When was the last time the New England Patriots were not favored to win the AFC East? It has been so long that most people don’t remember. The AFC East should be more competitive in 2020, and it is actually the Buffalo Bills who are favored to win the division.
The Patriots have won the division in 16 of the last 17 years including each of the last 11. This year’s NFL team will not look like previous years, as the Patriots no longer have quarterback Tom Brady who is with Tampa Bay. Let’s look at AFC East odds and each of the four teams.
2020 AFC East Odds
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Buffalo Bills +115
The Bills are in the very unfamiliar role of favorites to win the AFC East entering this NFL season. The Bills went 10-6 last season and finished two games behind New England for the top spot in the division. Buffalo has a quarterback in Josh Allen who proved he can make plays and the Bills went out and added a major weapon for Allen as they signed Stefon Diggs. Despite the Patriots losing Brady and the Bills adding Diggs, head coach Sean McDermott doesn’t want to hear that his team is the favorite. "Anytime you bring up some of those words—expectations, pressure—number one, I think it shows you that people respect the way we’re doing things overall, which is nice,” McDermott said to the media, “But number two, and just as important, the Patriots, look, they’ve won the division for X amount of years. Until someone is able to win the division, to us, the Patriots remain the favorite. Why shouldn’t they? You tell me one reason why they shouldn’t.”
New England Patriots +131
The Patriots with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have dominated the AFC East, winning the last 11 titles and 17 of the last 20. This year will look much different as it will be Jarrett Stidham under center instead of Brady. The Patriots also lost a number of key starters on defense, as gone are Jamie Collins, Kyle Van Noy, Danny Shelton, and Duron Harmon. The Patriots also didn’t bring back kicker Stephen Gostkowski who has been a stalwart for New England since 2006. The Patriots still have Belichick, but there are major question marks all over the field for New England entering 2020. The Patriots also have one of the toughest schedules in the NFL this season.
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New York Jets +730
The Jets went 7-9 a year ago and this is a huge year for quarterback Sam Darnold. He was the third overall pick in 2018 and it is time for him to prove that he is a franchise quarterback. The Jets had a good draft and they already have a running back in Le’Veon Bell who is a major playmaker. The problem for New York is that they have a head coach in Adam Gase who has yet to prove he is a good head man. In four seasons as a head coach, he has had a winning record just once.
Miami Dolphins +1135
The most interesting team in the AFC East could be the Miami Dolphins. They added a number of players in the off-season including quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The Dolphins still have Ryan Fitzpatrick, but it won’t be long before Tua is under center and leading this team. Miami started very poorly last season but they ended up finishing 5-11 and there is real optimism for the Dolphins heading into this season. The AFC East is no longer all about the Patriots, so it could be that Miami can start to make some noise in the division beginning in 2020.
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