The New England Patriots’ long run as AFC East champions came to an end last year as the Buffalo Bills won the division for the first time in decades. MVP candidate Josh Allen & Co. look like the team to beat again via the NFL odds.
Odds & Predictions AFC East Season 2021
Buffalo Bills (-150)
Buffalo got its biggest piece of offseason business finished recently in signing 2020 NFL MVP runner-up Josh Allen to a mega-extension – FYI, Allen will not play in the preseason opener. Allen got six years at $258 million, with $150 million of that guaranteed. The $150 million in guaranteed money is the most in a single contract in NFL history. Allen’s $43 million in average annual value is second to Patrick Mahomes‘ $45 million. Allen was spectacular last year (4,544 passing yards, 37 TD passes and a 69.2 completion percentage), setting franchise records in nearly every major statistical passing category. To think, he was only the third QB taken in the 2018 draft. In camp, Zack Moss is battling Devin Singletary for the top running back role, but Moss suffered a hamstring injury Tuesday. It’s not serious, but that could cost him in his race. Singletary is listed as first running back on the Bills’ most recent depth chart.
Miami Dolphins (+350)
Dolphins Pro Bowl cornerback Xavien Howard requested a trade earlier in camp but is now happy after getting his contract reworked. Howard’s 2021 base salary of $12.785 million was fully guaranteed and a maximum of $3.5 million in incentives were added. Howard, in his trade request earlier in the summer, highlighted that he was not the highest paid cornerback on the Dolphins’ roster. Now he is. Howard led the NFL with 10 picks last year. The 28-year-old has accumulated 22 interceptions since being taken in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. How the Fins fare this year depends on second-year QB Tua Tagovailoa. In his rookie season with the Dolphins, he gained 1,923 combined yards with 14 touchdowns and five interceptions over 10 games. In this year’s draft class, Miami added a dynamic playmaker (Jaylen Waddle) who has experience playing with Tagovailoa. They also signed a deep play threat (Will Fuller).
New England Patriots (+300)
Can rookie QB Mac Jones win the Week 1 starting job over incumbent Cam Newton? That likely won’t be decided until after at least two preseason games barring injury. The other big question is regarding cornerback and former Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore. He is coming off of a 2020 NFL season that saw him put up much lower numbers than 2019. He racked up 37 total tackles to go along with a forced fumble, an interception, and just three defended passes. Yet, Gilmore wants a contract extension. Tight end Hunter Henry, one of the team’s big offseason signings, will be out a few weeks with a shoulder injury but at least avoided something serious.
New York Jets (+1600)
As of this writing, the Jets are awaiting word on an MRI for good-looking rookie wideout Elijah Moore due to a quad injury – not thought to be serious but could cost him a preseason game or two. Coach Robert Saleh had said multiple times earlier in camp that the 21-year-old Moore didn’t behave like a typical rookie on or off the field, showing confidence and maturity. Teamed with No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson, Moore stands as a promising playmaker for a Jets team in need of young talent at the position. The Jets at least seem on the right track but still have a lot of holes to fill.
Expert Predicted Order of Finish
- Buffalo, Miami, New England, NY Jets
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