today we're going to go over the south divisions.
indianapolis - 11.5: over(-120) under(-110)
this is the biggest number on the board and after peyton's numbers last year, it's hard to see this team dropping off much. but 12 wins is a whole lot. the biggest question mark is how losing edgerrin james affects the colts. for some reason, i still feel that people are underrating how good james is. we talked about this alot last season, but the colts offensive line is vastly overrated and james made them look a hell of a lot better than they actually are. the odds of dominick rhodes or that rookie putting up the same numbers are pretty much impossible. the colts won 14 games last year and without james, i think they lose 3 of those games. however, if there's one rule that's worked really well for me the past few years is that once you figure out a gravy train, no sense getting off that train until it stops. all though the colts did eff me in the a last time i was in vegas. ehhh...pretty middling schedule...over.
jacksonville - 9: over(-120) under(-110)
another team that i haven't really paid much attention to in the offseason. i don't know why but i've never really liked this team. maybe it's because i really don't think that there should be an NFL franchise in jacksonville. or maybe it's because i think jack del rio gets a free pass as a coach because he's white. i like leftwich, but the running backs and the wide receiving corps are uninspiring to say the least. the schedule is interesting, they start out tough for the first four games home against dallas and pittsburgh and then at indy and at washington, then they have an easy stretch, and then the last three games get hard again. i'd be much more comfortable taking the over if the number was 8, but given the easy schedule, i'll still go ahead and take the over here.
tennessee - 5: over(-130) under(even)
everyone get ready for vince young to take over at about game 6 and then get ready for him to throw 30 interceptions. seriously, right now, the only player on this team that i think might put up decent numbers is lendale white. and that's a big might. i'll go ahead and predict that jeff fischer loses the players this year and will be coaching somewhere else next season. this line makes me nervous though, but give me the under.
houston - 5.5: over(-140) under(+110)
wow, vegas likes the texans more than it hates the titans. i do think that andre johnson will be much better this year and i think he'll have a breakout fantasy year and dominick davis is gonna rush for the most useuless 1200 yds ever. how's this for a first five games on the schedule - philly, at indy, washington, miami, bye, at dallas. the philly game is the only one they have a remote chance of winning. the texans dig themselves a deep hole early and never get out and david carr ends his tenure as the franchise qb. under.
tampa bay - 8: over(-115) under(-115)
this number kinda surprises me. the defense is still pretty solid and cadillac williams looks to be the real deal as well. but then again, chris simms, chris simms, chris simms. to me it's amazing that people thought he looked good at times last year, cuz i thought he looked pretty bad every time i say him. your name really can carry you far in this league. but a wildly inaccurate arm won't. most of the division has gotten better, while tampa bay didn't do a whole lot in the offseason. eight's a good number so we'll probably push here, but i'll take the under.
atlanta - 8.5: over(-110) under(-120)
i'm sure you've all heard by now that brian finneran is out for the season leaving ron mexico with alge crumpler as his only reliable target. warrick dunn has proven me wrong year after year, but i just don't trust little guys carrying the ball. when the break down, they do so very suddenly...actually all running backs do, but it seems to be more often the case with little ones. on the plus side mike vick has to be good this year. i just don't think the NFL will let one of it's most marketable and famous properties fail, so expect to see some fishy officiating in falcon's games this year. ahhh, what the hell, give me the over.
new orleans - 6.5: over(-140) under(+110)
that's a big discrepancy between the over and under and i can't quite figure it out. brees and bush are gonna help out a lot, sure, but the city is still a mess, and it doesn't sound like they're going to resolve the future home of the saints any time soon. from what i can tell the plans are still go to have games in the superdome, but as always, i suspect this sentimental factor is being overestimated. for the fantasy people, brees + shoulder injury = bad. remember everyone, it's only a feel good story if the team is any good, and this team isn't. not that i think vegas gets caught up in this crap, but i can't see drew brees putting this team over the top, so i don't know how else to explain the money lines. under.
sorry to put these out so close together, but i want to get them done before i take off in a few days.