On March 23, rumors began to circulate that the Chiefs and Tyreek Hill were far apart on a potential contract extension. The Dolphins also signed Hill to a four-year, $120 million contract extension with $72.2 million guaranteed. While the Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson trades didn’t completely come out of the blue, a Hill trade was unexpected and left Chiefs fans uneasy about their supporting cast for Patrick Mahomes. Dolphins fans, meanwhile, have to be ecstatic about the addition of an All-Pro wideout to their roster.
Dolphins’ Remade Offense
It’s going to be a massive make-or-break season for Tua Tagovailoa. The fifth overall pick in the 2020 draft hasn’t panned out yet, but he led the team to a 13-8 record in his 21 starts with 27 touchdowns to 15 interceptions. However, his supporting cast was always lacking as the Dolphins had arguably the worst offensive line in the league, an underwhelming pass-catching group, and a mediocre offensive coaching staff. Now, that has all changed.
Mike McDaniel, the former offensive assistant with the 49ers, will bring creativity and enthusiasm to an offense that hasn’t ranked in the top ten in the NFL in points per game since 2001. The signings of former All-Pro left tackle Terron Armstead, and standout guard Connor Williams help shore up the left side of the offensive line.
And now, Tyreek Hill joins a completely revamped pass-catching group featuring incumbents Mike Gesicki and DeVante Parker alongside second-year Jaylen Waddle, Cedrick Wilson, and standout pass-catching running backs Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert. This offense suddenly features loads of dynamic open-field ability and an abundance of speed.
Chiefs’ Receiving Corps Takes a Step Back
The Chiefs never had excellent depth in their pass-catching corps. Still, the duo of Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce was consistently the most productive receiving tandem in the NFL over the past several seasons. Hill has compiled 343 catches for 4,854 yards and 43 touchdowns over the past four seasons, and that massive volume will be tough to replace. The Chiefs also lost contributors Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson this offseason.
As things currently stand, the Chiefs are slated to start Mecole Hardman, Josh Gordon, and new signing JuJu Smith-Schuster at wide receiver, which would give them easily a bottom five group at that position in the NFL. Kansas City now has two first-round picks in 2022, and they will likely add another receiver in that spot. However, there’s no question that the Chiefs’ offense is set to take a significant step back without Hill.
Sportsbooks React with Changing Odds
In a loaded AFC West, the Chiefs taking even a slight step back in their overall talent could leave them vulnerable, and losing Hill certainly impacts their chances to win the division. However, Kansas City is still listed as the favorite in the AFC West. BetMGM still has the Chiefs as +135 favorites while the Chargers (+270), Broncos (+280), and Raiders (+600) trail behind. DraftKings has the divisional odds a bit closer, with the Chiefs at +165, Broncos at +220, Chargers at +275, and Raiders at +700.
The Dolphins, meanwhile, have seen their odds to win the AFC East jump from +600 to +400 on Caesars Sportsbook, and they are now tied with the Patriots with the second-highest odds behind the Bills. The Bills are the consensus favorite to win the AFC East at around -200 on most sportsbooks. The Dolphins have not surpassed the Patriots in divisional odds, despite them trending in different directions this offseason.
Miami’s Super Bowl odds have also seen a significant jump following the Tyreek Hill trade. Before the trade, the Dolphins were listed at +5000 to win the Super Bowl on DraftKings, +3900 on FanDuel, and +5000 on BetMGM. They are +3300 on DraftKings, the most significant leap on any sportsbook. FanDuel has them listed at +3600, and BetMGM maintained their odds at +5000, so make sure you shop around if you want to bet on Super Bowl futures, given the wide disparity in the odds.
DraftKings has the Chiefs as the third-highest favorite to win the Super Bowl at +900 while the Bills are at +650 and the Buccaneers are at +750. Most sportsbooks have the Chiefs between +900 and +1000 to win the Super Bowl, putting them in the same tier as the Packers and Rams. The sports betting market predicts a Bills vs. Buccaneers matchup in Super Bowl LVII. Patrick Mahomes is still a top MVP candidate at +800 on DraftKings, but the chances of him leading the NFL in major passing categories takes a hit without Hill.