2023 AFC East Predictions with Betting Odds and Expert Analysis
Now that the start of the NFL season can be measured a few weeks away instead of months away, teams are beginning to gear up for the grind of the 2023 NFL season. Here at Docs, the situation is the same, as the industry leaders in handicapping begin in earnest to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of every team, to provide you with the best chance of betting success. One of the toughest divisional battles is expected to take place in the AFC East, where three teams have a legitimate shot at winning the division.
Doc’s Sports offers NFL expert picks for every game on our NFL predictions page.
Buffalo Bills: +130 (Division)/+500 (AFC)/+900 (SB)
Win Totals (O/U): 10.5 2022: 13-3 SU, 8-7-1 ATS
The Buffalo Bills may have been the most complete team in the NFL last season, scoring an average of 28.4 PPG, while allowing just 17.9 PPG, both of which were second overall in the league. As Josh Allen goes, so do the Bills. Allen was flying high in the first 8 weeks of the season, with a QB rating of 105.6 and a stellar 6.88 YardsPerAttempt (YPA). The team was also sailing through their schedule, with a SU mark of 6-1 and a 4-2-1 ATS. He banged his elbow against the Jets in week 9. And while he didn't miss any games, he was also clearly not the same. His QB rating dropped to 88.5 and his YPA went down to 6.88, almost two full yards per attempt. To make that situation worse, they lost their backup, Case Keenum, and replaced him with Kyle Allen and Matt Barkley. Another situation to watch is the offseason drama involving Pro Bowl WR Stephon Diggs, who is unhappy with his role in the offense. He was targeted 27.2% of the time, so I'm not quite sure what role he was looking for in the offense. The defense may take a step back with the loss of star linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. Since they won the AFC East last year, their reward is a brutal schedule, playing both Super Bowl teams. They exceeded expectations last season, but it will be tougher to do so in 2023. While they were 7-1 SU at home last season, Bills' backers hope they can improve on an 3-5 ATS record.
New York Jets: +250 (Div)/+1400 (AFC)/+2500 (SB)
Win Totals (O/U): 9.5 2022: 7-10 SU, 8-9 ATS
The New York Jets wasted a stellar defensive campaign, where they gave up the 4th-fewest yards and points per game, because of a poor offense. They lost six games by one score. They addressed the offense with the biggest offseason trade, getting Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers. Not stopping there, they also brought in former Packer receivers Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb. If CB Bryce Hall can make a full recovery after his ACL surgery, that could allow Rodgers to realize his full potential. The interior of their defensive line took a bit of a hit, losing DTs Nathan Shepherd and Sheldon Rankins. Their first-round draft pick, Will McDonald IV, an edge rusher out of Iowa State, will fight for immediate playing time. While they will be better, I'm not sure the additions will be 3 games better to get over the 9.5 wins. They were tied with the Titans, Ravens, and Bucs for most UNDERS with 12. Look for that number to change with the massive offensive upgrades and a slight decrease in the middle of the defense.
Miami Dolphins: +290 (Div)/+1800 (AFC)/+3000 (SB)
Win Totals (O/U): 9.5 2022: 9-8 SU, 9-8 ATS
Starting for his third offensive coordinator in as many years, Miami QB Tua Tagovailoa has continued to blossom in spite of the repeated coaching upheavals. However, Frank White is coming back for a second season as OC, and that stability should help Tagovailoa a great deal. While Tua's completion percentage dipped a little bit, it was because his aerial attack became more vertical, which resulted in the 11th-highest-scoring offense in the league at 23.4 PPG, an increase of 3.3 PPG from the previous season. He posted league-leading numbers in TD% (6.3%), Yards/Attempt (8.9), Average Yards/Attempt (9.2), Yards/Completion (13.7), and QB rating 105.5. He lost his incredibly athletic tight end Mike Gesicki to New England, and that could have a bigger effect on the offense than most realize. Their defense was slightly worse, surrendering 23.5 PPG. The major upgrade there is the hiring of Vic Fangio as the new defensive coordinator. They also brought in CB Jalen Ramsey, who is still a capable corner who had an off-year. The Fins had a sterling 6-1 record against their division but struggled out of the AFC, going 1-4 ATS vs. nonconference foes. Look for them to exceed their win total and seriously challenge the Bills for the 2023 division title.
New England Patriots: +750 (Div)/+3000 (AFC)/+5000 (SB)
Win Totals (O/U): 7.5 2022: 8-9 SU, 7-9-1 ATS
The question of who was more responsible for the Patriots' success, Tom Brady or Bill Belichick, has clearly been answered. Prior to "Touchdown Tommy" taking his talents to Tampa Bay, the last time the Patriots had a losing record was 2000, Brady's rookie year in which he didn't start. Brady failed to make the playoffs two times in 19 seasons. The Pats have missed the playoffs two out of the last 3 seasons since he left. After a solid rookie campaign in which he guided the Patriots to the playoffs, QB Mac Jones suffered the proverbial "sophomore slump", regressing in virtually every analytic imaginable, and getting injured to boot. Perhaps the Patriots' biggest off-season move was to bring former OC Bill O'Brien back into the fold in his previous position. They also added WR JuJu Smith-Schuster and TE Mike Gesicki. If their defense can repeat their stout performance of 2022 (8th in YPG at 322.0 and 11th in PPG with 20.4), there is a path to going over their 7.5 total wins.
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