Kansas City Chiefs are the reigning favorites to win AFC West once again. Here’s our review of their dominance and prospects.
Regardless of which online sportsbook you look at, you’ll find that, in the futures wagers department, the Kansas City Chiefs are far and away the favorites to win the AFC West.
Using DraftKings Sportsbook as an example, the Chiefs are -165 over the Los Angeles Chargers (+290), Denver Broncos (+600), and Las Vegas Raiders (+1600).
But why are they so favored compared to these teams?
Below, we’ll look to answer that question.
Defending Super Bowl Champions
The Chiefs won the Super Bowl last year and are also the favorites for the 2023-24 season. Their success last season, coupled with minimal roster turnover, allows them to be viewed as a dominant force once again. They still have the core intact, like quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce.
They had some turnover on the offensive line, seeing Orlando Brown Jr. head to the rival Cincinnati Bengals. However, they filled his void with Jawaan Taylor and Donovan Smith.
Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster also left for the New England Patriots, but this will allow explosive playmaker Kadarius Toney to see more action and potentially rookie Rashee Rice.
The Chiefs led the league last year in points per game at 29.2, and there’s not a lot of evidence to support why that would change this season.
They Have Patrick Mahomes
The NFL is a quarterback-driven league, and having an elite one can single-handedly elevate your team from division basement dweller to playoff contender.
However, with a player like Mahomes, you’re in it for a Super Bowl each season, similar to Tom Brady with the New England Patriots back in the day.
Last season, Mahomes threw for 5,250 yards and 41 touchdowns in a season without wide receive Tyreek Hill and won the MVP award for the second time.
He’s borderline unstoppable.
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The Rest of the Division Is Pretty Weak
As you can see from the odds, the division isn’t exactly strong. Sure, some of the oddsmaking could be because of the Chiefs dominance, but let’s quickly examine these teams:
|Los Angeles Chargers||Despite a strong offense on paper, this team is plagued with injuries each season. They have stars on defense like Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack, but last season they allowed over 348 yards of offense to opponents, which ranked 20th in the league. A big part of this was injuries. They have a chance if they can remain healthy, but they still need to take down the Chiefs potent offense.|
|Denver Broncos||This team was atrocious last season with quarterback Russell Wilson. This year, there’s more hope with Sean Payton as head coach, but he needs to right the ship quickly, and one season might not be enough despite a fantastic defense. Wilson could be finished as a competent NFL quarterback.|
|Las Vegas Raiders||This team is in constant turmoil. Jimmy Garoppolo is the starting quarterback, but we spent most of the offseason concerned he could even pass a physical. Star running back Josh Jacobs recently agreed to a one-year deal, but he’s been out all offseason, too, as he was sitting out. The defense is putrid, and the offense remains a question mark.|
The Chiefs Coaching Staff Is Elite
Headed up by Andy Reid, the Chief coaching staff are constantly looking for innovation despite the tenure of Reid. Most coaches in Reid’s position and experience in the league have a game plan and stick to it, but the Chiefs adapt to their team and get the best out of their players. One small example we saw was the departure of safety Tyrann Mathieu. They replaced him with Justin Reid, and the difference in production was negligible.
They lost offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy this offseason, but he wasn’t calling plays—Reid was. Now, they have Matt Nagy, who’s been with the staff a long time, and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, a seasoned defensive coach who gets the most out of a team primarily known for offense.
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Last season, the Chiefs went 14-3 over a 17-game regular season schedule.
Their losses included the Indianapolis Colts, Buffalo Bills at home and the Cincinnati Bengals on the road.
The Colts loss was a tough one, losing 20-17 against a miserable squad. However, other than that, they barely lost to two teams, the Bills and Bengals (seven total points), who are among the best in the league offensively.
If not for the Colt’s loss, they would’ve been 15-2. With their two losses coming from seven combined points—that’s incredible.
They play the Bills, Bengals, and even the Philadelphia Eagles this season. These could be tough matchups for them once again, but losing 2-3 games a season is normal for the elite teams in the NFL. Going undefeated doesn’t happen hardly ever.
Run Game Production From Anyone
As you’ve seen throughout this NFL offseason with Jacobs and Colts running back Jonathan Taylor, teams don’t want to pay them because they’re considered replaceable.
The Chiefs are a team that proves that.
Last season, with seventh-round rookie Isiah Pacheco, the Chiefs for 170 carries from him for 830 yards and five touchdowns. That’s nearly five yards per carry.
His contract? Four years and less than $3.8 million.
They can craft an offense that allows their running game to be above average no matter who’s back there, and when they excel like Pacheco, it’s just icing on the cake.
Should You Bet The Chiefs To Win The AFC West Division?
The short answer is yes. However, we understand the hesitation due to a lack of value at -165 for a division winner futures wager. That said, if you’re determined to wager on each division or the AFC West in particular, the Chiefs will win the division. You could hedge your bets with the Chargers to be safe. But, the Chiefs are a dominant team and the six reasons above only begin to explain that.