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NFL Betting: Raiders May Not Be Ready For AFC West Trophy

Written by Gaby Varji   
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 23:04

2011 NFL Betting PreviewIt is easy to understand why so many sports betting critics have pegged the Oakland Raiders as the next division champions in the AFC West. After all, the team went 6-0 in the division a year ago, with the second-best rushing game in the NFL returning them to respectability for the time being. The Raiders relied on Darren McFadden and Michael Bush to consistently put up big numbers, and they thrived in a relatively mediocre division. However, there are several reasons to doubt that the outlook in Oakland will be just as positive after the coming season, especially with the loss of two key players that will prevent the team from taking the next step.

The Raiders have a new head coach in Hue Jackson, who will step up to replace the enthusiastic Tom Cable this year. While Jackson is an excellent coaching prospect in his own right, Cable made his players want to win for him, and the change may not be as well received as fans in Oakland would hope. Factor in that the Raiders’ defense lost the best cornerback in the game in Nnamdi Asomugha and a key cog of their rushing attack in offensive lineman Robert Gallery, and the change may be too great for them to take a step higher in the division. Oakland will also face a tougher sportsbook promo schedule, but they aren’t the only ones.

The Kansas City Chiefs exploded onto the scene a year ago with Pro Bowl quarterback leading the offense to the top of the AFC West. Cassell will once again team with Dwayne Bowe, but the pass offense will also get a boost from the draft the additions of veteran Steve Breaston and rookie Jonathon Baldwin. The Chiefs also have a stud rushing game with Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones both back in the fold, and linebacker Tamba Hali is the star of a defense that thrives with one of the best secondaries in the league with Brandon Flowers and Eric Berry. The problem is that Kansas City won’t sneak up on anybody this year, and a tougher betonline schedule could make it hard for them to stay on top.

While the Denver Broncos are in the midst of a rebuilding phase, the San Diego Chargers seem like the best NFL betting lines option to challenge the Chiefs for AFC West supremacy. Phillip Rivers has proven himself among the best quarterbacks in the league, and with a ton of options on offense the Chargers can strike with anyone. The defense will get a boost from pass rusher Takeo Spikes and first round pick Corey Liuget on the line, and if Rivers can play with a little more consistency it will be San Diego that takes the division. The Chargers have an easier schedule than both the Chiefs and Raiders, and that could be the difference when it is all said and done in the AFC West this season.

 
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