AFC South Odds: 2012 Preview
The AFC South division looks like it's the Houston Texans to lose as they enter the season as major division favorites. The Texans claimed their first division title in franchise history a year ago and a repeat is close to a lock according to the oddsmakers, who have listed Houston as a 1/5 divisional favorite.
The Houston offense is led by the three-headed monster of Matt Schaub, Arian Foster and Andre Johnson.
The only threat is injury, which has already caught up with Johnson in the preseason. Johnson was limited to seven games last season and 13 the year before. The Houston defense will also have to deal with the loss of Mario Williams, who bolted for Buffalo in the offseason. Although, Houston is kind of used to that as Williams only played five games last season.
The only other team the oddsmakers are even giving a chance at taking the AFC South are the Tennessee Titans at 9/2. Tennessee enters the season with a competition at quarterback between veteran Matt Hasselbeck and young gun Jake Locker. Whoever does win the starting job may have to get by without top receiver Kenny Britt early on. Britt has had his fair share of off-field problems and is still waiting to hear if it will earn him a suspension to start the season.
The rest of the South division, the Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars, both start the season as a 18/1 underdog to win the division. In Indy the Peyton Manning era is over and the Andrew Luck era begins. Manning isn't the only one gone though, as head coach Jim Caldwell, Dallas Clark, Anthony Gonzalez, Pierre Garcon and Joseph Addai were all given their walking papers.
Reggie Wayne is still around and Austin Collie tries to comeback from concussion issues, so Luck isn't void of reliable targets as he begins his NFL career.
In Jacksonville the Jaguars are also putting their hopes on a young quarterback, Blaine Gabbert. He was thrown straight into the fire last year and it showed, as the Jaguars had the worst passing game in the NFL. Hopefully drafting wideout Justin Blackmon and adding Laurent Robinson will help change that.
Making things harder on Gabbert is the ongoing holdout by running back Maurice Jones-Drew. He led the league in rushing last season when he basically was the Jags offense at times.