2018 AFC Odds to Win - Picks and Analysis

July 3, 6:22 PM EDT

The NFL futures to win the 2018 AFC title once again favor New England after the Patriots’ run to the past two Super Bowls. The list of contenders to take their place by winning this season’s conference title are the usual suspects with a few surprises at longer odds along the way.

While New England continues its early preparations to win a third-straight AFC Championship, the top contenders to that very same title are working on a way to get past the most dominant team in the conference under the Bill Belichick regime as head coach. It is still a long road to Super Bowl LIII for any of the 16 AFC teams with betting value spread throughout the futures list at BetAnySports.

AFC Championship Top Favorite

New England has actually won three of the last four AFC titles and its betting odds to win again in 2018 are set at +275. The Patriots are far from being a lock to win again, but if you are going to go chalk in a bet to win the 2018 AFC Championship, you probably cannot go wrong with this play.

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As long as Belichick is the head coach and Tom Brady is under center at quarterback, New England is going to seriously contend for the AFC title. My only concern heading into this season is the long-term effect of losing last year’s Super Bowl. Going back over the Patriots past results during this unprecedented era of success for this duo, they have failed to win the AFC coming off two previous losses in the Super Bowl.

AFC Championship Top Contender

Pittsburgh has lived in the shadow of New England the past several seasons as the next-best team in the AFC. The Steelers once again have the second-best odds to win the conference at +500. This could be a do or die season for this team. Ben Roethlisberger is nearing the end of his career at quarterback and Le’Veon Bell’s future as Pittsburgh’s premier running back could be coming to an end if he cannot come to terms on a long-term contract. The dialed-up pressure could work in the Steelers’ favor, but getting that all-important top seed in the conference could still come down to getting past New England at home in Week 15.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are third on the list at +750 odds to win the AFC coming off a very successful 2017 season that was highlighted by an upset over Pittsburgh in the playoffs. There is no doubt that the Jaguars should be a contender behind a dominating defense, but they could also be in line for a step backwards as AFC South Champs with added competition from the other three teams in this division.

The bulk of that pressure could come from the Houston Texans at +900 odds to win the AFC in 2018. How far the Texans actually go will all depend on Deshaun Watson on offense and JJ Watt on defense staying healthy and playing at a high level.

AFC Championship Top Longshot

With teams such as New England as the top favorite and Pittsburgh as the top contender, the road blocks are firmly in place for just about every other AFC team with longer odds. If I were to go out on a limb with a longshot pick to win the AFC, it would be the Denver Broncos at +1400 betting odds.

This team is still just three seasons removed from winning the Super Bowl and, despite a 5-11 mark in 2017, it is still just a few players away from returning to the top of the list in the AFC. Much of the offense’s success will hinge on newly acquired quarterback Case Keenum after his breakout season with Minnesota last year. The Broncos also have Paxton Lynch in place if Keenum falters.

The addition of defensive end Bradley Chubb as Denver’s top draft pick should help to ensure that it still has one of the best defenses in the conference.