This is the time for NFL sports bettors to wager on 2015-2016 AFC and NFC playoff futures. The new odds are up for the teams that have made the 2015-2016 NFL playoffs. The odds are loose now and will tighten as the first playoff weekend nears. Of course, team health, preparedness, and specific matchups will also become clearer as the week progresses. Thus, betting early often offers better odds, but wagering later gives more clarity. Here’s a look at the AFC playoff teams and their chances of making it to the Super Bowl and your cashing in on them.
The latest odds look like this for the AFC:
- New England Patriots+110
- Denver Broncos+400
- Kansas City Chiefs+700
- Cincinnati Bengals+850
- Pittsburgh Steelers+850
- Houston Texans+3300
The team we’d eliminate immediately from winning the AFC and going to the Super Bowl are the Houston Texans. It’s true that the Texans won the AFC South, but it’s the weakest division in the league. Of all the teams that made it into the playoffs, they score the least and allow the most points. DE J.J. Watt is a standout on a defense that offers up too many scoring opportunities. There just isn’t enough gas in this team’s tank, which is less of a division champion and more of a third wild card winner. Houston has to play Kansas City in the first round. The Chiefs look good in that game.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals are dark horses in this race. Both possess the potential to get by better teams. The Pittsburgh offense can bring it, and QB Ben Rothlisberger is a seasoned pro. Plus, the Steeler defense is very tough.
The Bengals have played well this season, but losing QB Andy Dalton has hurt them mightily. The cast may come off Dalton’s thumb this week, but can be possibly have enough time to get his passes back on target? If he can, then Cincinnati has a much better chance than they would without him. Also, the Bengal defense includes the best free safety in the league, Reggie Nelson, and two of the finest sack masters, Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins. We like this dark horse team a lot. The Steelers and Bengals meet in week one. It’s tough to call this game at this time.
As we move up the ladder, we like the Kansas City Chiefs much less than we do the Bengals or even Pittsburgh. The good news for Kansas City is they have pretty much stopped beating themselves. The bad news is they don’t have enough offensive consistency to win the games needed to get to the Super Bowl. Their defense will keep them in games, but their offense will have a difficult time closing the deal. They will most likely be gone after the division contests are over.
The Denver Broncos, who finished tops in the AFC and earned a bye week, have a defense that is absolutely stellar, and their play has been important in the team’s success. Their offense is good, as they offer an overall solid rush attack and decent passing game. Here’s the skinny on the Broncos. It’s their quarterback situation, which is very dicey. Sometimes their quarterbacking is great, as it was when Manning game in the second half of their last game of the regular season, and sometimes it’s down right bad. What will it be like in the postseason? The weeklong rest should help this club.
Finally, there is the team considered to be the top futures picks for the 2015-2016 AFC playoffs, the New England Patriots. They were last year’s AFC and Super Bowl Champs amidst controversy. Everyone is gunning for them. In their favor, they have Tom Brady, still one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and Bill Belichick, still one of the best coaches. Plus, they get a precious bye week and that will help them. But injuries have taken their toll on this team. If Julian Edelman can come back for the playoffs, that will be a difference-maker for the Pats. New England has the best placekicker in the league. One final note, they have not played well down the stretch.
Betting on the AFC
Here are a few things to consider before placing your futures bets for the upcoming 2015-2016 NFL playoffs. Review team health, including who will be playing injured and who may be coming back, and how much a bye week will help a club mend. Look at matchups carefully and remember that defense is exceptionally important in the playoffs. It can win games.
Finally, consider placekicking. These days, with extra points no longer being automatic and last second field goals being game winners, that kicker can be the difference between a team playing in or simply watching the Super Bowl.
Who do we see going to the Super Bowl from the AFC? At this point it would be the New England Patriots. But the Bengals and Broncos are major contenders.