Value Positions on NFL Futures and Props: AFC South Part 2

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

We’re in the process of running through all eight NFL divisions and looking for good value opportunities in futures and prop betting markets. In this installment, we’ll wrap up the AFC with the AFC South.   This is our second set of AFC South preseason props—this division is just full of excellent value opportunities.

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The Indianapolis Colts finished second in the division last year but in the process improved to 10-6.  That’s enough to get them status as the -130 betting favorite in the NFL futures odds at  They’re just in front of last year’s divisional champions the Houston Texans at +300.




Don’t see much value in laying -130 to take the Colts to win the AFC South but there’s better value betting them to win the AFC Championship at +700.  In the process, they should go ‘Over’ 10 wins and cash the win total bet as well.  Andrew Luck should be as healthy as he’s been in several seasons and that’s a great start for the Colts.  The good news doesn’t end there—there’s a lot of positives surrounding the team.  For the second year in a row, the Colts brought in a massive haul in the draft adding elite level talent with three of the first 59 picks.  Arguably their best draft pick is wide receiver Parris Campbell who should fit right in with T.Y. Hilton and tight end Eric Ebron giving Luck a wide array of targets.  Campbell was inactive for Indianapolis’ first preseason game due to a tweaked hamstring but he’s expected to return to practice in the next day or two.  The defense was decent last year and got even better with the addition of four time All Pro linebacker Justin Houston. Houston was acquired from Kansas City as a free agent and shoud dramatically improve the Colts’ pass rush.  With the exception of Houston’s signing, much of the year over year improvement was ‘under the radar’ but the Colts saw as much or more improvement as any team in the NFL.  Frank Reich is an upgrade at head coach and is well poised to build upon last year’s 10 win season.  That’s why the ‘Over’ win prop play is so attractive—all we need Indy to do is to make incremental improvement over last season.  Based on their personnel moves, they’ve become significantly better.


The Houston Texans won 11 games last season yet the win total O/U at is set at 8.  Can this team be expected to regress that much?   We think so.  We recommended the ‘Under’ win prop in a previous post and we’ll add this prop bet on their postseason status. First of all, they’re in a division where a case can be made the the other three teams all improved during the offseason.  Two of them—Jacksonville and Indianapolis—may have improved dramatically.  Tennessee made some improvements ‘on paper’ but it remains to be seen if they translate into improved play on the field.  Houston at best has only been able to ‘tread water’ in the off season and there’s much to suggest that they’ve not even done that.  Quarterback Deshaun Watson is an excellent player but spent most of last year running for his life behind one of the worst offensive lines in football.  It’s not apparent that this massive liability has been upgraded to a significant degree although the Texans’ primary focus in the draft was to improve it  The Texans have some seriously talented defensive players but it appears as if they’ve lost ground in the offseason as well.  They lost cornerback Tyrann Mathieu and didn’t get much (if anything) to replace him.  A bigger problem could be star linebacker Jadeveon Clowney who is currently a holdout.  If Houston’s management decides to play hardball with Clowney he could miss time this season.  Houston looked awful to start the season last year getting off to an 0-3 start but at one point won nine straight and 10 of 11.  Two of those wins were in OT and 6 came by 3 points or less.  Much of performance in close games is based on variance and there’s a strong probability that Houston’s record in these contests will ‘regress to the mean’ this season.  Ditto their +13 turnover margin.  There’s also the fact that while Bill O’Brien has much going for him as a head coach the ability to manage the game and/or the clock isn’t among them.

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