Thursday kicks off the new season of the true 'Greatest Show on Earth', that's right, NFL Football! All odds taken from Vegasinsider.com (opening line).
AFC South is a tough division to gauge. The Colts are favorites to win the Superbowl this season, Houston might finally live up to their promise, and Tennessee looked awfully good last season after their horrendous start, so they might be interesting. That leaves Jacksonville, who seem to have a strong incentive to play their way out of Northern Florida and into the new stadium being built in glamorous City of Industry. Their cross division match ups are mixed bag, on the one hand, they're facing the strong top to bottom NFC East, on the other they get to face the cream-puffery of the AFC West.
Houston Texans (win total 8.0) OVER!
Seems like every year 'experts' predict that the Texans will put everything together and finally make the playoffs. Well, this year they're right! Woohoo! Matt Schaub had monster numbers last year that nobody noticed since the Texans missed the playoffs, but if he stays healthy (and with a very solid offensive line, he has a good chance to do just that), they've got a solid chance of improving to a 10 or 11 win team and nabbing that elusive playoff spot this franchise has yet to earn.
Indianapolis Colts (win total 11.0) UNDER!
At some point, the wheels have to come off, right? Too consistent for too long, I just don't trust them this year. Their offensive line is suspect, and Manning will get hurt, if that happens, their season is over. They do not have the depth they once did, and I don't think they'll luck out plugging in rookies in the gaps created by injuries as they have in past seasons. They look like a 6-10 or 8-8 team to me, but I seem to be alone in that sentiment.
Jacksonville Jaguars (win total 7.0) UNDER!
I think everything points to a lousy season for this team. Running backs fade, and fade fast, and while Jones-Drew seems capable, he hasn't had to be the sole featured back before, which is a recipe for problems. They still have a solid defense, but without any offensive production, they'll lose a lot of close games. But hey, they can turn things around when they come out to California for the 2011 season!
Tennessee Titans (win total 8.0) OVER!
I think they will challenge Houston for the division title this year, and should put together a nice run this year with Vince Young turning into something special as both a passer and a running threat. Or not, they are a tough squad to figure out, a lot of unknowns, but they do have the best RB, a solid defense, and have a coaching staff that's creative, so if they stay healthy, and figure out how to best utilize Young's talent set, they might end up challenging Baltimore for best record in the AFC.