NFL futures, odds: Kansas City is still the favorite in the AFC West

·10-min read

The Kansas City Chiefs are one of the models of consistency in the NFL. They have made the playoffs in seven straight seasons. They've won the AFC West for six consecutive seasons. They've made an appearance in the AFC Championship Game in four consecutive years. You can argue they have been the most consistently excellent team in football over the past few years.

However, shiny new toys always get attention and excitement. There's no denying that the AFC West looks dangerous this upcoming season. Justin Herbert looks to be a legitimate MVP candidate and the Chargers greatly improved their defense over the offseason. The Raiders acquired arguably the best receiver in football in Davante Adams and hired a new head coach in Josh McDaniels. The Broncos made arguably the biggest offseason splash of any team when they traded for Russell Wilson.

However, all three of these teams are still chasing the Chiefs. You can certainly argue the Chiefs got worse, as they traded away Tyreek Hill. It's non-controversial to say all three of the other teams in the division got better. Yahoo's Frank Schwab has all four of these teams inside the top-18 of his preseason power rankings. Three of them are in the top 11. However, the Chiefs have the highest ranking, coming in at No. 4. The betting market agrees that this division will be competitive, but the Chiefs remain the team to beat.

Chiefs are still expected to be very good

Last season, the Kansas City Chiefs won 12 games despite many calling the offense "broken" for a large part of the season. In fact, the Chiefs have won at least 12 games in all four seasons Patrick Mahomes has been their starting quarterback. Despite that, their win total is just 10.5 games this upcoming season. It's still one of the highest win totals in the league, behind only Tampa Bay and Buffalo.

Kansas City has gone over 10.5 wins in seven of nine seasons under Andy Reid and in all four seasons with Mahomes. Despite that, bettors aren't overly convinced. Action on Kansas City's win total is evenly split, with just 48% of bets and 53% of the money backing the over. With the improved division and the loss of Tyreek Hill, it makes sense. However, history is on the side of the Chiefs.

The Chiefs enter as the betting favorites to win the AFC West at +160. They've won this division for six straight seasons, however, it won't be as easy this time around. Oddsmakers wouldn't be surprised to see them finish 2nd (+200) or 3rd (+300). In fact, Kansas City is just +700 to finish in the basement of the division. Those are the lowest odds of any division favorite across the league to finish in last place of their division. It shows just how competitive this division will be. However, Kansas City is still a -275 favorite to occupy one of the two top spots in the division.

Bettors don't love the Chiefs' chances. Kansas City is getting under 11% of the bets backing them to win the AFC West. All three other teams are getting at least 27% of the bets. The Chiefs opened as -140 odds-on favorites to win the division, but those odds have come all the way up to +160.

Kansas City is -225 to make the playoffs this upcoming season. While those odds make them a sizable favorite to qualify, they still suggest that Kansas City misses the playoffs over 30% of the time. That's another example of how competitive the AFC is expected to be this season, and in particular the AFC West. Kansas City has made the playoffs in seven straight seasons, so it's no surprise to see bettors backing them to return this upcoming season. Currently, 73% of bets and 91% of the money is backing the Chiefs to make the playoffs.

The Chiefs enter with +800 odds to finish the regular season with the most wins. Those odds are tied for fifth best with the Chargers. Only the Buccaneers, Bills, Packers and Rams have better odds. Kansas City finished with the second most wins last year and led the league in 2020. The Chiefs are also +800 to lead the league in points. Those odds are tied for second best with the Chargers, behind only the Bills. Kansas City scored the fourth most points last year.

Chiefs are amongst the Super Bowl favorites

Kansas City enters the 2022 season with 10-to-1 odds to win the Super Bowl. Those odds are behind only the Buffalo Bills and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kansas City is just ahead of the Rams and Packers on the odds leaderboard. The Chiefs are currently the 7th most popular Super Bowl bet at BetMGM.

The Chiefs are +500 to win the AFC and represent the conference in the Super Bowl. Those are the second best odds behind the Buffalo Bills, who are +350 betting favorites. The Chiefs have won the AFC in two of the last three seasons and have been to the AFC Championship game four straight years.

Kansas City is +600 to enter the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Again, those are the second best odds behind only Buffalo. Kansas City was the No. 1 seed in both 2018 and 2020.

Chiefs player props and awards

What does the betting market think of Patrick Mahomes and some other key players on the Chiefs?

Patrick Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes is +800 to win NFL MVP this upcoming season. Those odds are tied for second best with Tom Brady, behind only Josh Allen. Mahomes is currently the ninth most popular bet to win the award, tied with Trey Lance, receiving 3.5% of bets. Mahomes is 25-to-1 to win Offensive Player of the Year. Those odds are tied for 11th best with Allen. Mahomes won both awards in 2018.

Mahomes is +800 to lead the league in passing yards, a feat he has surprisingly never accomplished. His current odds are second best behind only Justin Herbert. He finished fourth in yards last season. The Chiefs' quarterback is also +800 to lead the league in passing touchdowns. Those are the fifth best odds behind Allen, Herbert, Brady and Matthew Stafford. Mahomes led the league in passing touchdowns in 2018 and finished tied for fourth last season. He's the third most popular bet to lead the league in touchdowns behind Derek Carr and Herbert.

Mahomes' season-long props are pretty in line with what we've seen of him over his career. His over/under for passing yards is set at 4649.5 yards. He had 4839 last season and has gone over this number in three of four seasons. His passing touchdown number is set at 34.5 touchdowns. He had 37 last season and has also gone over this number in three of four seasons. Mahomes' interception prop is set at 10.5 picks. He had 13 last season, but has just 36 over four seasons as a starter. On the ground, Mahomes' rushing prop is set at 324.5 yards. He had 381 last season but went under this number in his first three seasons.

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 20: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) looks to pass against the Washington Commanders on August 20th, 2022 at GEHA field Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri during an NFL preseason game. (Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Patrick Mahomes is amongst the favorites to win NFL MVP. (William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Travis Kelce

Travis Kelce is 16-to-1 to lead the NFL in receiving yards this upcoming season. Those are the seventh best odds, behind Stefon Diggs and just ahead of former teammate Tyreek Hill. Kelce finished 14th last year. Kelce is also 16-to-1 to lead the league in receptions after finishing 13th last season. He is tied for the sixth best odds with Ceedee Lamb. Kelce is +900 to lead the NFL in receiving touchdowns. Those odds are tied for third best with Justin Jefferson, Ja'Marr Chase and Davante Adams.

In terms of season-long props, Kelce's over/unders are set at 91.5 receptions, 1024.5 receiving yards and 9.5 touchdowns. He posted 92 receptions for 1125 yards and 9 scores last year. His role might increase even more with the departure of Hill.

Defensive rookies

The Chiefs have a boat load of defensive rookies on their roster this season. Former Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis is 20-to-1 to win Defensive Rookie of the Year and he's the seventh most popular bet to win the award. Fellow first round pick Trent McDuffie, a cornerback out of Washington, is also 20-to-1 to win the award. Leo Chenal, a third round linebacker out of Wisconsin, is 50-to-1 to win DROY while Bryan Cook, a second round safety from Cincinnati, is 80-to-1.

Other Chiefs' players

  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire is 50-to-1 to lead the NFL in rushing yards. His over/under for rushing yards is set at 699.5 yards. He had just 517 yards last season but missed seven games. He had 803 rushing yards in 13 games his rookie season. CEH's over/under for rushing touchdowns is set at 5.5. He's had just four in each of his first two seasons.

  • Skyy Moore is 10-to-1 to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Those odds are tied for third best with Breece Hall and Chris Olave. Only George Pickens and Kenny Pickett have better odds. Moore is the sixth most popular bet to win the award. His season-long props for his rookie season are set at over/under 50.5 receptions, 674.5 receiving yards and 4.5 touchdowns.

  • Chris Jones is 30-to-1 to lead the league in sacks. He had nine sacks last season, which ranked 20th.

  • Isaih Pacheco is 22-to-1 to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. The running back out of Rutgers has made waves in training camp, and his odds have taken notice. Pacheco opened at 50-to-1 to win the award.

  • JuJu Smith Schuster is 20-to-1 to win NFL Comeback Player of the Year. Those odds are tied with Daniel Jones, Marcus Mariota and Mitch Trubisky for seventh best. JuJu is 50-to-1 to lead the league in receiving yards, 30-to-1 to lead the league in receptions and 40-to-1 to lead the league in receiving touchdowns.

  • Andy Reid is 40-to-1 to win NFL Coach of the Year. Those odds are tied for 26th best with Bill Belichick, Mike McCarthy and Matt Rhule.

Chiefs open as road favorites

Kansas City opens their season with a trip to Arizona, where the Chiefs are 3.5-point road favorites against the Cardinals. The line originally opened with the Chiefs as a three point favorite, but has moved through the key number in favor of Kansas City.

Nobody knows what to make of the Cardinals entering this season. They fell apart in the second half of last season, no-showed in the playoffs and will be without DeAndre Hopkins to open the season.

Kansas City opened the season by going 2-7 against the spread last season, but rebounded nicely, covering the spread in eight of their final 11 games. If you're not sold on the Chiefs ability to cover a number, they are -175 favorites on the moneyline.

The total for this game is set at 53.5 points. It's the highest total of the Week 1 slate.