NFL Season Preview Part 4 The AFC South & NFC South

The final part in our four part series previewing the NFL season takes in the two south divisions of the AFC and NFC.

Both of these divisions are regarded as among the weakest in each Conference. Yet over the years, they have featured some of the best players in the NFL.

Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Steve McNair, Marvin Harrison, Derrick Brooks, Rob Gronkowski, Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Andre Johnson just some of the immensely talented players to have featured in these two divisions.

While the divisions may not be rated highly by experts, they are still sure to be hugely competitive, which will certainly make it interesting for NFL betting fans.

There is always an extensive range of American Football bets available at bet365 Sport. As well as the standard spread betting options, you will also find plenty of In Play betting each week. Additionally, there is a fantastic range of outright betting markets too.

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Let’s now crack on with our preview of the two divisions.

AFC South Preview

Houston Texans

Key Info

  • Head Coach – DeMeco Ryans
  • Last Season’s Record – 3-13-1
  • Key Losses – Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (DE), Tremon Smith (CB), Jordan Akins (TE)
  • Key Additions – Dalton Schulz (TE), Jimmie Ward (FS), Robert Woods (WR)
  • Key 2023 Draft Picks – CJ Stroud (QB), Will Anderson Jr (DE)
  • Top 3 Offense – Dameon Pierce (RB), Amari Rodgers (WR), Laremy Tunsil (T)
  • Top 3 Defense – Jalen Pitre (SS), Derek Stingley Jr (CB), Christian Harris (OLB)

A solid draft gave an influx of more talent to the Texans, but Free Agency was a little disappointing as this team continues

Our Rankings (A to F)

  • Offense – Passing D, Rushing B+
  • Defense – Against Pass B, Against Rush D
  • Special Teams – D+
  • Coaching – C
  • Total – D+

It looks like being another long year ahead for Texans fans as they continue their rebuild.

Latest Betting Odds with bet365

  • Divisional Champions – 8/1
  • Conference Champions – 100/1
  • Super Bowl Winners – 175/1

Indianapolis Colts

Key Info

  • Head Coach – Shane Steichen
  • Last Season’s Record – 4-12-1
  • Key Losses – Bobby Okereke (LB), Brandon Facyson (CB), Parris Campbell (WR)
  • Key Additions – Samson Ebukam (DE), Matt Gay (K), Gardner Minshew (QB)
  • Key 2023 Draft Picks – Anthony Richardson (QB), JuJu Brents (CB), Josh Downs (WR)
  • Top 3 Offense – Jonathan Taylor (RB), Michael Pittman Jr (WR), Quenton Nelson (G)
  • Top 3 Defense – DeForest Buckner (DT), Shaquille Leonard (OLB), Samson Ebukam (DE)

Shane Steichen has plenty to work on with a solid defence as a foundation. Much will depend on Richardson’s development if the offense is going to fire however.

Our Rankings (A to F)

  • Offense – Passing C-, Rushing A-
  • Defense – Against Pass B-, Against Rush B+
  • Special Teams – B
  • Coaching – B-
  • Total – B-

I think the Colts need another year before they are ready to be challenging for the top of the AFC South.

Latest Betting Odds with bet365

  • Divisional Champions – 6/1
  • Conference Champions – 60/1
  • Super Bowl Winners – 100/1

Jacksonville Jaguars

Key Info

  • Head Coach – Doug Pederson
  • Last Season’s Record – 9-8
  • Key Losses – Jawaan Taylor (T), Arden Key (OLB), Chris Manhertz (TE)
  • Key Additions – Brandon McManus (K), Josh Wells (T), D’Ernest Johnson (RB)
  • Key 2023 Draft Picks – Anton Harrison (T), Brenton Strange (TE), Tank Bigsby (RB)
  • Top 3 Offense – Trevor Lawrence (QB), Travis Etienne (RB), Christian Kirk (WR)
  • Top 3 Defense – Josh Allen (OLB), Foyesade Olukun (ILB), Travon Walker (OLB)

Doug Pederson and his team made some shrewd moves in the draft and they still look the top outfit in the AFC South at present.

Our Rankings (A to F)

  • Offense – Passing B, Rushing B
  • Defense – Against Pass B, Against Rush C
  • Special Teams – B-
  • Coaching – A-
  • Total – B

The Jaguars are starting to look like a solid all-round team. They should win the South and could make a noise in the playoffs.

Latest Betting Odds with bet365

  • Divisional Champions – 5/8 fav
  • Conference Champions – 12/1
  • Super Bowl Winners – 25/1

Tennessee Titans

Key Info

  • Head Coach – Mike Vrabel
  • Last Season’s Record – 7-10
  • Key Losses – Nate Davis (G) DeMarcus Walker (DE), Ben Jones (C)
  • Key Additions – Andre Dillard (T), DeAndre Hopkins (WR), Sean Bunting (CB)
  • Key 2023 Draft Picks – Peter Skoronski (G), Will Levis (QB), Tyjae Spears (RB)
  • Top 3 Offense – Derrick Henry (RB), DeAndre Hopkins (WR), Treylon Burks (WR)
  • Top 3 Defense – Jeff Simmons (DT), Denico Autry (DE), Harold Landry (OLB)

Ben Jones is a loss at centre, but the Titans have tried to freshen things up. Improving the pass offense and defence is a key. Will Levis could be the wild-card to make a big impact.

Our Rankings (A to F)

  • Offense – Passing C-, Rushing A-
  • Defense – Against Pass E, Against Rush A-
  • Special Teams – C-
  • Coaching – B+
  • Total – C+

The passing game will define the Titans season. If they can’t pass, or defend against it, then it will be a long 17 games. If they can, they could challenge the Jags.

Latest Betting Odds with bet365

  • Divisional Champions – 16/5
  • Conference Champions – 33/1
  • Super Bowl Winners – 66/1

NFC South Preview

Atlanta Falcons

Key Info

  • Head Coach – Arthur Smith
  • Last Season’s Record – 7-10
  • Key Losses – Isaiah Oliver (CB), Abdullah Anderson (DE), Mike Ford (CB)
  • Key Additions – Jessie Bates (S), David Onyemata (DT), Kaden Elliss (OLB)
  • Key 2023 Draft Picks – Bijan Robinson (RB), Matt Bergeron (G), Zach Harrison (DE)
  • Top 3 Offense – Tyler Allgeier (RB), Drake London (WR), Kyle Pitts (TE)
  • Top 3 Defense – Jessie Bates (FS), Tre Flowers (CB), Grady Jarrett (DE)

A trio of top running backs looks set to anchor this team. Much will depend on Desmond Ridder or Taylor Heinicke at QB as to how far the Falcons can go.

Our Rankings (A to F)

  • Offense – Passing D-, Rushing A
  • Defense – Against Pass C-, Against Rush C
  • Special Teams – B+
  • Coaching – C
  • Total – C+

Arthur Smith’s rebuild in Atalnta continues, but even in a relatively weak division, the Falcons may not land the playoff spot.

Latest Betting Odds with bet365

  • Divisional Champions – 11/5
  • Conference Champions – 25/1
  • Super Bowl Winners – 66/1

Carolina Panthers

Key Info

  • Head Coach – Frank Reich
  • Last Season’s Record – 7-10
  • Key Losses – D’Onta Foreman (RB), Sam Darnold (QB)
  • Key Additions – Adam Thielen (WR), Miles Sanders (RB), Vonn Bell (S)
  • Key 2023 Draft Picks – Bryce Young (QB), Jonathan Mingo (WR), DJ Johnson (OLB)
  • Top 3 Offense – Miles Sanders (RB), Adam Thielen (WR), Ikem Ekwonu (T)
  • Top 3 Defense – Brian Burns (OLB), Jaycee Horn (CB), Vonn Bell (S)

So much depends on Bryce Young and he should be a Day 1 starter. There’s some nice pieces on offense and defense and if those around them click, it could be a better season for Panthers fans.

Our Rankings (A to F)

  • Offense – Passing C, Rushing C+
  • Defense – Against Pass A-, Against Rush B
  • Special Teams – B
  • Coaching – C+
  • Total – B-

It’s been a while since we considered the Panthers a genuine contender in the NFC South, but this year they could well push for that top spot and the playoffs.

Latest Betting Odds with bet365

  • Divisional Champions – 4/1
  • Conference Champions – 28/1
  • Super Bowl Winners – 66/1

New Orleans Saints

Key Info

  • Head Coach – Dennis Allen
  • Last Season’s Record – 7-10
  • Key Losses – David Onyemata (DT), Kaden Elliss (OLB), Shy Tuttle (DT)
  • Key Additions – Derek Carr (QB), Nathan Shepherd (DE), Khalen Saunders (DT)
  • Key 2023 Draft Picks – Bryan Bresee (DT), Isaiah Fosket (DE), Kendre Miller (RB)
  • Top 3 Offense – Cesar Ruiz (G), Taysom Hill (QB/TE), Derek Carr (QB)
  • Top 3 Defense – Cam Jordan (DE), Marshon Lattimore (CB), Tyrann Mathieu (S)

Derek Carr will be a useful addition, as will Jamaal Williams. Michael Thomas os a great receiver, but rarely fit which impacts the Saints chances of going far this season.

Our Rankings (A to F)

  • Offense – Passing B, Rushing B+
  • Defense – Against Pass B, Against Rush C-
  • Special Teams – C+
  • Coaching – C+
  • Total – B-

Injuries have played havoc with the Saints for the last few years. If they can avoid them, they can win this division ahead of the Panthers.

Latest Betting Odds with bet365

  • Divisional Champions – 6/5 fav
  • Conference Champions – 14/1
  • Super Bowl Winners – 33/1

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Key Info

  • Head Coach – Todd Bowles
  • Last Season’s Record – 8-9
  • Key Losses – Tom Brady (QB), Rakeem Nunez-Roches (DT), Akiem Hicks (DE)
  • Key Additions – Baker Mayfield (QB), Greg Gaines (DT), Matt Feiler (G)
  • Key 2023 Draft Picks – Calijah Kancey (DT), Cody Mauch (T), YaYa Diaby (DE)
  • Top 3 Offense – Mike Evans (WR), Chris Godwin (WR), Tristan Wirfs (T)
  • Top 3 Defense – Vita Vea (NT), Shaquill Barrett (OLB), Antoine Winfield Jr. (S)

A Tampa Bay team without Tom Brady at quarterback is not good news for Todd Bowles. After the glory of the veteran inspired Super Bowl, now it is about a rebuild and as such, this could be a painful season.

Our Rankings (A to F)

  • Offense – Passing D, Rushing C-
  • Defense – Against Pass B-, Against Rush C-
  • Special Teams – C
  • Coaching – C
  • Total – C-

It’s going to take a few years before the Bucs are back amongst the elite. They’ll struggle this season.

Latest Betting Odds with bet365

  • Divisional Champions – 7/1
  • Conference Champions – 40/1
  • Super Bowl Winners – 80/1

*All odds shown were correct with bet365 Sport at the time of writing, but may have changed in the meantime.

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