2017 AFC South Off Season Report Cards, Odds: Texans, Colts, Titans, Jags

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Published on:
Jun/18/2017

ESPN.com issued its off season report cards on the AFC South for 2017 while Gambling911.com has its picks based on the best futures odds.

Houston Texans – The Texans quarterback situation may be worse than in recent seasons, if that is at all possible.  They get rid of Brock Osweiller and bring on Deshaun Watson.  The return of J.J. Watt after missing much of last season might not be enough.

The Texans did little to upgrade on special teams.

Oddsmakers have them favored to win OVER 8.5 regular season games.  There is some value at 8 or fewer at EVEN odds at least early on.  Perhaps this could change as we edge closer to the start of the new season.

Indianapolis Colts – One of the bigger and better offseason changes was the Colts firing of Ryan Grigson and replacing him with Chris Ballard, who enjoyed success with both the Bears and, more recently, the Kansas City Chiefs.  He’s already taken measures to bulk up the Colts ailing defense, including with some solid draft picks.

The offensive line is still vulnerable but, with Andrew Luck expected to be healthier, this is a team that should pull away in the lackluster AFC South, winning both the division at favorable 2/1 odds and OVER 8.5 regular season games at -125.

Tennessee Titans – Bill Barnwell of ESPN.com believes that the cornerback position was where Tennessee had the most vulnerabilities.  During the off season, the Titans overhauled the position and should be improved with Logan Ryan and a top draft pick in Adoree' Jackson.

The Titans added a top wideout prospect in Corey Davis.

As long as Marcus Mariota stays healthy, hard to see this Titans team not winning OVER the projected 8.5 regular season games at -140.

Jacksonville Jaguars – Don’t count them out of the picture.

Barnwell notes the Jaguars did plenty to bolster their defense during the off season.

After paying premiums to sign middling players like Jared Odrick and Dan Skuta in years past, the Jags were able to buy at the top of the market this year. They came away with arguably the best defensive lineman (Calais Campbell) and the most promising cornerback (A.J. Bouye). They further addressed their biggest weakness on defense by swapping out frustrating safety Johnathan Cyprien for Cowboys safety Barry Church.

Suddenly, the Jags look like they have the potential to field a devastating defense, both now and in the years to come. They're deep at defensive end, where Yannick Ngakoue might actually be better than former third-overall pick Dante Fowler Jr. They have a trio of rangy linebackers who can hold up in pass coverage. Injuries could expose some depth issues at a couple of spots, but this defense has as much promise and upside as any in football.

While the offense still has its holes, the Jags should exceed OVER 6.5 regular season games at -130, maybe even going above the .500 mark for the first time in forever.

- Don Shapiro, Gambling911.com

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