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AFC South Predictions and Picks

AFC South Predictions and Picks

By Loot, NFL Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

With the AFC South, we're dealing with a division where even the oddsmakers don't seem to want to take a stand. Of all the divisions in the league, this division features the most logjam at the top. Even the long-shot in the division, the Jacksonville Jaguars, are getting respect, going off at just +675. But at the top of the division are three teams separated by just a few pennies on the money line, something seldom seen in NFL divisional prop bets. The odds favor the up-and-coming Titans, going off at +205, followed closely by two-time defending division champion the Houston Texans at +215. The Colts are a nickel behind at +220. If odds are any indication, this division could very well come down to the final week of the season.

Houston has been the kingpin of this division in recent seasons with two straight division titles and 4 in the past six seasons. Each time they won the division in the past two seasons, they won just 9 games to do it. It's been a tightly-contested division for the past several seasons and it looks like it will be so once again in 2017. But the favored Titans certainly look to be headed in the right direction. Somewhat quietly, the Titans added six wins from their previous season's total last season with a big 9 wins. And the Colts made some key moves that could signal a return to prominence. And let's not forget the Jaguars. They again won 3 games last season when an upsurge was anticipated. Maybe they can catch more breaks and get in this conversation like the Titans did last season.

Let's take a look at the odds to win the AFC South in 2017, followed by team profiles and our pick to win the AFC South.

Odds to Win the 2017 AFC South
Tennessee Titans +205
Houston Texans +215
Indianapolis Colts +220
Jacksonville Jaguars +675

A Word About the Odds: Odds for this bet are expressed on the money line. All teams are underdogs to win the division, hence their odds being shown with a plus sign. A (+) means an underdog and the number you see next to the plus sign is how much you win in the event that you bet $100. You can bet any amount and the odds would just break down proportionally. So for every $100 you bet on the Titans, Texans, and Colts you would earn, respectively, $205, $215, and $220 dollars. If the Jags win the division, you get $675 for every $100 you bet.

Tennessee Titans (+205): In his first full season with the Titans, head coach Mike Mularkey found something, taking a team that had gone 5-27 the past two seasons to a 9-7 mark and a second-place AFC South finish. And that was after a 1-3 start. Signs seem to point to the fact that the Titans are on the rise. Four of five wins to end the season solidify that sentiment. In the draft, they got some difference-makers like WR Corey Davis and CB Adoree Jackson, while addressing different areas in free agency. In that area, both lines were bolstered with some help on the way in the secondary. If those changes take well, the Titans could be on their way to big things. A definite sleeper in the conference and a rightful mild-divisional favorite.

Houston Texans (+215): The thing to ponder about the Titans is how they seem to get a lot from very little. It never seems like they should be as good as they are, but teams like this need to be looked at a different way. Two straight division titles and four in six years show they're doing something right. Even if rookie first-round pick Deshaun Watson or someone else doesn't quite deliver at QB, their recent success has come in spite of a lack of production at that position. They get JJ Watt back and while they may fail to excite when looking at their roster or their offseason moves, overlooking the Texans recently has come at a price.

Indianapolis Colts (+220): A trio of 11-5 seasons in Andrew Luck's first three seasons has dissipated to a pair of 8-8 seasons. They've been close the past two seasons, with key injuries and an erratic defense being insurmountable roadblocks. They should get help in at least one of those areas, with a slew of additions made to the defense. In free agency, they got Jabaal Sheard, John Simon, Jonathan Hankins, and a lot of other guys. In the draft, they bolstered their secondary with first-round potential star Malik Hooker, with CB Quincy Wilson coming out of the second round. With some help in the injury-department, things could turn around for the Colts this season.

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Jacksonville Jaguars (+675): Last season was supposed to be the year where the Jags got things on the right track. The stars seemed to be lining up well, but injuries and some under-performing key players led to another season of "Business as Usual." They are now on the heels of 6 straight seasons with five or fewer wins, with a 22-74 record in that span. One problem is an aerial game that infrequently plays up to its potential. Maybe rookie back Leonard Fournette can finally give the Jags that breakout back that helps open up the offense. In free agency, guys like T Branden Albert, CB AJ Bouye, and DE Calais Campbell can help out. Draft pick Cam Robinson could give them another legit tackle. Maybe it's happening a season later than many projected, but the Jaguars have some definite upside and could compete in a division where no one ever seems to run away with first place.

Lootmeister's Pick to Win the AFC South in 2017: Tennessee Titans

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