After a brief stint as the #2 team in the AFC, the New England Patriots overtook the Kansas City Chiefs and are back as the favorites to represent the conference in Super Bowl LIII, per oddsmaker Bovada.
The Patriots have 5/2 odds (28.6%) of winning the conference, edging out the Chiefs with 11/4 odds (26.7%). The Los Angeles Chargers (8/1, 11.1%) rank third, while the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers are tied with 17/2 odds (10.5%). The Jacksonville Jaguars are the AFC South favorites with 9/1 odds (10.0%).
The three other teams worth consideration are the Cincinnati Bengals with 16/1 odds (5.9%), Houston Texans with 18/1 odds (5.3%), and Miami Dolphins with 33/1 odds (2.9%).
What these odds illustrate is that the AFC West is considered a top-heavy powerhouse between the Chiefs and Chargers (combined 37.8% chance of representing the conference), and the AFC South isn’t expected to make much noise in the postseason (Jaguars and Texans combine for a measly 15.3%).
The AFC North’s three-team competition could ultimately prevent any of them from winning the AFC, as the odds of the Steelers, Ravens, or Bengals representing the conference (combined 26.9%) is less than the Patriots alone (28.6%). This is likely because the competition in the division could prevent any of the teams from earning a first round bye, making the road to the Super Bowl much more difficult.
In fact, Bovada has odds for whether the Patriots and Chiefs will play each other in the AFC Championship Game set at 2/1 (33.3%), which is pretty high odds with so much time left in the season.
Looking at the big picture, the Patriots have the second-best odds of winning Super Bowl LII at 6/1 (14.3%), trailing only the Los Angeles Rams (10/3; 23.1%). The Chiefs (7/1; 12.5%), New Orleans Saints (8/1; 11.1%), and Minnesota Vikings (12/1; 7.7%) round out the top five.