The AFC West is shaping up to be a juggernaut of a division for the remainder of the 2020s. Each team appears to have its quarterback locked in, team defenses are improving, and there is no shortage of weapons both on the ground and through the air.
While the recent history has been dominated by the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos, who have nearly split division titles since 2010, the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers are far from pushovers.
Read along for the full betting breakdown and some tips on how to make picks on the AFC West.
Different Types of AFC West Bets
The NFL has grown to be the biggest industry for sports betting in the last decade. There are many different kinds of bets to make picks on.
You can bet on a team to win the division, win the AFC Championship, or make it all the way to the Super Bowl. Along with those future bets, you can also bet on specific players and their stat totals in the 2022 season.
Win totals are a very common bet before the regular season starts. Oddsmakers predict what a good set number of wins would be for each team and many NFL fans like to put money on teams based on the feeling they have for that franchise going forward, after free agency and the draft.
AFC West Teams
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City has become one of the gold-standard franchises in recent years. With a future Hall of Fame head coach in Andy Reid, the Chiefs have built themselves into perennial contenders. Under Reid’s leadership and with star quarterback Patrick Mahomes II at the helm of the offense, Kansas City won the 2019 Super Bowl, their second win in team history. The first came back in 1969, marking exactly 50 years between the wins. Chiefs fans will hope it’s not that long to win their third.
One position group where Kansas City seems to thrive is at tight end, where they already have Tony Gonzalez inducted (as part of the 2019 class) and Travis Kelce, who is well on his way and will almost certainly be inducted when he retires.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers have gone back and forth between playing in Los Angeles and San Diego throughout their history, but wherever they’ve played, a Super Bowl title has thus far eluded them.
They got close in the Dan Fouts era, advancing to the Big Game in 1994, but they ran into a powerhouse in the form of the San Francisco 49ers. The Chargers were heavy underdogs (+18.5 points, the second-largest line in Super Bowl history), as they needed to rally in the second half of both playoff games en route to the Super Bowl. Ultimately, it was a 49-26 defeat.
In more recent years, the Chargers came close during the Phillip Rivers and LaDanian Tomlinson era, but even then, they only made it to the AFC Championship game once, resulting in a 21-12 loss to the New England Patriots. However, the future is bright as L.A. builds around Justin Herbert, who already appears to be a star.
Las Vegas Raiders
The late great Al Davis had a simple mantra: “Just Win, Baby!”. The Raiders did exactly that with Super Bowl wins in 1976, 1980, and 1983. Led by wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff, quarterback Jim Plunkett, and running back Marcus Allen, the Raiders (who played in Oakland for the first two of those wins and in Los Angeles for the third) were as fearsome an opponent as could be had.
The Silver and Black haven’t seen the same success in recent years, with just one AFC West Division Title in 2002, but they swung for the fences before the 2022 season by trading for star receiver Davante Adams from the Green Bay Packers, reuniting him with his college teammate quarterback Derek Carr. Adams has become one of the premier wideouts in the league and should open up the Raiders’ offense.
Denver’s days of dominance in the 1990s were the high point of the franchise’s history, but they’ve managed several spans of greatness since then as well. The Broncos won Super Bowls in 1998 and 1999, then again in the 2015-16 season.
Regularly in the division title mix, Denver won five straight AFC West crowns from 2011-15. Part of that success came from their imposing defense, but they also signed quarterback Peyton Manning in free agency. Manning took the Broncos to two Super Bowls and retired after winning Super Bowl XLVIII, riding off into the sunset.
AFC West Betting Tips
Always do as much research as possible before making any NFL picks. AFC West picks are tough to make on the bottom two teams in the division; unless you use free picks by a signup bonus.
With the thinner air in Denver (being the “Mile High City”), kicking long-distance field goals can be easier. As of 2022, three of the top five longest field goals in NFL history went through the uprights at Empower Field.
The Chargers play at SoFi Stadium, a field they share with the Los Angeles Rams. While the maintenance crews tend to do a great job making sure things are ready for game day, that much wear and tear on the turf can cause problems. Turf also carries a slightly greater injury risk than grass.
Make sure to always bet legally and make your picks at the best sportsbook for you, whether that is online or in person. Every major sportsbook has sign-up bonuses that can give you anything from free picks to risk-free bets.
Bet responsibly and intelligently.