AFC South Preview 2023: NFL Odds, Contenders, Predictions, And Expert Picks

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence

The AFC South seems to be determined in the last week of every season. Last year, the Jacksonville Jaguars defeated the Tennessee Titans in Week 18 to win their fourth division title in franchise history. Will the Jaguars repeat? Below, we preview the AFC South and explore the odds for each team to win the division. Plus, we share our predictions and expert picks for the 2023 season in the AFC South.

AFC South 2023: Team Odds, Preview, And Contenders

Houston Texans

Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud
Jul 30, 2023; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) during training camp practice at the Houston Methodist Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Texans used to be the best team in the AFC South, winning four of five division titles from 2015-2019.

However, the Texans have been one of the worst teams in the NFL over the past three seasons, with a combined record of 11-38.

After Lovie Smith ruined the Texans’ chances of securing the No. 1 overall pick, Houston fired the veteran coach and brought in San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, who played linebacker in Houston from 2006-2011.

The Texans made significant noise in the 2023 NFL Draft, selecting Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud at No. 2 and trading back up to No. 3 to take Alabama defensive end Will Anderson Jr.

This organization is in the midst of a rebuild. With a rookie coach and rookie quarterback, expect the Texans to be one of the worst teams in the league.

Houston Texans Odds Play
Over 6.5 wins +105 BetOnline logo
Under 6.5 wins -135 BetOnline logo

Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor
Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) warms up before the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

What is going on in Indianapolis?

The team’s star running back, Jonathan Taylor, is in a public feud with Colts owner Jim Irsay over a contract dispute. Having your best player upset with the owner is not a recipe for success.

Like Houston, the Colts are pairing a rookie head coach with a rookie quarterback. Former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen is the new head coach, and Flordia quarterback Anthony Richardson will start Week 1.

Richardson may be good, but with only 13 starts to his name, the likelihood of him thriving in his first few starts is low.

Indianapolis Colts Odds Play
Over 6.5 wins -115 BetOnline logo
Under 6.5 wins -115 BetOnline logo

Contender – Jacksonville Jaguars

WATCH: Go Inside The Jacksonville Jaguars' New $120 Million Training Facility

After last season’s success, forget everything that happened during the 2021 season under Urban Meyer.

Doug Pederson completely changed the trajectory of Jacksonville in year one and more importantly, rejuvenated former No. 1 pick Trevor Lawrence.

After starting 3-7, the Jaguars won six of seven games to close the season and win the AFC South. The Jaguars then overcame a 27-0 deficit to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers 31-30 in the Wild Card Round.

The Jaguars offense should be humming, especially with the addition of wide receiver Calvin Ridley. The defense is not great, but if it can be average (28th in passing yards allowed and 24th in points allowed per game in 2022), Jacksonville has a great chance to repeat as division champs.

Jacksonville Jaguars Odds Play
Over 9.5 wins -145 BetOnline logo
Under 9.5 wins +115 BetOnline logo

Contender – Tennessee Titans

Oct 13, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) throws Buffalo Bills cornerback Josh Norman (29) to the side from a stiff arm during the first half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Do not sleep on Mike Vrabel and the Tennessee Titans.

The offensive line was a disaster last year, and despite having three new starters, PFF ranks them as the worst unit heading into 2023. That’s not ideal for a team with Derrick Henry.

The Titans did sign DeAndre Hopkins, who they need to produce, especially if Treylon Burks has to miss time with an LCL sprain.

That being said, Vrabel is one of the best coaches for doing the most with the least. The Titans have made the playoffs in three of Vrabel’s five seasons, with winning season in four. Don’t sleep on Tennessee.

Tennessee Titans Odds Play
Over 7.5 wins -125 BetOnline logo
Under 7.5 wins -105 BetOnline logo

AFC South 2023: Expert Picks and Predictions

Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson
Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson talks to media during a pre-draft luncheon on Thursday, April 20, 2023.
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As expected, the Jaguars (-175) are the favorites to repeat as AFC South champions. However, the Titans (+325) could play spoiler because of their track record under Vrabel.

View the odds below via BetOnline.

To Win AFC South Odds Play
Jacksonville Jaguars -175 BetOnline logo
Tennessee Titans +325 BetOnline logo
Indianapolis Colts +700 BetOnline logo
Houston Texans +800 BetOnline logo

Tennessee Titans to Win AFC South (+325)

The Jaguars are better than the Titans. How much better? Lawrence and the Jags’ offense is superior to Ryan Tannehill and whoever lines up at receiver. However, the Jaguars do not have a good defense, while the Titans have a top-10 unit on the defensive line. Plus, Vrabel is one of the best coaches in the league. For a team that constantly overachieves, would it be surprising if the Week 18 game between the Titans and Jaguars is another win-and-in? The Jaguars should win the division, but the Titans are the value play.

Houston Texans Under 6.5 Wins (-135)

The Houston Texans won three games in 2022. With a rookie head coach and a rookie quarterback, why would they win four more games in 2023? Even with Laremy Tunsil at left tackle, the Texans’ offensive line should be ranked toward the bottom. The defense should be improved, but it’s still a few years away from competing at a playoff level. Expect the under to hit.

NFL Betting Guides 2023

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