AFC East Betting: Patriots Now Favored To Win Another Division Crown

New England Patriots outside linebacker Matt Judon celebrates while leaving the field following a victory against the Buffalo Bills
Image Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Two months ago, the Buffalo Bills were overwhelming favorites in the AFC East betting market. After a convincing 38-20 win at Kansas City in Week 5, Buffalo was riding high at 4-1 and harboring thoughts of wrapping up the division title before the New Year’s holiday.

And a week later, the Patriots were seemingly broken at 2-4 after suffering a painful overtime defeat to the Cowboys — New England’s fourth home loss of the young season.

Fast-forward to today, and the AFC East storyline has taken a soap opera-like dramatic turn: The Bills are 3-4 since Week 6, while the first-place Patriots have reeled off seven consecutive victories — most notably Monday’s wind-swept 14-10 triumph at Buffalo.

With that result, New England (9-4) entered its bye this week with a 1.5-game lead over the Bills (7-5). Buffalo will get a chance to exact revenge when it travels to Foxborough for a rematch on Dec. 26. For now, though, the Patriots sit firmly in the driver’s seat, both in the standings and on the AFC East odds board.

Which contender has the edge moving forward? breaks down the odds to win the AFC East, which remains a two-horse race — although a third thoroughbred is quietly charging from the back of the pack.

Tier I: The Favorites

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones warms up on the field during a time-out against the Buffalo Bills
Image Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

AFC East Odds

BetMGM: Patriots -250/Bills +185/Dolphins +15,000
Caesars: Patriots -230/Bills +190/Dolphins +15,000
FanDuel: Patriots -220/Bills +165/Dolphins +14,000
PointsBet USA: Patriots -300/Bills +225/Dolphins +25,000
TwinSpires: Patriots -250/Bills +200/Dolphins +15,000

Odds updated as of 9 a.m. ET on Friday, Dec. 10.

The Patriots, who boast the NFL’s top-ranked scoring defense (15.4 points per contest), have surrendered just 73 points during their seven-game winning streak. Only the Chargers (27-24 home loss) have tallied more than 13.

As stout as the defense has been, though, rookie QB Mac Jones and the unheralded offense deserve an equal amount of credit. Prior to Monday’s weather-induced defensive slugfest, the Patriots averaged 35.2 points in six games. Add it all up, and Bill Belichick’s troops have enjoyed an average victory margin of 21.7 points during their seven-game run.

As impressive as New England’s climb to the top of the division has been, its climb to the top of the AFC East odds board has been more so. As recently as Week 7, WynnBet had the Pats at +1,100 to win the division (Buffalo was at -2,000). A month later, after New England’s 25-0 Thursday night whitewash of Falcons, it was still Bills -400/Patriots +300.

Now, New England is the substantial betting favorite — but the race is far from over. The Patriots come out of their bye and face a tough test at Indianapolis before hosting Buffalo. Then after what would seem to be a layup home win over Jacksonville, they close the season on the road against the suddenly surging Dolphins — the same Dolphins who opened the season with a victory in New England.

Meanwhile, the Bills have their hands full this week at Tampa Bay, then will get three of their final four games at home — and Buffalo will be big favorites in all three (Panthers in Week 15, Falcons in Week 17, Jets in Week 18).

With both clubs currently 3-1 in the division, the Week 16 showdown in New England very likely will decide the AFC East champ. If the Bills win the rematch and the teams end up with the same record, Buffalo would claim the tiebreaker based on the better divisional mark.

Then again, if the Bills lose at Tampa Bay on Sunday, the Patriots just need to go 3-1 down the stretch to win the AFC East — even if that one loss was to Buffalo.

Tier II: The (White-Hot) Long Shot

Miami Dolphins nose tackle Adam Butler (center) celebrates a sack with teammate cornerback Xavien Howard (right) during a game against the New York Giants
Image Credit: Bill Ingram-USA TODAY Network

How’s this for gratitude: The Dolphins (five straight wins) are inching closer to becoming the first team in the Super Bowl era to reach 7-7 after starting a season 1-7. And yet, Miami’s odds to win the AFC East (+15,000 at BetMGM) are longer than the Giants’ odds to win the NFC East (+10,000 at BetMGM) — and the Dolphins (6-7) have two more victories than the Giants (4-8).

Like New England, Miami is on bye this week before closing the season against the Jets (home), Saints (road), Titans (road), and Patriots (home). To steal the division, the Dolphins (2-2 division, 4-5 in conference) realistically have to win out, hope New England loses at least twice to a combination of Indianapolis, Buffalo, or Jacksonville, and hope the Bills finish 2-3.

In that dream scenario, a Week 18 home victory over the Patriots would give the Dolphins the season sweep and the division title.

What happens if all three teams finish 10-7? Things get far more complicated. And heaven help us all if “Strength Of Victory” becomes the new hot-button topic in mid-January.

Jay Clemons
Jay Clemons remains the only sports writer on the planet to capture Cynposis Media's national award for Sports Blog Of The Year (beating out,,, The Players' Tribune in 2015), along with the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's pre-eminent award for Best Football Writer (2008). Through the years, Mr. Clemons has been a key figure with numerous blue-chip sports/media brands, namely the Detroit Lions, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report and now American Affiliate's Clemons, a graduate of Michigan State University and Wayne State University, has been an on-camera Web-TV host for Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report and FOX Sports. In 2015, he also became the first-ever sports journalism professor at Kennesaw State University in suburban Atlanta. And for the betting community, covering the last two years of the sports calendar (2019-20 / 2020-21), Clemons enjoyed a rock-solid winning rate of 59.6 percent with point-spread and over/under selections (NFL, college football and college basketball.)