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AFC West Exact Finishing Order in 2017

AFC West Division Exact Finishing Order in 2017

By Loot, NFL Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

For the enterprising NFL bettor, the AFC West is a division that holds a lot of opportunity. When things are undefined and there are is a lot that is unsettled and up in the air, that's where true opportunity can lie in the world of NFL prop betting. The true value can be when you look where no one else is looking. When it comes to betting on how divisions will shake out in the regular season, most people are inclined to pick a division champion. You hear people saying a team will win the division. No one goes around thinking a team will finish in second, third, or fourth place. So that's precisely why you want to start thinking of those things. For those able to get a good read on a division and forecast who will finish in those spots, the rewards can be really good.

It's not easy in a division like the AFC West. On one hand, we might think we have a handle on the division, with the common thinking that it's between the Raiders and Chiefs, with Denver still holding firm, along with the Chargers struggling to keep pace. But still, something seems pretty fluid about that perception, as if it wouldn't take a lot to disrupt the whole formula. It seems easy enough to figure the Chiefs and Raiders will battle it out, with Denver in the 7-9 to 9-7 range, while the Chargers win maybe 6 games. But when it seems too easy, it almost always is and the AFC West should offer some surprises this season.

At the same time, when at least 3 of the 4 divisional teams have a really wide range of possible success based on innumerable unforeseeable factors, it opens up the field for bettors who can justify taking unpopular stances. In this bet, you get two choices—that a team will either finish in a specific spot (2nd, 3rd, or 4th) or that they'll finish in any other position but that one. In different cases, both sides of the wager can be justified from a value standpoint.

The texture of the division has undergone some changes. After a five-year stranglehold on the AFC West, the Broncos fell to third last season. The Chiefs and Raiders filled the void at the top, with a tiebreaker going to the Chiefs. But the formula for success of the Chiefs and Raiders seems fragile, like it wouldn't take much to throw a funk on their hopes for the 2017 season. Still, with 43 wins in the last four seasons, the Chiefs are a solid contender and the Raiders are coming off a huge 12-4 season and won't easily be separated from their hard-earned positive momentum.

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There is newness on the sidelines for both the Broncos and the Los Angeles Chargers, who have new leadership and a new home, to boot. The Broncos appear to have fallen from being a top team, but they could still surprise. And if looking for a team to rise from a rough run of seasons, the Chargers could fit the bill. All told, a lot is up in the air in the AFC West division. Let's look at the exact finishing order odds, along with our commentary on each AFC West divisional exact finishing order wager.

Denver finishes 2nd in AFC West +305
Any other result -425
Our Take: While Denver appears to be waning and might be in the midst of a down-cycle, this is still a position that can be justified. If either the Chiefs or Raiders slip a bit and new leadership registers positively in Denver, a second-place finish at +305 isn't an altogether indefensible position.

Denver finishes 3rd in AFC West +250
Any other result -350
Our Take: This is where they finished last season and for those thinking things will play out similarly in 2017, +250 isn't bad return on a bet like this. After all, this is where a lot of observers have the Broncos finishing in the 2017 season.

Denver finishes 4th in AFC West +155
Any other result -195
Our Take: A lot of this depends on what you think of the Chargers' chances this season and if you think they're on their way up, Denver could end up in last. Still, at just +155, assuming every other AFC West team will perform well while Denver languishes is asking a lot for the price. We actually like "any other result" at -195 more.

Kansas City finishes 2nd in AFC West +175
Any other result -245
Our Take: Not a bad call. Again, they could easily win the division, but with the Raiders on their way up and the Chargers and Broncos having some darkhorse appeal, second seems like a reasonable landing spot for the Chiefs. At +175, the value isn't great, but it could look like a bargain by season's end.

Kansas City finishes 3rd in AFC West +240
Any other result -320
Our Take: Another defensible position to take, the Chiefs would need to be less effective than they have been in the past several years. Why that would happen seems unclear on paper. But if the Raiders stay on-point and either the Chargers or Broncos surge with the Chiefs having some different issues, this could come to pass.

Kansas City finishes 4th in AFC West +515
Any other result -945
Our Take: We suppose you could justify this on some levels. Still, a lot of stars would need to align to make this a realistic possibility. The Chiefs would need to have some bad injuries or just have nothing click, while every other divisional team would need to avoid suffering the same fate. We'll pass.

LA Chargers finish 2nd in AFC West +365
Any other result -555
Our Take: The thing about the Chargers is that it would be one thing if not many people were projecting an upturn, but a lot of people are. As a result, the value in predicting a Chargers' surge has been rendered less-than-appealing. If things click for the Bolts, a second-place finish at +365 has some value, but maybe not quite enough for a team that has shown they are not terribly resilient to the different issues that can pop up during a season.

LA Chargers finish 3rd in AFC West +265
Any other result -385
Our Take: This is a more-reasonable stance to take. A third-place finish seems to be doable and at +265, it's a decent value—maybe the best one being offered here on the Chargers in their first season back in LA.

LA Chargers finish 4th in AFC West +130
Any other result -170
Our Take: They have shown that this is a common landing spot for the team and on the surface, they appear to be the worst team in the division. But it almost seems to be too easy to just assume they'll perennially occupy this spot and it's hard to imagine another season being snake-bitten by every bad thing that can possibly happen, while the Raiders, Chiefs, and Broncos all avoid a bad fate. We think "any other result" at -170 is the superior value.

Oakland finishes 2nd in AFC West +195
Any other result -275
Our Take: Oakland is one of those teams that seems to have a wide range of possibilities. They won 12 games last season, but many games were close and their formula for success is something that is less than totally cemented. We like this pick at +195, which seems to allow for enough wiggle-room for unforeseen factors that could spring up in 2017.

Oakland finishes 3rd in AFC West +250
Any other result -350
Our Take: Assuming the Chiefs and another division team outdo the Raiders, who might fall on some tougher times this season, it's not hard to see this happen. But wouldn't you want better than +250 for calling this right after a 12-4 season? We actually think -350 for "any other option" rings of superior value, but we're passing.

Oakland finishes 4th in AFC West +525
Any other result -975
Our Take: Let's say Derek Carr were to go down for the season and the backup falters, while other teams in the division avoid similar fates, it's something that could happen. And at +525, there is some value in this pick. It just doesn't seem likely. But before last season, the Raiders were either in third or fourth for 13 straight seasons, so who knows? Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and make NFL prop bets for the upcoming season by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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