The AFC South will be an intriguing division if several of the walking wounded return to 100 percent health. The Indianapolis and Houston have quarterbacks on the mend while the Texans also have defensive stalwarts, including J.J. Watt, looking to bounce back. Meanwhile, Jacksonville and Tennessee hope to build off of their 2017 playoff appearances. Let's take a look at the win totals provided by the South Point sportsbook and see if there's any value in the over/under for each AFC South team.
Over 9 wins +120...Under 9 wins -140
Offense: Deshaun Watson was so good last year, but he tore his ACL in practice and has to work his way back from that. Watson threw 19 touchdown passes in seven games and really got things moving. DeAndre Hopkins finally had a legit quarterback throwing him the ball and it showed how good he can really be. Lamar Miller is back and provides veteran leadership in the backfield. Alfred Blue and D'Onta Foreman provide some depth at the position as well. The key is how the quarterback handles his recovery.
Defense: J.J. Watt's health is the key for this side of the ball. He's only played in eight games the last two seasons. The team was so excited to pair him off with Jadeveon Clowney, but the two have barely played together. Outside of Clowney's 9.5 sacks, the rest of the team had 22.5 overall. The Texans also need more from linebackers Whitney Mercilus and Benardrick McKinney. Jonathan Joseph and Kevin Johnson are a solid cornerback duo while Kareem Jackson and Tyrann Mathieu are really good safeties. This defense has some potential to be up there with the Jaguars, if the key pieces can stay healthy.
Verdict: This is an important season for Bill O'Brien. He's 31-33 so far with the team and the talent is there to contend in 2018. If the Texans can survive playing three of their first four on the road, the payoff comes in Weeks 12-14 when they host the Titans, Browns and Colts. I think nine is a pretty good number here for Houston.
Over 7 wins -140...Under 7 wins +120
Offense: This hinges on Andrew Luck, who is coming back from torn labrum surgery. The team has been very patient with him and it looks like he'll be ready for Week 1. How effective he will be is a huge question. T.Y. Hilton becomes so much more effective if Luck is throwing him the ball. I like Marlon Mack to help out an anemic run game that will be without Frank Gore, but the second-year back will need to stay healthy. The Colts have veteran tight ends in Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron.
Defense: There are a ton of question marks on this side of the ball with uncertainty at every level. Matt Eberflus has his hands full with a group that had just 25 sacks last year. Can this defense get enough pressure with a front line consisting of Jabaal Sheard, Kemoko Turay, Al Woods and Denico Autry? The linebackers aren't that much better with Najee Goode, Antonio Morrison, Anthony Walker and Darius Leonard. The secondary doesn't have a ton of talent either although Malik Hooker could grow into a decent safety.
Verdict: New head coach Frank Reich has a lot on his plate especially since he's also got first-year coordinators around him. Luck could start slow as he shakes off the rust. The problem is that the defense won't be of much help. Indianapolis has road games against Washington, Philadelphia and New England over the first five weeks. The Colts do have two of their final three at home, but it could be a lost season by then. I think this is another under especially at this price.
Over 9 wins -130...Under 9 wins +110
Offense: The Jaguars' offense goes as Blake Bortles goes. The team has to develop more trust in their signal-caller because if Jacksonville was more aggressive in the first half against the Patriots then the Jags may have been the AFC representative in the Super Bowl. Leonard Fournette is going to see some stacked boxes until Bortles can loosen up the secondary. His problem is a lack of true weapons outside with the likes of Marquise Lee, Dede Westbrook and Donte Moncrief. None of them are true game-breakers it seems. Maybe Austin Seferian-Jenkins will finally realize the potential he never showed in New York.
Defense: There really aren't a ton of weaknesses on this side of the ball. The secondary is one of the best in the league with Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, Barry Church and Tashaun Gipson. Ramsey has run his mouth a bit already this offseason, but he's been able to back it up in the past. Calais Campbell had a great 2017 and is part of a front line that has gotten consistent pressure on their opponents. I think this group should be one of the best in the game once again.
Verdict: The bullseye will be firmly on this bunch after going 10-6 last year. The Jaguars get a nice test in Week 2 when New England comes to Florida. They also get the Steelers at home and the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles in London. I think the over is worth a look because Jacksonville should be able to match last year's record.
Over 8 wins -125...Under 8 wins +105
Offense: Marcus Mariota had a very mediocre 2017 with 13 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He needs to cut down on the turnovers. He will have a new offensive coordinator and a revamped running game with former Patriot Dion Lewis joining Derrick Henry in the backfield. Wide receivers Corey Davis, Taywan Taylor and Tajae Sharpe are young and unproven, but the talent is there. The offensive line is fantastic and Delanie Walker somehow is pretty underrated when people talk about tight ends.
Defense: New head coach Mike Vrabel's influence comes on defense where Malcolm Butler joins fellow former Patriot corner Logan Ryan. Butler is out to redeem himself after his well-publicized Super Bowl benching. Tennessee was 25th against the pass last season so there's room for this secondary to improve. Jurrell Casey is really good against the run and putting pressure on the quarterback. We'll see if he can get some help up front from the likes of Bennie Logan or DaQuan Jones. The linebackers are getting older, but are still pretty solid with Brian Orakpo reuniting with former Redskins teammate Redskin Will Compton.
Verdict: I think Tennessee is the team that takes a step back in this division. I'm not a huge Mariota guy and think this offense could struggle with stacked boxes. One of those young receivers has to step up. The Titans have a stretch of four of five on the road and four of five at home at different parts of the season. I like the under here.
-- Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.