College Football Coaches Feeling the Heat in 2014

Mike London needs a bowl game at least to save his job at Virginia.

With many college football teams across the country getting ready to start camp in the next few days, it’s a good time to look at coaches who desperately need to win now or else they’ll be polishing up their resumes for jobs elsewhere.

Mike London, Virginia – After an 8-5 record in 2011, the Cavaliers’ top man has struggled to repeat that success. The last two seasons have seen UVa go just 6-20 and in the competitive world of college football that isn’t going to cut it. There is a lot of hope that things will turn around this season with a strong recruiting class but how much can be expected from freshmen this season?

The schedule isn’t going to help much as they host UCLA in the opener and then must travel to BYU, Florida State and Virginia Tech.

Verdict: If London goes 6-6 and gets to a bowl he’ll survive. Anything less and he can pack his bags.

Norm Chow, Hawaii – Once one of the hottest offensive coordinators in college football, Chow has been brutal as the head coach of the Warriors going just 4-20 in his first two seasons. The schedule isn’t horrible but will probably start with two losses as they host Washington and Oregon State. The one issues with the schedule? Three road games in the final four.

Verdict: 5-7 would probably save Chow’s job. Anything less and a return to the mainland is likely.

Charlie Weis needs to show some type of improvement in order to stay at Kansas.

Charlie Weis, Kansas – You’d think with a 4-20 record at Kansas, Weis was coaching as if he was being paid by another school. Oh wait, he is! Weis is still getting paid by Notre Dame who kicked him to the curb after the 2009 season. The good news for Weis is that he gets 17 starters back on offense and defense. The bad news is that his Jayhawks still have to travel to Duke, Baylor, Oklahoma and Kansas State.

Verdict: Weis has to go 6-6 or better. It’s that simple.

Will Muschamp, Florida – The former Georgia Bulldog player has gone 22-16 at Florida and that might be good some places but not in Gainesville. Despite going 11-2 in 2012, the sting from a Sugar Bowl beatdown by Louisville and then a brutal 4-8 season in 2013 has left Gator fans wondering if Muschamp is the man for the job.

To be fair, the injuries were beyond normal last year but considering the talent on the roster, the record should have been better. Seven starters return on each side of the ball and that includes QB Jeff Driskel. The schedule is daunting especially on the road. UF has to go to Alabama, Tennessee and Florida State. They do get LSU and South Carolina at home but those are not going to be easy.

Verdict: Muschamp needs at least an eight-win season and with little drama or else he’s gone.

Brady Hoke, Michigan – Hoke was the ‘Michigan Man’ the faithful wanted following the RichRod Era and it started well with an 11-2 record and Sugar Bowl victory. The 26-13 record at Michigan is OK, but two straight seasons barely above .500 are not sitting well with Wolverines’ fans. Throw in the fact he is now 1-2 against both Michigan State and Ohio State and that puts serious heat under his bottom.

The road schedule is not kind. Michigan has road dates with Notre Dame, Michigan State, Northwestern and Ohio State.

The Verdict: With seven starters back on offense, eight on defense and several great recruiting classes, Hoke may need a nine-win season to keep his dream job.

NFL’s Worst Defenses in 2014

When you look back on Super Bowl 48, the first thing that comes to mind was the dominating defense of the Seattle Seahawks that shut down the explosive Denver Broncos offense.

The defense is such an important part of any NFL team. Offenses can throw points up on the board but the defense shuts down the opponent and lessens the pressure on its own offense at the same time.

Here is a list of the Three Worst Defenses in the NFL.

At the top of the list, or better said, the bottom of the league is the Dallas Cowboys.

According to data from Bovada and betonline, last season Dallas was 8-8 straight up, 9-7 against the spread and 9-7 on the OVER/UNDER.

The Dallas defense was ranked No. 26 in the league allowing 27 points a game.

The Dallas defense lost Sean Lee to an ACL tear, while Demarcus Lawrence a defensive end will miss up to 10 weeks after breaking a foot.

DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher two of the best pass rushers signed with other teams.

Look for Dallas to give up the most points in the league and be near the top in scoring, as Tony Romo and company will have to score a lot to stay in games.

Another NFC East club, the Washington Redskins has a very weak defense. Last season the Redskins were 3-13 SU, 5-11 ATS and 8-8 O/U. The Washington defense last season was ranked No. 30 allowing nearly 30 points a game.

The defense has aging veterans with 5 players likely to start who are 30 years or older. The pass rush could be strong with Ryan Kerrigan, Brian Orakpo and former Cowboys star Jason Hatcher.

However, the secondary has one player who is 35 and one who is 31. The Redskins will need quarterback Robert Griffin III to lead his team to scores on almost every possession if the team hopes to stay close in games.

The Buffalo Bills have not had strong defenses since Bruce Smith retired. Last season the Bills were 6-10 SU, 8-8 ATS and 10-6 O/U.

The defense was ranked No. 20 allowing just over 24 points a game.

Buffalo lost safety Jairus Byrd and replaced him with Da’Norris Searcy, who is not as talented as Byrd. Kiko Alonso the Bills best linebacker will miss the season with an ACL tear and Marcell Dareus their defensive tackle likely will be suspended at least one if not two games by the league.

Nevertheless, the Bills have talent such as Mario Williams at defensive end and Kyle Williams at defensive tackle.

However, at linebacker, the club is under water and no one was drafted on the defensive side of the ball until the third round.

Since the season is 17 weeks long, anything can happen and likely will. Other teams could and might join these three at the bottom of the defensive heap.

However, you can be assured that opposing offenses will look forward to meeting any of these three teams each week.

Odds to Win the Pac-12 North Division Title

I expect Marcus Mariota to lead the Ducks to the Pac-12 North title.

It’s time to head West and pick the winner of the Pac-12 North Division so let’s go!

Cal 50/1 – Things didn’t go real well for Sonny Dykes in his first year in Berkeley as the Bears went 1-11. Their lone victory came against Portland State and only one of their 11 losses was by less then 10 points. In other words, there’s a lot of work to do. Cal returns nine starters on offense and six on defense so there is hope. The schedule won’t do them any favors with road trips to Northwestern, Oregon State and USC but they do get Stanford and UCLA at home and Oregon in the 49ers new stadium. Three wins would be significant for Cal.

Oregon 1/2 – The Ducks will get challenged right out of the gate when defending Big Ten Champ Michigan State comes to town in week two. The offense returns eight starters including QB Marcus Mariota but the defense does have some work to do but has plenty in the cupboard. I see only two difficult road trips for the Ducks and those would be at UCLA and at Oregon State in the finale. They’ll be looking for revenge when Arizona comes to town and they also get Washington and Stanford in Autzen Stadium as well. If they get past Michigan State, look out.

Don't be surprised if Mannion leads the Beavers to a great season in the Pac-12 North.

Oregon State 14/1 – The Beavers have a whopping 53 lettermen returning in 2014 headed by one of the top QB prospects in the land in Sean Mannion who NFL scouts love. The travel plans for OSU are daunting with trips to Washington, USC and Stanford but every other game on the schedule with the exception of Oregon perhaps is winnable. Don’t be shocked to see this team record nine wins.

Stanford 13/4 – The defending Pac-12 Champions return from a tough Rose Bowl loss to Michigan State. Head Coach David Shaw has a terrific 34-7 record but it will be put to the test in 2014 especially on the road. The Cardinal play an usual six games on the road and all are going to be challenging. Besides Washington, the Cardinal also go to Notre Dame, Arizona State, Oregon and UCLA. With only five starters back on offense I have concerns about the Cardinal.

Washington 6/1 – Chris Peterson brings his 92-12 record to Seattle from an amazing run at Boise State. The question will be whether or not he can transfer that success from the Broncos to a more high-profile situation. The Huskies return seven starters on both sides of the ball which will help with the transition in coaching staffs. Washington should be 4-0 when they host Stanford in the fifth game of the season. The problem after that is the road where they play five times in their last eight games. Besides the Cardinal, they also get UCLA and Oregon State at home. An 8-5 season here would be a grand success.

 Washington State 12/1 – Year two of the Mike Leach regime produced a 6-6 season and a bowl game. Year three will need to produce even further. The road schedule will not be easy however with trips to Stanford, Oregon State and Arizona State. That said, they get Oregon, USC and rival Washington at home in the Apple Cup to finish the season.

The Pick: I believe this is Oregon’s division to lose. Stanford will challenge but I worry about the road schedule. The one team to look out for is Oregon State because of the quarterback and solid coaching.

Hall of Fame Game Kicks Off 2014 NFL Season

It seems like just yesterday that the Seattle Seahawks embarrassed the Denver Broncos to win Super Bowl 48. However, that matchup was nearly six months ago.

NFL clubs have started training camp and preseason football is just days away from starting.

The NFL preseason will kick off in Canton, Ohio at the Hall of Fame Game that is a rematch from a previous Super Bowl. The New York Giants will take on the Buffalo Bills in the first action of the season.

Some do not like preseason football as it often times shows very little of what a team is capable of and the stars to do not play all that often.

However, the big significance of this game that will be played this weekend is it means training camp talk moves from the practice field to game day. Even more important is with the Hall of Fame game being played this weekend, it means the NFL regular season is just over a month away.

The expectation is the game between the Giants and Bills could lack in excitement, but both teams have high expectations as they make their way towards the start of the 2014 regular season. Both teams were disappointments to their fans last season.

The Giants offense was horrendous last season. Eli Manning had his worst season as a professional and the rest of the offense was just as bad. Because of that, the Giants hired Ben McAdoo the former quarterbacks coach with the Green Bay Packers, to attempt to kick start the offense that has the needed weapons to go along with a division that is winnable.

Buffalo heads into its second season with Doug Marrone as their head coach and Nathaniel Hackett as their offensive coordinator.

In the NFL Draft, the Bills chose Clemson’s Sammy Watkins the talented and explosive wide receiver.

Whether or not Watkins is able to make a big hit in his first year or not, the highlight reels should be fun to watch, especially this weekend in his first action as a professional.

Buffalo is expected to run the play most of the time this season, but like New York, the Bills have a number of intriguing players that play on their offense.

Odds makers such as Bovada, betonline, topbet and are gearing up for another great NFL season and have posted a number of different props for the first preseason game of the year.

 2014 Hall of Fame Game Props

Point Spread – Buffalo -1.5

New York Giants vs. Buffalo Bills

Giants -110, Bills -110

Money Line

Giants +105, Bills -125

Over/Under – 32.5

OVER -110, UNDER -110

The National Football League Clearly Doesn’t Get It.

NFL VP Adolpho Birch proved on ESPN yesterday that the league doesn't have a clue regarding the firestorm they've created.

You would think that I wake up every morning and just hope and pray that I get to rip on Roger Goodell but I don’t. I’ve said all I can say regarding my feelings towards him as the Commissioner of the National Football League, but then more news just keeps coming out and it always seems to come back to Goodell.

Today is unfortunately one of those days.

Rather than come forward and address his decision to suspend Ray Rice for just two games for domestic violence, Goodell sent out one of his minions in the form of NFL Vice-President Adolpho Birch. While his name sounds like that of a villain from a James Bond movie, Birch wasn’t nearly as entertaining as he appeared today on ESPN’s ‘Mike and Mike.’

This was the gist of Birch’s comment on why he feels the discipline was fair…

“Listen, I think if you are any player and you think that based on this decision that it’s OK to go out and commit that kind of conduct, I think that is something that I would suggest to you that no player is going to go out and do that,” Birch said Monday. “So in terms of sending a message about what the league stands for, we’ve done that. We can talk about the degree of discipline, we can talk about whether or not third parties need to be involved. I would suggest to you that a third party has been involved in this matter and that was the court that reviewed it, the prosecutor that reviewed it.

“But if it is a question about what the principle of the league is and what standards we stand by, that cannot be questioned. I think it is absolutely clear to all involved that the NFL does not condone domestic violence in any way and will not tolerate it in our league. I don’t know how you can reach a conclusion other than that although I certainly respect the opinion.”

I find it sad that Goodell can't speak for himself sending out his minions instead.

Is this guy freaking serious? He asks how you can reach a conclusion other than that (the NFL won’t tolerate domestic abuse). Well let me think about that for a minute Adolpho. The reason why the overwhelming majority of Americans find this penalty to be horrendously weak is that it completely counters the very argument the Commissioner has made since he took the job. “Protect the shield.”

How is giving a woman beater a two-game sentence protecting the shield? Terrelle Pryor received a five-game suspension for getting free tattoos while in college. The NFL is sending the message that beating one’s fiance or wife or girlfriend is less of a big deal than getting free ink. In what fantasy world is this even remotely comprehensible?

I realize Mr. Birch is just towing the company line here and is taking all of flak that Roger Goodell should be taking but where are the morals of this man? Does he really think the message of two games is going to send any kind of message to other players? If anything, perhaps NFL players will do less PEDs and illegal drugs because the know the penalty is steeper than hitting a woman.

I hate to go there and realize that sounds insensitive but the league clearly doesn’t get the firestorm it has created.

Pac-12 Football Looking Strong for 2014

The Pac-12 Conference in 2014 should be quite competitive from top to bottom. This season the level of talent should be at its highest since the conference went from 8 to 12 teams. Last season, 9 teams from the conference played in a bowl game, one more than in the 2012 season.

On NFL Draft day, 34 players for the conference were selected, the third highest of any conference in college football. Over the past two seasons, 62 players have been drafted by the NFL, which is also third most of all the football conferences.

Leading the way with players being drafted was the UCLA Bruins with five.

While having starters return from the prior season is a good way to gauge for the potential of the team the next season, a better indicator is arguably the condition of the team’s offensive line.

Looking into that even further, the number of returning offensive line starters is likely the best barometer in determining future success.

According to data pulled from Bovada and, Oregon has 107 game starts on the offensive line returning this season, while Stanford has just 15. However, leading the Pac-12 is Washington with 124. UCLA has a high number at 89, while USC has just 53.

Summer recruiting camps have become popular for schools as a way to bring in recruits to impress them and a way for the assistant coaches in the program to earn some extra cash, but the amount of monies invested in those camps have become a controversy.

North Division

The North Division of the Pac-12 will likely be ruled by the Oregon Ducks. The Ducks will have 9 starters returning on offense and 5 on defense. Oregon lost running back De’Anthony Thomas and wide receiver Josh Huff, who both moved on to the NFL.

Marcus Mariotta the starting quarterback returns from a season of 4,380 total yards. In addition, Byron Marshall who ran for over 1,000 yards will return with Bralon Addison a wide receiver who caught passes for 900 yards.

Even more impressive, five starters from the offensive line return.

The Oregon defense held opponents to just 16 points or fewer in 7 of the 13 games Oregon played.

Last season Oregon was second to last in time of possession in the nation, as their offense was explosive and quick scoring.

North teams to watch: Stanford, California, Oregon State, Washington State

South Division

The South division of the Pac-12 will be very competitive but the likely frontrunner this season will be the UCLA Bruins.

UCLA returns 8 starters on both offense and defense. Brett Hundley the talented and versatile quarterback, who threw for 24 touchdowns last season, while rushing for 11 others, returns for his junior season.

On defense, Myles Jack a linebacker played both ways last season. He rushed for 4 touchdowns versus Washington.

Other South division teams to watch: Arizona, Arizona State, USC

Odds on the SEC West Winner for 2014

T.J.Yeldon and Alabama will look to take back the SEC West from rival Auburn.

Saturday it was the SEC East. Today it’s the West. Let’s go!

Alabama 2/3 – Nick Saban begins his eighth year in Tuscaloosa and has to pick up the pieces of two straight ‘hard-to-take’ losses to end the season. It was clear in the Sugar Bowl loss to Oklahoma that the team hadn’t recovered from their stunning loss at Auburn. Now, Saban leads a team wit a new man at quarterback and six new starters on defense. Bama should be 3-0 before entertaining Florida then has road trips to Arkansas, Tennessee and LSU before finishing the season with the Iron Bowl at home.

All SEC coaches face pressure but Bret Bielema needs to turn things around at Arkansas now.

Arkansas 33/1 – Bret Bielema has the challenge he was looking for when he left Wisconsin in his hands now as he led the Hogs to a poor 3-9 record. It goes without saying that anything short of a bowl game this year could spell his end in Fayetteville. The team returns seven starters on both sides of the ball and the schedule isn’t horrendous. They get Texas A&M, LSU and Alabama at home and get Georgia in Little Rock. The only significant road trips are at Auburn in the opener, at Texas Tech and at Missouri. Six wins is doable but not a guarantee.

Auburn 4/1 – Head Coach Gus Malzahn returns for his second season and the fans will be hungry for more of the same but is that a fair expectation? Gone are studs like Tre Mason, Greg Robinson and Dee Ford but they do have eight starters returning to the offense including the quarterback. The schedule features home dates with LSU, Texas A&M and South Carolina while the road features tough games at Kansas State, Georgia and Alabama in the finale. I do not see a repeat of last season but I do envision eight or nine wins.

LSU 5/1 – If the Tigers do not reach a big-time bowl then the natives in Baton Rouge will become even more restless then they are. Seeing rivals Alabama and Auburn fighting it out at the top doesn’t sit well on the bayou. Les Miles has five offensive starters returning and seven on the defensive side of the ball. The schedule is not easy as they open in Houston against Wisconsin. They also go to Arkansas, Auburn, Florida and Texas A&M. Alabama will likely be the only ranked team that comes into Death Valley in 2014. I think nine or ten wins is possible.

Mississippi State 12/1 – Head Coach Dan Mullen will have no excuses not to challenge in the SEC West. With eight starters returning on both sides of the ball, the Bulldogs’ faithful will have very high expectations. The non-conference schedule is weak and should provide four wins in four games. The conference road slate features tough games at LSU, Alabama and Ole Miss, but they do get Texas A&M and Auburn at home. Mullen knows the importance of this season and I’m not sure even eight wins will be enough.

Ole Miss 9/1 – The Rebels have nine starters back on defense and six on offense and that includes QB Bo Wallace. The question is whether the depth is enough to challenge the rest of the division. I predict a 3-1, possibly 4-0 non-conference schedule if they can beat Boise State in the opener. The conference road schedule games at Vanderbilt, LSU and Texas A&M while they get Auburn, Alabama and Mississippi State at home in the Egg Bowl. That opening game with the Broncos could tell a lot about the direction of this season.

Texas A&M 14/1 – The obvious is replacing Johnny Manziel at quarterback but the Aggies also lost big play receiver Mike Evans and stud offensive tackle Jake Matthews to the NFL. With Kyle Field under-going a massive addition and renovation, the pressure is on Kevin Sumlin to make 10-win seasons the norm in College Station. The road will not be kind to the Aggies as they open at South Carolina and have other contests at Auburn and at Alabama. They end the season with LSU and Missouri at home and have a very weak non-conference slate. With the defense returning nine starters, they’ll need to lead the way with a new QB at the helm.

The Pick: It’s one top recruiting class after another for Nick Saban and despite losing some important guys to the NFL, I look for the Crimson Tide to roll to another SEC West Division Title.

Deciding on OVER or UNDER on NFL Win Totals

A great number of NFL bettors like to take their chances with the win totals prior to the season’s opening kickoff. There are a number of variables to look at prior to deciding on a team to choose and the OVER or UNDER on their posted win totals.

The strength of schedule is an important factor when trying to determine a team’s potential total wins for the season you must remember the strength of schedule is just a projection and nothing more.

To determine that, the most common way is by adding the wins and losses from last season for their opponents this season.

For example, New England’s opponents in 2014 were a combined 160-116 in 2013 for a winning percentage of .560, and the opponents for the New York Jets this season had a 2013 season of 113-150.

By looking at the numbers and doing the math, it would appear the Patriots would have the tougher schedule that the Jets heading into the 2014 campaign.

Of course, figuring out something on paper is one thing, but once the teams get on the field it is something entirely different.

Another way to gauge the team’s strength of schedule is looking at the opponents they will face and what their expected win totals are projected to be this season and not last year.

This can be done by going to Bovada or topbet and adding up the wins and losses that have been projected for each 2014 opponent and the higher the win totals the tougher season they are expected to face.

The wins totals have been made by the best bookmakers in the industry and should be a very good representation of the probability of each team’s wins and losses as opposed to the teams they faced during the previous season.

Of course, there are other factors involved such as turnovers, which will have a great influence on the outcome of a team’s season, but hard to factor in on betonline or when setting win and loss totals.

Over the past six seasons, only 23 teams with losing records had an overall turnover rate that was on the plus-side meaning they forced more turnovers than they committed.

Just five of them ended up losing more games the next season, while 14 improved and 4 stayed the same, meaning odds are teams will return to the norm after having a season that was out of character.

Another way to figure if a team will be over or under its projected win total is using a combination of turnovers during last year, to number of wins this season.

Over the past two seasons, the top three NFL teams in net plus-turnovers during the course of the regular season fell on average by 2.2 against the spread and 2.4 straight up the following season.

Whereas, the three teams on the bottom improved on average 2.7 games ATS and 2.3 SU.

Random Sports’ World Thoughts for the Final Sunday in July

Byron Scott returns to LA where he thrived as a player during the days of Magic Johnson.

The Los Angeles Lakers finally have their coach in Byron Scott. After three separate interviews and months of wavering, the Lakers finally decided on Scott. In the past couple of days, speculation had been growing that the Lakers were dragging their feet intentionally because there seemed to be a chance that Doc Rivers could be available.

While we might not ever know if there was that type of interest, it was thought that if Donald Sterling continued to drag out the Clippers’ saga then Rivers would quit. Whether the NBA would have allowed him to become immediately available is unknown but it would have been a very interesting situation.

As far as Scott is concerned, the former Laker is good coach but I can’t help but wonder if this has the touches of Kobe Bryant on it. Scott appears to be the perfect guy for Bryant to have influence over in his final few years. It’s a safe pick because Kobe can’t have much left so when he is gone Scott is a good enough coach to move forward.

Training Camp Injuries Already

The 49ers lost running back Kendall Hunter for the season with an ACL injury.

Training Camps across the National Football League have only been in full swing a few days but already the injury bug has bitten several teams hard. Baltimore lost defensive back Aaron Ross to an Achilles’ injury while he was just running, noting else. He is gone for the season.

The 49ers lost back-up running back Kendall Hunter with an ACL tear on Friday and the Colts lost running back Vick Ballard to an Achilles’ tear as well. Also taking a hit in the backfield were the Carolina Panthers who have lost rookie running back Tyler Gaffney to a knee injury. He is expected to miss the season.

These injuries follow the season-ending ones to linebackers Kiko Alonso of Buffalo and Sean Weatherspoon of Atlanta. Sadly, I guarantee we’ll see more of these injuries as the preseason unfolds.

MLB Races Staying Tight

At the All-Star Break, five of the six divisions in Major League Baseball were extremely tight. As we get ready to head into the month of August even that one lone division has tightened a bit.  The American League Central has the Tigers leading by five games over Kansas City who has won six of ten. This division is the tightest in baseball.

The AL East has Baltimore leading both Toronto and the New York Yankees by three games and now Tampa has closed to within 6.5 following a nine-game winning streak. The Rays streak may cause them to re-think trading David Price.

Over in the AL West, the Oakland A’s lead the LA Angels by just two games. While Seattle is 10.5 behind the Athletics, they are in prime contention for the wild-card so keep an eye on them too.

In the National League, the East Division has seen the Washington Nationals re-take first as they lead Atlanta by 1.5 games. The NL Central is the most fascinating division in baseball because of the race going on there. Milwaukee has a three game lead over St. Louis, a four game lead over Pittsburgh and a six game lead over Cincinnati.

The Reds find themselves in a situation where they need to decide if they are going to be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline this week. The same could also be said for the Pirates who need to add a bat or arm desperately.

The NL West is the tightest race in baseball. The Dodgers are just a half game up on the Giants who seem to have survived their earlier swoon although they’ve lost three in a row.

Stay tuned because I don’t see these races changing much.

Denver Broncos Heavily Favored to Win the AFC West Again

The NFL season is quickly approaching and the AFC looks to be ruled once again by Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.

However, the Broncos will find tough opponents in their own AFC West division in the Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers.

The Oakland Raiders have made numerous changes to their roster, but should not be much of a contender for the division title this season.

Last season the Broncos, Chiefs and Chargers all made the postseason. With that happening, it would seem the odds on Bovada and topbet would be a bit more balanced, but that cannot be further from the truth.

Denver on betonline and is 1 to 4 to win the division. That makes them the biggest division favorite in football at this point of the offseason. The Patriots are 1 to 3 to win the AFC East.

Kansas City and San Diego have improved significantly after coaching changes prior to last season paid dividends immediately.

Most insiders believe both the Chiefs and Chargers are legitimate contenders again for the postseason, but few give them a chance to contend for the AFC West title with Denver.

Oakland is currently at 25 to 1 to win the AFC West. That makes them the biggest house liability. The Raiders signed Matt Schaub to be their next quarterback.

Denver Broncos 1 to 4
Kansas City Chiefs 11 to 2
San Diego Chargers 11 to 2
Oakland Raiders 25 to 1

Oakland is currently the biggest liability for most sportsbook, not just for the AFC West but all of the NFL.

The Raiders are between 100 to 1 and 200 to 1 to win the Super Bowl depending upon what sportsbook you look at. Nevertheless, Oakland is more than double the liability for the house than that of any other NFL team.

The public lost some of its enthusiasm for Denver. Most bettors remember what they have last seen. With Denver being routed in the Super Bowl, not many are jumping on the Broncos Bandwagon yet.

However, the team has made big improvements during the offseason by adding to their defense. The Broncos will also have some players lost to injury last season back in the lineup.

Most importantly, Manning is the best regular season quarterback ever to play in the NFL.

The AFC West last season played the NFC East and finished 11-5 and that was with Oakland going 0-4.

However, this season the division faces the NFC West, which for most bookmakers is considered the toughest division in the NFL.

Last season, teams from the NFC West were 13-3 against the AFC South.

The NFL season is long and injuries play a major factor during the 17 weeks. If Denver can remain healthy, especially Manning, then look for them to win the AFC West and battle for the AFC Championship in January.