While the Houston Texans won their second straight AFC South division title and fourth in five years, the division title has been closely contested in each of the last three seasons, with at least two teams from the AFC South reaching the playoffs during the span. Now, following a offseason full of free agent transactions and the recently completed NFL draft, the race for first place in the division looks like another knock-down, drag-out fight to the finish just waiting to happen.
Can Houston repeat or will a Tennessee Titans team that reached the AFC title tilt last season come out on top? Will both title hopefuls be upset by the revamped Indianapolis Colts or could rebuilding (again) Jacksonville throw a wrench into everyone’s plans of claiming the division crown? With the start of the 2020 NFL regular season getting closer by the day, let’s find out which teams are offering the best value and odds to win NFL AFC South division.
NFL AFC South Divisional Odds After Draft
- Odds To Win AFC South: +160
The Indianapolis Colts are looking to get back in the playoffs in 2020 after going an underwhelming 7-9 last season as veteran Jacoby Brissett replaced former franchise star Andrew Luck following his stunning retirement. Now, as they get set for the upcoming 2020 campaign, Indianapolis is handing the keys to their franchise to veteran quarterback Philip Rivers, after they added the longtime Chargers quarterback to a one-year $25 million deal. More importantly, the Colts gave Rivers two new weapons to get the ball to in USC wide receiver Michael Pittman, the 34th overall pick and former Wisconsin record-breaking running back Jonathan Taylor, the 41st overall pick in the draft. After finishing 16t in scoring and 18t in points allowed last season, I think it’s quite possible that head coach Frank Reich could coax his team back into the playoffs in 2020.
- Odds To Win AFC South: +175
The Tennessee Titans are coming off a seriously impressive 2019 campaign as they reached the AFC Championship game after getting into the playoffs as a wild card. Tennessee took off after naming veteran Ryan Tannehill their starter and getting another huge season from bruising running back Derrick Henry. The Titans added veteran edge rusher Vic Beasley in free agency to help improve their 24th ranked pass defense from a year ago. The Titans also selected two players that could start right away in Georgia tackle Isaiah Wilson with the 29th overall pick and LSU cornerback Kristian Fulton with the 61st overall pick, although I expected Tennessee to do more to upgrade their modest wide receiver position.
- Odds To Win AFC South: +270
The Houston Texans went 10-6 last season to claim their second straight AFC South division title and fourth in the last five seasons. The bad news is that Houston’s offseason has been head-scratching at best – and damaging at worst. Head coach and now, GM, Bill O’Brien was the architect behind the biggest blunder this offseason as he traded away superstar wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for aging Cardinals running back David Johnson. Houston drafted TCU defensive tackle Ross Blacklock in the second round, Florida linebacker Jonathan Greenard in the third round and Penn State cornerback John Reid in the fourth round after finishing 28th in total defense last season. Still, I’m definitely expecting Houston to take a step backwards in 2020, seeing as how they didn’t give superstar quarterback Deshaun Watson the help he so clearly needs on offense.
- Odds To Win AFC South: +1000
The Jacksonville Jaguars are coming off a pitiful 6-10 campaign in 2019, but they were one of the biggest winners in the recently completed NFL draft. The Jags needs help on both sides of the ball after finishing 26th in scoring (18.8 ppg) and 21st in points allowed (24.8 ppg). While Jacksonville had a modest free agency, they also had one of the best drafts of any team in the league by selecting Florida cornerback C.J. Henderson with the ninth overall pick and LSU linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson with the 20th overall pick. Both players will almost certainly start right away.
While I love Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson, I’ve got the Texans taking a step backwards in 2020 because of the foolish moves that Bill O’Brien made this offseason. I also believe Philip Rivers could very well get Indianapolis back into playoff contention, although I’m going with Tennessee to build on their fine 2019 season tin win the AFC South in 2020 while Jacksonville ends up in the AFC South cellar again.
Division Winner: Tennessee Titans