The AFC South has seen its share of divisional battles since 2002, but it’s been the Houston Texans that have reigned at the top in four of the last five seasons.
However, the winds of change have swept through this division in the offseason and there could definitely be a new team holding the coveted AFC South crown by the end of the 2020 regular season.
Currently, NFL Betting sites have listed the Indianapolis Colts as the odds on favorite to win the AFC South. Let’s take a deeper look into this division and see which team is truly deserving of a wager.
The following betting odds are courtesy of BetOnline:
Indianapolis Colts (+110)
Tennessee Titans (+200)
Houston Texans (+325)
Jacksonville Jaguars (+1600)
Indianapolis Colts (+110)
Over 9 wins (-145)
Under 9 wins (+115)
In my opinion, the Indianapolis Colts won the offseason with numerous buzzworthy moves that have positioned this team to win the AFC South title for the first time since 2014.
The two biggest additions to the Colts roster were trading for DT DeForest Buckner and signing QB Philip Rivers via free agency. Both players will take their respective units to the next level.
Yet, the Colts weren’t done there. They added DT Sheldon Day, DB Xavier Rhodes, and TE Trey Burton who are all expected to be starters.
Additionally, the Colts aced their 2020 NFL Draft despite not having a 1st round pick as they sent that to the 49ers for Buckner. Indy selected a big body receiver in Michael Pittman Jr. from USC and one of the best running backs in college the last few years – Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor.
These two additions will help make the Colts offense even more potent. With Rivers leading the charge, Indy looks poised to take the AFC South crown.
Colts 2020 Schedule
Indy opens up with six games before the Bye Week and I see this team going 4-2 or 5-1 heading into their off week. They play the Jaguars, Vikings, Jets, Bears, Browns and Bengals. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Indy started 6-0.
Following the Bye Week, the Colts have a five game stretch that’s the toughest portion of their 2020 season. They play the Lions, Ravens, Titans twice, and the Packers. I can see Indy going 2-3 during November.
Whatever damage that’s done during that stretch, could be repaired over the final five games of the season as the Colts play the Texans twice, Raiders, Steelers and Jaguars. That’s at least 3-2 to close out the season.
I believe Indy will go Over 9 wins and finish at least 10-6. Indy won the AFC South seven times from 2003 to 2010 and then in 2013-14. Their nine titles are the most since the division was created in 2002. I believe they have a great shot at getting their 10th AFC South crown this season.
Tennessee Titans (+200)
Over 8.5 wins (-135)
Under 8.5 wins (+105)
The one team that can give the Colts the most difficulty in 2020 is the Tennessee Titans. This team made the Playoffs last year and upset both the Patriots and the Ravens in stunning fashion. They fell short in the AFC Championship game against the eventual Super Bowl winner – the Kansas City Chiefs.
Unfortunately, for Titans fans, this team suffered more losses in the offseason than gains and I believe that could hurt them in 2020. They have no real backup QB behind Tannehill now that Mariota is with the Raiders. Additionally, they lost TE Delanie Walker and WR Tajae Sharpe with no replacements.
Furthermore, the Titans 2020 draft class isn’t anything to brag about. Other than 2nd round pick CB Kristian Fulton from LSU, none of these selections scream instant impact.
Defensively, this team still has question marks along the line and I just don’t see any improvement in pass rushing. Former Falcons pass rusher Vic Beasley isn’t the solution. However, if the Titans sign free agent DE Jadeveon Clowney then we can stop worrying about this area of concern.
Titans 2020 Schedule
Tennessee will play six games before entering their Bye Week. They face the Broncos, Jaguars, Vikings, Steelers, Bills and Texans. I see a 2-4 or 3-3 record heading into the Bye.
Following the Bye, the Titans face the Bengals, Bears, Colts twice and Ravens. This is a tough stretch that could see Tennessee go 2-3.
Closing out the season, Tennessee takes on the Browns, Jaguars, Lions, Packers and Texans. If Tennessee is going to make a run at the Playoffs, they will need to go at least 3-2 down the stretch and possibly go 4-2 in the division.
This team is on the fence with being a .500 team or a winning team. The O/U of 8.5 wins is a tough call considering the drop-off in talent from last year. The Titans won the division in 2002 and 2008, but haven’t claimed the title since then. And, I don’t see Tennessee doing it this year either.
At best, this team goes 9-7. More than likely, Tennessee ends up 8-8. Either way, I would avoid the O/U for the Titans and don’t even consider them for the AFC South title.
Houston Texans (+325)
Over 7.5 wins (-120)
Under 7.5 wins (-110)
As mentioned, Houston Texans have been the cream of the crop for the last five seasons. They’ve won the AFC South in four of those years including the last two seasons in a row. They also have two divisional crowns in 2011 and 2012, giving them six total since the AFC South was created in 2002.
With that said, I don’t see how this team will contend for the divisional crown in 2020 as they’ve suffered more significant losses than any other team in the division.
For starters, they made the stupidest trade anyone has seen in years having sent WR DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals for RB David Johnson. Hopkins is one of the best receivers in the NFL and his departure cripples the Houston offense.
David Johnson and Duke Johnson will give the running game a nice 1-2 punch, but that’s not enough to make up for a dreadful decision to get rid of Hopkins. Will Fuller, Kenny Stills and Brandin Cooks are all #2 receivers at best and are all vertical threats. They all seem to be the same type of receiver.
At least the o-line looks solid because QB Watson is not going to have any receivers winning one on one battles.
What was a strength in the past could end up as a liability as the defensive line lost several players including Pro Bowl DT D.J. Reader who left for the Bengals in free agency. With a questionable d-line, I believe this average secondary will have troubles in 2020 as well.
I’m not impressed at all with the Houston Texans 2020 draft class either. Outside of Blacklock in the 1st round, the rest of the picks are forgettable for now.
Texans 2020 Schedule
Houston opens the season going 0-4 as they lose to the Chiefs, Ravens, Steelers and Vikings. They will then go 1-2 by beating the Jaguars, but losing to the Titans and Packers. At best, they’re 2-5 heading into the Bye Week.
Houston has a chance to get some wins in the second half of the season with games against the Jaguars, Browns, Bears, Lions and Bengals. But they also play the Colts twice, Patriots, and Titans. At best, Houston goes 5-4.
The Texans will be lucky to go 8-8 this year with a roster that doesn’t compare to the Colts and a lack of toughness that doesn’t compare to the Titans.
Because of Watson, I say the team barely goes Over 7.5 wins on the year. But, I see a lot of drama in Houston this season and head coach Bill O’Brien getting fired.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+1600)
Over 4.5 wins (-105)
Under 4.5 wins (-125)
Is there any team that tanked more than the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason? Where the Colts won the offseason, the Jaguars clearly lost it. And this is a team that has only won the division once since 2002, which came three years ago in 2017 when they surprised the NFL led by a fantastic defense.
Some of the notable departures from the team that was a winning franchise a few years ago are DL Calais Campbell, CB A.J. Bouye, DT, Marcell Dareus, QB Nick Foles and WR Marqise Lee.
The Jags added DE Cassius Marsh, CB Rashaan Melvin, RB Chris Thompson, and TE Tyler Eifert. None of these additions are going to make this team competitive week in and week out.
Where I will give Jacksonville some credit is in their 2020 draft class. Having two first round picks this year really helped as the team added some talent with CB CJ Henderson from Florida and K’Lavon Chaisson DE from LSU. I also like WR Laviska Shenault from Colorado in the 2nd round.
Let’s make no mistake about it, the Jaguars are looking to the 2021 NFL Draft where they can select one of the top QBs in Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence or Ohio State’s Justin Fields.
Jaguars 2020 Schedule
In their first six games, I see the Jags going 1-5 heading into the Bye Week. They might be able to beat the Bengals or the Lions, but they will lose to the Colts, Titans, Dolphins and Texans.
Following the Bye, they have the Chargers, Texans, Pacers, Steelers, Browns, Vikings, Ravens and Bears. That’s another 1-7 or 2-6 at best.
Jacksonville might be able to steal a win over the Colts in the final week of the season if Indy has clinched the AFC South title and decides to rest their starters. Yet, I don’t see this team being better than 4-12 this year. In fact, 3-13 looks more likely.
I like the Under for the Jaguars as I don’t see them winning 5 games. This is arguably the worst team in the NFL. They make Washington and the Bengals look like Playoff teams.
Who Wins the AFC South in 2020?
If the Colts didn’t make any significant moves in the offseason, they would practically win this division just by default due to the other three teams suffering more losses than gains.
Yet, Indy did make some moves and when you put their additions into the context of what the rest of the division has done this offseason, the Colts are clearly going to run away with the AFC South.
Indy was already a talented team last season, but they definitely have a Playoff caliber team this year. In fact, I would put them as one of the Top 4 teams in the AFC behind the Chiefs and Ravens, while being on par with Buffalo.
Take the Colts to win the AFC South for the 10th time and take full advantage of the +110 odds. This line is only going to drop with each passing week.
Who Wins the AFC South in 2020? –Indianapolis Colts (+110)
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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