Updated AFC South Odds: Can Anyone Compete with the Colts?

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Before the 2013 NFL regular season began, most bettors and fans expected the AFC South to be a two-horse race between the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts, but after seven weeks, the Colts (5-2) are simply running away with the division, which has been reflected in the recently-updated futures odds.

The Colts may be the overwhelming favorite to win the South at this point in the season, but there is certainly still time for the other South teams to gain some ground. But can any of the other three squads realistically catch up? And is it worth it to bet on anyone besides the Colts in the South? Let’s take a look at the updated odds, via Bovada.lv:

Indianapolis Colts (-800)

Houston Texans (+800)

Tennessee Titans (+800)

The Colts were already favored coming into last weekend’s action, but after pulling off a home win against the previously unbeaten Broncos in the highest profile game of the season so far, Indy got a big boost. At -800, bettors don’t stand to make a ton of cash on the Colts, but the Andrew Luck-led squad is looking like a near lock to win the South – which is a label we usually reverse for week 12 and beyond – with a two-game lead on the Titans (3-4) and a three-game lead on the Texans (2-5).

The Titans got off to a stronger start than expected, but exposed their weaknesses in consecutive losses against the Seahawks and 49ers in the past two weeks. With Jake Locker back under center, the Titans have a well-balanced – if somewhat inconsistent – offense and they also boast a pretty stout defense, but it’s highly unlikely they’ll outperform the Colts down the stretch. Still, a wager at +800 could be a profitable longshot. After all, the Colts could suffer more injuries. They already lost veteran receiver Reggie Wayne for the season this past weekend.

Speaking of injuries, Houston’s been hit them hard all season long. Star running back Arian Foster has been dealing with a nagging hamstring injury and hasn’t been his normal self, while quarterback Matt Schaub has missed significant time due to several ailments, most recently a leg injury. The Texans certainly haven’t performed to expectations, but if injuries are an excuse, they have a pretty good one. Needless to say, Houston’s chances at making the playoffs are slim to none and winning the division? Even at +800, it would be smart to stay away from the Texans this season.

It’s also worth pointing out (sorta) that the Jacksonville Jaguars aren’t even listed in the updated odds. That’s because the Jags are 0-7 and have managed to look every bit like an 0-7 team. Considering they haven’t really competed with anyone this season, we can safely say they won’t compete with the Colts in the South either. The only thing Jacksonville will likely win is next year’s first round draft pick.

So, are the Colts the best bet? Even at -800, it appears that way. The Titans will give bettors decent value at +800, but this is one division that seems to be decided already.

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