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NFL Preview: AFC South Betting Preview

By Lior Lampert

Following last night’s annual Hall of Fame Game featuring the Jacksonville Jaguars, we will now be evaluating the Jaguars and their season outlook compared to their divisional foes of the AFC South

The Jags have had the first overall pick of the NFL Draft in consecutive seasons, which tells you just about where they stand compared to the likes of not just their division, but the entire league. Based on divisional betting market, they’re expected to finish third in their division, which could be considered a step in the right direction by their recent standards. Last year’s number one pick, QB Trevor Lawrence, did not look as NFL-ready as people expected him to be. In addition, they also added a new head coach in former Super Bowl champion Doug Pederson who should bring stability to this team and offensive innovation that Lawrence did not have last year. Even with the offseason additions, convincing anyone to bet the Jaguars to win this division would be a tough sell.

The Houston Texans are predicted to come in last place in this division by a wide margin according to the odds market. The Jaguars shortest odds of winning the division are +700, yet the Texans shortest odds are +2500. If the gap between your team and the Jaguars is that big, you are in for a long season. Luckily, the Texans just received a good amount of draft compensation from the Cleveland Browns in exchange for Deshaun Watson, which should help them accelerate their rebuild process. For the time being, this team is going nowhere fast: it would not be shocking to see the Texans go under their expected win total of 4.5. 

Now, let’s look at the reigning AFC South champs, the Tennessee Titans. Last year, they finished as the one seed in the AFC, earning themselves a bye heading into the postseason. Although, they had their all-world running back Derrick Henry returning prematurely from a serious injury, in which he didn’t look the same returning from. Also, they just lost one of the best receivers in the NFL in A.J. Brown. While I do think the Titans will be in the top two of this division, I also think that the Colts will steal the divisional crown from them. The loss of Brown will most definitely be felt in a conference loaded with offensive and defensive talent.  

If it weren’t for a catastrophic Week 18 loss to the Jaguars that cost the Colts a chance at making a postseason run, we may be speaking about this team a little differently. Being known for their strong rushing attack led by All-Pro Jonathon Taylor as well as their strong defense led by All-Pro linebacker Shaquille Leonard, they were a team that no one wanted to face if they got into the playoffs. Now, they add a former MVP in Matt Ryan to step in as their starting QB in addition to acquiring former All-Pro defensive veterans such as Yannick Ngakoue and Stephon Gilmore. The Colts are the deepest and most talented team in this division while their new veteran leadership should help provide stability that was lacking last season with Carson Wentz under center. It is easy to see why this team is favorited to finish atop AFC South, and I think that they have what it takes to make a deep postseason run if they can stay healthy.

My Pick: Colts 2022-23 AFC South Divisional Champs (-115 FanDuel)

One of betstamp’s largest brand values is transparency. Whether you are looking to tail or fade my picks, or potentially like reading the breakdowns, you can find my full documented betting record here. Best of luck with your plays.

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