NFL Divisional Future Predictions for the AFC East

NFL AFC EAST Logo and Team Logos - Football Field Background With a Football Player Silhouette

TB12 has left the building.

I repeat, TB12 AKA Tom Brady AKA the GOAT has left the frigid fringes of Gillette Stadium for the thick salty warm air of Tampa Bay, Florida.

At first, the move puzzled me but when I thought about it and looked at the Bucs’ numbers from last season, it started to make more sense.

Jameis Winston, who is not even half the quarterback Tom Brady is, managed to throw for 33 touchdowns last season. His arm may be stronger right now but TB12 has the former Florida State Seminole beat everywhere else.

I don’t want to get too sidetracked. Today’s article is just about the AFC East and who we think has the most valuable betting odds to win the division.

We had to address the GOAT in the room, though.

The New England Patriots haven’t had to play a season without him since, well, 1999… Yes, Y2K was our biggest worry.

I would, along with the rest of the country, love to trade concerns with the stuff we are all dealing with today but we, of course, cannot.

Tom began starting games for the New England Patriots in 2001. They won the Super Bowl that year. After that, only the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins have won an AFC East division title and each of them only did it once.

17 out of the 19 years Tom Brady was the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots, the team won at least the division. There’s also 6 Super Bowls but we are all too familiar with the evil empire.

This year could be a rough year for the Pats and the ever-improving Buffalo Bills are primed to take the divisional crown in 2020.

Josh Allen is back under center and likely a much-improved player. They just picked up Stefan Diggs in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings too…

Stef is still a very young man and can run any route in the playbook. I like using him on the underneath crossing route and slants as Josh Allen hasn’t shown a ton of accuracy down the field.

He does have an incredibly strong arm, though, so worst case is he overthrows Diggs a couple of times over the top but the man is so fast, it’s only a matter of time until he runs under it.

The New York Jets played very well when their rising star at quarterback, Sam Darnold, isn’t self-quarantined with the middle school kissing disease.

I do think the Bills are a better team overall especially when you consider how dominant Buffalo’s defense was in 2019 but the Jets look to be a tough out for almost anyone.

The Pats are still the favorite but unless they make a massive splash with the remaining free agents or a big move in the upcoming draft, I don’t think they will be able to hodor.

The online sportsbook BetOnline.AG has the current odds for us today.

Let’s look at the betting odds to win the AFC East and make our early predictions today on a winner!

AFC East Winner

  • New England Patriots (-110)
  • Buffalo Bills (+175)
  • New York Jets (+700)
  • Miami Dolphins (+900)

Miami Dolphins Logo

Miami Dolphins: +900

The fish flopped their way to a 5-11 season in 2019. There were reports that they were tanking on purpose but unfortunately for them, there were some other NFL teams who were worse.

The Bengals “lost” to the Dolphins late in the regular season solidifying their position in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Cincy is expected to draft the Ohio-born Joe Burrow. Assuming that happens and Joe doesn’t pull an Eli Manning and preemptively refuse to play, that leaves Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert as the next two top-rated QB’s.

There have been simulations where the Fins draft Herbert as well as Tua. I don’t think it makes that big of a difference, though.

There’s also the talk of Miami giving up a 1 or maybe even 2 first rounders to move up to draft Burrow at number one.

I don’t think the Dolphins should get impatient here. They have 14 draft picks in total and I think they should hold onto most if not all of them.

I might lean towards the over when we are talking win totals because I think this team will be much better than last year but to win the division, nah.

New York Jets Logo

New York Jets: +700

Okay, many people think the AFC is going to be a two-team race between the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots but I believe in the Jets and Sammy D when he isn’t still making out with college girls.

You’re a starting quarterback in New York City, Sam. Let’s step your game up and start dating models.

The New York Jets were 7-9 in the 2019 NFL regular season but they were clearly a different team when Sam Darnold was on the field compared to when he was in the bed with his blankie fighting off the cootie infection.

7-6 with him and 0-3 without. 7 yards per attempt and more touchdowns than interceptions over the first two years of his career are both good statistics.

This team, along with the previously mentioned Dolphins aren’t really playing to peak in 2020.

Please Note:

Sam Darnold was sacked nearly 3 times per game last year and that isn’t going to cut it if you want to keep him healthy and consistently win football games.

I expect New York will beef up their offensive line in the draft because the free agency has mostly shored up holes on the defensive side of the ball.

Draft some serious O-line help, hope Sammy plays his first full year under center, and add talent at the skill positions next year.

New England Patriots Logo

New England Patriots: -110

Okay, so Tom is gone. Forget this Covid mess. Life is already trippy seeing TB12 not suited up in a Patriots uniform.

The Pats were not a very good team in 2019. Or were they? They didn’t win the Super Bowl so they must have sucked pretty bad, right? Bill, Tom, and the boys have spoiled us pretty badly over the years.

In 2019, the Pats were 6-2 at home and 6-2 on the road as well. They scored 420 points and gave up only 225. That’s an average of 26.5 to 14 points per regular season contest. Not bad at all but the team did struggle down the stretch.

New England started out the regular season with 8 consecutive wins. Outside of a 6-point victory over the Buffalo Bills on the road, none of the teams they defeated were playoff ball clubs.

In the second half of the year when the competition picked up, New England went 4-4 to wrap up the regular season including a meaningful loss to the Miami Dolphins.

The Tennessee Titans then crushed them in the first round of the playoffs. That means the Pats have lost four out of their last five games and lost the greatest quarterback of all-time.

The GOAT head coach and the culture of winning will remain so I expect the Pats to contend for a wild card spot in the playoffs but I don’t think they will be able to finish ahead of the Bills.

I would put this one as a pick ‘em and the odds are clearly on the side of the Bills.

Buffalo Bills Logo

Buffalo Bills: +175

I’ll admit it. I do have a soft spot for the Buffalo Bills.

When my former college mate Tyrod Taylor started 42 games for them and left with a winning record of 22-20. 51 touchdowns, 16 picks, and over 7 yards per pass attempt. Not bad, I have to say.

His high school and college rival EJ Manuel battled him for the starting spot for a while. It was cool to see two quarterbacks from the state of Virginia playing at such a high level.

Right now, they have Josh Allen who I backed heavily over his peers in the 2018 draft.

The aforementioned Sam Darnold has performed very well but I have to say Josh Allen appears to have outplayed Sam, Josh Rosen, and definitely Baker Mayfield’s dad-bod having arse.

Allen did a pretty solid job in ’19 and never really had a #1 receiver. Well, with Stefan Diggs, they surely have one now!

Allen has a cannon too. If he can get enough air under the ball and drop it in a bucket, Josh Allen to Stefan Diggs is going to be one of the deadliest QB/WR combos in the league.

Josh improved his play in 2019 from his rookie season significantly. His completion percentage still didn’t break the 60% mark but almost doubled the number of touchdowns thrown while throwing fewer interceptions, just 9 for the season.

John Brown and Cole Beasley did a good job getting open but Diggs is a game-changer and if he stays healthy, the entire offense will benefit from him being on the field.

The offensive line returns all five starters in 2020.

Running back Devin Singletary was used to run the ball more later in the regular season than earlier and emerged as a possible 1000+yard workhorse for the near future.

The man averaged more than 5 yards per carry. With the offensive improvements of Buffalo in 2020 so far, I expect Devin to put up huge numbers on the ground this year.

Other than disappointing losses to Philly and Cleveland in the middle of the season last year, only the Pats and Ravens were able to defeat the Bills.

If Buffalo can split the season series with New England, I love their chances to win the AFC East in 2020.

The Bet
BUFFALO BILLS
+175

In Conclusion

There you have it, guys and gals.

I know you’re hurting right now. I am too!

My house is clean and I’ve been able to hike several mountains more than normal by early Spring but the world still stinks. We all want sports to come back and we want them back now!

The NFL has been pretty exciting, though, lately. Tom Brady has left New England for the first time in 20 years.

The draft is approaching and with several world-class talents and teams in need at the quarterback position, April is going to be very interesting.

The AFC East is almost always always always an easy pick for us. Not this year, though!

The division has long been considered one of the weakest in the National Football League. This is even with the Patriot dynasty in there.

  • TB12 is gone, though. The team finished up the year 4-5 including an embarrassing home loss to the Tennessee Titans in the playoffs.
  • If Josh Allen can just be a little bit more accurate, the addition of Stefan Diggs should give the Bills at least even chances to win the division.
  • And with (+175) odds that will likely be decreasing over the next several months, the Bills hold excellent value to win the AFC East division.

Get those bets in now as the line will be on the move!

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Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.