NFL Division Betting: The Titans Are a Great Value to Win the AFC South
It somehow feels like the 2020 NFL Draft was yesterday and four years ago at the same time.
With the draft that saw a record amount of money bet behind us, it's time to look forward to the upcoming season. Luckily, Super Bowl odds has well north of 150 props already available for you to choose from.
With this series, I'm going to go division by division and come up with my favorite picks to take home the divisional crown -- as always, the goal is to find some value.
Here's a look at the team I'd bet on to win the AFC South.
AFC South Overview
The AFC South features three teams with at least 25 percent implied odds of winning the division -- the Indianapolis Colts (+135), Tennessee Titans (+165), and Houston Texans (+300). A country mile away are the Jacksonville Jaguars, at +2000.
Indianapolis added Philip Rivers in free agency, but he's not the only reason they're favored. Just have a looksee.
|Team||Overall SoS||Games vs. ≥ .500||Avg. Opponent Est. NERD|
Per Brandon Gdula's schedule rankings -- where he utilizes numberFire's nERD metric in conjunction with FanDuel Sportsbook's win totals -- the Colts not only have the easiest schedule in the division, but also in the entire league. Their Average Opponent Estimated nERD is 0.50 points lower than the next closest team. Indy faces just one team -- the Baltimore Ravens -- with a current over/under greater than nine. That alone makes them worthy of consideration.
The Colts aren't the only team in the division with an easy schedule. According to Gdula, the Titans have the fourth-easiest schedule in the NFL. Like Indianapolis, Baltimore is the only team with a total above nine that Tennessee will face. The Titans won nine games in 2019, but they were just one of five teams to be inside the top-12 in both Offensive and Defensive Net Expected Points (NEP) -- the other four averaged 12.3 wins, and that includes the two teams that appeared in the Super Bowl. Gdula pegged Tennessee with the seventh-hardest schedule in 2019, so they could be in for positive regression this year.
Bill O'Brien's Texans overcame Gdula's second-most-difficult schedule last year to win the division, but he has almost single-handedly destroyed their odds of doing so again this season. Here's an illustration of O'Brien's offseason maneuverings.
Unlike Kevin, O'Brien actually screwed the pooch intentionally. Here's a brain-scratcher to (try and) wrap your mind around.
Still trying to wrap my mind around this.
The Texans traded Jadeveon Clowney and DeAndre Hopkins in a span of seven months and yet don't have a single first-round pick in any of the next two drafts.
How is it possible to be that incompetent?
— Elisha Twerski (@ElishaTwerski) April 8, 2020
With the Texans facing the eighth-hardest schedule and a whopping 12 teams with totals of eight or better, the odds of them overcoming such incompetence are not great. There's also a strong possibility that they open the season 0-4, as they face the Chiefs (in Kansas City), Ravens, Steelers (in Pittsburgh), and Vikings to start the season.
The Jaguars should be considered among the leaders in the #TankForTrevor campaign. Don't waste your money.
The last time the Titans won the South was also the last time Jeff Fisher coached a team that was above .500 -- 2008.
It wouldn't surprise me if that streak ended this year -- and you can get that at a solid +165 value.
The stars are alingning for the Colts to make a run, but there were times last year where Rivers looked truly lost, especially in clutch situations.
|Trailing < 4 mins to go||54.1||1||6||2.99|
|Trailing < 2 mins to go||40.0||1||6||-0.60|
That can be troubling, especially for a team that was involved in 11 one-possession games in 2019.
I like the odds of the Titans besting their projected win total of 8.5 (-110) and taking home the division crown.