NFL Betting: What to Make of a Messy AFC South Division

Michael Savio pic
By:
Michael Savio
12/15/2023
NFL

Highlights

  • The Jags have now lost two straight games and three of their last five
  • The Colts currently own the tiebreaker over the Texans
  • The Texans lost five starters during their Week 14 loss to the Jets

One of the most popular bets at NFL betting sites this summer was for the Jacksonville Jaguars win the AFC South. Many bettors believed that the Titans were aging, the Texans were still too young, and Colts were rebuilding with a rookie quarterback. However, that has not been the case through the first 14 weeks. 

Below, we will break down where this division race stands, the odds for each team to win, and insights to help you bet confidently on who will be the 2023 AFC South champion.

AFC South Standings & Odds  

Below are the current standings in the AFC South along with the odds from FanDuel Sportsbook for each team to win the division title.

TEAM 

RECORD 

ODDS TO WIN AFC South 

Jacksonville Jaguars 

8-5 

-550 

Indianapolis Colts 

7-6 

+750 

Houston Texans 

7-6 

+750 

Tennessee Titans 

5-8 

+16000 

Below, we will break down the top three favorites to provide insights into where each currently stands. While the Titans are technically eliminated, they will likely be this weekend.

Jacksonville Jaguars 

The Jags entered the season as the favorite to win the division after a great 2022 season, but they have shown some cracks. After starting the season 6-2, they have lost three of their previous five games. Two of those came against teams without their starting quarterbacks (Bengals and Browns), while the other was a blowout at the hands of the Niners.

The good news for Jags fans is that they have taken care of business against division opponents. They got a key road win against the Texans in Week 12 and beat the Colts in both of their meetings. Jacksonville also has an easy remaining schedule after their meeting with the Ravens this week, facing the Bucs, Panthers, and Titans over the season’s final three weeks.

The biggest concern for the Jags is their defense. They allowed Jake Browning and the Bengals to score 34 points two weeks ago, following it up by allowing Joe Flacco and the Browns to score 31. The team lost both games despite their offense playing well, showing how bad their defensive issues are becoming.

Indianapolis Colts 

The Colts had a chance to tie the Jags atop the division last week but were blown out by the Bengals. While Gardner Minshew and the Colts have been a great story, their record has been bolstered thanks to games against the Panthers, Pats, Bucs, and Titans. Indy has been beaten up against better teams, which is why we are wary to bet on them to win the AFC South.

This team has a lot of holes, but one of the biggest is at running back. Jonathan Taylor is out, and Zach Moss has not looked like the rusher he was to begin the season. Minshew is a solid game manager, but he needs an effective run game to have success. If that doesn’t happen, defenses will have little issue shutting this Colts’ offense down.

The Colts will face the Steelers, Falcons, Raiders, and Texans to finish the season.

Houston Texans 

This is a team that seems to be set to become an AFC power over the next few seasons. However, they suffered a brutal loss to the lowly Jets last weekend which dealt a major blow to their division and playoff hopes. On top of the loss, quarterback CJ Stroud and four other starters exited with injuries that could cause them to miss time.

While there is a ton of talent on this team, they are incredibly young on both sides of the ball. That youth has cost them some key games this season, including last week. Houston has had a few chances to tie or surpass the Jags this season, but lost each of those games, including the one last week. That is a symptom of the young roster, and it makes them a difficult team to predict.

The Texans currently sit just outside the AFC playoff picture, but they have a great chance to change that over the final few weeks. They will face the Titans, Browns, and Titans again before a crucial matchup with the Colts. Indy has the tiebreaker over Houston, making meaning a Week 18 win could decide which team moves on to the postseason and which goes home.

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid. As an adult, Michael started picking games for a small sports betting site and has built it into a career. His experience allows him to provide tips and information to help other bettors improve their game. Michael cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams, the Arizona State Sun Devils (his alma mater), and the Ottawa Senators. He specializes in baseball betting but has extensive experience in football, basketball, and hockey. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children or hiking and enjoying the outdoors.