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Who Will Win The AFC West?

It’s no secret that the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs are the favorites to win the AFC West in 2020. But in a division defined by longstanding and bitter rivalries, the other three teams are going to do their best to make sure the Chiefs don’t have an easy time getting back to the promised land.

Denver Broncos

Denver enters 2020 with +900 odds to win the AFC and +5000 Super Bowl odds, according to DraftKings. In theory, the Broncos could be an intriguing dark horse pick this year, depending on how you feel about Drew Lock.The Broncos should be an NFL public betting favorite coming into the year with all the hype surrounding them. The Broncos were 4-1 with Lock starting late in 2019 with the former Missouri gunslinger flashing plenty of promise. However, Denver’s offensive line was dreadful last season and will have a rookie at center in Lloyd Cushenberry. The Broncos are also incredibly young at wide receiver, although the group is loaded with talent.

Meanwhile, the Denver defense could be an X-factor this year. The Broncos have remained strong on that side of the ball ever since they won the Super Bowl a few years ago. They added lineman Jurrell Casey and cornerback A.J. Bouye over the offseason. The pass-rushing duo of Von Miller and Bradley Chubb could also be dangerous, but only if the Broncos can play with a lead more often than last year.

Kansas City Chiefs

Everything you need to know about the Chiefs you probably already know. They have the best Super Bowl odds at +600 and are an insane -455 to win the AFC West, by far the best NFL odds of any division champion. Needless to say, it’s all about Patrick Mahomes, who is an MVP and a Super Bowl winner at (checks notes) age 24.

Outside of a Super Bowl hangover, the question is whether the Kansas City defense can be more of an asset and less of a liability in 2020. For what it’s worth, the Chiefs gave up a respectable 19.3 points per game last year. A similar performance this year should be more than enough for Mahomes and the K.C. offense to keep the Chiefs among the NFL’s elite.

Las Vegas Raiders

During their first season in Vegas, the Raiders have +1200 odds to win the AFC West, the longest odds within the division. Jon Gruden’s team is also +6600 to win the Super Bowl. Derek Carr remains the quarterback, although there isn’t a ton of certainty over his future. With the Raiders adding rookie wide receivers Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards, Carr should be in a better position to succeed in 2020. Keep in mind he was a Pro Bowler not too long ago. With Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas is likely to have a stable running game, which should help.

For Gruden, it’s all about improving the defense that gave up over 26 points per game last year. While they didn’t make a big splash, the Raiders signed several mid-level veterans to help reinforce their defense. Of course, there’s a lot of work to do if Las Vegas is going to contain Mahomes and the Chiefs, among the other teams on their schedule.

Los Angeles Chargers

It’s a new era for the Chargers, who enter 2020 with +4500 Super Bowl odds and a +800 moneyline to win the AFC West, which gives them the second-best odds in the division. With Philip Rivers gone, Tyrod Taylor will begin the season as the starting quarterback. He’s proven that he can get a team to the playoffs, doing so in Buffalo. But Taylor needs a strong supporting cast around him to make it happen.

Last year, the Chargers were abysmal at running the ball and a tick below-average defensively. There might be only so much the Chargers can do to improve their rushing attack, especially since Taylor isn’t a threat to push the ball down the field. However, the Los Angeles defense looks solid on paper if everyone stays healthy, which could help keep the Chargers relevant in the playoff picture.

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