With the 2019 NFL draft in the books, the final look of most NFL teams is starting to materialize. This means we the fans are getting a more complete idea of what final rosters are going to look like come the start of the 2019 season.
It also means we have about as much information to go by when placing bets on which teams will underperform and which will exceed expectations. This is barring any further trades and injuries of course.
What are each AFC team’s actual win totals and what information should you consider when deciding how to bet on these?
Here’s a guide to help you maximize your chances of a big payout during the upcoming NFL betting season.
AFC North – A New-Look Division
The NFC North is the biggest-hyped division heading into the 2019 NFL season with a series of huge moves shaking it up.
Last year, the Steelers had already failed to meet expectations. After making the playoffs the previous four years, the Steelers were narrowly edged out of the playoffs by their rival Baltimore Ravens.
What didn’t help them was their star running back, Le’veon Bell, sitting out the entire year to protect himself in hopes of getting a bigger guaranteed payout.
Things aren’t looking any better this year. They’ll have no Le’veon Bell again heading into the 2019 season, having lost him to the Jets. Beyond that, they’ve suffered the messy breakup of having to trade away star receiver, Antonio Brown, to the Raiders.
This means they’ve lost not only arguably their two best players, but two of the best players in the league.
2018 Record: 9-6-1
2019 Win Projection: 9 wins
Another team experiencing a major shakeup was the Ravens.
Long-time quarterback Joe Flacco underperformed in the nine games he appeared in during the 2018 NFL season. Combine this with an eventual hip injury and the fact that it had been since the 2014 season that he’d led the team to the playoffs and it was clear change was coming.
This was further reinforced during the 2018 draft when the Ravens took Lamar Jackson as the last pick in the 1st round.
After replacing Flacco in 2018 and leading the Ravens to a playoff berth, Lamar Jackson solidified himself as the Raven’s QB of the future.
This materialized into the Ravens trading Flacco to the Broncos this offseason.
If Jackson continues to perform well, look for the Ravens to exceed their win total projection in a division with the Steelers likely a weakened force.
2018 Record: 10-6
2019 Win Projection: 8.5 wins
A team who the expectations remain low for is the Bengals.
The biggest offseason move they made was replacing long-time head coach Marvin Lewis with the LA Rams’ QB coach, Zac Taylor.
He’ll hope to help Andy Dalton up his game the same way he’s helped Jared Goff the last couple years.
If he can do so, they have enough offensive weapons by his side to exceed their paultry win projection for the 2019 NFL season.
2018 Record: 6-10
2019 Win Projection: 5.5 wins
There is perhaps no team for whom expectations and hype are higher for entering this NFL season than the Cleveland Browns.
With the first overall pick in the 2018 draft, the Browns selected quarterback Baker Mayfield. Considered both charismatic and cocky, it was hoped he would be able to turn the franchise that won zero games in 2017 around.
After entering the 2018 season during week three, Mayfield started at quarterback the rest of the year and performed well.
Hopes are that he will continue to progress into the type of elite franchise quarterback that will make the team a contender for years to come.
To help him in this regard, the Browns made arguably the biggest splash in the trade market during the 2019 offseason by acquiring Odell Beckham Jr. from the Giants.
This year, the Browns are favored by many to win the AFC North for the very first time.
In a weakened division and with immense talent, look for the Browns to meet their projected win total. Don’t get your hopes too high though. Mayfield still has a ways to go to prove he can sling it with the big boys and there will be some growing pains with all the young talent working together.
2018 Record: 7-8-1
2019 Win Projection: 9.5 wins
AFC East – New England’s Reign Lives on Into the 2019 NFL Season
The AFC East has become the receptacle for the other non-Baker Mayfield 2018 draft’s early quarterback picks.
These fresh faces will look to make improvements in their second year as professionals in hopes of dethroning the remaining quarterback in the league, a not-so-fresh face.
New York Jets
On the offensive side of the ball, the Jets made a big move this offseason by acquiring disgruntled all-star running back Le’veon Bell.
Still, the Jets lack overall talent on both sides of the ball and have a second-year quarterback set to experience further growing pains.
Add to that the fact that they are in a division with the powerhouse Patriots and you’re looking at a team set to continue to be a lower-tier franchise in the 2019 NFL season.
2018 Record: 4-12
2019 Win Projection: 7 wins
If it wasn’t already clear that the Dolphins were in need of a rebuilt, last season no doubt made it so.
It became pretty clear that Miami accepted this fate when they traded away veteran starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill to the Tennessee Titans in March.
After making this move it was obvious that the team would be looking for a new quarterback to lead their future.
In this regard, the Dolphins made their biggest splash of the offseason by trading the Arizona Cardinals for Josh Rosen, the Cardinals’ first overall pick in the 2018 draft.
With Rosen looking like he has a long way to go before being able to make a team competitive, as well as the team lacking talent on both sides of the ball, look for the Dolphins to stay right within range of their projected win total.
2018 Record: 7-9
2019 Win Projection: 5 wins
Another team entering the 2019 season with low expectations is the Buffalo Bills.
Hopes are that second-year signal-caller Josh Allen can make strides forward to improve his completion percentage, touchdown-to-interception-ratio, and passer rating. Last year he performed poorly, especially in completion percentage, as he finished last in the league in this among qualifying quarterbacks.
The ability of the Bills to meet or exceed their win projection for the 2019 season will hinge on his ability to progress.
2018 Record: 6-10
2019 Win Projection: 6.5 wins
New England Patriots
Year after year of recent the question gets absolutely assailed in the media. Is this the year Tom Brady will finally show his age and begin to perform like a 40-something historically is expected to?
Fresh off of a blitzing playoff run culminating in his 6th Super Bowl Victory, the 2019 NFL season is not looking like it’s the year for that.
The Patriots did suffer some major losses in the offseason. Star personality and player tight end Rob Gronkowski retired from the NFL. They also lost star defensive end Trey Flowers and two talented tackles, LaAdrian Waddle and Trent Brown, during free agency.
Looking to compensate for the talent lost, the Patriots had a stellar draft stock, being tied with the Giants for having the most picks entering the 2019 draft at 12.
Beyond the on-the-field talent is the sideline talent that still remains. Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels, and Dante Scarnecchia all return to the Patriots’ sideline forming the main parts of what’s likely the very best one in the league.
2018 Record: 11-5
2019 Win Projection: 11 wins
Increased Knowledge Leads to an Increased Return
Hopefully the above snapshot into the AFC North and East divisions has given you some solid information to go buy when figuring out your betting strategy entering the 2019 NFL season.
With the US Supreme Court striking down the federal ban on sports betting, states can now individually legalize this.
That gives you a better opportunity to get in on the lucrative opportunity of sports betting that happens to also be a load of fun.
Check out our NFL betting package coupled with the betting strategies on our site to get in on the action for the 2019 NFL season.