The Colts (3-2-1) are the favorites to win the AFC South. Indianapolis may be vulnerable though with an offensive line that is not playing well and a run defense that just got gashed for 7.4 yards per carry against the Jaguars (2-4). AFC South odds have this division title as a two-horse race, but can Jacksonville turn its luck around?
What do the metrics say? Do the Jaguars have a ceiling better than their current record? Here’s what their profile tells us.
AFC SOUTH ODDS
Check out the AFC South odds below. The price for each team is the best available across legal sportsbooks in your state. That way you don’t have to search for it across your sportsbook apps. Click on the AFC South odds of your choosing to bet now.
THE FAVORITES: INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
The Colts were in shambles. Although the team has rattled off two-straight wins against the Broncos and Jaguars, there is a lot to worry about with this team. Need we remind bettors that this team tied with the Texans in Week 1? Indy is an extremely vulnerable favorite to win its division.
Quinton Nelson is not playing like the 3x All-Pro guard he was, with a Pro Football Focus grade 18th at his position, solid but below his usual standard. The offensive line checks in 31st in pass block win rate and 23rd in run block win rate entering Week 7.
Quarterback Matt Ryan is one of the favorites to lead the league in interceptions. Ryan is second in the NFL in picks with seven, only trailing the Rams’ Matt Stafford. If he continues turning the ball over, it will be difficult for the Colts to stay ahead in AFC South odds.
In addition to turnover issues, the Colts offense has struggled to move the ball efficiently. They currently sit 27th in EPA per play in the NFL. That is simply not going to cut it if they want to win the division.
Looking at the schedule, the Colts offensive line issues may be a problem in their Week 12 matchup against the Steelers. T.J. Watt is expected to be back by then and could wreak havoc. Pittsburgh seems to be one of the easier opponents left on the Colts schedule, but this may not be the case if Watt returns.
WHAT ABOUT THE TITANS?
Mike Vrabel‘s squad is good on extra rest. Really good. They are 8-0 since he became head coach, with a point differential of 160 in those eight games. Vrabel’s team has extra rest going into its Week 7 matchup against division rival Colts. Tennessee (3-2) beat the Colts in Week 4. The Colts had 5.8 yards per play in Week 4 but turned the ball over three times.
They do play the Texans twice still.
The Titans’ offense has not been the same this season since trading A.J. Brown this offseason. It ranks 28th with 4.9 yards per play. If their offense doesn’t improve soon, this team could be in trouble.
WHY THE JAGUARS CAN WIN
Strength of Schedule
The Jaguars have the easiest remaining schedule amongst the teams in their division. It begins as spread favorites against the Giants. Week 7 is one of six home games remaining after starting on the road in four of Jacksonville’s first six games.
The road games also look manageable too, with dates against the Lions, Jets and Texans still to come. Jacksonville is done playing Indianapolis, but the Jaguars still play the Titans twice.
Jaguars Offense: Can Doug Pederson’s Tide Raise All Ships?
The Jaguars offense has been one of the big surprises of the NFL this season. Doug Pederson‘s squad ranks 10th in EPA per play and eighth in drop back EPA. The addition of Christian Kirk was scrutinized this offseason because of his massive contract, but Kirk has been fine. Through six games, Kirk has amassed 25 receptions on 44 targets, for 362 yards and four touchdowns. Pederson has done a fantastic job finding ways to get him open.
The Jaguars offense needs to fix its turnover issues. Over the three-game losing streak, the team has turned the ball over eight times and only forced one turnover. Eventually the turnover luck has to change and go the Jaguars way. They have an opportunity to change that luck this weekend against a Giants team that has had some good luck. The Giants have fumbled the ball eight times this season and only lost two of them. Daniel Jones has two interceptions.
This team is primed for some turnover regression. This could be a perfect week for Jacksonville to flip its turnover luck.
The 19% implied probability of the Jaguars division odds seem a little low, especially with Matt Ryan turning the ball over at such a high clip. The Jaguars home game against the Titans in Week 18 could provide a make-or-break opportunity. Vrabel’s team will be on extra rest in this game as they play Thursday night against Dallas in Week 17.
Best of luck betting AFC South Odds!