The AFC South has belonged to the Houston Texans for four of the last five years. With the Titans, Colts, and Jaguars having quarterback issues (among other things), the road to a division title wasn’t always that tough.
But if the start of free agency is any indication, the balance of power is about to shift.
For some insane reason, the Texans traded away DeAndre Hopkins for an injury-prone running back that hasn’t been good in three years. To replace him, he signed Randall Cobb. Feel free to laugh now if you already aren’t.
Tennessee was thought to be interested in Tom Brady but instead opted to sign Ryan Tannehill. They also put the franchise tag on Derek Henry but lost Jack Conklin (offensive tackle) to the Cleveland Browns.
Indianapolis hasn’t done much. But they did make one potentially huge move by signing Philip Rivers. With their offensive line protecting him, a good run game, and a solid defense (bolstered by the acquisition of DeForest Buckner), they might be a wide receiver away from greatness.
Amazingly, the Jaguars, a team known for going nuts during free agency, hasn’t done too much yet (other than trade away a couple of their best defensive players).
With the Texans imploding, the Titans holding onto most of their cards, and the Colts making a couple of moves, and the Jags doing almost nothing, who should you bet on?
The current odds, according to DraftKings, are:
- Indianapolis Colts +150
- Tennessee Titans +160
- Houston Texans +300
- Jacksonville Jaguars +1400
Deciding who to bet on here is not going to be easy.
Philip Rivers is going to be an upgrade over Jacoby Brissett, but the Colts are still in desperate need of another good wide receiver. Now that they don’t have a first-round pick, they may not get one of the studs.
Tennessee is going to be a popular choice after their postseason run. But several things are concerning about the Titans. How are they going to replace Jack Conklin? Will Ryan Tannehill revert to the guy the Dolphins couldn’t wait to get rid of? How much tread is still on the tires for Derek Henry?
If everything foes right, the Titans will be a good bet. But if something goes wrong, they are going to be in trouble.
Houston is not going to win the division again. They will likely finish under .500. The defense was not good last year, the offensive line is still terrible, and they traded their best offensive weapon for an often-injured, one-hit-wonder of a running back.
Deshaun Watson is a great quarterback, but he needs more help than Kenny Stills and Will Fuller.
Jacksonville is in rebuild mode. They will give everyone a good fight and will steal a few wins, but it is highly unlikely they win the division. Then again, there is always a team that goes from worst to first…
So—who should you bet on?
Do not bet on the Texans or Jaguars. The odds make the Jaguars a tempting wager since the payout will be nice, but let’s be real. They are not going to win the division. It is going to come down to the Titans and Colts.
Since Rivers is not going to have much to work with, the Titans have the edge.