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AFC South Exact Finishing Order in 2017

AFC South Division Exact Finishing Order in 2017

By Loot, NFL Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

We have already seen the division champion prop bet where we simply wager on who will win each division in the NFL. With the exact finishing order bet, you can take it a step further and bet on teams to finish in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place. It's taking it a step further in many respects. Coming up with a division winner is what the mind is geared to do, while picking the other positions in the division takes a different perspective.

The AFC south is unique in many respects, being that heading into the 2017 season, just about any perspective can be defended on many levels. With the two-time defending division champion Houston Texans followed closely by the Titans, Colts, and Jaguars, this division is one that is rife with opportunity for the NFL prop bettor. Houston has been in charge of this division lately, but last season the Titans made a big move, while the Colts were busy in the offseason and could be due for an upswing. And even the perennially-struggling Jaguars have cause for optimism this season.

You have two choices with these bets. One side is that a team finishes in a certain position—2nd, 3rd, or 4th place. The other choice is that the team will finish in any other position than the one the bet states. Both sides of the bet can offer some decent value. You might think a team will finish in a certain position or that they'll finish in a spot other than that one. It's not easy in a division like the AFC South, where the power-structure is in a very liquid form.

There is a lot to take into consideration in a bet of this nature. Offseason moves, injuries, suspensions, schedules, and any number of different elements need to be accounted for on a division-wide basis. We want to be able to calibrate with some level of accuracy how likely a team is to land in these different exact finishing orders. And if the odds being offered to either finish in that position or not surpass what we think are the true odds, we can bet it. Let's look at the different exact finishing orders of the different teams, along with our take and how worthy it is to bet.

Houston finishes 2nd in AFC South +210
Any other result -290
Take: Granted, the Texans are on the heels of two straight division titles and 4 in the last 6 seasons. They always seem to get a lot out of what they have and could very well find themselves at the top once again in 2017. At the same time, especially with the Titans and Colts potentially surging, getting a +210 price for them to land in the second spot isn't an altogether bad value play at all.

Houston finishes 3rd in AFC South +290
Any other result -410
Take: At +290, picking the Texans to finish third isn't a completely indefensible play. Houston is one of those teams, however, where a lot of people have been forecasting downturns in recent seasons without it coming to fruition. Still, third isn't that hard to envision especially if Indy and Tennessee play up to their potential. At the price, however, we like the pick for second better. If anything, we like "any other result" here, even at the chalky -410 price.

Houston finishes 4th in AFC South +390
Any other result -590
Take: With this bet, you're asking for a lot to go wrong with the Texans, with injuries and rotten luck plaguing their season. At the same time, you'd need every other team in the division to do better. At +390, seems like it's asking for a lot.

Indianapolis finishes 2nd in AFC South +260
Any other result -380
Take: We like this pick. Indy should be able to eclipse their 8-8 mark of the past two seasons. But it seems like either Houston or Tennessee is capable of nipping them in the division standings. All in all, we like Indy to finish first or second in the AFC South, making this a reasonable position.

Indianapolis finishes 3rd in AFC South +235
Any other result -315
Take: In a division with three clear frontrunners and a realistic 4th choice, it's easy to justify just about any finishing spot for any team. At +235, however, Indy finishing third is a pretty decent value and things could easily shake out this way. Still, we see Indy as a better pick for one of the top two spots in the division.

Indianapolis finishes 4th in AFC South +255
Any other result -365
Take: It's a conceivable result on some levels. At the same time, to forecast that none of the offseason moves will resonate or that some critical string of injuries will befall them, while every other division team avoids failure is a bit of a reach. And when making reaches, we'd like be seeing better than +255 for our efforts.

Jacksonville finishes 2nd in AFC South +340
Any other result -510
Take: A lot comes down to your take on the 2017 Jaguars when calibrating the value of betting on their exact finishing order. If one is optimistic, they might have some appeal at +340 for the second slot. Still, for a team that has not done better than third in 6 straight seasons, with a 17-63 record in the last five seasons combined, you'd think this would pay a little better.

Jacksonville finishes 3rd in AFC South +215
Any other result -295
Take: You see a pretty conservative price being offered on Jacksonville finishing third. And if one had to pick a spot for them to finish, third would seem like a decent choice over the other spots. You have to figure they'll experience an upturn at some point and no other team in the division is invulnerable to at least a mini-collapse. Not a bad pick.

Jacksonville finishes 4th in AFC South +120
Any other result -160
Take: Sometimes, we think things will change, as they often do in this league, but they stay the same. With the Jags never really able to get over the hump and with Tennessee having climbed out of the cellar, the +120 price attests to the likelihood of this conclusion. We just see some better value with "any other option" at -160. Picking them last seems almost too obvious.

Tennessee finishes 2nd in AFC South +210
Any other result -290
Take: Adding 6 wins from their previous season's total, the Titans certainly look to have turned things around after being in a deep funk for a few seasons. Still, their position as an AFC South frontrunner is hardly solidified. At +210, there are worse bets on this board than the Titans finishing second.

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Tennessee finishes 3rd in AFC South +280
Any other result -400
Take: Again, this depends on how rosy your outlook is on the 2017 Titans. If you feel that either they're not going to grow from their big 9-win season of last year or that other teams are simply better, third place at +280 has some definite value. However, those who think the Titans are more for real than not, "any other result" at -400 might hold more appeal.

Tennessee finishes 4th in AFC South +380
Any other result -570
Take: On the surface, it's hard to imagine. But they might just be a season-ending injury to Marcus Mariota away from this being a reality. But you'd still need other things to happen, like Jacksonville or any other team not having a really bad season. We don't really like either side of this one.

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