2008 AFC South Props Betting August 12th, 2008
By: NFL Handicapping Staff
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The Pressure Cooker, the Favs, the Dark Horses, the AFC South
The AFC South is full of hopes and dreams, which is probably why I love it so much. Every city in this division gets to enjoy high quality football, decent returns on their NFL betting investments and more hype than you can shake a stick at. Between Matt Schaub, David Garrard, Vince Young and the commercial superhero, Peyton Manning, only one team can be king of the hill. Who’s your money on?
THE FAVORITES – Indianapolis Colts (-160 to win division)
It’s hard to mount an argument against the Colts, who finished 13-3 SU last season with a decent 9-7 ATS average. While Reggie Wayne has come in to his own, leading the league last year in receiving with 1,510 yards, Marvin Harrison is starting to show age.
Peyton Manning’s knee surgery also raises some concerns, but this team is so rock-steady that it’s hard to find reasonable fault with them. No matter what the injuries are, the Colts simply find a way.
THE PRESSURE PLAYER – Jacksonville Jaguars (+220 to win division)
The Jaguars stormed in to the playoffs with a stunning 11-5 record that saw David Garrard assume the mantle of quarterback with near-perfect play. He tossed for 18 touchdowns and only three picks. Even more impressive was that he posted those numbers with a mediocre receiving corps.
Obviously the hyper aggressive defense and astounding running game of the Jaguars put them in a situation to enter the playoffs. However, a lack of defensive depth on the edges, and the fact that the oddsmakers will have their eye on the Jags make their chances of repeating their 11-5 ATS record from the last betting season very slim. Buyer beware.
DARK HORSE – Houston Texans (+1600 to win division)
I’m listing the Texans here over the Titans for two reasons. The first reason being, that if Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson can stay healthy, they are a much more formidable team. Johnson’s ability to absolutely murder any that matches up against him is a reason that the smart betting investor would invest in the Texans this season. Despite the injuries and complete lack of a rushing attack, the Texans were still 8-8 SU and ATS. With Johnson, they were 6-3 ATS. Keep your fingers crossed for Johnson.
DON’T BOTHER – Tennessee Titans (+700)
Why does a team that doesn’t have a wide receiver draft another running-back when their incumbent quarterback is getting smoked out by bigger, faster and stronger defensive-ends? Sounds like a betting nightmare to me. The on-going troubles of Albert Haynesworth have to affect the team chemistry, as does the loss of some other key defensive players. The Titans caught the oddsmakers off guard last season before they caught up to Young’s ways, and the ATS record normalized to 8-8 ATS despite a strong 10-6 SU record with too many close wins to make me comfortable with them.
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