NFL Betting Trends- Odds to Win the AFC South
BetOnline has already posted its futures odds for all 32 NFL team’s odds to win its division in 2013. As part of an ongoing series for Bang the Book’s NFL Betting Trends, this week we will breakdown the value in the numbers for the AFC South.
Houston has been the class of the AFC South the past two seasons with a 10-6 record in 2011 followed by a 12-4 mark last season that were both good enough to claim the division title. All the pieces remain in place for another run to the top, especially on an offense that features Arian Foster running the ball and Andre Johnson catching it. As an added bonus, quarterback Matt Schaub will now have DeAndre Hopkins to throw the ball to after the Texans selected the former Clemson wide receiver with the 27th overall pick in the first round of the draft.
Backing up this potent offensive attack is a defense that finished the 2012 regular season ranked 10th in the NFL in points allowed and seventh in total yards. Houston decided to use a number of its draft picks to add some solid depth up front on both sides of the ball. It also made a splash by signing veteran free agent safety Ed Reed away from Baltimore. He should be able to provide some much needed leadership to a unit that came a bit unglued down the stretch last season.
The Colts went from winning just two games in 2011 to making the playoffs at 11-5 last season behind the top pick in the 2012 draft Andrew Luck. The pressure will continue to mount on Luck as the new face of the organization, but much like Peyton Manning before him, he appears to be more than capable of filling that role. Even with Luck behind center it will be hard for Indianapolis to duplicate this win total in 2013 now that it will not be able to sneak up on anyone.
The other questions surrounding this team are with a defense that was ranked 26th overall and a woeful 29th against the run. The Colts added defensive end Bjoern Werner from Florida State with the 24th overall pick in the draft but they also parted ways with veteran pass rushing specialist Dwight Freeney. Overall, this team should still contend for a spot in the playoffs, but anything more than nine wins will be a reach.
The Titans continue to be a middle-of-the-road team in the AFC South with a 6-10 record in 2010 and 2012 wrapped around a 9-7 mark in 2011. They have taken some solid steps toward turning things around with the acquisition of safety Bernard Pollard on defense and guard Andy Levitre to bolster the offensive line, but the jury remains out as to whether or not Jake Locker is the long-term solution at quarterback. He completed just 56.4 percent of his passes last season while throwing 11 interceptions verse just 10 touchdowns.
Chris Johnson is still a bona-fide Pro Bowler at running back, but Tennessee finished the 2012 season ranked 23rd in the NFL scoring with 20.6 points a game and 26th in total yards. Defensively, the Titans were equally as bad; allowing an average of 29.4 points and 375 yards of total offense a game.
Once again bringing up the rear is Jacksonville after falling from 5-11 two years ago to just 2-14 in 2012. It decided to address one of its biggest concerns by drafting offensive tackle Luke Joeckel with the second overall pick in the draft, but there are still some questions as to which quarterback he will actually be protecting next season. Blaine Gabbert comes in as the incumbent but I do not think anyone is sold on his ability to be an effective starter in the NFL. Chad Henne is still on the roster along with Matt Scott and Jordan Rodgers.
The Jaguars cleaned house by letting a number of free agents walk this offseason as the new regime in town appears to be content trying to rebuild this team from the ground up. The 2013 result could easily be record well below .500 as this project could take a couple of years of picking high in the draft.
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.