When it comes to football, the NFL’s AFC West Division kicks it old school. The AFC West also runs and passes it old school. All four teams in the division were original AFL franchises when that league formed in 1960, comprising 50 per cent of the league at the time. The AFC West is the only AFC division that is comprised entirely of original AFL teams. Though they’ve consistently remained in the same division since the AFL West was formed in 1960, there’s been plenty of movement among these four teams over the years.
Born the Dallas Texans, in 1963 the franchise relocated and became the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chargers played in Los Angeles in 1960 before moving to San Diego the next season. The Oakland Raiders took a 13-year sojourn to become the Los Angeles Raiders from 1982-95 before coming back to Oakland. Only the Denver Broncos have maintained the same locale and nickname since the team was born.
There’s a big what if where the AFC West is concerned. In 2002, the NFL realigned from four to six divisions and moved the Seattle Seahawks from the AFC West to the NFC West.
Until the Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50, the AFC West was the only division that hadn’t produced a Super Bowl champion since the 2002 divisional realignment. Meanwhile, the Seahawks took the NFC West by storm. They’ve qualified for postseason play 10 times since 2002, won a dozen playoff games and played in two Super Bowls, winning once, beating the Broncos in the big game.
By contrast, since 2002 the entire AFC West has combined to win 14 playoff games and capture a solitary Super Bowl. If the Seahawks had stayed put, how would the dynamics of the AFC West been altered over the past 15 years? We’ll never know.
Best AFC West Sportsbook Odds
Ready to bet on the AFC West? Look below to find all the current sportsbook odds as it is the first – and most necessary – step in the betting process.
What Are The AFC West Standings Today
The up to date AFC West standings are right here for your viewing and in recent years the list has always begun with the Denver Broncos, who have won five straight division titles.
How To Make Money Betting On AFC West
With uncertainty at the quarterback position in Denver, there’s a feeling within NFL circles that the Broncos’ time at the top may be up. But who will it be to step up and topple the team from Denver? Bovada has the Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs both listed at +180 to win the division, followed by the Oakland Raiders (+275), with the San Diego Chargers (+650) a distant fourth.
TopBet still leans toward the Broncos to take the division title at +175, slighty ahead of the Chiefs (+185) and Raiders (+185), with the Chargers (+1000) again expected to be at the back of the charge. BetOnline is one sportsbook that is moving away from the Broncos, picking the Chiefs to win it all at +180. The Broncos run a close second at +185, with the Raiders at +235 and the Chargers +900.
Who do you think will get the job done? You’ll want to make your picks early while the odds are still good.
Considering that all four AFC West teams have been housed within the same division going all the way back to 1960, the rivalries among this group of four are rich in tradition and often, deep in dislike.
The Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers have met 111 times on the football field. The Denver Broncos and the Raiders have also met on 111 occasions, while the Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs have clashed 112 times. The Chiefs and Broncos had battled 112 times and the Broncos and Chargers in 113 games. The Chiefs and Chargers have been opponents 112 times.
Three times two current AFC West teams have met in a championship game with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. The first was in the last season of the AFL in 1969, when Kansas City stopped Oakland 17-7 right in Oakland in what would be the final game in AFL history. In 1977, Denver posted a 20-17 verdict over the Raiders in the AFC Championship Game and in 1980, the Raiders went into San Diego and stopped the Chargers 34-27 to win the AFC Championship.
All four current AFC West teams have played in the Super Bowl but not one of them was first-time lucky. The Kansas City Chiefs dropped a 35-10 decision to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl I, while the Packers dumped the Oakland Raiders 33-14 in Super Bowl II. The Denver Broncos fell 27-10 to the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XII and actually went 0-4 before winning the Super Bowl. The San Diego Chargers also weren’t up to task in their lone Super Bowl appearance, hammered 49-26 by the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XXIX.
The Raiders and Chiefs both rebounded to win their second trips to the Super Bowl, leaving San Diego as the only AFC West team without a Super Bowl title.