Houston Texans – Good draft on the offensive side of the ball but how quickly will those guys be key contributors is going to be the important factor for Houston early this season. Of course the offense was the focus for Texans in the off-season and they picked up some key pieces via free agency. However, the defense did lose a few pieces and has to have some drop-off after a fantastic season last year. Houston could be a play against early on as they have some tough match-ups in the first six weeks of the season. Also, if the offense takes some time to jell with a new QB then there could be more trouble looming.
Indianapolis Colts – Strengthened the offensive line in the off-season as they want better protection for QB Andrew Luck who is hopeful of more time on the field this season! The Colts have plenty of motivation after last season was impacted by the Luck injury situation and Indianapolis dropped to 8-8 after back-to-back 11-5 seasons. The Colts defense could be standing in the way of the Colts making a run at the AFC South this season. It will depend on how well the new faces integrate because Indianapolis did lose some key cogs from last season’s defense and the defense was already a liability for the Colts last year. With the Jaguars and Titans on the way up and the Texans likely having another solid season, Indianapolis will have their hands full in this division. That statement holds true even with a healthy Luck. The D must step up and that will likely prove to again be an area of concern for the Colts.
Jacksonville Jaguars – You can look at the stats for the Jaguars offense from last season (and now add in the fact that they added RB Chris Ivory from the Jets) and there is reason to believe Jacksonville will be strong on that side of the ball again. Some changes on the offensive line could result in a little uncertainty early in the season but eventually the Jags offense should be firing on all cylinders. That means the Jaguars could definitely be on their continued upward trajectory this season as the defense looks much improved coming into this season. Held back by the D last season, this season the defense should make big strides toward improvement thanks to some key free agent pick-ups as well as some solid draft picks in the early rounds that can contribute right away. Jacksonville should be a team on your ATS watch list!
Tennessee Titans – Like Jacksonville, Tennessee is likely to be on the way up this season. The Titans have been a money-burner the past two seasons with an 8-24 ATS (25%) mark! That means value should be available playing on Tennessee early this season before many realize how much improvement there truly is with this Titans team. Tennessee’s defense, in terms of yardage allowed per game, was actually respectable last season. The problem for the Titans was on offense but they are making strides in the right direction. Tennessee made big pick-ups in the running game through both the draft and free agency. Also, QB Marcus Mariota should show improvement in his 2nd year and should face less pressure with some fortification to the offensive line for this season. On the defensive side of the ball, I like the additions the Titans have for the secondary and, though the SU record may not improve drastically this season I do expect the ATS record to improve substantially for the Titans. They should prove to be a dangerous dog this season!