NFL: SHOULD COLTS BE SOUTH FAVORITE?
Sportsbook.com oddsmakers list the Indianapolis Colts as the +140 favorite to win the AFC South this season but are they the best value for bettors?
The Colts had won five consecutive AFC South titles before making way for a surprising Tennessee Titans team last year.
Who will take the division in 2009? You can bet on your choice right now as Sportsbook.com has a full list of Futures Odds for the upcoming NFL Season. Bet on Division and Conference winners, the Super Bowl Champion and every Week 1 game.
Here’s a quick look at the AFC South:
Indianapolis Colts (+140)
Indianapolis, 12-4 en route to a second place finish in the division last year, may still have quarterback Peyton Manning behind center but the team has undergone a lot of changes this offseason.
Head coach Tony Dungy and offensive line coach Howard Mudd have already stepped aside and word is circulating that offensive coordinator Tom Moore is strongly considering retirement.
On the field, aging veteran Marvin Harrison is no longer under contract. Harrison may not be the player he was five years ago but he was still able to contribute on an offense that, while still dangerous, wasn’t as lethal last season as in previous years.
The Colts could also have lost confidence in running back Joseph Addai. Entering his fourth season, Addai had just 544 rushing yards in an injury-riddled 2008 campaign and with the Colts using their first-round draft pick to select UConn running back Donald Brown in the draft, Addai has a lot to prove.
Tennessee Titans (+250)
The defending division champion Tennessee Titans are second on oddsmakers lists. Tennesee lost defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth from its very tough defense but proved last year they can be effective without the big man.
And while there wasn’t a lot of free agency movement in the offseason, Tennessee did sign free agent wide receiver Nate Washington and drafted receiver Kenny Britt out of Rutgers with its first-round pick.
With any improvement at the receiver position, Tennessee should be a good bet to take the division again as the defense is stout and the running attack of LenDale White and Chris Johnson can take over a game.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+300)
The Jacksonville Jaguars appear to be the worst value in the division. After a great 2007 season, Jacksonville went just 5-11 last year.
The Jaguars added wide receiver Torry Holt to an offense that needed some help outside of the run game. However, questions remain as to what version of quarterback David Garrard shows up for 2009.
The 2007 version of Garrard threw 18 touchdowns to just three interceptions while the 2008 version threw for more yards but just 15 touchdowns to 13 interceptions.
Defensively, the Jaguars defense had a much different look last year than the dominating one of seasons past. With key veterans departing, the once formidable defense gave up 330.9 yard and 22.9 points per game in 2008. Will it improve this year?
Houston Texans (+350)
Lastly, the Houston Texans are listed at the bottom once again, a generous value for a team on the upswing.
After sitting in the basement of the division since joining the league, Houston has had back-to-back 8-8 seasons and appears poised to make it over the hump this season.
The Texans had the third best offense in the league last year as they racked up 382.1 yards per game. Receiver Andre Johnson quietly continues to put up some of the best numbers in the game, catching for 1,575 yards a year ago.
If quarterback Matt Schaub can remain healthy for the entire season and the defense can improve on the 336.6 yards per game it gave up last season, the Texans could surprise.
One reply on “2009 NFL Odds: AFC South Futures”
I like the Colts in the AFC South as well, but it is not going to be easy. Jacksonville will be back and Houston is due for a break out year. This division is shaping up as being one of the most competitive in the league.