2007 Nfl Betting: Analyzing the Afc West

May 30, 2009

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Karol Lucan asked:

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (14-2 SU, 9-7 ATS): New Head Coach Norv Turner takes over from conservative Marty Schottenheimer. Turner figures to open up the offense, not that you want to stray too far from handing the ball off the NFL MVP LaDainian Tomlinson. Known for developing quarterbacks, Turner should help Pro Bowler Philip Rivers, now in his second year as a starter. The line is nasty and TE Antonio Gates is the best at his position but Rivers lacks a stud wide receiver. The 3-4 defense, led by LB Shawn Merriman and NT Jamal Williams, is top notch. San Diego is a definite Super Bowl contender.

By the Numbers (Regular Season, 1998-2006)

SU: 66-78

ATS: 72-65-7

HF: 19-16-2

HD: 14-16

AF: 9-8

AD: 29-22-5

Sportsbook Buster: The Chargers are 7-1 ATS versus the Raiders, the last eight meetings.

Sports Betting Angle: San Diego is 13-2 ATS as an underdog in its second straight road game.

DENVER BRONCOS (9-7 SU, 5-11 ATS): The Broncos were busy in the off-season, making a series of moves that could land them back in the playoffs after missing the post-season party for the first time since 2002, last year. RB Travis Henry, TE Daniel Graham, DT Sam Adams and QB Patrick Ramsey (a backup to Jay Cutler) all came via free agency while CB Dre Bly was garnered in a trade with Detroit. The offense figures to pound the ball on the ground with Henry while the defense, which allowed 26.1 PPG over the final 10 games of the season, will get an aggressive tune-up from new coordinator Jim Bates.

By the Numbers (Regular Season, 1998-2006)

SU: 90-74

ATS: 71-66-7

HF: 31-35-3

HD: 2-0-1

AF: 20-20-2

AD: 18-10-1

Sportsbook Buster: The Broncos are a combined 1-9-2 against the Bears (Nov. 25) and Vikings (Dec. 30).

Sports Betting Angle: Denver is 1-10 ATS coming off a SU win as an underdog.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (9-7 SU, 8-8 ATS): Priest Holmes is back in camp as insurance against a protracted holdout by Larry Johnson, the heart of the Chiefs running attack. With steady but unspectacular Damon Huard replacing Trent Green at quarterback, KC will need Johnson to bring some much needed stability to the offense. The drafting of speedy WR Dwayne Bowe could open up lanes for superb TE Tony Gonzalez but the offensive line is a real concern. The addition of LBs Donnie Edwards and Napoleon Harris should boost the performance of an improving defense.

By the Numbers (Regular Season, 1998-2006)

SU: 76-68

ATS: 72-67-5

HF: 30-21-2

HD: 10-6-2

AF: 12-18

AD: 18-22-1

Sportsbook Buster: The Chiefs are 7-1-2 ATS versus the Chargers, the previous 10 meetings.

Sports Betting Angle: At 40-27-4 ATS, Kansas City has proven to be a solid play at home.

OAKLAND RAIDERS (2-14 SU, 6-10 ATS): At 31, Lane Kiffin will be the NFL’s youngest head coach, a job made all the more difficult by an offense that averaged just over 10 points a game last season. Franchise quarterback JaMarcus Russell, the No. 1 overall pick, will bring some excitement—-but probably not too many wins—-in his first season with the silver and black. Kiffin has a stronger hand on defense where the Raiders finished third overall in yards allowed and first in pass against the pass last year.

By the Numbers (Regular Season, 2002-2006)

SU: 64-80

ATS: 61-77-5

HF: 22-25-2

HD: 7-14-1

AF: 9-12-1

AD: 24-25-1

Sportsbook Buster: The Raiders are a surprising 4-1 ATS their last five games versus the Colts, who they play in Oakland, Dec. 16.

Sports Betting Angle: Oakland has lost 11 of its last 12 home games ATS versus the division.

Legend:

SU = Straight Up

ATS = Against the Spread

HF = Home Favorite

HD = Home Underdog

AF = Away Favorite

AD = Away Underdog

Fourth of an eight-part NFL betting preview series

Next: Analyzing the NFC East

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