Football is finally back, and that means it’s time to make our picks and predictions for the 2023-24 NFL season. We’re going to run through the AFC East, AFC South, AFC North division champions, and NFC championship odds and break down the favorites, the underdogs, and some teams that could surprise fans this season.

Kansas City has dominated the AFC since the Patrick Mahomes era got underway. The superstar quarterback has made it to every single AFC Championship game since he took over as the Chiefs’ starter. Teams such as the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals are hot on Kansas City’s heels and pose some of the biggest threats to the Chiefs’ title defense this coming season.

Let’s dive into the AFC West and make some predictions -- choosing a favorite for the division. We will look at NFL betting odds and the hottest NFL betting trends across the conference. Let’s begin with the AFC West. 

AFC West Division Odds 2023-24

Kansas City Chiefs -175
Los Angeles Chargers +300
Denver Broncos +500
Las Vegas Raiders +1200

AFC West Odds to Finish Second

Los Angeles Chargers +175
Kansas City Chiefs +250
Denver Broncos +260
Las Vegas Raiders +400

AFC West Odds to Finish Third

Denver Broncos +175
Los Angeles Chargers +250
Kansas City Chiefs +550
Las Vegas Raiders +220

AFC West Odds to Finish Fourth

Las Vegas Raiders -110
Denver Broncos +220
Los Angeles Chargers +350
Kansas City Chiefs +1400

Favorites to win the AFC West Division

It should come as no surprise that Kansas City has the best odds to win the AFC West. Head coach Andy Reid and the Chiefs have now won the AFC West for seven straight seasons, taking over as the division’s most dominant franchise in the wake of a five-year run by the Denver Broncos.

Patrick Mahomes hasn’t only dominated AFC West rivals, he has dominated the entire AFC. In five seasons as a starter, Mahomes has yet to miss the AFC Championship game-winning three out of five and claiming two Super Bowl rings. Still just 27 years old, Mahomes will be setting his sights on a title defense in 2023-24.

The division looks competitive, and it will be particularly interesting to see how the Las Vegas Raiders’ quarterback switch from Derek Carr to Jimmy Garoppolo affects their chances. The Broncos will give the Russell Wilson era another shot under head coach Sean Payton, and the Chargers could be one of the most dangerous teams in the AFC West with Justin Herbert now locked in long-term and talent throughout the roster.

2023-24 AFC West Predictions and Best Bets

The AFC West odds heavily favor the Kansas City Chiefs, and one has to figure that --- barring any injury -- they should comfortably claim the division again. 

Kansas City was 6-0 against AFC West opponents last season, and while the Chargers, Broncos, and Raiders are all interesting in their own way, none are yet close to competing at the Chiefs’ level.

Much of Kansas City’s success comes down to having a Hall of Fame head coach and one of the greatest quarterback-tight end duos in the history of the game. That makes the Chiefs tough to beat on any given Sunday, and I’d be very surprised if any of the division’s other three teams are ready to take the top spot this season.

The Pick: Kansas City Chiefs to win the AFC West (-175)

While I won’t be making any other AFC West predictions for the top spot, the other three teams certainly make the rest of the standings very intriguing. The Chargers came in second last season with 10 wins and look to be a team on the rise after gathering some momentum by making the playoffs.

Of course, the Chargers’ exit against the Jaguars was a woeful one, but after Kansas City, they appear to be the West’s best-prepared team to reach the postseason.

The Broncos could surprise a lot of folks this year if Sean Payton’s tactics are deployed correctly, and he’s already running a tight ship in Denver. While Denver could cause an upset, I’ll take Justin Herbert and the Chargers to come in second.

I like Los Angeles’ addition of receiver Quinton Johnston, and the Chargers have great pieces in all three defensive areas. Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack make a deadly duo.  Eric Kendricks joins Kenneth Murray among the linebackers. In the secondary, the experienced J.C. Jackson and Derwin James will benefit from the emergence of Asante Samuel Jr. It all makes for a very talented lineup on defense.

The Chargers’ odds to win the AFC West at +300 look like great value until one realizes that they would only win if something goes drastically wrong with the Chiefs. Even if the Chargers win 12 games this season, which would be a very good year for them, it likely won’t be enough to finish ahead of Patrick Mahomes and his Kansas City teammates. 

The Pick: Los Angeles Chargers to finish second in the AFC West (+175)

Odds are subject to change*

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