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(Never) Too Early 2024 NFL Bets: AFC


2024 NFL Bets AFC

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(Never) Too Early 2024 NFL Bets: AFC Edition

With March Madness and the Masters behind us, that means it’s time for me to start looking ahead to the 2024 NFL season.


With the popularity of sports betting across the country now, it seems like we’re getting markets opening earlier and earlier every year. Just a few years ago when I started betting, we wouldn’t get Win Total markets until after the schedule was announced. Now, most sportsbooks open them just a few weeks after the Super Bowl.


So with a lot of books having so many markets open, I wanted to organize some of my early thoughts on the 2024 NFL season. Obviously, we still have the draft coming up in a few weeks, and undoubtedly some more offseason moves in the months ahead…


But for the most part, there’s not a lot left that’s going to impact the win total markets in a major way. So the numbers we have now will look very similar to the ones we’ll see as the season gets closer.


Below are a few of my never-too-early thoughts on 2024 NFL bets on each team in the AFC…


All odds are current as of 4/14 via BetOnline.



AFC East


Buffalo Bills - Over/Under 10.5: +100/-140


Obviously, the big news of the offseason was the trade of Stefon Diggs. However, looking at the Bills roster, they lost a number of key contributors in the secondary as well - which I don't love if I'm betting the over.


Of course, they still have Josh Allen, but this is likely going to be one of the weaker supporting casts he’s had in years and I think it’s going to be tough for the Bills to compete in the AFC.


I agree with the market here that getting to double-digit wins could be a challenge.



Miami Dolphins - O/U 10: -110/-110


I don’t have a strong opinion about this team one way or another from a win total perspective. I expect them to compete for the division again with a very good offense, assuming everyone stays healthy.


So this win total seems fine to me at this number. But until Tua shows me he can do more than put up great stats against mediocre teams, I really don’t expect them to do more than compete for a playoff spot again.



New York Jets - O/U 9.5: -130/+100


I just can’t quit Aaron Rodgers, and my expectations for the Jets are high going into 2024.


Yes, a lot of this hinges on Rodgers coming back from an Achilles injury and having played only 6 meaningful snaps in like 18 months at age 41…so maybe I’m just overly confident in the healing powers of ayahuasca, I don’t know.


But I don’t think Rodgers needs to come back and play at an MVP level for this team to go over this win total.


A trend in the NFL going back many years now is the Super Bowl winner has always been in either the top 7 of offensive or defensive DVOA the year prior. In 2023 the Jets ranked 3rd in defensive DVOA. Yes, they also ranked dead-last in offensive DVOA but that was with you and me playing QB.


The reason this DVOA trend is so correlative to Super Bowl winners is that, typically, when you’re good on one side of the ball, that then gives you the opportunity to use most of your off-season resources to improve the side of the ball you’re not good at.


The Jets return one of the league's best young defenses, AND on the opposite side of the ball get back a HOF QB, signed Mike Williams to play opposite Garret Wilson, and bolstered their offensive line.


It’s not going to take much to improve on a 32nd-ranked offense from last season and the defense will still likely be one of the league's best so over 9.5 is one of the few bets I’ve already made.


I already have a few other AFC Super Bowl futures, but if you don’t, I don’t hate the Jets based on current numbers. To win the division may also be a look for me.



New England Patriots - O/U 4.5: -140/+110


The old Patriots regime is completely gone now. 2024 will bring a new coach, possibly a new rookie QB, and a whole lot of questions about what we’ll see from this team going forward.


It wouldn’t surprise me if the Patriots were in the running for the league's worst record, but right now there’s too much uncertainty for me to have any strong opinions.



AFC North


Baltimore Ravens - O/U 11: -110/-110


The Ravens are dealing with a decent amount of turnover from a team that was one of the best ever by DVOA in 2023.


They still have their core of Jackson, Andrews, a great young WR in Zay Flowers, and John Harbaugh at the helm, but had to replace a few key contributors on defense, and maybe more impactful, a good portion of their defensive coaching staff.


I think 11 is a fine win total number right now, but wouldn’t be surprised to see the Ravens take a step back in 2024.



Cincinnati Bengals - O/U 10.5: -130/+100


The Bengals get Burrow back and retained Tee Higgins, so expectations are high and the win total reflects that.


The concern for me is their defense. They ranked 23rd in DVOA last year, and didn’t do a ton to upgrade that side of the ball as of yet. Also, they still ranked 11th in offensive DVOA even without Burrow for a good portion of the year. Yes, having Burrow should improve that, but by how much?


They also lost former OC Brian Callahan; who is now the head coach in Tennessee.


I get the Burrow-return hype, but as a team, I don’t love Cincinnati. If this win total eventually ticks up to 11, I may bet an under.



Cleveland Browns - O/U 8.5: -130/+100


I’ll be honest, I did not realize the Browns win total was this low until I started writing this article.


I did already bet them at 40/1 to win the Super Bowl right after the season, because that number seemed way too high to me, so an over on this win total isn't out of the question either.


Here’s a team that was 2nd in defensive DVOA last season, returns a majority of their defensive starters, added to their WR core with Jerry Jeudy, and oh, gets Deshaun Watson back. Yet this win total is lower than the number I bet last offseason.


Watson did not look great early in the season last year, but did start playing a lot better right before his injury. And even with him missing a majority of the year, this team still went over their win total and made the playoffs with PJ Walker, DTR, and the ghost of Joe Flacco.


It’s a very similar situation to the Jets in that the defense is already there, and just by nature of getting their QB back from being injured most of the season, that should be enough to propel them over this number.


I’ll likely be going back to the well with the Browns over again this year.



Pittsburgh Steelers - O/U 7.5: -180/+150


The Steelers and Browns are almost mirror images of each other.


Ranked 6th in defensive DVOA last season, the Steelers fit the mold of a team that was really just an upgrade at QB away from being a real contender.


Now, are either Russell Wilson or Justin Fields that upgrade? I suppose that remains to be seen. But considering the Steelers ranked 15th in offensive DVOA last with a mix of Kenny Pickett and Mitch Trubisky, the upgrade at QB doesn’t need to be that big.


I already bet them at 80/1 earlier in the offseason to win the Super Bowl.


Do I think they will win? No, very unlikely. But that number simply seemed too big to me for a team that checks all the boxes they do. And an over 7.5/8 on the win total is enticing as well.



AFC South


Houston Texans - O/U 9.5: -150/+120


I love pretty much everything this team is doing.


It will be interesting to see how CJ Stroud fairs now that opposing teams have a full season of tape on him, but things are looking up in Houston.


I think this team is the rightful favorite in this division and a win total around 10 seems correct. I think with the addition of Stefon Diggs, the hype on the Texans is maxed out, so for now there’s nothing I want to bet.



Indianapolis Colts - O/U 8.5: -150/+130


I like Shane Steichen and am excited to see Anthony Richardson return. But the Colts really didn’t do a ton to upgrade this defense though, which was in the bottom half of the league last year. So at this number, not a ton I want to do right now.



Jacksonville Jaguars - O/U 8.5: -130/+110


I may be all the way out on Trevor Lawrence. Or maybe I just hate the Jaguars in general because they knocked me out of Circa Survivor last year. I don’t know.


What I do know is it just doesn’t feel like you can count on this team to do much of anything.


They’ve upgraded at a few defensive positions but lost their best WR in Calvin Ridley.

I’ll wait until I do my own team rankings but in a division that should be even more competitive this year, I lean under this number.



Tennessee Titans - O/U 5.5: -130/+110


This is definitely going to be a new-look Titans: New coach in Brian Callahan, the addition of Calvin Ridley and Tony Pollard, the departure of Derrick Henry, Will Levis starting full-time, and a bunch of new pieces on defense.


With that comes a lot of uncertainty. This team could be bad, but their win total already suggests that. Which means there might be more value in betting them to exceed that.

Brian Callahan for Coach of the Year is intriguing, and I could see myself considering a Titans Alternate Season Win Total Over bet when those come out closer to the season.



AFC West


Kansas City Chiefs - O/U 11.5: -110/-110


The Chiefs are coming off their second straight Super Bowl win, and everyone in their division got worse. So on the surface, this win total seems a little low. However, they have a very challenging schedule ahead of them.


Yes, they do get the NFC South, which is reasonable to assume they sweep…


But they also get the gauntlet that is the AFC North, the Bills, Texans, and 49ers.


The offense will probably be a little better with the addition of Hollywood Brown and at least one WR in the draft, but the defense lost some key pieces off that great unit last year.


They’ll almost certainly win their division, but with a very tough schedule, this isn’t a win total I can bet over, as much as I might want to.



Los Angeles Chargers - O/U 8.5: -125/-105


This offseason the Chargers hired Jim Harbaugh as their new coach, and simultaneously stripped Justin Herbert of his top two RBs, top 2 WRs, and top TE.


I’m not sure if the market thinks the Chargers are moving to the Big Ten rather than Harbaugh coming to the NFL, but I really have a hard time seeing how they're going to win 9 games with the roster as currently constructed.


I could only bet this under, but am going to hold off for now.



Las Vegas Raiders - O/U 6.5: -150/+130


Pretty underwhelming offseason by the Raiders so far. They’re probably one of the teams in the running to draft a QB that will end up starting at some point in 2024, but you just never really know with this team.


Can’t see myself doing much with them at all before the season starts.



Denver Broncos - O/U 5.5: -150/+130


Similar to the Raiders, there’s not a lot to love with this team being in a rebuild and no long-term answer at QB. Could probably make a case for the under, but going to see how the offseason plays out.



Stay tuned later this week for my NFC thoughts.



Do you have any early betting thoughts on the AFC? Lemme know in the comments!


 

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