Sean Pendergast

Houston Texans Are Underdogs To Defend Their AFC South Division Title

Andrew Luck and the Colts are the favorites to win the AFC South in 2019.
Andrew Luck and the Colts are the favorites to win the AFC South in 2019. Photo by Eric Sauseda
Well, those last two games between the Texans and the Colts in 2018, both at NRG Stadium, both Colts wins, one in Week 14 of the regular season and one in the playoffs, made quite an impression on the odds making community and the betting public. At least, that appears to be the case, based on the recent divisional odds just dropped yesterday on

The Colts' win in Week 14 was impressive, in that it snapped the Texans nine game winning streak, but the 21-7 win in the Wild Card Round of the NFL Playoffs seemed to be a flat out statement — "The AFC South is ours again!" After watching the Texans win three out of the last four AFC South crowns, a healthy Andrew Luck along with a competent head coach and GM, two things he's never had before, have retaken the division, at least perceptually.

The Colts are practically even money, 11/10 to be exact, to win the AFC South, while the Texans come in second at an interesting 9/4 number. Let's take a look at the odds for all eight divisions, and I'll give you my thoughts on where my money would go right now.

Odds to Win the 2019 NFC East
Philadelphia Eagles 1/1
Dallas Cowboys 5/4
Washington Redskins 10/1
New York Giants 16/1

 This is one of three divisions in which the defending champion is not the favorite going into 2019. The odds seem accurate, in that this is a two-team race with two clear also-rans chasing. Given Carson Wentz's inability to stay healthy, I'll put my money on the Cowboys at 5/4.

Odds to Win the 2019 NFC North
Chicago Bears 7/4
Green Bay Packers 2/1
Minnesota Vikings 9/4
Detroit Lions 10/1

SP COMMENT - NFC NORTH: Swapping out Mike McCarthy for anyone-not-named-Mike-McCarthy as the head coach in Green Bay was not enough for them to overtake the Bears' fearsome defense. If the Vikings had a quarterback who didn't poop himself in prime time games, I'd be inclined to take them at 9/4, but at 7/4, I'll stick with the Bears' D and the possibility of improvement from Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback.

Odds to Win the 2019 NFC South
New Orleans Saints 4/7
Atlanta Falcons 7/2
Carolina Panthers 5/1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 12/1

SP COMMENT - NFC SOUTH: I think the Saints win this division, but not strongly enough to bet them at 4/7, so I'll go with something of better value, and by better value, let's take a flyer on Bruce Arians rehabbing Jameis Winston's career and Devin White having a transformative affect on the defense in Tampa Bay. 12/1 odds? Let's roll, baby!

Odds to Win the 2019 NFC West
Los Angeles Rams 4/7
Seattle Seahawks 11/4
San Francisco 49ers 5/1
Arizona Cardinals 25/1

SP COMMENT - NFC WEST: There is no chance in hell I am betting on a team with Jared Goff at quarterback at 4/7 odds. He ain't Drew Brees. I tell you what, let's ride with the return of Jimmy Garoppolo to the Niners, and take them at 5/1!

Odds to Win the 2019 AFC East
New England Patriots 2/7
New York Jets 5/1
Buffalo Bills 7/1
Miami Dolphins 25/1

SP COMMENT - AFC EAST: Honestly, history tells us that betting on anybody except New England is like burning money, and I am not into burning money. (I am into spending it frivolously and stupidly, but I am not into burning it.) I'll put a TINY taste on the Patriots at 2/7, and then if this is the year someone rises up to beat them, then I'll gladly lose that bet to see it happen.

Odds to Win the 2019 AFC North
Cleveland Browns 1/1
Pittsburgh Steelers 2/1
Baltimore Ravens 7/2
Cincinnati Bengals 20/1

SP COMMENT - AFC NORTH: The Cleveland Browns haven't finished above .500 since 2007, and they've made the postseason ONCE since returning to the NFL in 1999, and yet they have players on their team talking about them being the "next Patriots" (what up, Odell?) and making the Super Bowl this season (hello, Greedy!). This is insanity. The Browns at even money to win the division is, to me, the worst value on the entire board. Ironically, the Ravens (or as I like to call them, the Zombie Browns) are the defending division champs, and are THIRD on the odds board. I'll take Pittsburgh at 2/1 without the drama of Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown poisoning the locker room.

Odds to Win the 2019 AFC South
Indianapolis Colts 11/10
Houston Texans 9/4
Jacksonville Jaguars 5/1
Tennessee Titans 4/1

SP COMMENT - AFC SOUTH: I understand these odds fully. I don't like them because, as a Texans fan, right now they reflect reality (unlike the AFC North odds, which reflect sizzle, fluff, and misguided conjecture). I will put a small taste down on the Colts and happily pay off that bet if the Texans can build off of their 11-5 record in 2018.

Odds to Win the 2019 AFC West
Kansas City Chiefs 2/3
Los Angeles Chargers 7/4
Denver Broncos 12/1
Oakland Raiders 16/1

SP COMMENT - AFC WEST: The Chiefs' odds are, I would presume, assuming Tyreek Hill manages to dodge any extended discipline (or outright expulsion) from the league for his part in his young son's broken arm. There's no way I can take the Chiefs at 2/3, even with an exonerated Hill. I'll take the Chargers, who had an identical 12-4 record as Kansas City last season, at 7/4.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at and like him on Facebook at
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast