actual wins compared to just 10 Pythagorean wins, six wins were by narrow margins and RB Derrick Henry’s regular season ending injury after eight games completed a below par offensive effort that relied on an NFL atypical run heavy approach.

Defensively, the Titans were among the best against the run, but just below the league average against the pass and five sides managed to score 30 or more points against the run orientated Titans. Their schedule is slightly harder than average in 2022 and nine wins or more is a 63% chance, but 10 or plus wins falls to a 42% chance.

Jacksonville Jaguars - Under 6 wins at 2.400*

15 wins in four seasons and a quadruple of 4th placed divisional finishes has given the Jags lots of draft capital, but the results have remained poor, with head coaching changes inevitable after a meagre three wins in 2021. League average on both sides of the ball on the ground, they threw often, but poorly and struggled to reel in opposing passers.

They were rock bottom for turnover differential, which is likely to regress to the Jags benefit and their Pythagorean win total was slightly higher than their three wins. Trevor Lawrence, QB from the first-round draft class of 2021, should improve on his lowly 2021 numbers, surrounded by more talent and competent coaching and six or more wins is a 59% chance.

Houston Texans - Under 4.5 at 2.100*

Houston have finally extracted themselves from Deshaun Watson, gaining future draft value, but stretching into 2024, which will do little to help with the current under-strength roster. The 2021 season featured four wins, which is exactly where you’d expect a side with their dearth of talent to finish.

Only six teams threw the ball as poorly, they were the worst at running the ball and only two sides did a worse job of defending the pass. Only their run defense approached league average standard of efficiency. QB David Mills has shown flickers of talent, but from a low baseline. There’s a 52% chance that they will gain four or more wins.

Who will win the AFC West?

Kansas City Chiefs - No Value.

Rivals are closing in on Kansas City. Patrick Mahomes remains a perennial MVP contender, but explosive playmaker, Tyreek Hill has been traded away to Miami, heaping more responsibility on a receiving team that at time has misfired. The defense has stepped up at times, but also leaks yardage, especially on the ground. 12 wins slightly flattered the side in 2021, their Pythagorean was closer to just 11 victories and five wins were by seven points or fewer. They face one of the most difficult schedules and 11 or more wins is a 53% chance in the most competitive AFC West division.

Los Angeles Chargers - Under 10 wins at 2.410*

It’s been a lean decade for the Chargers, with just two post season appearances and they are making acquisitions to stay competitive in the tough AFC West. Justin Herbert at quarterback has already made huge strides in his two seasons.

Above average in the passing game, they are a shade better than par on the ground and have turned this combination into the third best points scoring unit in the NFL. They’ve added ball hawking and pass rushing talent to the defense, which will be needed in a defense that partly negated Herbert’s free scoring and was soft against the run.

The Chargers are in win mode through necessity and there’s a 43% chance they gain 11 or more victories.

Denver Broncos - Over 10 wins at 2.280*

The Broncos aren’t shy of bringing in big name veterans to solve their quarterback issue and so Russell Wilson arrives from Seattle for the 2022 season, with plenty of post-season pedigree. Defense has been Denver’s strength in recent seasons, they kept ten teams under 20 points in 2021.

But the NFL flourishes on offense and the AFC West particularly lights up the scoreboard. Their 2021 points differential was worth two more Pythagorean wins, making them a 9-8 team without Wilson and four losses were by seven or fewer points. They’ve leapfrogged the Raiders as the third best team in their division, with a 55% chance of 10 or more wins.

Las Vegas Raiders - Under 8.5 wins at 2.240*

The Raiders made the post season in 2021, but statistical weakness abounds. Their ten wins compares to just seven Pythagorean victories and seven wins were by seven points or fewer. The ground game was one of the worst in the NFL, which negated Derek Carr’s above average passing efficiency.

They couldn’t keep points off the board, despite decent passing and running defensive efficiencies. A new coach in Josh McDaniels has been added, along with exciting Davante Adams from Green Bay, but they are the fourth best team in the hugely stacked AFC West and it’s only a 47% chance that they reach nine or more wins.

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