Once upon a time there was quarterback named Peyton Manning who played for the Indianapolis Colts. With Peyton at the helm, the Colts controlled the AFC South and regularly made it to the playoffs. As all good things must come to an end, Indianapolis chose to part ways with Manning by selecting QB Andrew Luck from Stanford as the first overall pick in 2012 draft and haven't looked back. In fact, the Colts have won two consecutive division titles and are the betting favorites in 2015 AFC South odds to win it again. NFL predictions have the Indianapolis Colts favored at -400 to win the division followed by the Houston Texans (+450), the Jacksonville Jaguars (+1400) and the Tennessee Titans (+1600). Luck finished the regular season throwing 4,761-yards with 40-touchdowns for a 96.5-quarterback rating but fell just short of the goal in a 45-7 loss to the New England Patriots during the Conference championship game.
This year however, Luck will have more talent around him than ever before with the off-season acquisitions of RB Frank Gore (49ers), WR Andre Johnson (Texans) and selecting Phillip Dorsett (Miami) as a first round pick in the NFL draft. Add in a healthy TY Hilton (WR) with a tight end tandem of Colby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, and you're looking at an offense that is primed to put points on the board. On the defensive side of the ball, Indianapolis is littered with experience. Vontae Davis will be patrolling the sidelines once again with Dwight Lowery and Mike Adams in the secondary while Arthur Jones, Josh Chapman and Jeris Pendleton will fill the line. Although OT Gosder Cherilus will miss the start of training camp due to knee surgery and RG Todd Herremans is recuperating from a torn bicep suffered last November, there is no reason why the Colts shouldn't win the division and cover the -400 as favorites in 2015 AFC South odds to win.
The Houston Texans had a decent 2014 season going 9-7 SU and 9-6-1 ATS but might have a difficult time matching that record with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick be shipped over to the New York Jets. Instead, Houston will be putting their hopes in either Brian Hoyer (Browns) or Ryan Mallet (Patriots) to lead the offense. Also gone is WR Andre Johnson who only recorded 3-touchdowns last year so the Texans will be relying heavily on DeAndre Hopkins and rookie Jaelen Strong to get open in the end zone. On defense, J.J. Watt returns after recording 20.5-sacks last year and will have a linebacker crew consisting of Jadeveon Clowney, Whitney Mercilus and Brian Cushing clogging up the middle. Vince Wolfork (Patriots) is a welcomed addition to the front line and has instantly made the Texans a top 10 defense in the league.
The Jacksonville Jaguars won a total of 3-games games last year and AFC South predictions for this season have been set at 5½ so you can pretty much see why the Jags are listed as 14/1 longshots to win the division. If the Jaguars are to have any chance of at least covering the 5½ regular season wins, QB Blake Bortles will need to perform better than last year's 2,908-yards for 11-touchdowns. As for the Tennessee Titans, well, they did draft Oregon's Heisman winning quarterback Marcus Mariota. Whether the offensive line will be able to stay healthy and also protect the team's investment throught the season remains to be seen. The being said, although 2015 AFC South odds might be enticing to some gamblers with the Jaguars returning +1400 and the Titans paying out +1600 for a division title, all we can say is, don't be stupid.