by ASA, Inc.
For starters, oddsmakers have three AFC West teams inside the top 8 for the current 2023 Super Bowl odds. The Chiefs are 3rd at +1000, then in 6th the Chargers are at +1400, and the Broncos sit at +1600 with the 8th highest odds. The only division that even has two teams within the top 10 is the NFC West (Rams +1100, 49ers +1600). Whether by luck or design, the NFL just keeps winning, as all AFC West teams will have to play all NFC West teams resulting in multiple primetime showdowns vs Super Bowl contenders.
The Rams, 49ers, and maybe Cardinals have a chance to compete for a playoff run, but the Seahawks will not. With Seattle struggling, it may give some free wins to the others in the division, but that is not a luxury the AFC West teams will have. Even though the Raiders are picked to finish last in the West, they have the highest odds to win their division out of any current last place team’s division odds (+650 to win AFC West). Las Vegas made some massive upgrades to their roster to try and compete, adding Davante Adams and Chandler Jones. We will see if Derek Carr can rekindle his Fresno State connection with Adams, but the combination of Crosby and Jones is the real key to containing the three superstar quarterbacks in the AFC West.
We will have to wait and see, but this may turn out to be a historically great division. However, it will be difficult to accurately judge because of the crossover matchup of the NFC and AFC West. The Chiefs and Raiders both will play a gauntlet in 2022 and rank in the top three for most difficult strength of schedule. Additionally, the Chargers and Broncos both rank above average in SOS, yet Denver has seemingly the easiest schedule with games against HOU, NYJ, JAX, and CAR.
Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Russell Wilson, and so many other great players make up an insane talent pool for the AFC West. This is the most talented division we have ever seen, and whoever walks away with a division title will truly have to earn it. Chargers vs Raiders week 1 picks up right where last season left off and is a deserving way to begin the NFL year.