This is the fifth of eight divisional previews for the 2015-16 NFL season. All data displayed comes from simulating the entire season 10,000 times.
Their lead is shrinking, but we start the AFC West preview with the Denver Broncos:
2014 Record: 12-4 | Home Games: BAL, CIN, GB, MIN, NE | Away Games: PIT, CLE, DET, CHI, IND
The most likely result for the Broncos is a 10-6 season which happened in 20.2% of simulations. What may surprise you is that there is a higher probability of going under ten wins (49.7%) than going over ten wins (30.0%). That’s doubly surprising when you note that Peyton Manning has led his team to double-digit wins in all but two seasons and every season since 2001. But none of that matters for this upcoming season and the data shows that the Broncos are still the top team in the division but are trending in the wrong direction.
|Broncos O/U||Over %||Under %||Implied Odds|
|10 wins||30.0%||49.7%||+166 / -166|
|10.5 wins||30.0%||70.0%||+233 / -233|
|11 wins||17.4%||70.0%||+402 / -402|
Broncos Under 10.5 is one of the highest value bets of the preview series thus far. 70% of simulations fell under 10.5 wins but the odds are only around -140. The large discrepancy is a little worrisome, but books do have to factor in public perception when setting lines. And you would have to think most bettors would have no problem taking Peyton and company to get to eleven wins again in 2015.
Up next are the Kansas City Chiefs:
2014 Record: 9-7 | Home Games: PIT, CLE, CHI, BUF, DET* | Away Games: BAL, CIN, GB, MIN, HOU
8-8 is the most likely scenario (20.5%) with 9-7 not far behind (19.5%). Eight or nine wins isn’t exactly exciting if you’re a Chiefs fan, but seeing that nine or ten wins is most likely for the Broncos means that Kansas City is positioned well to make a run at the AFC West division title.
|Chiefs O/U||Over %||Under %||Implied Odds|
|8 wins||45.1%||34.4%||-131 / +131|
|8.5 wins||45.1%||54.9%||+122 / -122|
|9 wins||25.6%||54.9%||+214 / -214|
The betting market is pretty much spot-on according to the simulation with 8.5 being a hard number to bet either way.
Next up are the San Diego Chargers:
2014 Record: 9-7 | Home Games: PIT, CLE, DET, CHI, MIA | Away Games: BAL, CIN, GB, MIN, JAX
Just like the team in “front” of them, the Chargers most likely result is an 8-8 season. If the Broncos falter at all, there should be a really interesting 3-team race in the AFC West. In 9.2% of simulations the Broncos, Chiefs, and Chargers all ended up with winning records.
|Chargers O/U||Over %||Under %||Implied Odds|
|7.5 wins||59.4%||40.6%||-146 / +146|
|8 wins||38.7%||40.6%||+105 / -105|
|8.5 wins||38.7%||61.3%||+158 / -158|
Another tight number according to the simulation. If you can find Chargers Under 8 with some positive juice, then it would be worth a look.
As usual, we end with the Oakland Raiders.
2014 Record: 3-13 | Home Games: BAL, CIN, GB, MIN, NYJ | Away Games: PIT, CLE, DET, CHI, TEN
The most likely result is a 5-11 season and 82.9% of simulations ended between three and seven wins. The Raiders ending with ten or more wins happened in just 1% of simulations. It appears another season of “wait until next year” is in line for the fans in the Black Hole.
|Raiders O/U||Over %||Under %||Implied Odds|
|5 wins||40.6%||37.4%||-109 / +109|
|5.5 wins||40.6%||59.4%||+146 / -146|
|6 wins||22.6%||59.4%||+263 / -263|
If the sportsbooks had 5 wins as the over/under, that would be in-line with the simulated results. However, sportsbooks have the current line at 5.5 and that half win is enough to put a bet on Raiders Under 5.5.
Lastly, we have the odds for each team to win the division:
|Team||Division %||Implied Odds|
In the 10,000 simulations, the Broncos won the AFC West a little over half of the time. 5Dimes currently has Denver at -200 to win the division which is too much juice according to the simulation. Conversely, 5Dimes has the Chiefs at +425 and the Chargers at +470 which are both +EV prop bets.
Tomorrow, I’ll have the AFC North preview. If you would like to discuss this preview or any in our NFL Preview Series, click on the button below to dive into our free forum to voice your opinion.
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