NFL 2017 predictions & betting tips: Best outright bets for the AFC in 2017

Leigh Copson in Outright Tips 26 Sep 2017
Tom Brady of the New England Patriots (credit: Keith Allison/Wikipedia)

One team from the American Football Conference will contest Super Bowl LII on February 4, 2018 – but who will it be? Leigh Copson has been casting his eye over the outright markets to offer his AFC betting tips for the playoffs.

The Lamar Hunt Trophy is presented to the team who wins the AFC Championship game and when the season gets underway on September 7 there will be 16 teams looking to claim the trophy and represent the conference in the Super Bowl – but who will it be?

The New England Patriots got their hands on this piece of silverware for a record-setting ninth time last season, en route to winning the Super Bowl once again, and unsurprisingly they are the bookies’ favourites to win the AFC crown this time around. They do face competition from the likes of Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs – so can the Patriots make it back-to-back trips to the Super Bowl?

Here are our favourite outright best from the AFC for the 2017 NFL season…

AFC Winner


The New England Patriots became the most successful franchise in the history of the AFC Championship with that win over the Pittsburgh Steelers – the team they had shared the record with – last January. But can they take their record-setting haul into double figures with a 10th Championship Game success this time around.

New England are the bookmakers’ favourites at and one look at their record over the past decade or so tells you why that is the case. ‘Spygate’ and ‘Deflategate’ may have tarnished the legacy of the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady era in the minds of many, but when it comes to making it to the AFC’s flagship game no team has ever been as consistent as the Patriots. Belichick has now led his team to the AFC Championship Game in 11 occasions in the 17 seasons in charge, and they have reached the conference finale in each of the past six seasons – a truly remarkable record.

Few would bet against them making it seven wins from seven AFC Championship Game appearances this season and while the Pittsburgh Steelers are a major threat if they can keep everyone healthy, there is simply no way I can oppose Belichick, Brady & Co. They have shown they are the cream of the crop in this conference for several years now and least season’s sensational fightback in the Super Bowl suggests it will be a while yet before someone knocks them off their perch.

I expect New England to go back to the Super Bowl this season and suggest jumping on their AFC Championship Winner odds now because that price will only get shorter and shorter as the season progresses.

AFC Winning Division


And of course, if I am backing the New England Patriots to represent the American Football Conference in Super Bowl LII I have to recommend backing the East to be the Winning Division in the AFC. 


AFC Winner

Division Winner




AFC Championship Game History

AFC Championship Game Winners

SeasonWinnerScoreLoser
1970Baltimore Colts27-17Oakland Raiders
1971Miami Dolphins21-0Baltimore Colts
1972Miami Dolphins21-17Pittsburgh Steelers
1973Miami Dolphins27-10Oakland Raiders
1974Pittsburgh Steelers24-13Oakland Raiders
1975Pittsburgh Steelers16-10Oakland Raiders
1976Oakland Raiders24-7Pittsburgh Steelers
1977Denver Broncos20-17Oakland Raiders
1978Pittsburgh Steelers34-5Houston Oilers
1979Pittsburgh Steelers27-13Houston Oilers
1980Oakland Raiders34-27San Diego Chargers
1981Cincinnati Bengals27-7San Diego Chargers
1982Miami Dolphins14-0New York Jets
1983Los Angeles Raiders30-14Seattle Seahawks
1984Miami Dolphins45-28Pittsburgh Steelers
1985New England Patriots31-14Miami Dolphins
1986Denver Broncos23-20Cleveland Browns
1987Denver Broncos38-33Cleveland Browns
1988Cincinnati Bengals21-10Buffalo Bills
1989Denver Broncos37-21Cleveland Browns
1990Buffalo Bills51-3Los Angeles Raiders
1991Buffalo Bills10-7Denver Broncos
1992Buffalo Bills29-10Miami Dolphins
1993Buffalo Bills30-13Kansas City Chiefs
1994San Diego Chargers17-13Pittsburgh Steelers
1995Pittsburgh Steelers20-16Indianapolis Colts
1996New England Patriots20-6Jacksonville Jaguars
1997Denver Broncos24-21Pittsburgh Steelers
1998Denver Broncos23-10New York Jets
1999Tennessee Titans33-14Jacksonville Jaguars
2000Baltimore Ravens16-3Oakland Raiders
2001New England Patriots24-17Pittsburgh Steelers
2002Oakland Raiders41-24Tennessee Titans
2003New England Patriots24-14Indianapolis Colts
2004New England Patriots41-27Pittsburgh Steelers
2005Pittsburgh Steelers34-17Denver Broncos
2006Indianapolis Colts38-34New England Patriots
2007New England Patriots21-12San Diego Chargers
2008Pittsburgh Steelers23-14Baltimore Ravens
2009Indianapolis Colts30-17New York Jets
2010Pittsburgh Steelers24-19New York Jets
2011New England Patriots23-20Baltimore Ravens
2012Baltimore Ravens28-13New England Patriots
2013Denver Broncos26-16New England Patriots
2014New England Patriots45-7Indianapolis Colts
2015Denver Broncos20-18New England Patriots
2016New England Patriots36-17Pittsburgh Steelers
2017---


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NFL 2017 predictions & betting tips: Best outright bets for the AFC in 2017

One team from the American Football Conference will contest Super Bowl LII on February 4, 2018 – but who will it be? Leigh Copson has been casting his eye over the outright markets to offer his AFC betting tips for the playoffs.

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