ASA’s AFC SOUTH PREDICTIONS – July 19th, 2019

Indianapolis Colts – 2018 record (10-6) – ATS Record (8-7-1) – Over/Under Record (8-8)

  • Yards Per Game Differential +46
  • Point Differential +89

2019 ASA prediction – Play OVER 9.5 Wins for the Indianapolis Colts

Last year the Colts total win projection was set at 6.5 due to the uncertainty of QB Andrew Luck.  They went on to win 10 games with Luck throwing for over 4500 yards and 39 TD’s.  Now this total has bumped up a full 3 games for the 2019 season.  While we’re never overly comfortable siding with such a big move, we feel the Colts will get to at least 10 wins again this year.  They finished 2nd in the AFC South but led the division in YPG differential and point differential.  The offense ranked in the top 8 in the NFL in both scoring and YPG.  Luck will have more weapons this year with the addition of WR Funchess and rookie WR Campbell from Ohio State.  They also return a top 5 offensive line.  The defense took a big step last year allowing 4 fewer PPG and 24 fewer YPG.  While we probably expect a bit of a regression defensively this year, middle of the pack might be good enough with this offense.  The Colts road non-division slate is brutal with games @ Chargers, @ Chiefs, @ Steelers, and @ Saints.  However at home they host only one team that made it to the playoffs last year (Texans).  Over 9.5 is the play here.

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Houston Texans – 2018 record (11-5) – ATS Record (7-8-1) – Over/Under Record (7-9)

  • Yards Per Game Differential +19
  • Point Differential +86

2019 ASA prediction – Play UNDER 8.5 Wins for the Houston Texans

This is a very tough call for us as we believe the number sits right where it should be.  We expect an 8 or 9 win season from the Texans.  They had 11 wins last year but we definitely expect them to drop off some in 2019 and so do the oddsmakers who set their win total at -2.5 from what they accomplished last season.  Houston’s offensive line is a huge concern.  They are one of the worst in the NFL.  Last season they allowed more QB hits than any other team (126) and their adjusted sack rate allowed was 11.6% which was the worst in the NFL.  They tried to improve up front through the draft but we’ll have to wait and see if that works out.  Because of his poor offensive line QB Watson has been hobbled his first two seasons and already has torn his ACL in both knees.  We’d be surprised if he gets through the season and is able to play every game.  The defense finished 5th in PPG allowed at just 19.8 but they were middle of the pack in both total defense and YPG allowed.  That tells us they outplayed their stats on that side of the ball and will most likely regress this season.  Their first 5 road games are @ Saints, @ Chargers, @ Chiefs, @ Colts, and @ Ravens, all playoff teams last year!  They have a stretch spanning mid October into November where they are away from home for 4 of 5 games including a trip to London vs Jacksonville.  That means between October 6th and November 21st they have ONE home game.  This one will be close in our opinion but we’ll lean toward an 8-8 season for Houston   

TENNESSEE TITANS – 2018 record (9-7) – ATS Record (8-8) – Over/Under Record (8-8)

  • Yards Per Game Differential -21
  • Point Differential +7

2018 ASA prediction – Play OVER 7.5 Wins for the Tennessee Titans

This is one of our tougher predictions this season.  The Titans have won 9 games in each of their last 3 seasons but we think they fall back a game or two this year to 8-8 or 7-9 which explains our struggles as the number sits at 7.5.  We’ll lean very slightly to the OVER here and hope for an 8-8 season from Tennessee.  QB Marcus Mariota has a record of 24-19 the last 3 seasons as a starter so the key will be keeping him healthy.  He has missed games each of the last 3 seasons but completed a career high 69% of his passes last year.  Should they need a short term replacement for Mariota, they picked up QB Ryan Tannehill from Miami as a back up giving the Titans a legit signal caller to come in if needed.  The rushing attack which finished 6th in the NFL last year should take some pressure of Mariota and company but they will need to find a way to put more than 19 PPG on the board (last year’s average).  If the defense can duplicate last year’s effort allowing just 18.9 PPG (3rd in the NFL) this team should be better than .500 as the offense should be better.  The Titans face only 1 playoff team in their first 6 games so getting off to a fast start is a strong possibility.  They’ve also had a full year under head coach Mike Vrabel so we’d expect them to be more comfortable with his systems on both sides of the ball.  8 wins isn’t a huge ask for a team that has finished above .500 each of the last 3 seasons.    

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JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – 2018 record (5-11) – ATS Record (5-9-2) – Over/Under Record (6-10)

  • Yards Per Game Differential -9
  • Point Differential -71

2018 ASA prediction – Play OVER 8 Wins for the Jacksonville Jaguars

What a crazy 3 year run for the Jags.  In 2016 they won only 3 games, the 3rd worst record in the NFL.  They bounced back in 2017 with 10 wins and a playoff berth.  Last year they were able to muster only 5 wins in a disappointing season.  Their point differential went from +149 in 2017 to -71 last year.  They averaged just 15 PPG last year and sent long time QB Blake Bortles packing.  The new starter is Nick Foles who played in a total of 12 games the last 2 seasons with Philly and picked up a Super Bowl win 2 years ago.  If RB Leonard Fournette can somehow stay healthy (missed 8 games last season) the offense has to improve.  The defense has been very good over the last 3 seasons.  They finished in the top 5 last year in both YPG and YPP allowed.  They have been a top 6 defense (total defense) in each of the last 3 seasons.  If the offense can consistently average 20 or more PPG, the Jags become a tough team to beat.  Their schedule is weak this season.  They don’t face a single non AFC South team away from home that ended last year with a winning record.    Outside of their division, they play only 3 teams that made the playoffs last year.  Jacksonville was only outgained by 9 YPG last year despite their 5 win season.  That was mainly due to their -12 turnover ratio which was 3rd worst in the NFL.  We have them tabbed for 8-8 this season which falls directly on this number.  However if we had to make a selection, we feel 9-7 is more likely than 7-9 so we’ll lean to the OVER.