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Philip Rivers swings AFC South odds

The AFC South has seen a big shift with the addition of Philip Rivers. We break down what it means for divisional odds for the Colts, Texans, Titans and Jaguars

Philip Rivers #17 of the Los Angeles Chargers looks for an open receiver during the third quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on December 29, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

The AFC South had two big moves this offseason that also moved the odds on which team is favored the division. The Houston Texans traded away all-world wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins while the Colts signed Phillip Rivers.

DraftKings Sportsbook has been tracking divisional odds since Super Bowl 54 wrapped up, and the Rivers signing has helped move the Colts from third in the odds at +250, to win the division, to first at +150 to win. The Texans, on the other hand, have gone from second in the odds at +225 to third, as they’ve dropped to +300 to win the AFC South.

Indianapolis Colts (+150)

The Colts had a strong overall team last season, but Jacoby Brissett, who was competitive to start the season, turned back into a pumpkin toward the end of the year. Brissett remains a strong backup, but newly acquired Philip Rivers has the track record to give the Colts a boost at the position if he has anything left in the tank. Oddsmakers seem to think he does have an extra reserve in his tank as they’ve gone from +250 to +150 to win the division.

Frank Reich’s offense, a strong offensive line and running game, should be a good base for Rivers to work from in Indianapolis as he tries for a late career push for the Super Bowl.

Tennessee Titans (+160)

The Titans are extremely close to the Colts in their odds to win the division, as they have held onto their core offensive players in Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry. Last season, the AFC South was extremely close, as the Texans and Titans battled for first, all the way down to the wire and the Colts had a chance late in the season before Brissett’s collapse.

With the Texans making some odd offseason moves, the Titans appear ready to battle with the Colts for that top spot, as they try to recreate last season’s resurgence. That might be tough with the loss of right tackle Jack Conklin, but if Tannehill can recreate his resurgent season, they’ll be in the running and the odds have been stable since the Super Bowl, sticking at +160 to take the division.

Houston Texans (+300)

Bill O’Brien, who coaches and GM’s the Texans, has staked his reputation on running back David Johnson, who he exchanged DeAndre Hopkins for in possibly the worst trade we’ve seen since Mike Ditka went all in on Ricky Williams.

The oddsmakers appear to agree that dumping Hopkins for used parts wasn’t the best thing for the Texans odds to win the division, as they slipped from second to third. Compared to other teams that are third in division odds, they are closer to favorites than not and they have DeShaun Watson, which is worth more than Hopkins, but the odds still dropped from +225 to +300 with their offseason so far.

Jacksonville Jaguars (+1400)

The Jaguars are releasing and selling off defensive assets as they try a major rebuild. After winning six games with Gardner Minshew last season, they’ll stick with Minshew and a depleted defense as they go into the tank for Trevor Lawrence.

There really isn’t much positive to say about Jacksonville for the 2020 season. The hope for them is to develop the young players they have and get as much draft capital for the older ones as they can. If Minshew could take a strong step forward in year two, he could be a piece in the rebuild, but if he doesn’t, they’ll likely be in the running for the No. 1 pick without much trouble. Their odds bear this out, as they started at +700 to win the division and now with some offseason moves in their belt, they’ve dropped to +1400.

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