We’ve gone over the current futures for teams to win their respective divisions, so let’s move on to the individual divisions, and starting with the AFC East, we come up on three long shots and one substantial favorite. But are the Patriots a good bet? If Brady stays healthy, of course. Are they a 1:7 favorite in their division? Yes, probably, given the incredibly weak competition.
In a division with the Dolphins (11:2), the Bills (14:2) and the Jets (14:1), even with a one-knee Brady, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who wouldn’t pick the silver warriors to win the division and get to the playoffs, but to put that much down just to win a fraction back – you gotta be sure it’s a sure thing.
Fear not, we’re here to reassure you the Pats are a safe bet even at 1:100 this year. The Dolphins are first up on the chopping block. Pennington isn’t as horrible as Jets fans might think, but he’s still got nobody to throw to. Ronnie Brown, the most solid player on the offense, had a 10 TD year in 2008, but still managed fewer than 1,000 rushing yards. You can bet opposing defenses will stack the line against him even more if the throwing game doesn’t show up week in and week out.
The Bills have a new QB and a new trouble WR. You haven’t heard much about TO in the off-season, but that doesn’t mean it’s good news for Buffalo. Trent Edwards has all the talent he needs with Owens and Lee Evans downfield, but no team will respect Buffalo’s RBBC, so how effective will they be with double coverage much of the time? Plus, Buffalo’s defense looks like Swiss cheese so far this pre-season.
And, the Jets. Yeah…the Jets. Hey! Mark Sanchez has the top selling jersey among rookies! Seriously, Thomas Jones is a reliable bruiser. The guy grinds out points like no back I’ve seen in the last 10 years, but one above average back, an unproven QB core, and not enough firepower on defense or special teams will most likely result in another disappointing year. They don’t have the toughest schedule out there, so you could see them squeak out 4 or 5 wins if something sparks, but don’t bet on the Jets before the season even begins.