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NFL AFC West Wins Season: Totals Preview

Chiefs the Team to Beat

The Kansas City Chiefs are the team to beat and oddsmakers are tipping all AFC West markets in their camp right now, including the NFL AFC West wins season total market.

The Los Angeles Chargers and the Denver Broncos, however, are not too far behind. They’re seen as legitimate challengers to Kansas City’s dominance, nipping at their heels on the NFL odds board. Whereas the Las Vegas Raiders are the betting longshots in every respect.

Does the market have it right?

We trace Kansas City’s six-year dominance and look at how their rivals stack up in the AFC West Championships race going into the 2022 NFL season.

AFC West Season Win Totals

  • Kansas City Chiefs (10 ½)
  • Los Angeles Chargers (10)
  • Las Vegas Raiders (10)
  • Denver Broncos (8 ½)

AFC West Season Win Totals, Odds, Highlights

  • The Kansas City Chiefs, are projected as the team to beat with the highest win total of 10 ½.
  • With no season win total projected below 8½, it’s clear that this is one of the most competitive divisions in the league.
  • The Denver Broncos’ blockbuster trade for Russell Wilson has elevated their status in the NFL AFC West wins column to 10.
  • The Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos are seen as the biggest threats to Kansas City’s bid for a seventh AFC West title.
  • The Las Vegas Raiders aren’t getting the same kind of love from the oddsmakers despite making big offseason splashes with blockbuster trades, free agency scoops and valuable NFL draft picks.

Kansas City, a Dynasty is Born

Peyton Manning’s retirement after winning Super Bowl 50 with the Denver Broncos opened the door for the Kansas City Chiefs to finally swoop in and claim the division.

Previously, in Andy Reid’s first three seasons, the Chiefs finished second behind the Broncos. Though twice they clinched a playoff spot since Reid took the job in 2013.

Reid led the Chiefs to the AFC West title for the first time in 2016 and they never looked back. In hindsight, that first triumph was a harbinger of what was to come – total domination. The kind to rival the infamous New England Patriots dynasty that was cunningly cultivated by Bill Belichick and Tom Brady over nearly two decades.

Chiefs Win Record Six Straight AFC West Titles

The Chiefs have won six straight AFC West titles since 2016, along with two AFC Championship titles and a Super Bowl.

It’s worth noting that this run of divisional supremacy was accomplished with two different quarterbacks. Alex Smith held the reins in 2016 and 2017; Patrick Mahomes in 2018 and onwards.

By the numbers, the Chiefs have finished in double-digit figures each and every single season. They finished with a 12-4-0 record three times (2016, 2018 and 2019). As well, they went 10-6-0 in 2017, 14-2-0  in 2020 and 12-5-0 in 2021.

Chiefs Regular Season Win Totals

As per the regular season stats from 2016 to 2021, the Chiefs combined for 72 wins in total (12+10+12+12+14+12=72). If we divide 72 by 6 we get an average of 12 wins per season over the last six seasons.

If we look exclusively at the Mahomes era (2018-2021), then the total number of wins is 50 (12+12+14+12) and the average is 12.5 wins per season (50/4 =12.5).

Thus, if the Chiefs are averaging 12.5 wins in their last four seasons, then the 10½ season win total currently trading on the NFL odds board falls well below their average. Surely, this betting trend for the NFL regular season makes a bet on the OVER 10 ½ rather appealing.

Is Kansas City Being Underestimated On 2022 Season Win Totals?

Considering what the Chiefs have accomplished so far, it does look like they are being underestimated. Hence, reinforcing their betting value in this market.

Key departures during this offseason have had an impact on this rather modest NFL betting outlook by Kansas City’s lofty standards.

All-Pro Wide receiver Tyreek Hill’s move to the Miami Dolphins is seen as the most significant because it means that Mahomes has lost one of his favorite targets. That in itself could diminish the Chiefs’ offense next season. Tyrann Mathieu’s departure is another significant move that impacts the defensive side of the ball.

To counter these moves, the Chiefs have inked deals with JuJu-Smith Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Ronald Jones. They also added safety Juston Reid and a bunch of young draft picks.

How Have AFC West Improvements Impacted Season Win Totals?

Widespread improvement in the AFC West have had an impact on the NFL AFC West wins season market.

On one hand, they’ve made every single team look more competitive on paper and in turn, the AFC West as a whole is easily one of the toughest divisions.

The Chargers are entering the second year of their improvement project under Brandon Staley and the third year with Justin Herbert under the helm. The Chargers finished with a 9-8-0 record in Staley’s first year. They gave the Chiefs a run for their money and very nearly made the playoffs.

This offseason, the Chargers made some key moves to address their shortcomings and continue building around Herbert.  Signing Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson are two of their biggest moves thus far.

The Broncos signing a Super Bowl winning quarterback in Russell Wilson propelled the Broncos into contention in the AFC and the broader spectrum of the league in 2022.

The Raiders in the meantime, have penned deals with wide receiver Davante Adams, linebacker Chandler Jones, and cornerback Rock Ya Sin… the moves generated some positive buzz, however, not as much as their rivals.

All these improvements in the AFC West have conspired to bring down the Chiefs’ win total to 10½ – marking their lowest tally since 2019.

Many think it will be harder for the Chiefs to sweep the division as they have done in the past. When they’ve lost several of their own key contributors and those around them have improved.

Kansas City leads the league with a 20-4-0 record against the division since 2018 – the  start of the Mahomes era.

What Are the Value Bets in the AFC West

Despite all the aforementioned improvements, it’s hard to look beyond the Chiefs. As a unit, they’re tried and tested with proven championship credentials. The staff is largely intact. Reid is entering his tenth season. Mahomes is entering his fifth year and he has many familiar faces around him as well as lots of exciting new talent. Until proven otherwise, it would take a very brave bettor to bet against the Chiefs.

If there were another value bet in this field, it would have to be the Los Angeles Chargers. Staley’s first season showed a lot of promise. It also cemented Herbert as one of the exciting NexGen talents. The Chargers were the only team to beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead in 2021.

The Broncos and the Raiders are generating a lot of buzz for their big name signings, however, on the coaching/staffing front, there are too many question marks.

Both these teams underwent significant changes in the offseason. New coaches have come on board, first-time head coaches that have yet to show their mettle. Typically, teams that go through that much upheaval and change need time to gel together and find their feet on a football field. Simply put, there’s bound to be growing pains with these teams as a result. At the end of the day, NFL AFC west wins season totals are a lucrative bet, stay tuned for line movement.

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