The AFC South 2019-20 NFL Season - Odds and Predictions

Last season, the AFC South second place Indianapolis Colts went further in the playoffs than the divisional champion Houston Texans did, mainly because they beat them 21-7 in the Wild Card matchup.

This season, the Colts are the outright favorites to win this division, with the Texans, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans trailing behind, but each team made some offseason moves specifically geared to offset those chances, so it’s anyone’s guess who will end up on top.  

The AFC South is no sleeper division now that a healthy Andrew Luck and Deshaun Watson are under center, and add to that Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles and the Marcus Mariota / Ryan Tannehill competition and the 2019-20 AFC South will be fun to watch.

Here are the odds and predictions of how this division will breakdown during the upcoming NFL season.

Also check out our articles covering the AFC East and AFC North.

For the NFL newbies, what exactly is the AFC South?

If you’re just learning about the NFL, here’s a quick primer on how the league divides its teams based on the regions where each resides in order to build a balanced and fair schedule.

The National Football League (NFL) formed in 1920 and faced competition from many other leagues until 1966, when the NFL finally merged with the fourth American Football League (AFL) and held the very first Super Bowl at the end of that season.

Beginning in 2002, after realigning and adding some expansion teams over the years, the NFL now has thirty-two teams that are split into two conferences, the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC).

Each of those two conferences is then split up into four regions – North, South, East and West – with four teams in each, and in this article, we will be focusing on the AFC South, with its four teams originally coming from both the AFC East and AFC Central until officially becoming the AFC South in 2002.

The teams of the AFC South are:

  1. Houston Texans, who play at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas
  2. Indianapolis Colts, who play at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars, who play at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida
  4. Tennessee Titans, who play at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee

Which team has the most Divisional titles?

The Indianapolis Colts have won the most divisional titles (15):

  • AFC East titles – 6
  • AFC South titles – 3

The Houston Texans are next alphabetically with 5:

  • AFC South titles – 5

The Tennessee Titans also have a total of 5:

  • AFC Central titles – 3
  • AFC South titles – 2

The Jacksonville Jaguars are last with 3:

  • AFC Central titles – 2
  • AFC South titles – 1

Which AFC South team has the most Lombardi Trophies?

That honor also goes to the Indianapolis Colts, who have won three AFC championships, which they have turned into two Super Bowl wins: V in 1970 and XLI in 2006.

Next in line are the Tennessee Titans, who have won one AFC championship in 1999, which they could not turn into a Super Bowl XXXIV win against the St. Louis Rams, who won that game 23-16.

Next alphabetically are the Houston Texans, who have won zero conference championships and zero Super Bowls after appearing in the playoffs five times.

Finally come the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have also never won an AFC championship or been to a Super Bowl despite their seven total playoff appearances.

How many Super Bowl rings has the AFC South won?

The NFL divisions with the least amount of Super Bowl rings are the NFC and AFC South, with two Super Bowl rings apiece.

The NFL division with the most Lombardi trophies is the NFC East, with a combined thirteen Super Bowl Championships.

Teams from the the AFC South has appeared in the Super Bowl 6 times, second least of all divisions.

How did the AFC South do in 2018?

 Houston Texans1150
 Indianapolis Colts1060
 Tennessee Titans970
 Jacksonville Jaguars5110

The Texans were the third seed in the playoffs, so they had to play the sixth seed in the Wild Card matchup, and that happened to be the Colts, who won the game 21-7.

Indianapolis went on to the Divisional Playoffs but could not get past the Kansas City Chiefs, who beat them 31-13.

Not bad for a Colts team with not only a first year head coach in Frank Reich, but also with a franchise quarterback under center, Andrew Luck, who hadn’t played the entire 2017 season due to a throwing-arm shoulder injury.

What are the odds and predictions of the AFC South in 2019?

Of the four AFC South franchises, the Indianapolis Colts have the best odds of winning the next Super Bowl (+1400), with only six other NFL teams having the same or better odds than them, three of those being AFC teams – Patriots +700, Chiefs +800 and Browns +1400.

The odds of winning the Super Bowl for the Texans (+3000), Jaguars (+3500) and Titans (+6000) are obviously a lot worse than what the Colts have been given, but the payoff would be big if one of those teams happens to emerge as a threat.

The Colts are considered by some as Super Bowl worthy, so it will be up to Luck to follow up and top his 2018, which may be possible with the help of newly acquired receiver Devin Funchess, who averaged 12.5 yards per catch last season with the Carolina Panthers.

Here’s how the AFC South is predicted to rank during the 2019-20 season, including the odds of who will end up in first place of the division:

4) Tennessee Titans

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The Tennessee Titans have gotten in the habit of being middle of the road lately, and second year head coach Mike Vrabel’s goal is to put an end to that, but that’s not an easy objective knowing that to qualify for even a Wild Card playoff spot, the Colts will have to win more than ten games, something they haven’t done since 2014.

Franchise quarterback Marcus Mariota will be working with yet another new offensive coordinator, Arthur Smith, who was previously the Colts’ tight ends coach, which will make this the fifth OC that Mariota has had to work with since he was drafted by the Titans in 2015.

The big drama on the Tennessee scene may come from the quarterback competition, because with Mariota being on the fifth and final year of his rookie contract and with newly acquired Ryan Tannehill’s career basically on the line, it will be a true competition to see who ends up being under center for the Titans in 2019 versus who ends up watching from the sidelines with a clipboard.

For more details, please check out our earlier coverage:  The Tennessee Titans’ Biggest Offseason Moves 2019 – Odds and Predictions

3) Jacksonville Jaguars

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The 2019 Jacksonville Jaguars made significant changes during the offseason, primarily under center, where they traded their franchise man, Blake Bortles, to the Los Angeles Rams and signed the NFL’s greatest backup quarterback, Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles.

Third-year head coach Doug Marrone also hired a new offensive coordinator, John DeFilippo, who doesn’t exactly come with a stellar resume, having been sacked halfway through the season last year while attempting to coordinate the offense in Minnesota.

Another hopeful pickup in Jacksonville this offseason was the signing of tight end Geoff Swaim, who played with the Dallas Cowboys last season, with the overall goal seeming to be to breathe life into an offense that ended up ranked 27th overall last season after averaging just 302 total yards and 15.3 points per game.

For more details, please check out our earlier coverage: The Jacksonville Jaguars’ Biggest Offseason Moves 2019 – Odds and Predictions

2) Houston Texans

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The Houston Texans attempted to accomplish at least two major goals this offseason, the first being to protect franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson a little better after he was sacked a league high 62 times last season, and they did that by drafting tackle Tytus Howard from Alabama in the first round (23rd pick overall) and by signing free agent left tackle Matt Kalil.

The second big offseason goal of second-year general manager Brian Gaine was to improve the Texans’ pass defense, which he did by drafting cornerback Lonnie Johnson Jr. from Kentucky in the second round and by signing free agent cornerback Bradley Robey and strong safety Tashaun Gibson.

With those changes, the Houston roster looks formidable, but if they expect to return to the postseason for the fourth time in five years, they’ll have to do better against the pass than they did last season when they allowed opponents to average 260.4 yards per game through the air, ranking them 28th in a league of 32 teams.

For more details, please check out our earlier coverage: The Houston Texans’ Biggest Offseason Moves 2019 – Odds and Predictions

1) Indianapolis Colts

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If Indianapolis Colts third-year general manager Chris Ballard keeps having such fruitful offseasons, it will only be a matter of time before it pays off with multiple playoff wins and a return to the Big Game.

Ballard did a lot to improve his 11th ranked defense in the second round of this year’s NFL draft by selecting cornerback Rock Ya-Sin (34th overall) with his first pick and defensive end Ben Banogu (49th overall) with his second.

The only other big signing besides the aforementioned wide receiver Funchess was that of defensive end Justin Houston, brought in to, among other defensive things, improve the Colts’ sack total, which last season was 38, ranked 19th in the NFL.

Otherwise it was a fairly slow offseason for the Colts, which indicates Ballard is content with the roster he already has, a group good enough to get to the Divisional round of last year’s playoffs but not good enough (until now?) to shut down the Kansas City Chiefs, who scored 31 points to the Colts’ 13 to end Luck and Co.’s 2018 season for good.

For more details, please check out our earlier coverage: The Indianapolis Colts’ Biggest Offseason Moves And 2019 Odds And Predictions

NFL 2020 Championship Winning Division

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DraftKingsAFC East+550
DraftKingsNFC South+550
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