Throughout the offseason and heading into Week One, the AFC South was considered a two-team race. With the addition of Philip Rivers, the Indianapolis Colts were deemed a favorite to win by many sportsbooks. But those that did not call them favorites had the Tennessee Titans listed.
However, with how Week One played out, maybe the AFC South’s hierarchy needs to be reevaluated.
Philip Rivers brought a lot to the Colts passing game, but he also gave the Jaguars a helping hand with two picks. Losing Marlon Mack for the season does not help, either. Houston did not look terrible against Kansas City, but they didn’t look good either.
It was nice of them to pay Deshaun Watson what he is worth, but Bill O’Brien doesn’t have a clue how to use him.
Tennessee got the job done against a decent Denver Broncos team, but it was not an overly impressive win. But with how the Colts played, they are the clear favorites at this time. Then there is the Jacksonville Jaguars.
They were supposed to be terrible. They were supposed to be one of the worst teams in the NFL. Many sportsbooks had them pegged to win the least number of games this year or maybe even go winless. But the team that took the field against the Colts last week and went on to win did not look like the worst team in the NFL.
So—who should you bet on to win the AFC South? Bovada.lv still has the division as a two-team race:
- AFC South Champion
- Indianapolis Colts +170
- Tennessee Titans +105
- Houston Texans +450
- Jacksonville Jaguars +1400
If you wanted to play it safe, the Tennessee Titans would be the safe bet. Derek Henry still looked like a beast against the Broncos, and Ryan Tannehill played well. Losing A.J Brown for the short term will hurt, but that might just mean Derek Henry gets a few more carries.
It might be a little early to bail on the Indianapolis Colts. But when they signed Philip Rivers, they probably hoped he would bounce back from last year. So far, things don’t look promising—but Rivers could turn around.
As for the Texans, it is hard to make a case for them with how they use or more fail to use their weapons. They just signed Deshaun Watson to a massive extension, but rather than let him lose, O’Brien is trying to make him fit into his antiquated game plan.
The weapons are talent are there, but it is hard to say they know how to or will use them. Then there is the injury history most of their weapons have.
Regarding Jacksonville, if you wanted to see them as a potential dark horse, the possibility is there. They are certainly much better than most expected. But are they going to win the division? Probably not. However, if they beat Tennessee this week, their odds (and the potential payout) will never be higher than they are now.