2013 NFL Regular Season Win Totals: AFC South
Training camp is already underway, the first preseason game is a week from tonight. You still have a lot of time to get in on regular season odds, so I’ll try to rip through each division as efficiently as possible.
Now, the AFC South. Very much the Texans’ division to lose, not to say there isn’t value in some of the other teams. All odds will be taken from 5dimes.eu
Houston Texans // 2012 Record: 12-4, 1st AFC South
Key Additions: Ed Reed
Key Departures: James Casey, Connor Barwin, Glover Quin
2013 Win Total: 10 ½ (Over +120, Under -140)
It doesn’t seem like this team can be as dominant as they were last year. Andre Johnson is a year older, Arian Foster touched the ball a silly 391 times in 2012, and as of now this offense is still based around the run. The team needs receivers to step up, especially first-round pick DeAndre Hopkins, and a solid year out of Owen Daniels wouldn’t hurt either. That said, the schedule is not that difficult. We’ll get into how lucky the Colts were last year and the general poor play within the division, but getting to play the AFC West and NFC West generally means at least 5 wins if not more given that Houston is at home for Seattle and Denver.
The over needs 11 wins to cover, and it’s not unreasonable to think that could come from San Diego, Tennessee (twice), St. Louis, Kansas City, Indianapolis (home), Arizona, Oakland, Jacksonville (twice), and Baltimore. I think Houston’s major pieces stay healthy and they win at least 11. The over being +120 is good value for a team like this. It may just take all 17 games to get there.
Indianapolis Colts // 2012 Record: 11-5, 2nd AFC South
Key Additions: Darrius Heyward-Bey, Ahmad Bradshaw, Erik Walden, Cory Redding
Key Departures: Austin Collie, Donnie Avery, Dwight Freeney
2013 Win Total: 8 ½ (Over -105, Under -115)
Another team with an aging receiver surrounded by a bunch of young guys. Let’s get this out of the way right now. The Colts will not win 11 games this year. The way their 2012 season played out was nothing short of a miracle. Their average margin of victory was 6 points, with only 2 victories by more than a touchdown. On the other hand, they did not lose many key pieces, and gained a good amount of young talent at areas they were weak in last year (RB, WR, DE/OLB). I think Andrew Luck makes a big jump in his sophomore season, and now that they have a proven running back, they don’t have to rely on Luck throwing the ball 50+ times. They also should be able to keep teams from scoring early.
If the line was 8 it would be a slam dunk for the over, but I still like them to win 9 games. The second half of the schedule has two games against the Texans, whom the Colts played hard last year, and the Bengals on the road, and other than that, no other game is against a team with a winning record (Tennessee twice, St. Louis, Arizona, Kansas City, Jacksonville.) As long as this team doesn’t fall on their face out of the gate against teams like Oakland and Miami, I like the over at -105.
EDITOR’S NOTE: since this article was published, the previous sentence ended “I like the over at +120” when in fact the -105 total from the top of the section was the correct number. This has been edited.
Jacksonville Jaguars // 2012 Record: 2-14, 4th AFC South
Key Additions: Marcus Trufant
Key Departures: basically the whole team.
2013 Win Total: 5 (Over -120, Under EVEN)
Short of their offensive stars like Maurice Jones-Drew and Justin Blackmon, most of the Jaguars’ starters have left the team. Given their 2-14 record last year that may not be a bad thing, but you would be hard pressed to name any marquee names on the team. Their list of new additions reads like a who’s-who of other team’s practice squads/roster busts. Mohammed Massaquoi (from Cleveland), Jeremy Ebert (from New England), Jordan Shipley (from Cincinnati) on offense, and guys like Deaderick and Love from New England on the D-line, not really many powerful additions other than Marcus Trufant. I don’t think that and the first overall pick of Luke Joeckel is nearly enough, this team will be rebuilding for a while longer.
Take the under at even money. There are winnable games on the schedule (Kansas City, at Oakland, at St. Louis, Arizona, at Cleveland, Buffalo), but really? Was 2-14 really a misrepresentation of the 2012 Jaguars team? Were they 4 games better than that last year? Did they do anything to suggest that they will be better this year? If they win 6 games, so be it. I wouldn’t put very much on this at all, but this has to be the worst team in the league on paper, and I don’t think it’s very close.
Tennessee Titans // 2012 Record: 6-10, 3rd AFC South
Key Additions: Delanie Walker, Bernard Pollard, Shonn Greene, … Ryan… Fitzpatrick?
Key Departures: Jared Cook, Steve Hutchinson
2013 Win Total: 6 ½ (Over +110, Under -130)
Tennessee used their first pick on a guard, which tells you all you need to know about this team. Granted Chance Warmack is a great player, and I like Justin Hunter in the early 2nd round, but this team is headed for another 5-11, 6-10 type year. The receiving corps is incredibly talented but very young. They also have stronger competition at QB, RB and TE assuming all are healthy. There’s just nothing exciting about this team. They have a tough road schedule this year (Pittsburgh, Houston, Seattle, St. Louis, Oakland, Indianapolis, Denver, Jacksonville) with Oakland/Indy/Denver being all in a row. They’re not going to blow many teams out. Could they win 7? Maybe. I’m not putting any real appreciable amount on a wager like this, but the under seems like the safer bet.