AFC West 2023 Preview & Prediction: The Kingdom Rules the West

Nate Hornung

Written by: Nate Hornung

Last Updated:

Read Time: 7 minutes

AFC West 2023 Preview & Prediction: The Kingdom Rules the West cover


The 2023-2024 NFL Season is right around the corner, and today I will be breaking down my personal favorite division, the AFC West.

This page will serve as your complete 2023 AFC West Division Preview full of all the information you need to attack the NFL Betting Board.

We’ve got:

  • Individual Team Breakdowns
  • Overview of the Division
  • Best AFC West Future Bets

Let’s breakdown this division!

AFC West History

AFC West Preview and Prediction

This division has been one of the NFL’s best over the past decade. Since 2013, the AFC West has won a combined three Super Bowls, and have competed in five.

The Kansas City Chiefs have had a stranglehold on the division for a while; they’ve won seven straight AFC West Titles. And truth be told, they’ll probably win another this year.

However, the overall title race is completely even between these teams.

All four AFC West teams have won 15 Division Titles.

But, the Chiefs or Denver Broncos have won the past 13 titles.

There’s clearly been a single dominant team for a while now, and as the title of this piece suggests, I think the Chiefs win another AFC West Title, and maybe more.

AFC West Division Betting Odds

Odds courtesy of Bovada.

AFC West Winner

  • Kansas City Chiefs (-190)
  • Los Angeles Chargers (+325)
  • Denver Broncos (+650)
  • Las Vegas Raiders (+1300)

There are also plenty of division exacta bets as well as top 2 finishers.

Let’s breakdown each team!

Denver Broncos

AFC West Preview and Prediction

The new face of the Denver Broncos did not fair too well in his first season with the team. Russel Wilson posted his lowest completion percentage of his career, his least amount of touchdowns, and had double digit interceptions for the 5th time in his career.

The bright side for the soon-to-be 35 year old is that the Broncos biggest offseason move was “trading” for Sean Payton. The new head coach was retired for just one season before making his return to the sidelines.

Denver also acquired Frank Clark from the Kansas City Chiefs, putting them on their sideline this year. But defense isn’t necessarily the Broncos issue.

Broncos Offensive Woes

Last year, Denver was dead last in points per game, only scoring 16.9 per game. Wilson ranked 28th overall in QB Rating, and the Broncos finished 5-12 and last in the AFC West.

They went 1-5 against their AFC West opponents.

Now, Payton has been known as an offensive coach, especially since leading New Orleans to a Super Bowl victory in 2010.

I’m not sure he will be able to turn this Broncos offense around against the tough divisional competition, but they do have quite the WR room.

Jerry Jeudy, Cortland Sutton, and Tim Patrick are a terrific combination, especially when you throw Running Back Javonte Williams in the mix.

The Broncos have the weapons and I think they can build off last season, but the competition in the West is far too great for them to win the Title this year.

Las Vegas Raiders

AFC West Preview and Prediction

Welcome to the AFC West, Jimmy G! Instead of facing Geno Smith, Kyler Murray, and Matthew Stafford twice a year, we’ve got a new challenge for you!

You get two of the best young quarterbacks in the league, and a league veteran paired with a new coach who have both won Super Bowls.

Best of Luck!

Straight up, I’m not sure what Garoppolo can do for this team that Derek Carr didn’t. Especially without Darren Waller.

Yes, he will be throwing to Davante Adams and have Josh Jacobs in the back field, but other than that, stars on this team are scarce.

Mediocre for Decades

The Las Vegas Raiders have’t won the AFC West since well before they moved to Sin City. You have to jump back 21 years to 2002 when they were still in Oakland to find their most recent division title.

The Raiders have made the playoffs via Wild Card twice in the past two decades, but that’s all they have to show for the past 20+ years. Aside from the big move to Vegas of course.

The point is, there’s a lot of pressure on Jimmy G to turn this franchise around, and compete in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL. He’s being asked to do so without Darren Waller, who had the 3rd most receiving TDs for the Raiders last year, despite only playing 9 games.

I don’t think Raider fans will have very much fun this season, and I don’t think Garoppolo is being put in much of a situation to succeed.

Los Angeles Chargers

AFC West Preview and Prediction

The Los Angeles Chargers have solidified their franchise quarterback for the next few seasons. Just this week, the Chargers locked in Herbert for a five year, $262.5 million contract.

Wow, that’s a lot of money.

The pressure is now on Herbert to make sure the Chargers made a good investment.

He lost his first playoff game last year to Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars, but I think they could find themselves back in the playoffs this season.

They Have All the Pieces, But Can They Stay Healthy?

Look at the skill players on this lineup.

Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, newly drafted WR out of TCU Quentin Johnston, and Gerald Everett at Tight End.

On the other side of the ball, you’ve got Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack rushing the QB, and Derwin James Jr. and Asante Samuel Jr. in the secondary.

That should be enough pieces to win a playoff game, right?

Unfortunately for Herbert and the Chargers, they play in the AFC.

Not only are Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in their division, but Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson, and Trevor Lawrence are all in the conference, itching to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

Odds are against the Chargers to win the Super Bowl, although they should at least make the playoffs and win 10+ games.

Kansas City Chiefs

AFC West Preview and Prediction

This duo right here is arguably one of the best in the NFL. Add in Andy Reid as one of the league’s best play callers, and its not surprising that Kansas City has been to three of the past four Super Bowls, and lifted the Lombardi Trophy twice.

But, the Chiefs do have their struggles.

Since the departing of Tyreek Hill prior to last season, the Chiefs have heavily relied on Kelce’s play-making ability.

Although defenses have not quite figured out how to defend the best TE in the NFL, Kansas City will need their young receivers to step up and help out Mahomes.

No More JuJu

Smith-Schuster signed with New England after just one Super Bowl winning season in Kansas City. The Chiefs receiving core is now made up of Kadarious Toney, MVS, and Skyy Moore.

Kansas City’s offensive line is still stellar, and their defense is on the upswing. Young LB Nick Bolton led the team in tackles, and Willie Gay and L’Jarius Sneed weren’t too far behind them.

The Chiefs are easily the team to beat in this division, and possibly the entire NFL.

AFC West Division Futures

Plain and simple, the Chiefs win this division. At nearly -200, I do not see any value in backing them.

However, I do have a special on Bovada that is incredibly tempting to me.

Keep in mind, this is a long shot special and should be bet responsibly, as always.

Chiefs to Win All 6 Divisional Games (+650) Bovada

Look, I know my homer may be showing, but what else do you expect me to do?

As a starter, Patrick Mahomes is 26-4 against AFC West opponents.

They were a perfect 6-0 last year, and have now won 11 straight games against divisional opponents.

Chiefs Kingdom Rules the West, and nothing is changing this season.

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Nate Hornung
Nate Hornung

Nate has been a recreational sports bettor for about 5 years. In that time, he has grown to love the pursuit of winners and sticking it to The Man. Nate loves data and uses his understanding of numbers to help him be a more profitable sports gambler, however he will be the first to tell you this game is about more than just stats.

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