We’ve already given you our win total locks for the AFC, as well as our division winner picks for the AFC; East, South, West and North, all that’s left for the AFC specifically is to tell you who we’re betting to either make or miss the playoffs this year.
It’s a heavy price to pay up for, but I really love the Bills here as a nice parlay piece. Their division may be considered soft except for the Pats, but sadly for the Bills, they’re only the third best team within it. Their current expected wins for the season is around 6.5 to 7, which I believe they can hit, but the difference between that total and a total adequate enough to guide them to the playoffs is very different. I’m expecting an interesting and fun season in Buffalo, but not necessarily a successful one. I’ll be taking them to miss the playoffs this year in a parlay or two.
This should come as no surprise by now, but I’m very high on the Texans and their chances of having yet another successful regular season. They looked spectacular last year, and strung wins together with ease. I think they’re one of the most well-rounded teams in football, and I believe this is going to be seen in them reaching the playoffs again this year. Even if they were to not clench their divisional title, I would certainly expect them to make it in via a Wild Card spot. This is an outstanding bet at plus money and I’ll have a couple of units on it.
Now I’m not going to advocate backing a team to miss the playoffs at -700, however I will say that this price still yields value. When broken down, these odds imply that the Raiders should make the playoffs 12.5% of the time, but in all honesty I feel like even 5% would be a little too high, given the strength of their divisional rivals. With that being said, I shan’t be betting on this outright, but considering the distinct value here, I will be throwing it in a parlay, similar to my Bills pick.
The Steelers are the third team I’m picking to miss the playoffs this year. They missed out last year, and now they’re missing Antonio Brown, and will have to compete with an ever improving Browns team. Big Ben had an outstanding season in 2018, but it’s no secret that he had his close calls with injury and that his performances should call for concerns about regression, especially when he no longer has his no.1 receiving option. I’m forecasting a tough season in Pittsburgh, and unfortunately an 8-8 or 7-9 record won’t be getting them into the playoffs.