Midseason Update Through Nine Weeks Of Play
The AFC South is much like the NFC South at the midway point of the season: completely underwhelming. The Titans have a comfortable lead in the division at 5-3, which is at least a game and a half better than the remainder of the division. This is despite a negative scoring differential and a lack of offensive output. They have only scored more points than four other AFC teams in total. This divisional race has turned into a question of who will be the best of the bad?
The lead the Titans have amassed in conjunction with the lack of ability from the rest of the division has taken odds to win the division off the board entirely. When shifting to look at win totals, the Colts are also off the board completely. The 5-3 Titans are set at 9 wins. The 3-6 Jaguars are set at 6.5 wins and the 1-6-1 Texans are set at three wins. If we were to force a wager on any of these, it would have to be on the Texans to notch just two more wins. That said, there is no value or attractiveness offered from a betting perspective at this point for this division.
2022 AFC South Futures & Betting Odds
AFC South Preseason Outlook
The AFC South is next up for our divisional previews. The AFC is an interesting division that should have real competition for first place and for last place. There are two teams that will vie for the divisional crown and then two teams that will likely be picking at the top of next year’s draft once again. We will preview the season for the Colts, Texans, Jaguars and Texans.
- Indianapolis Colts -130 To Win AFC South , 10 Over/Under Win Total
- Tennessee Titans +170 To Win AFC South, 9 Over/Under Win Total
- Jacksonville Jaguars +750 To Win AFC South, 6.5 Over/Under Win Total
- Houston Texans +3000 To Win AFC South, 4.5 Over/Under Win Total
Risk Free Bets
The Colts finished second in the division in 2021, and will look to get past the Titans this year. The division projects as a two horse race with the Jaguars and Texans not far along enough in their respective rebuilds to move into divisional contention.
The Colts made a huge change at quarterback from last season. They let Carson Wentz go and have replaced him with Matt Ryan. Ryan is not an elite in the league, but he is quite serviceable and has made a Super Bowl appearance. The wide receiver corps will look better this season. Michael Pittman will be a year more advanced and will operate as the alpha of the group. Parris Campbell appears to finally have health and ready to contribute. Rookie Alec Pierce will also give Ryan a quality option. We should see more consistency in the passing game than we did in 2021.
Of course the Colts are a running team, spear headed by elite back Jonathan Taylor. Taylor was exceptional in 2021 both as a runner and receiver. He notched 1811 yards on the ground and totaled 18 rushing touchdowns. Taylor additionally caught 40 balls. He will pick up right where he left off. The passing game will find their lives much easier the more Taylor dictates more defenders are required in the box. We will see one of the league’s more efficient offenses in Indianapolis.
The Colts were a top 10 scoring defense a year ago, and with the help of their high end rushing offense, should repeat as similar. This is a team that is rightfully favored to win the division. While it is more likely than not that they do, there are two bets on the Colts that project better than the divisional win wager. Their win total of 10 should be a very sound over to play. Especially considering four easy games within their division. The line to win the division is -130, but looking a step further, their line to simply be a playoff team only jumps to -190. This is a better avenue of attack, as they are fully expected to be in the postseason, and it covers a Wild Card berth outcome.
The Titans are the defending divisional champions, but have had an imperfect offseason to say the least. The team is reliant on Derrick Henry’s running to be the life blood of their offense. Henry will still be wildly effective, but has reached a point in his career where health is a question mark. He missed significant time with a foot injury last season, and we cannot have a full expectation of him being on the field for the entirety of this season.
The passing offense is where the team really dropped the metaphorical ball. They traded AJ Brown to Philadelphia, which was a mistake. Brown was their only legitimate and high end pass catcher. They turned to the NFL draft to try to replace Brown, spending high capital on Treylon Burks. Burks has been out of shape and behind throughout camp. The pivot from Brown to Burks will be the one that haunts the team throughout the season. The passing offense projects to be one of the most anemic in the league. Ryan Tannehill is quite serviceable, but he needs more ability around him to truly find success.
The Titans defense will once again be middle of the road. It is a middle of the pack unit that cannot be relied upon to win games. The offense will have to control the ball and sustain drives. The easy divisional schedule takes an under wager out of play for the Titans, so they will be a team we have no action on for this season.
There is an element of unknown with the Jaguars, as 2021 was a lost season. Urban Meyer proved to be one of the worst NFL coaches we have ever seen. The result was a lost season for rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence and the team as a whole. Mike McDaniel comes in from San Francisco to try to bring the sunk ship back afloat. We will see a more competitive and competent team than the one we saw last season. That said there is so much difference in the coaching and an unknown amount of development from Lawrence and other young players, this team simply has too much unknown to properly project for any wagers.
The Texans win total of 4.5 is the lowest in the league, and rightfully so. They ended their saga with Deshaun Watson, dealing him to the Browns, and continue their rebuild. Quarterback Davis Mills showed flashes of promise as a rookie. The team will see what level of development they get out of him. Rookie back Dameon Pierce will give fans a player to watch. In totality however, this is one of if not the most talent anemic teams in the league. With their win total set so low, we could not play the under which is the only betting pick to consider for the Texans.