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Betting the AFC South in 2020

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Apr/10/2020

The AFC South is the division where anything can and will happen. Bill O’Brien is trading away his best players, Phillip Rivers is here now, Ryan Tannehill is leading teams to the AFC Championship Game, and the Jacksonville Jaguars window has closed almost as immediately as it opened. You are going to find that all this craziness is properly reflected by bookmakers as no one quite knows what to think of this division.

History would suggest...

Since 2010, this division has been dominated by two franchises. The Houston Texans or Indianapolis Colts have won the division in 9 of the last 10 seasons overall with the only outlier being the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2017 season. Of course, with the retirement of Andrew Luck last season and the Texans trading away Deshaun Watson’s best receiver in De’Andre Hopkins this offseason, things may be completely up for grabs.

The Favorite

The Tennessee Titans opened as the favorite at (+160) but have since been overtaken by the Indianapolis Colts after the signing of former San Diego Chargers quarterback and future Hall of Famer Phillip Rivers. The Colts are currently at (+155) on Bovada and (+150) on BetOnline.

Head coach Frank Reich has won with Andrew Luck under center as well as Jacoby Brissett in his time in Indianapolis so it goes without saying that Phillip Rivers will more than likely be successful. Rivers will have weapons around him in TY Hilton, Marlon Mack, and Jack Doyle and should benefit from having a competent person on the other end of the headset.

The additions of DeForest Buckner and Xavier Rhodes on the defensive side should be upgraded as well.

The Value Plays

The Titans and Texans are not far behind the Colts in the minds of the bookmakers at (+175) and (+225) respectively.

The Titans rewarded Ryan Tannehill with a 4yr $118M contract earlier in March which...yikes. Whether or not that contract bites the franchise is yet to be seen, one thing that is certain is the force of nature that is Derrick Henry. Fresh off of a league-leading 1,540 yards rushing during the regular season and dominant playoff run where he rushed for another 446, the entire league will be looking to stop Henry in 2020.

Houston at (+225) would be a nice play if they didn’t have a lunatic for a head coach. Deshaun Watson is good and David Johnson still has some tread on those tires but can Will Fuller stay healthy? Trading away Hopkins has certainly affected how bookmakers and bettors alike feel about the team as they have gone from the favorite to the third favorite in short order. Do you really trust O’Brien not to unload another highly talented player midseason and destroy any playoff potential?

No thanks, I’m driving

The Jaguars window to capitalize on that punishing defense has essentially closed. Last season’s trade of Jalen Ramsey and the team’s decision to move away from Nick Foles, AJ Bouye and Calais Campbell set the stage for a rebuild, while the firing of Tom Coughlin signaled that the franchise would be moving in another direction. The bookmakers have reinforced the belief with a (+1500) to win this division, by far the longest odds. The roster is no void of talent but the Jags will have to be pretty much perfect in order to compete in the 2020-21 season.

My Pick

It is quite clear that I want no part of Jacksonville and I will openly say that without Hopkins I don’t like the Texans a whole lot more. The organization just seems to be a free for all and that rarely works in the NFL despite their recent regular-season success.

When it comes down to the Colts or the Titans, I recognize that Ryan Tannehill may have turned a corner and Derrick Henry is a legitimate star, but I am very intrigued by the combination of Phillip Rivers and Frank Reich. I like the additions that the Colts have made on the defensive side and believe that they will be winners of this division. Bet on the AFC South at our favorite pay per head bookie site at https://payperhead247.com/

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