The AFC South gets clowned on because it’s one of the weakest divisions in the NFL and home to the disastrous Houston Texans and downtrodden Jacksonville Jaguars. Even so, you shouldn’t sleep on the top two teams in the division this upcoming season. The Tennessee Titans at +170 odds are seeking a third-straight AFC South crown while the Indianapolis Colts are the betting favorite at -125 odds to win the division.
The Houston Texans are projected to be the worst team in the NFL again next season, but oddsmakers and experts have high hopes for the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars are third-overall on the NFL futures board to win the AFC South at +700 odds, but they finally have a real coach after the Urban Meyer experiment blew up in their face last season.
Doug Pedersen led the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl victory a couple of seasons ago, and he’s tasked with turning the Jags around and mentoring quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
|2022 AFC South Odds
- Indianapolis Colts -125
- Tennessee Titans +170
- Jacksonville Jaguars +700
- Houston Texans +3000
The Titans were the only team from the AFC South to secure a spot in the playoffs last year with a 12-5 record, while the Colts bubbled the AFC wild card with a 9-8 record. Of all the AFC South teams, the Colts have the best odds to win Super Bowl 57 at +2200.
The Colts upgraded their quarterback, which is why they’re the new betting favorite to win their first division title since 2014. The Colts traded Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders and tapped Matt Ryan to be the starter. Matty Ice had a rapid decline with the Atlanta Falcons, but head coach Frank Reich thinks Ryan still has gas left in the tank and could be a capable game manager for the Colts.
On offense, the Colts are led by running back Jonathan Taylor, who’s ready to have a breakout season after scoring 20 combined touchdowns last season while rushing for 1,811 yards in 17 games.
You can back the Colts at -125 odds to win the AFC South, but it’s really just a two-pony race between them and the Titans. The bookies installed the Colts with a win total of 10.0 o/u.
Jonathan Taylor really was that dude last season:
✅ led NFL in TD (20)
✅ led NFL in yds from scrimmage (2,171)@JayT23 | @Colts
🎥: @NFL pic.twitter.com/MyKS7usX5G
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) June 14, 2022
The Titans won 12 games last year even though they lost Derrick Henry for seven games due to a foot injury. It was only a matter of time before Henry broke down after the Titans used him heavily. The durable running back had missed just one game in the previous four seasons. He passed 2,000 yards in rushing in 2020 and was on pace to hit that milestone in back-to-back seasons before his injury.
The Titan took a huge hit when they lost AJ Brown, but hope Robert Woods can make an impact even though he’s coming off of ACL surgery.
Aside from four games against the Texans and Jaguars, the Titans have the toughest schedule in the AFC South. They begin the season with five road games in their first eight matchups, including tough contests at the Buffalo Bills, the Indianapolis Colts, the Washington Commanders, the Houston Texans, and the Kansas City Chiefs. The schedule has a difficult four-game stretch in mid-November that includes home games against the Denver Broncos and Cincinnati Bengals, plus road games at the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles.
The Titans are +170 odds to win the AFC South for the third-straight season, but a lot of their success will ride on Henry. If he’s his old self, the Titans can pound their way to another division title and playoffs berth. Oddsmakers set a win total of 9.0 o/u for the Titans this season.
Trevor Lawrence had a rookie season he’d like to forget under Urban Meyer. There were times he wondered if he should have stayed in school and led Clemson to another national championship instead of playing for the worst team and worst coach in the NFL. The good news is the Jaguars realized Meyer was a disaster and ditched him after a 2-11 start. The Jaguars hired a quarterback-friendly head coach in Pederson, who played QB in the NFL for more than a decade. Now, Lawrence finally has a proper mentor who will instill confidence and competence with their playbook.
The Jaguars are ready to take a step in the right direction, but they’re still a shaky squad projected to win six or seven games with a 6.5 o/u win total. The Jaguars are a long shot to win the AFC South at +700 odds, but save your money until next season after running back Travis Etienne gets a full season under his belt and Lawrence/Pedersen flesh out an offensive identity.
If the Jaguars and the Detroit Lions weren’t so bad, the Houston Texans would have won the fewest games in the NFL last season. The Texans hired Lovie Smith as their head coach and hope he can drag the franchise out of the muck. Bookies don’t have any faith in the Texans this season with a win total of 4.5 o/u games, which seems about right.
Quarterback Davis Mills impressed scouts during his rookie season. He got thrown into the fray early in the season when Tyrod Taylor suffered a punctured lung due to an errant painkiller shot into his ribcage that slipped and nicked his lung. That incident encapsulated the Texans last season. Once again, the Texans will be the doormat of the AFC South and the bottom feeder of the AFC.