The Indianapolis Colts were the cream of the crop in the AFC South in the 2000s, winning seven titles in eight years with Peyton Manning under center. The mantle was passed to the Houston Texans this decade, and the Texans have won five of the last eight division titles. Oddsmakers expect a lot of parity this year though, and the AFC South betting odds are the most even of any division in the NFL.
2020 AFC South Sports Betting Preview
Deshaun Watson could be the next great quarterback if he can stay upright behind a patchwork offensive line. Houston at least tried to alleviate that problem by drafting Tytus Howard and Max Scharping with their first two picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, but Howard is still raw and needs time to develop.
Watson has arguably the best receiver in the league to throw the ball to in DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins had his best season yet in 2019, and if Will Fuller and Keke Coutee can take another step forward, Houston can be scary.
The defense has the makings of a great unit, but health is key. JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney are two of the most disruptive defenders in the NFL, and Zach Cunningham might be ready to come into his own. Houston has won three of the last four AFC South titles, and betting on the AFC South with the Texans isn’t a bad idea.
Coming into this season, the Indianapolis Colts are the favorites to win the division per the AFC South betting odds. The Colts are slight odds-on favorites after winning 9 of 10 games to close out 2018, and they knocked off Houston in the playoffs.
Andrew Luck finally looks like his old self after continued shoulder problems threatened to derail his career. He still threw a few too many interceptions, but Colts fans have to be ecstatic with his performance.
The big concern is a running game that had a hard time getting on the right track at times in 2018. Indianapolis has sunk a lot of resources into its offensive line to resolve the issue, and Quenton Nelson looks like he could develop into one of the best interior linemen in the game.
The Colts had a very underrated defense in 2018, and the vast majority of that defense is back this season. Justin Houston came over from Kansas City, but the real story is Darius Leonard. Leonard could be the next CJ Mosley at weak side linebacker.
There will be no middle ground for the Jaguars this year. This team is either going to be boom or bust, and we should know which option it will be relatively quickly. That means there is good value in Jacksonville if you’re betting on the AFC South, as they have the third-longest odds in the division.
Nick Foles’ play will be key. The former Super Bowl winner was signed by Jacksonville after the Blake Bortles era mercifully came to an end, and if he is just a league average quarterback, this team could be something special.
The Jaguars might have more talent on their defense than any team in the NFL. They freelanced far too often last season as they tried to make plays, but a competent offense should fix that. Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye are an elite cornerback tandem and the defensive line is oozing with talent.
It’s time for Marcus Mariota to show whether or not he is a franchise quarterback. Through his first four seasons in the league, the answer has been no, but he has yet to stay healthy for an entire year. Tennessee brought in Ryan Tannehill from Miami to provide a veteran back-up with plenty of starting experience in case Mariota goes down, but we also know he isn’t the answer.
Tennessee was relatively quiet in free agency. On the defensive side of the ball, they didn’t need to make a splash. The Titans had the third-best defense in the NFL last season in terms of points allowed, and they have the best playmaking safety around in Kevin Byard.
For this team to overcome the long AFC South betting odds, the offense finally needs to do….something. The Titans have not had one of the league’s 10 best offenses since 2003.
Check out the latest AFC South betting odds at the online sportsbook.