Welcome to Bet Labs 2016 NFL preview series where we will look at all eight of the league’s divisions. As part of the preview, we will highlight each team’s chances of winning their respective division and take a look at their season win total.

To create our projections we simulated the 2016 NFL season 10,000 times using our NFL Strength of Schedule.

Previous division previews: NFC East, AFC East, NFC North, AFC North, NFC West, AFC West, NFC South, today the AFC South.

Indianapolis Colts

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2015 Record: 8-8

Home Games: DET, SD, CHI, KC, PIT

Away Games: DEN, GB, NYJ, MIN, OAK

2015 was a lost season for the Colts. Indy went 8-8 failing to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Andrew Luck missed nine games with a laundry list of injuries including a lacerated kidney! The All-Pro quarterback is healthy and raring to go after signing the richest contract in NFL history. The Colts may continue to struggle running the ball (29th in rushing yard/game last year) and the defense has question marks (allowed 379.1 yards/game – 26th in NFL) but when Luck has been healthy Indy has won the AFC South.

After 10,000 simulations of the 2016 season, Indianapolis wins the AFC South 50.3% of the time. The Colts average record is projected to be 9-7 (20.6% chance). There is a 22.9% chance of the team winning 11 or more games (like they did in each of Luck’s first three seasons).

Colts O/UOver%Under%Implied Odds

If you believe Luck and the Colts will bounce back this season you will want to bet the over 9.5 wins. In order to feel comfortable placing that wager you would need odds of +136 or better.

Houston Texans

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2015 Record: 9-7

Home Games: NE, MIN, DEN, OAK, GB

Away Games: CHI, KC, DET, SD, CIN

The Texans won the AFC South last year for the first time since 2012 and managed to do so while starting the combination of Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallet, T.J. Yates and Brandon Weeden quarterback. Houston upgraded the roster in the offseason including acquiring quarterback Brock Osweiler. Peyton Manning’s former understudy was inconsistent at times last year but the Broncos wouldn’t have won the Super Bowl without him. The Texans might be favorites to repeat in the division if it wasn’t for a JJ Watt back surgery in late July. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year could miss up to ten weeks including the first game of the season after having surgery. If Watt returns healthy the Texans have one of the best defenses in the league. The uncertainty of Watt and the unknown with Osweiler, plus playing one of the hardest schedules in the NFL has the Texans with just a 30.8% chance to win back-to-back AFC South titles.

Houston is projected to finish the season 8-8 (20.9% chance).

Texans O/UOver%Under%Implied Odds

The bookmakers have Houston pegged as a .500 team. The Texans have a season win total set at 8.5 games. In order to bet the over you would need +121 or better odds.

Jacksonville Jaguars

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2015 Record: 5-11

Home Games: GB, BAL, OAK, DEN, MIN

Away Games: SD, CHI, KC, DET, BUF

Slow and steady improvement is the name of the game in Jacksonville. The Jaguars won five games last year after managing just three wins the season before. The team made notable improvements on the field a season ago as the talent on the roster continues to develop. The Jags haven’t had a winning season or made the playoffs since 2007, that trend will continue in 2016.

However, this squad isn’t that far away from competing. The Jaguars have a 26.7% chance to finish with nine or more wins. Still, Jacksonville’s most likely record is 7-9 (20.1% chance to occur).

Jaguars O/UOver%Under%Implied Odds

There is value taking the over 7.5 if you can get +122 or better odds.

Tennessee Titans

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2015 Record: 3-13

Home Games: MIN, OAK, CLE, GB, DEN

Away Games: DET, MIA, SD, CHI, KC

Run, run, run. The Titans want to play “exotic smashmouth” football in 2016. The additions of DeMarco Murry and Derrick Henry give them two backs capable of grinding out yards. Marcus Mariota is also a threat with his legs and should show signs of improvement in his second season in the league. Bottom line, the team won three games last year and has a ways to go before becoming a true contender in the AFC South. Tennessee is projected to finish the season 5-11 (20.4% chance of occurring).

Titans O/UOver%Under%Implied Odds

The Titans have the lowest win total in the division at 5.5 games. Think the team will double its win total from a season ago? In order to feel comfortable taking the over you would need +111 or better odds.

AFC South Division Odds

TeamDivision Win Probability
Indianapolis Colts50.3%
Houston Texans30.8%
Jacksonville Jaguars15.6%
Tennessee Titans3.3%

The Colts looked primed to bounce back with a healthy Andrew Luck. If Indy doesn’t win the division then the Texans repeat, just don’t expect the Jags or Titans to end up on top.

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