NFL training camps are less than a month away and almost all key free agents and draft picks are signed at this point. Now is the time of year where you can start to analyze and break down rosters and then begin to predict results.
AFC South Odds
The Colts are 5/6 favorites in the AFC South division odds right now, and I really can’t argue with those. The Texans are behind them at 3/1. The Jaguars are at 9/2, while the Titans are listed at 7/1.
The Colts are one of my favorite teams in the league because I think every single tier of their organization “gets it.” When I see a team rebuild as well as the Colts have, I really tend to like backing them moving forward because I know there is someone competent at the helm.
Not only have they rebuilt well, but they have done it rather quietly. The Colts are a sneaky Super Bowl sleeper that I like at 15/1, which is sixth overall and tied with the Eagles.
The roster improvements made by the Colts have been to get younger, faster, and more athletic. I think they have done this well on both sides of the ball with the additions of Parris Campbell on offense and then Rock Ya-Sin, Ben Banogu, and Bobby Okereke on the defensive side of the ball. We saw how well the addition of this style of player helped their defense last year in an era of football where playing in space is key, and I expect similar results this season.
I think the Colts are a borderline lock to make the playoffs this season barring key major injuries, and I really like their odds to win the AFC South just based on their team build vs. divisional opponents. I agree with the odds that the Texans are the next biggest threat, but I think the Colts have a significant advantage against them in a head-to-head matchup.
The Texans are a wild card-level team with really interesting happenings on both sides of the ball. I expect the Houston offense to be improved with health and an improved offensive line this year, which has clearly been a focus of theirs. However, I am really skeptical about the defense here, and I think I will be attacking the over game totals in Texans games early.
The offense is very exciting with Watson, Fuller, Hopkins, and Coutee being an incredibly dynamic group of playmakers. I think that the Texans will never be out of games, but that doesn’t mean they will win 10 games either.
I’m not a huge fan of the Nick Foles signing, and I am not a huge fan of the wide receiver group here. Those are my two main concerns, but they could be mitigated by early success. The receivers do have talent, but I’m not sure if they have a top option.
The Foles signing might be good for right now, but I don’t know if this team has the ceiling that they were once thought to have with a young Jalen Ramsey and Leonard Fournette. The Jags’ moves seem pretty random from a win now and developmental standpoint, which is what has me confused.
I will not be touching the Jaguars right away, but I do think they have upside if the defense can revert to its 2017 ways and they can find a No. 1 receiver.
I am really down on the Titans because of their offensive weapons. I am still just really curious if they can get enough offensive production out of their current roster. Marcus Mariota has been very injury prone in recent memory, and I am not sure that they want to keep him around past this season, especially if they struggle.
The Titans defense does have talent, but I don’t think that defense can win you eight or nine games in the NFL regular season in an improving division, which is what you would need to win this division at least. I have absolutely no interest in betting on the Titans in this division at any price, and I do have a lot of interest in the under eight wins.