NFL: Searching For Value In AFC Champion Future Picks Going Into Week 15


Week 15 is upon us in the NFL, and the playoff picture is taking shape. But we are looking at a few surprise conference champion futures.

My personal strategy for Conference Champion and Super Bowl Champion Futures is to place a few preseason with some longer odds, to place a few as the playoff picture begins to take shape, and then hedge those selections after we find out the playoff seeding. As I write this, we’re sitting on two futures from week 1, both of which are to win the Super Bowl. We have the Eagles at +900 and the Ravens at +1800. The name of the game is finding value, so let’s go value hunting at the current odds as we head into week 15.

AFC Championship Odds

As we head into week 15, here are the current AFC Championship Odds.

AFC Teams   AFC Championship Odds  Play
Ravens +220 BetOnline logo
Chiefs +240 BetOnline logo
Dolphins +350 BetOnline logo
Bills  +700 BetOnline logo
Jaguars  +1200 BetOnline logo
Browns +2000 BetOnline logo
Texans +3000 BetOnline logo
Broncos +4000 BetOnline logo
Colts +5000 BetOnline logo
Steelers +6000 BetOnline logo


As we mentioned earlier, we already have the Ravens from before week 1 to win the Super Bowl at +1800, and we’re happy to have that in our back pocket. So, as I look at this, three teams immediately jump as value plays, and three jump as teams we’re avoiding.

Teams We’re Avoiding

Dolphins +350

If you’ve ever read anything I’ve written, you’ll know I’ve yet to buy in on Tua. And I’m still not buying him. The Dolphins have shown flashes of an explosive offense against the league’s worst defenses. They still have yet to beat a good team. I’m not just saying that; it’s a fact. The Dolphins last beat a team with a winning record in week 3 of the 2022 season. WEEK 3 OF THE TWENTY-TWENTY-TWO SEASON! Let me remind you that we’re heading into week 15 of the 2023 season. I see absolutely zero value in the Dolphins at +350, and I’m baffled by the folks buying them.

Chiefs +240

This is as much about the lack of value as anything else. Nothing moves me about that +240. If anything, see if they can be upset this weekend by the lowly Patriots (highly unlikely) and see if that number goes above +350. The Chiefs are still in the running for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, and they’ve only ever lost at home to Tom Brady in this latest run. That home-field advantage would be excellent. But there is not enough value here.

Steelers +6000

No. No. This team just lost back-to-back games to the Cardinals and Patriots. I don’t know how this number is justified. Sometimes, people confuse the value in futures with big numbers. This is not value. This is donating your money to your book. Don’t even look at it.

Teams With Value We Like

Bills +700

First, let me state that this team has underachieved because of Sean McDermott. He has been horrid in late-game situations, specifically in big games, and I am surprised he is still leading the show in Buffalo. But I like them for the same reason I liked them this past Sunday in Kansas City; these are all playoff games for the Bills now. They have their back to the wall and are desperate for wins. Having played all these must-win games can be a big-time advantage if they reach the playoffs. And Josh Allen is 100% capable of putting this team on his back. This is worth a look.

Jaguars +1200

I was looking at the Texans in this spot at +3000. But it’s less attractive after losing WR Tank Dell for the season and now having Nico Collins and Dalton Schultz banged up. Add that to the fact you have a first-year QB and a first-year coach, and this is more risky and less valuable. I still love this team, but not yet. This brings us to the Jags. As it stands now, the Jags would be the 4-seed in the AFC playoffs and would host their first-round game. I love that this squad now has playoff experience. They hosted last year’s first-round game and had one of the craziest comeback playoff wins ever over the Los Angeles Chargers. They then went on the road and absolutely battled the eventual Super Bowl Champion Chiefs at Arrowhead. The Jags currently sit at a less-than-impressive 8-5. And they’re looking at a potential AFC title matchup preview with the Ravens this weekend. After that, they finish with the Bucs, Panthers, and Titans. Following the measuring stick game with Baltimore, I think the Jaguars enter the 2023 playoffs on at least a 3-game win streak. I like the value at +1200.

Broncos +4000

I know; just hear me out. If the playoffs started today, the Broncos would be sitting on the beach somewhere in Mexico. They even sit behind the Texans as the first team out of the current wild-card race. But this is a good football team trending in the right direction, and they’re built for the playoffs. The Broncos face a legit test this week at Detroit, and then they close the season with the Chargers, Patriots, and Raiders. I think they can win all four of those games, but 3-1 may get them in the playoffs. The Broncos have won six of their last seven, including wins over the surging Packers, the Chiefs, the Bills in Buffalo, the Vikings, and the Browns. They’re also fresh off a decisive 24-7 victory over AFC West foe LAC.

This squad has a championship-caliber head coach and a championship-caliber QB who looks more and more comfortable in Sean Payton’s offense. Russell Wilson has thrown 23 TDs to just 8 INTs. He’s also been way more mobile, and keeping plays alive kills his opposing defenses. But the real exciting thing about this Broncos squad and why they could be dangerous in the post-season is the defense. They’ve held their opponents to 20 points or less in five of their last seven wins. They held Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to just nine points in week eight and Justin Herbert and the Chargers to just a single TD last week. Am I saying this team is the favorite to win the AFC? No. I’m saying there is a ton of value in the +4000 number. Could they fall off and completely miss the playoffs? Perhaps. But I love the makeup of this squad. They’re built for grind-it-out battles. They’re made for the playoffs, and two men lead them with championship pedigree. This is my favorite value future in the AFC.

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