Top 4 NFL Futures Odds & Picks Using Points For/Points Against: AFC West (2022)

Aug 10, 2022 - 10:18 AM

Using Vegas totals and spreads from each NFL game on SuperBook Colorado, we can estimate the final score to project the number of points for and against each team. Then, we can use the Pythagorean expectation to calculate the number of wins Vegas estimates each team to have. Unless specifically mentioned, we’ve assumed the home team is the favorite, and the away team is the underdog in any pick ’em.

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Team Expected Points For Expected Points Allowed Pythagorean Win Total Vegas Win Total
Kansas City Chiefs 462 397.5 10.0 10.5
Los Angeles Chargers 441.5 399.5 9.5 10.0
Denver Broncos 408.25 375.25 9.3 10.0
Las Vegas Raiders 410 418.5 8.3 8.5


Kansas City Chiefs

  • It should be no surprise that Vegas has Kansas City’s 462 projected points as the top three in the NFL. In each of the past five seasons, Kansas City has scored among the top six teams in the NFL, and no other team has come close to maintaining this level of offensive success.
  • This puts Kansas City’s Pythagorean win total at 10 wins, just .5 wins shy of their 10.5 line set by Vegas. Though this is touted as the best division in football, Kansas City with Patrick Mahomes has yet to finish a season with fewer than 12 wins.
  • The Chiefs are the favorites to win the AFC West at +155, but there’s an obvious infatuation with this division, given it’s likely the best in football. The last time the Chiefs didn’t win the division was in 2015; the Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos eked out a 4th quarter victory over the San Diego Chargers in week 17 to win the AFC West.

Bet: I think it’s foolish to take any other team to win the AFC West, especially when it’s listed at plus odds. 

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Could this finally be the year that Justin Herbert takes his team to the playoffs? One of the great, young quarterbacks, Herbert was a missed-overtime field goal away from squeaking in as the 7 seed.
  • Last season, this team had all the offensive firepower needed to make a run. The team scored the 5th most points, 474, but allowed the 4th most points; 459. This put them on target for their 2021 Pythagorean win total of 9.
  • It seems Vegas projects the same fate for LA this season, finishing top 6 in points for; 439.5 and bottom 11 in points against; 400.5, despite the addition of all-pro Khalil Mack.

Bet: At +225, this team has a ton of value to win the division, but I’ll stay away until this team can prove they’re contenders.

Denver Broncos

  • There is no team that I’m more excited to watch than the Denver Broncos. A top 3 defense in points allowed in 2021, Vegas projections have this mostly unchanged unit allowing just 408.5 in 2022 – the 5th fewest.
  • Things could get scary in Denver. Mr. Unlimited himself, Russell Wilson, is expected to join the offense with the 9th fewest 2021 points and inherit his best defense since the legion of boom. Vegas projections have the Broncos scoring 73.25 more points in 2022, the third most of any team.
  • The Broncos are the only team in the AFC West with a strength of schedule outside the top 10.

Bet: If Kansas City wasn’t in the division, +260 to win the AFC West is a fantastic line. Unfortunately, as long as Patrick Mahomes is around, I’ll stick to Broncos to make the playoffs at -140.

Las Vegas Raiders

  • The dark horse in the AFC West, projections don’t bode well for Las Vegas on defense. The Raiders are projected to allow 418.5 points, the 6th most while having the league’s 7th hardest strength of schedule.
  • In reality, the Raiders will receive a ton of help on offense. After trading for Davante Adams, the Raiders are expected to total 36 more points than they had in 2021.

Bet: I don’t think there’s enough value for any futures. If I had to, the Raiders to miss the playoffs at -230 feels safest. 

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