AFC East betting preview: Bills are a powerhouse, Dolphins on the rise
The Buffalo Bills are the new team to beat in the AFC East. Photo by Adrian Kraus/AP.

The AFC East now has a new heavyweight after the New England Patriots spent the better part of two decades wreaking havoc on the division.

The latest: For two straight seasons the AFC East title has rested in Western New York. The Buffalo Bills' success is even more impressive when you consider that this division was one of three in the NFL last year to have three squads with winning records. The division received even more talent this offseason and will be competitive again in 2022.

Check out our AFC East betting preview for the upcoming season.

AFC East betting preview

Buffalo Bills

To win Super Bowl+600
To win AFC Championship+300
To win AFC East-200
Win total (11.5)Over (-139) or Under (+115)
To reach playoffsYes (-455) or No (+340)

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Odds as of 5:34 p.m. on 08/08/2022.

Best team bet: Bills to win the Super Bowl (+600)

Anything less than a Super Bowl will be disappointing to the Bills and their fans.

The Bills have the shortest odds of any team to win it all and for good reason. Buffalo spent the offseason improving its roster in order to get over the hump after getting knocked out by the Kansas City Chiefs in each of the past two seasons.

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Buffalo Bills betting preview
Steven Psihogios

It went out and added LB Von Miller to help solidify the defence and a healthy CB Tre'Davious White will return to the lineup.

The offence didn't receive any major shakeups but more importantly, it didn't lose anybody of significance. The team did spend its second-round selection on RB James Cook and the hope is he can unlock another element for the unit as a proficient pass-catcher out of the backfield.

With Josh Allen under centre, Buffalo is entering a year where the expectations truly are Super Bowl or bust.

Best player bet: Josh Allen to win MVP (+700)

In our Bills betting preview, Stefon Diggs to lead the NFL in receiving yards (+1,400) was our best player bet but we also like another one and that's Allen to win MVP.

The 26-year-old is the odds-on favourite to win the award. That has a lot to do with the fact that he's doing things never seen before in the NFL. Allen became the first player to throw for over 4,000 yards and rush for more than 750 last season.

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Odds to win NFL MVP
Nick Ashbourne

There are a number of statistical milestones he's already reached that further hammer home how dominant he's been. But perhaps the number that may best help his case to take home the honour in 2022 is five.

Buffalo is scheduled to play five primetime games, tied for the most in the NFL. These games attract larger audiences and tend to stand out to award voters.

O/U win total prediction: Buffalo's win total for this upcoming season is a lofty 11.5 games and we actually prefer the under (+115).

The Bills have a tough list of non-divisional opponents on the schedule this season: the Los Angeles Rams, Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens, Chiefs, Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati Bengals.

The increase in schedule difficulty has been charted by Sharp Football. Buffalo had the eighth-easiest schedule in the NFL in 2021 but is 18th this season. As good as the Bills were last season, they were unable to top this win total despite the less challenging schedule.

Pick: Under 11.5 wins (+115)

Miami Dolphins

To win Super Bowl+4,000
To win AFC Championship+2,000
To win AFC East+450
Win total (8.5)Over (-134) or Under (+110)
To reach playoffsYes (+149) or No (-182)

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Odds as of 5:34 p.m. on 08/08/2022.

Best team bet: Dolphins to win AFC East (+450)

Miami's case for winning the AFC East is heavily tied to the health of Buffalo.

If the Bills have a season with a clean bill of health, we don't see anyone stopping them from claiming a third consecutive divisional title. If the injury bug bites the Bills, however, then we could be looking at a wide-open race.

Miami has made some notable additions on offence with WR Tyreek Hill and OT Terron Armstead. Another change that should bolster the group is the hiring of ex-San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel as head coach.

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Odds to win the AFC East
Steven Psihogios

An elite receiver in the passing game, improved blocking and an offensive-minded head coach could help QB Tua Tagovailoa meet the expectations Dolphins fans envisioned him reaching and lead to a strong season.

Best player bet: Jaylen Waddle under 900.5 receiving yards (-118)

Waddle topped 1,000 yards as a rookie but we're expecting that number to drop with more target competition.

The ex-Alabama receiver's numbers benefited from a weak supporting cast of wideouts around him and an oft-injured DeVante Parker.

Check out his splits with and without Parker in the lineup last year:

With Parker98.755.63
Without Parker78.975.73
Stats via Pro Football Reference

Waddle averaged a shade more than 20 yards per game without Parker. Miami dealt Parker to the Patriots, but it bolstered its crop of pass catchers with the additions of Hill, WR Cedrick Wilson, and RB Chase Edmonds this offseason.

The increased number of talented receiving options will almost certainly cut into Waddle's production, which is why we're siding with the under.

O/U win total prediction: Don't be surprised if the Dolphins begin the year 1-3 or 0-4.

Miami has a brutal start to the season that includes a pair of home games against the Patriots and Bills and two road games against the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals.

The schedule lightens up before a difficult end that includes five straight games against the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Chargers, Bills and Patriots (all four of which are on the road), with a home date versus the Green Bay Packers baked in.

Even for a team that added offensive weapons like Armstead and Hill, the Dolphins are going to be hard-pressed to win more than half their games.

Pick: Under 8.5 wins (+110)

New England Patriots

To win Super Bowl+4,000
To win AFC Championship+2,000
To win AFC East+450
Win total (8.5)Over (-125) or Under (+103)
To reach playoffsYes (+144) or No (-177)

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Odds as of 5:34 p.m. on 08/08/2022.

Best team bet: Patriots to reach the playoffs (+144)

There's actually some decent value betting on the Patriots to make the playoffs.

For starters, it helps that they always seem to find a way in. New England has qualified for the postseason 12 times over the last 13 seasons.

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NFL Week 1 odds
Steven Psihogios

A big reason for that is because head coach Bill Belichick always seems to get the most out of his teams, where the sum is always more valuable than the individual parts.

New England also seems to have found something in QB Mac Jones. The pocket passer threw for 3,801 yards and 22 touchdowns last year and both marks led all rookie quarterbacks in 2021.

Best player bet: Mac Jones under 12.5 interceptions (-112)

We're bullish on all of Jones' props this season but are most intrigued with his interceptions prop.

The Patriots passer was picked off 13 times as a rookie, which was the ninth-highest mark in the NFL. Jones did, however, complete 67.6% of his passes (good for eighth in the league).

The main reason why we're in on this prop is historical data suggests the biggest leap for QBs in the NFL occurs from year one to two.

If Jones, who already proved as a freshman that he's a highly accurate passer, can throw one fewer interception in 2022, this bet will cash.

O/U win total prediction: New England has the eighth-most difficult schedule in the NFL this season, according to Sharp Football, which means the Pats have their work cut out for them.

The toughest matchups on the Patriots' schedule:

  • vs. Ravens (Week 3)
  • @ Packers (Week 4)
  • vs. Colts (Week 9)
  • @ Cardinals (Week 14)
  • vs. Bengals (Week 16)
  • Bills x2 (Week 13, 18)

In addition to the tough schedule, key losses on the offensive line have us fading the over on their 8.5-win total.

The Patriots lost G Shaq Mason and C Ted Karras this past offseason. Although they did draft OL Cole Strange with their first-round pick, it may take him time to acclimate to the NFL.

Pick: Under 8.5 wins (+103)

New York Jets

To win Super Bowl+15,000
To win AFC Championship+6,600
To win AFC East+1,800
Win total (6)Over (-108) or Under (-113)
To reach playoffsYes (+625) or No (-1,000)

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Odds as of 5:34 p.m. on 08/08/2022.

Best team bet: Number of games won — 6-8 (+110)

The Jets got a lot better this offseason and all this bet requires is the team winning two more games than it did last year.

It never hurts to have three first-round draft picks, which New York used to add CB Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner (No. 4), WR Garrett Wilson (No. 10), and edge Jermaine Johnson II (No. 26). All three players should dramatically improve the team on both sides of the ball.

The Jets were also active in free agency. The team added impact players in G Laken Tomlinson, S D.J. Reed, S Jordan Whitehead and OLB Jake Martin.

New York's success in 2022 will fall squarely on the shoulders of QB Zach Wilson, though.

The 2021 second overall pick struggled during his rookie season and finished with a 9:11 TD/INT ratio, but now has a better supporting cast to work with.

Best player bet: Elijah Moore over 775.5 receiving yards (-118)

There are a lot of positive indicators in Moore's profile that suggest he's primed to break out after a solid rookie campaign.

The 22-year-old finished with 538 receiving yards in 11 games last year, averaging 48.9 yards per contest. Over a full 17-game season, that projects out to 831 yards.

What stood out most about the young wide receiver's game was his elusiveness. Moore finished his rookie season with a 47.8% route win rate (No. 9 among all wideouts), according to PlayerProfiler.

He also posted a 14.0% percent juke rate (19th). This stat highlights his ability to evade tackles once he has the ball in his hands.

O/U win total prediction: New York's total is set at six wins, which is probably dead-on for the Jets. Their schedule grades out as the sixth toughest in the NFL, according to Sharp Football.

There are winnable games on the calendar (Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars and Seattle Seahawks), but any bet on the Jets requires putting your faith in Wilson's hands.

Those haven't proven to be the most reliable, which is the only real reason for pause when betting the over.

New York did, however, win four games with a noticeably worse roster in 2021. If Wilson makes some progress in his second season, six wins should be in play.

Pick: Over 6 wins (-108)

NorthStar Bets editorial Insiders have no influence, direct or otherwise, over the setting of odds advertised on our platforms.