NFL Betting Tips: Who Is Going To Win The AFC South?

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When NFL discussions turn to the AFC South, the focus is often on two teams—the Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars. The Tennessee Titans get a little attention because fans want to see if Marcus Mariota is finally going to live up to his potential. Then, time permitting, the conversation turns to the Houston Texans.

It almost seems like the Texans are the forgotten team of the division even though they have won it in three of the last four seasons and five of the previous eight. With the dominance they have shown over the division in recent years, you would think oddsmakers would give them more credit.

Instead, they continually defer to Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.

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The Odds

So—who is going to win the AFC South? The obvious answer would be either the Colts or Texans. But this year, with the potential on each team’s roster, it would be foolish to overlook the Jaguars or Titans. The odds, according to BetOnline.ag, are as follows:

  • Division Futures: Odds to win the AFC South
  • Houston Texans    +250
  • Indianapolis Colts    -105
  • Jacksonville Jaguars    +500
  • Tennessee Titans    +550

On the one hand, it is easy to wonder why the Colts are the favoured team even though they haven’t won it since 2014. It likely has a lot to do with how they went 8-1 down the stretch last season and dominated the Texans in the wildcard game.

But that was then, and the past has no bearing on how this season will play out.

So– who should you bet on?  Examining each team should make it easier to make a decision.

Houston Texans

To repeat as division champs, the Texans had to address one glaring problem during the offseason—the offensive line.

With all the hits Deshaun Watson took, he wasn’t healthy enough to fly to a game last season. He had to take the bus—and he still played! If the Texans do not protect him better, they may have more to worry about than just the season. His long-term viability could come into question.

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But it looks like they tried to address the offensive line issues in the draft with a first and second-round pick. They also acquired left tackle Matt Kalil from the Carolina Panthers.

The defense is going to be one of the best in the business again. But what success the Texans are going to see will depend on whether they can keep Watson healthy. If they can, Houston could win more than the division.

Indianapolis Colts

This season will likely find the Colts trying to pick up where they left off last season.

From the moves they made in the offseason, it looks like that is there intention. Between the draft and free agency, they addressed a few deficiencies and added some depth to the roster. Andrew Luck has been healthy and should not need a few weeks to get his groove back.

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Luck may also finally have a decent No. 2 receiver in Devin Funchess.

A long as no one takes a step back, there is no reason to think the Colts can’t be as good if not better than they were last year.

Jacksonville Jaguars

For the Jaguars, the season will hinge on one player—Nick Foles. The defense is going to be one of the better units in the league once again this year. But whether they end up being on the field too long will be up to the offense—and primarily Nick Foles.

Yes, some of the responsibility could fall to Leonard Fournette and the run game. But the Jaguars have a talented collection of receivers; they just haven’t had a quarterback that could get them a ball. If the version of Foles that won the Super Bowl can show up, it could be a banner year for the Jacksonville passing game.

With a solid passing game, the running lanes will become easier to find for Fournette which could then make the Jaguars offense as much of a force to be reckoned with as the defense.

Tennessee Titans

The bottom line for the Titans is simple—Marcus Mariota has to finish the season healthy and continue to progress.  Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis will take care of the running game (which was seventh in the league last year). But Mariota needs to get the passing game going and keep it going (29th in the league last year).

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With the weapons they got for him in the draft (A.J. Brown) and in free agency (Adam Humphries), along with Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor, Mariota is not going to have any excuses. He has the skill position guys and a decent offensive line.

Now, it is time for him to make something happen.

The Prediction

The Texans are hard to trust because Bill O’Brien does not seem to want to just let Deshaun Watson play. He did during Watson’s rookie season with great results. But last year, he seemed less inclined to do so. Andrew Luck will be better this season as will the Colts, but the Jaguars are going to be the team to beat instead.

Jacksonville has a dominant defense and with Nick Foles at quarterback, will finally have the offense to match.