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Andrew Luck afterthoughts: Titans to take charge in AFC South

Could the Tennessee Titans come out on top after Andrew Luck retired from football? The betting market has had a reshuffle and we have a look at the updated picture for the AFC South.

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Luck’s Out

The Indianapolis Colts went from +1600 to +5000 for the Super Bowl after Andrew Luck retired. It was no overreaction.

Last time the Colts played a season without Luck (2017) they dipped to 4-12. They’re a better team now but they have lost their leader – and his game-winning ability.

When something this seismic happens to established markets there is often a settling period where bettors and bookies get their heads round the situation.

The markets have adjusted but they may not have settled and I’m ready to call value on the Tennessee Titans. Let’s have a closer look at the betting on the new-look AFC South…

Houston Texans

Sportsbooks have bumped the Colts and made the Houston Texans (+280) favorite for the AFC South. The Texans won the division last year (11-5) but they face a much tougher schedule this time.

The Texans played ten out-of-division games in 2018. Of those ten opponents just three had a winning record. The Colts had a similar strength of schedule (3/10) while the Titans and Jaguars faced five out-of-division teams with a winning record.

Looking ahead the schedule strength is set to flip and the Texans potentially have the toughest schedule in the AFC South. Their opponents will include the Patriots, Chiefs, Saints, Chargers and Ravens.

To make matters worse the Texans lost their leading rusher Lamar Miller last week after he picked up a season-ending ACL injury. Miller gained the second-most yards for the Texans in 2018 after DeAndre Hopkins.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars (+275) are second in the AFC South betting, despite finishing bottom with a 5-11 record last year.

The positives are that Nick Foles was brought in at QB and he looked effective on his debut, along with rookie pass-rusher Josh Allen. The offensive line also looks healthier than in 2018 and Leonard Fournette should play a full season.

There is plenty to like there but the offense is effectively starting from scratch with a new quarterback and a new offensive coordinator in John DeFilippo.

Sean McVay pulled off a one-season offensive turnaround with the LA Rams, so it can be done. But the Jaguars were very poor on offense last year and it remains to be seen if the changes will be enough to push them from bottom to top in just one season.

Tennessee Titans

Up until last week I would not have bet the Titans but the tremors elsewhere have cast a light on the steady ship they’re sailing down in Nashville.

Mike Vrabel took charge last year, leading them to a 9-7 record. Considering the toughness of schedule and the fact the team have already worked a year under the Vrabel system there is reason to expect them to go 10-6.

Given the reasons above it would be reasonable also to expect the Texans and Colts to regress this year.

There are plenty of question marks in the AFC South at present and it’s clearly an open division but the Titans appear to have the least issues and a solid winning record to build from.

Betting the Titans

The futures odds for the Titans this season are set out below:

  • Under/over 8 regular season wins -120 (for over)
  • To make the playoffs +270
  • AFC South +375
  • AFC Champions +2800
  • Super Bowl +5000
  • A.J. Brown OROY +5000

Outside the Southern division the AFC is still tough, with the Patriots and Chiefs standing in the way of any team looking for major honors.

The recommendation is for the Titans to come out best in the scrap for the AFC South at +375.

It’s also worth having a bit on wide receiver A. J. Brown to be Offensive Rookie of the Year at +5000. He’s a bit of a freak and if he gets rolling the Titans could get further than even I’m expecting.

Odds shown are for guidance purposes. They are the the general odds from a range of sources at the time of writing. Odds will vary between sportsbooks and over time. PFBPro offers no guarantee these odds will be available at your sportsbook.