AFC Championship 2020 - Predictions & Odds

  • The AFC Championship game is played between the two remaining playoff teams following the AFC postseason’s first two rounds, with the winner advancing to face the NFC champion in the Super Bowl.
  • The winner of the AFC has won five of the last six Super Bowls.
  • As for multiple seasons of dominance, most recently, the New England Patriots have won three back-to-back AFC Championships (2016, 2017, 2018), with two of those becoming Lombardi Trophies.
  • The only team to win more AFC titles in a row is the Buffalo Bills, who won four back-to-back in the nineties (1990-93 seasons), but only turned one of those into a Super Bowl ring.

At any point in the offseason or regular season, oddsmakers have a definite prediction as to which team will end up winning the AFC, and football gamblers can put their money down on this bet at any point in the year.

Will one of the favorites come through and meet their own high expectations on the way to the Super Bowl, or will it be an underdog that gets hungry enough to beat the big boys to the food bowl in Tampa.

There’s a case to be made for almost every one of the sixteen AFC teams playing to win the 2020/2021 Conference Championship until you throw in variables like injuries and inconsistent play, all factors that make placing money on this particular football bet all the more exciting.

Odds taken 25 May 2020 from DraftKings Sportsbook

To Win the AFC Championship in 2020 / 2021Odds
Kansas City Chiefs+280
Baltimore Ravens+333
New England Patriots+1200
Buffalo Bills+1400
Indianapolis Colts+1400
Pittsburgh Steelers+1400
Tennessee Titans+1400
Cleveland Browns+1600
Denver Broncos+2000
Los Angeles Chargers+2000
Houston Texans+2500
Las Vegas Raiders+2800
Miami Dolphins+3000
New York Jets+3000
Cincinnati Bengals+5000
Jacksonville Jaguars+7000
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From the looks of those odds, there are really only two frontrunners here – the champion Kansas City Chiefs and last season’s AFC North Champs, the Baltimore Ravens.

Both the Chiefs and the Ravens have young, dynamic playmakers under center (Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City and Lamar Jackson in Baltimore), and both are head coached by men who have a history of winning in the postseason, the Chiefs with Andy Reid and the Ravens with John Harbaugh.

The odds given to the rest of the top teams here make them look like also-rans, but each has a factor that could shift them into winners, a player or coach, or something less tangible that could send them straight to the front of the AFC pack.

Favorites to Win the AFC in 2020/2021

Leading the predictions list is last year’s champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, the oddsmakers ignoring the Super Bowl curse (aka hangover) that says consecutive trips to win the Big Game are few and far between.

Though the Baltimore Ravens are predicted to have the next best chance to get to Super Bowl LV, Lamar Jackson and company will have to first figure out how to win in the postseason, something they’ve failed to do twice in their last two trips to the playoffs.

Without Tom Brady, the odds of Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots getting another Super Bowl ring anytime soon greatly diminish, though it is interesting to see that even with a second-year quarterback they still remain third on this list.

Underdogs to Win the AFC in 2020/2021

Looks like the Buffalo Bills with head coach Sean McDermott at the helm are going for that ‘nineties look,’ an era when they were certain to make the playoffs and at least get a chance to win a Super Bowl, though sadly back then they failed to earn a ring four times in a row.

The Indianapolis Colts will be playing with Philip Rivers under center in 2020, so it will be interesting to see if he can do for the Colts what he failed to do for the Chargers, which is to win his conference and get to the Super Bowl.

With Ben Roethlisberger returning to the lineup after having the elbow of his throwing arm surgically repaired, the Pittsburgh Steelers have a serious chance to be an AFC contender, though that’s assuming the 38-year old can stay healthy for all 16 regular-season games and the playoffs.

No Chance to Win the AFC in 2020/2021

The New York Jets have a lot of talent on their roster – quarterback Sam Darnold, running back Le’Veon Bell, receiver Jamison Crowder, a 7th ranked defense – but they still have too many question marks to count on for postseason play, namely a revolving front line and a lot of young players still finding their way in the NFL.

As much attention as the Cincinnati Bengals will get initially with star rookie Joe Burrow under center, it won’t take long to understand how much else is wrong in Cincy, like with their 28th ranked defense in 2019 or with their offensive line that allowed 37 sacks.

The Jacksonville Jaguars look good now and again, but until they figure out a solution at quarterback (is Gardner Minshew the answer?) and get some high-level receivers not named Dede Westbrook, they will continue to have little chance for postseason success.

Team# of AFC Championships
Pittsburgh Steelers16
New England Patriots15
Las Vegas/Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders11
Denver Broncos10
Miami Dolphins7
Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts7
Buffalo Bills5
Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans5
Baltimore Ravens4
Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers4
New York Jets4
Kansas City Chiefs3
Jacksonville Jaguars3
Cleveland Browns3
Cincinnati Bengals2
Seattle Seahawks1
Houston Texans0
Tampa Bay Buccaneers0

Pick: Until Patrick Mahomes stops playing in the NFL, take the Kansas City Chiefs to win it all – the guy can perform football miracles and he has only just begun.

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