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2024-25 NFL Schedule Released – Early AFC Division Favourites

The NFL preseason is still three months away – beginning August 1 with the Houston Texans taking on the Chicago Bears – but fans can now plan their trips and have something to look forward to, with the league releasing their full regular season schedule.

Kicking us off on Thursday Night Football will be the reigning Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Baltimore Ravens. The following night, the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles will travel to Brazil for the first international matchup of the season. There will be a matchup in London England three Sundays in a Row beginning on October 6, and the final matchup will take place in Germany on November 10.

13 teams will go head-to-head on the first Sunday on the season, highlighted by the Detroit Lions hosting the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football. The runner up San Francisco 49ers will have the floor on the first Monday Night Football matchup of the season, hosting the New York Jets.

If you are looking to bet on the upcoming NFL season, make sure to check out the best NY sportsbooks to help you find a sportsbook with numerous betting markets and competitive odds. To get you set for the 2024 season, here is a breakdown of the eight division favourites with odds provided by bet365.

AFC North – Baltimore Ravens (+125)

After finishing with the best record in the NFL, the Ravens are no lock to repeat as AFC North Champions after all four teams finished above the .500-mark last season. The Pittsburgh Steelers (+700) and Cleveland Browns (+550) are more longshots with newly acquired Russel Wilson in the midst of a steady decline and Deshaun Watson yet to return to his Pro Bowl form. The Browns do seem like a solid value with one of the best defences in the league and newly acquired wideout Jerry Jeudy, but Watson’s uncertainty and Nick Chubb still being sidelined are significant causes for concern.

The Cincinnati Bengals (+165) have a chance to bounce back with a healthy season from Joe Burrow after just missing out on the playoffs, but they will have a difficult task getting past reigning MVP Lamar Jackson and the best defence in the league last season for the division crown.

AFC East – Buffalo Bills (+160)

The Buffalo Bills have had no issues in the regular season over the past four seasons – looking to repeat as AFC East Champions for a fifth consecutive season – but they are still searching for their first Super Bowl appearance since 1993 where they came one game short of the league title in four consecutive seasons. The Kansas City Chiefs have been their kryptonite, knocking them out of contention in three of the past four seasons, but getting past the Miami Dolphins (+180) and New York Jets (+220) in the division will be no easy task as well.

The Dolphins finished with the same record as the Bills last season and have one of the scariest offences in the league. Meanwhile, a healthy season from Aaron Rogers to go along with one of the best defences in the NFL should put the Jets firmly in division contention. Buffalo lost their top two receivers Gabriel Knox and Stephon Diggs this offseason, leaving second round pick Keon Coleman with big shoes to fill.

AFC South – Houston Texans (+110)

“What’s up brother!” The Houston Texans have certainly gained some popularity thanks to internet star “Sketch” this offseason, but the popularity is well deserved after improving from last to first in the AFC South of the course of the just one season. The Texans selected C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson Jr. with the second and third overall selections in the 2023 NFL draft, and both players carried their team to a division title as rookies winning offensive and defensive player of the year honours.

Other than the Kansas City Chiefs, the Texans are the most likely team to win their division in the AFC. The Tennessee Titans (+900) are a longshot in a rebuilding process, but they made some moves this offseason that indicate they see themselves in the playoffs sooner rather than later, dishing out a total of $240.2 million to Calvin Ridley, Tony Pollard, Lloyd Cushenberry III, and L’Jarius Sneed. The Indianapolis Colts (+320) nearly made a miracle playoff run with backup quarterback Gardner Minshew and Jonathan Taylor missing seven games, so they could make some noise with a healthy second season from quarterback Anthony Richardson.

The Jacksonville Jaguars (+250) are the Texans biggest competition, but a lot rides on Trevor Lawrence rediscovering his 2022 pro bowl form. Travis Etienne gives them a strong rushing game and adding Gabe Davis to go along with first rounder Brain Thomas Jr. should improve their passing game significantly.

AFC West – Kansas City Chiefs (-250)

No surprise here that the Kansas City Chiefs are the largest favourite to win their division this upcoming season behind the San Francisco 49ers (-210). The Chiefs are looking to become the first team in NFL history to win the Super Bowl in three consecutive seasons, and they are favoured to do so at +550 odds. Pairing the league’s best quarterbacks in Patrick Mahomes with the league’s best tight end has been a nightmare for opposing defences, and their offence is set to improve. The Chiefs signed Marquise Brown and selected Xavier Worthy in the first round of this year’s draft. Worthy clocked in the fastest 40-year dash time at the combine.

In addition to having the best roster in the NFL, the competition is lacking for Kansas City in the AFC West, considering each team other than the Chiefs finished the 2023-24 season below .500. The Denver Broncos (+1600) are in a full rebuild phase after trading Jeudy and letting Cushenberry III walk in free agency. The Las Vegas Raiders (+1000) are close to playoff contention, but still lack a high-end option at quarterback after settling on Garner Minshew this offseason. The Las Angeles Chargers (+325) will be the Chiefs biggest competition for the division, but they remain a longshot despite adding highly decorated head coach Jim Harbaugh. The Chargers have limited options for star quarterback Justin Herbert after trading away Keenan Allen and cutting Mike Williams.

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