2023 AFC East Division Predictions, Odds and Best NFL Betting Pick For Each Team
When you look at the four teams that make up the AFC East, one could reasonably make the case for each and every team to improve upon their 2021 season. We’ll make AFC East Division predictions for every team to see if their off-season to do list was enough to make their NFL betting odds worth an investment or if the under on their team total may be the better play.
A quick overview would tell you each team is on the rise. The Jets added significant 1st-round talent in the draft with Ahmad Gardner, Garrett Wilson and Jermaine Johnson. The Dolphins signed Terron Armstead and traded for Tyreek Hill. The Bills had the NFL’s best defense last season and felt like they were 12 seconds from a real shot at the Super Bowl. The Patriots had a bounce-back season under rookie QB Mac Jones and with Bill Belichick at head coach they’d expect to build on it.
AFC East Division Odds
|Team||Win Total||Division||To Make Playoffs||Super Bowl|
|New England Patriots||8.5||+450||+140||+4000|
|New York Jets||5.5||+2200||+650||+12500|
Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook!
One of the most interesting things to note from the AFC East Division odds is the fact that the Patriots and Dolphins hold the same odds across all of these markets at Caesars Sportsbook New York. The two teams were separated by just one win last season, with the Dolphins going 9-8 and the Patriots going 10-7. New England turned that into a playoff berth despite losing both of their divisional games against Miami.
We’ll go through AFC East division predictions for each team and a best bet to place. Bills and Jets fans in the state of New York will be able to legally bet on these pre-season markets for this first time this 2022 NFL season. As New York online sports betting launched earlier this year.
The Bills weren’t technically a better team in 2021 (11-6) compared to 2020 (13-3) when you look at it on paper, considering they lost in the Divisional Round as opposed to the Conference Championship. But it feels as though many Bills fans believe that Buffalo was closer to their ultimate goal of a Super Bowl last season.
Buffalo had the NFL’s best defense by pretty well every statistical category you could find ranking 1st in expected points added (EPA) in pass defense and 4th in EPA/play against the run. They spent a first round pick on Kaiir Elam to replace Levi Wallace in the secondary as well as adding to the pass rush with Shaq Lawson and Von Miller.
If you could nit-pick one thing from the defense last season that didn’t click it would be the pass rush and converting pressures into sacks. Buffalo ranked 3rd in pressure rate last season but were 11th in sack rate at 22.5%. Miller had 9.5 sacks in 15 games last season and was a force to be reckoned with in the Rams Super Bowl run.
On the offensive side, the personnel remains largely the same, outside of the departure of Cole Beasley and in exchange the addition of Jamison Crowder. Running back James Cook was also added through the draft to create competition in the backfield with Devin SIngletary and Zack Moss. Many expect Gabriel Davis’ role to expand after a 4 touchdown explosion in the Divisional Round against the Chiefs. Many fantasy football pundits are calling him a must draft wide receiver this season.
The only real cause for concern for the Bills offense is the departure of play-caller and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. The internal promotion of Ken Dorsey leads me to believe this offense won’t change much from a schematic standpoint, expect plenty of RPO/play-action and 11-personnel with Stefon Diggs setting the league on fire.
Buffalo Bills Betting Pick & Prediction
Investing in the Bills team total or even Super Bowl odds doesn’t provide much value at this point. In a difficult division I’m not comfortable backing them to claim it at such juiced odds, especially when one injury can derail their season. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a market available that makes sense to back the Bills or a Bill.
Why worry about Gabe Davis when you can just draft Stefon Diggs in R1?
164 targets (5th)
34 red zone targets (2nd)
28 deep targets (7th)
923 unrealized air yards (2nd) 👀
He can reclaim his 2020 form AND THEN SOME in 2022 📈
— Tyler MacKillop (@TylerMacKillop) July 7, 2022
Caesars has odds for most regular season receiving yards and Stefon Diggs has tremendous value at +1800. Last season Diggs had just 2 less targets than 2020 but 24 less catches. But when you dive into the numbers you can easily explain why. He when from 18 deep targets in 2020 to 28 in 2021, ranking 7th at the position. His 1828 air yards ranked 2nd in the league and his unrealized air yards of 923 ranked 2nd as well.
If Diggs hits on just a few more of those deep targets combined with the fact he’s hitting 100+ receptions in the Bills offense and he could get back to the 1,525 yards he recorded in 2020. Hell, he could even exceed it with those deep targets from one of the league’s best QBs in Josh Allen.
Pick: Diggs to Lead the NFL in Receiving Yards (+1800)
It’s a new chapter in Miami with the unceremonious firing of Brian Flores last season, after the team rallied from a 1-7 start to a 9-8 finish. Now 39 year-old Mike McDaniel is a first time head coach in the NFL after working under Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco. The Dolphins stacked the offensive cupboard for him, trading for Tyreek Hill, re-signing Mike Gesicki, signing Chase Edmonds at running back and adding Terron Armstead to the offensive line.
Under Flores the Dolphins fielded a solid defense, ranking top-10 in total team defense DVOA. They were very opportunistic as well, in 2020 they forced 1.8 turnovers per game and last season they managed to force 1.5 per game. The good news is, despite the departure of Flores, defensive coordinator Josh Boyer has remained with the team.
The defense shouldn’t be a problem, they kept a number of pieces in place and even added Melvin Ingram to their pass rush. The make-or-break factor for this team will be the offense. The offensive line was horrible last season, their PFF pass blocking grade of 51.8 was the worst in the NFL. The additions of Armstead (NO) and Connor Williams (DAL) can certainly help in that department.
Offensive Tackles with the highest pass block grades since 2018
1️⃣ David Bakhtiari: 94.3
2️⃣ Ronnie Stanley: 91.3
3️⃣ Andrew Whitworth: 91.1
4️⃣ Terron Armstead: 90.6 🐬 pic.twitter.com/Yg4gvmU1Le
— PFF MIA Dolphins (@PFF_Dolphins) July 8, 2022
Whether Tua Tagovailoa can take the next step while decide whether or not this team can outperform their expectations set at Caesars Sportsbook. With poor offensive line play the offense lacked complexity. Tua’s 67.8% completion percentage looks nice on paper, but just 7.5% of his passes were for 20+ yards, ranking 36th in the NFL, the only QB behind him was Daniel Jones.
Miami Dolphins Betting Pick & Prediction
The major question mark with Mike McDaniel bringing in the Shanahan offensive scheme is how this personnel can execute it. San Francisco had a top-8 pass blocking and top-2 run blocking unit according to PFF. Miami’s offensive line looks to be much improved, but they’d be lucky to be an average unit in 2022. Can they rely on their run game the way McDaniel would like to? Chase Edmonds may not be the between the tackles rusher to do so.
With Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill out wide, the offense has two weapons that can create separation and make opponents miss after the catch. I’d be surprised if the passing attack really opens up, Jimmy Garoppolo was 35th, just in front of Tagovailoa, in deep passing attempts last season.
Can the defense continue to get timely turnovers that flips the game in their favor? Seven games were decided by one score last season for the Dolphins, they were 4-3 in those games. Miami has a tough schedule as well, with the Bills and Patriots in their division as well as the Packers, 49ers, Buccaneers and Vikings representing 4 of their 6 out of conference games.
Pick: Miami Dolphins UNDER 8.5 wins (+115 at PointsBet)
New England Patriots
As intriguing as year 2 of the Mac Jones experience may be for Patriots fans there were significant losses in New England. Josh McDaniels has finally closed the deal on an exit, JC Jackson is a Charger and Shaq Mason was dealt to Tampa Bay. So does Bill Belichick know something we don’t or are the Patriots in for a rude awakening?
Let’s start with the offense, Mac Jones played last season behind one of the league’s top offensive lines. New England’s line ranked 9th in adjusted line yards according to Football Outsiders. The Pats are replacing Shaq Mason with surprising 1st round pick Cole Strange and are lacking experience depth so expecting them to improve upon their 2021 performance is a little far fetched.
The skill positions remain largely the same, with Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson expected to share the rushing load. The interesting addition is Pierre Strong Jr, who impressed at the combine and is expected to challenge James White as the pass catching option out of the backfield. White sustained a season ending hip injury and has yet to get back to 100%. DeVante Parker was added via trade to join Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne at receiver, along with Tyquan Thornton who was selected in the second round of the draft.
Defensively, the Patriots are consistently able to field a competitive group with Bill Belichick at head coach. But the secondary, more specifically the cornerbacks, have to be a concern, can Jalen Mills and Malcolm Butler keep up with Stefon Diggs, Tyreek Hill, and Jaylen Waddle in this division? The Pats were able to limit opposing rushers from getting to the second level, as they ranked 8th in the NFL, but overcoming the departures of Jamie Collins, Kyle Van Noy, and Dont’a Hightower will be difficult considering their familiarity with the Patriots defense.
New England Patriots Pick & Prediction
It’s hard not to trust Belichick and his ability to coach up just about every player on the roster, but meeting their 2021 win output feels like a tough task. With the AFC fielding a dynamic group of quarterbacks it’s really difficult to see this undersized secondary doing enough to limit explosive plays given up.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) May 13, 2022
But as I look at the first half of the Patriots schedule, I can see them teetering towards the other side of their 8.5 win total number. I can see them sitting at 6-7 wins by the time they take their bye in week 10. After going 1-4 in the last 5 weeks of the 2021 season, I think Jones will be better prepared for a gauntlet of a stretch in the second half and find just enough to clear the number.
Pick: New England Patriots OVER 8.5 wins (-120 at BetMGM)
New York Jets
The Jets were heralded as the clear winners of the 2022 NFL Draft, it’s hard to not get that praise when you get three picks in the 1st round. But the most polished WR in the class for their 2021 2nd overall pick QB, a running back drawing comparisons to Le’Veon Bell, the best man-to-man corner in the draft and an edge rusher some projected to go in the first 10 picks, is noteworthy. I’m talking about you Garrett Wilson, Breece Hall, Ahmad Gardner and Jermaine Johnson.
New York desperately needed help in the secondary, PFF had them as the 30th ranked coverage group with a grade of 37.9. The trio of Gardner, Bryce Hall and DJ Reed is still relatively underwhelming but should be improved headed into 2022. They need to be better tackling at the second level though, as they gave up far too many explosive runs.
The offense has the chance to turn over a new leaf, Zach Wilson has a myriad of weapons at his disposal. The trio of Garrett Wilson, Elijah Moore and Breece Hall is about as much as the former BYU quarterback could ask for. Wilson needs to take significant steps for this team to see any improvement, among passers that exceed 100 attempts Wilson was 40th in on target% as well as completion percentage.
If you look at the most recent quarterbacks to show early career success, Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow and even Mac Jones, they have one thing in common. They were excellent passers under pressure. Wilson was pressured on 38.5% of his dropbacks last season and the results are horrific, a 29.3% completion percentage and the third highest pressure to sack rate.
New York Jets Pick & Prediction
There are six games on the Jets schedule that I’d give them a 40%+ chance of winning, four of them I think they would be favored in. Those three games would be at home against the Bears, Lions and Jaguars. The other two are at the Steelers and at the Browns (potentially without Deshaun Watson). Throw in two chances to beat the Dolphins and Patriots in division and maybe their team total is within reach?
But the Jets are the Jets and with the way they look in the trenches it’s not a recipe for winning football games. New York ranked 24th in both sack rate and opponent yards per rush attempt last season. If Johnson brings his play from Florida State to the NFL (11.5 sacks in 12 games) and Mekhi Becton becomes the stalwart many thought he could be this team could be in for a year 2 leap under Robert Saleh.
Pick: New York Jets OVER 5.5 wins (-155 at BetMGM)