2008 AFC South Futures Betting May 23rd, 2008
By: NFL Handicapping Staff
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NFL Furious Football Preview – AFC South Futures
The AFC South has become one of the premier divisions in football. Before, when it boasted the Colts, who won the Superbowl in 2006, the AFC South had three other teams which merely acted as filler. Now, only the Texans find themselves without realistic Superbowl aspirations.
The Colts are the favorites, but everyone is loving the Jaguars heading in to the 2008 NFL betting season. But what about those surly Titans, who screwed up in the draft by not taking a premier receiver? Let’s take a look at what has become the toughest division in the AFC (yes – tougher than the AFC North).
Houston Texans (+1500 to win AFC South)
The Texans were an impossible team to grade last year until Andrew Johnson came back in to the fold. Even then, quarterback Matt Schaub found out first hand what it’s like to be a Texans quarterback since he spent half his time picking turf out of his facemask.
Schaub was sacked 16 times, while passing for 2,241 yards on 289 attempts. Yet, without a viable backup to the injury riddled Johnson, the Texans are a tough bet even at profitable odds.
Yet, the reason you’ll love them during the season is because of their defense was a lot better than their numbers suggested. They allowed 344.2 yards against per game and 24+ points per game. But they kept games close with an explosive offense. Whether they can keep up with the other three playoff-worthy teams in the division remains to be seen. For now, stay clear.
Indianapolis Colts (-200 to win AFC South)
Injuries killed the Colts playoff chances, but they’re still the best team in this division. Peyton, Marvin, Wayne and Addai notwithstanding, we’re looking at a stalwart defense that allowed only 279.7 yards against per game.
Securing Bob Sanders was the right move, but it’s hard to look beyond the division title that the Colts are sure to win.
Overall, I’m genuinely concerned about the health of Marvin Harrison. The Colts managed 252.1 yards per game through the air with Dallas Clark and Reggie Wayne going nuts.
This team is balanced, and while they didn’t make a lot of sexy off-season moves, there was nothing seriously wrong with the Colts to begin with. Barring any serious injury to Bob Sanders, the Colts should repeat as AFC South Champions once again.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+200 to win AFC South)
If there’s any team in the league that threatens the well being of the Colts in the AFC South, it’s the Jaguars. Acquiring Jerry Porter was incredibly smart…and sneaky. It’s a move that will ensure David Gerrard’s success now that he’s banked the biggest contract in league history. The Jags had the seventh best offense in the league with 357.4 yards gained, mostly on the ground, while putting up 25.7 points per game.
Still, I’m not going to get over the Jaguars giving Baltimore three draft picks just to get Derrick Harvey. I just won’t. The Jags have been patient throughout the years. It will be a stiff battle between the Colts and your money will be well spent investing in the long-term success of the Jaguars.
Tennessee Titans (+800 to win AFC South)
I said it in the draft, and I’ll say it again. Why take a running-back when you have two viable runners on the roster, and lose out on the premier wide-outs available? I just don’t get it. The +800 odds they are getting to win the AFC South are reasonable because you really can’t grade this team. They won/lost 5 games last season by a margin of 5-points. That just don’t give me that warm, fuzzy feeling that the betting investors seem to get when they ogle Vince Young and the Titans.
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