Jacksonville Jaguars (3-12 SU, 7-8 ATS) vs. Indianapolis Colts (7-8 SU, 7-7 ATS) vs
NFL Week 17
Date/Time: Sunday, January 2, 2016 – 1:00 PM EST
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, IN
by Keith, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: JAX +4.5/ND – 4.5
Over/Under Total: 47.5
These two AFC South foes squared off in an installment of “The International Series” at Wembley Stadium in London, England in October where the Jaguars took it to the Colts with a healthy Andrew Luck. Now, the Indianapolis Colts (7-8) will meet again with the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-12) in Indy. Jacksonville has won their previous two against the Colts. Previous to London, the Jags hung 51 points on the Colts in a 51-16 rout in November of 2015. Both teams enter this contest on bitter notes as they are eliminated from the post-season. For Jacksonville a win against Tennessee serves as a feather in otherwise sullied Jaguars cap. The Jaguars have won just one other game outside of their international victory and Sunday’s heroics at home.
The Jaguars have more of a home-field advantage in the United Kingdom despite a transatlantic flight and five hour time difference. The Jaguars get little support at home but they experience plenty of it in London. As a result, the Jags regularly visit the United Kingdom and there are talks that if the NFL were to expand globally, Jacksonville would be the prime candidate to re-locate to London. However this one will be in the confines of Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Colts are 3-4 at home this season showing they have no true edge on their own field.
Andrew Luck has been as good of a quarterback as he could be, season to date but the Colts will likely be sitting him for this one be that the game is of little consequence. Luck has an ability to influence markets and thus we have seen heavy action roll in on the Jags descending this market by 2.5 points. Despite the line movements on Jacksonville, the Colts remain a consensus favorite. In a situation such as this, the points are likely optimal be that Houston has already wrapped up the South.
The Jaguars also had two secret weapons to start off the season: Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson. We have previously mentioned that these two playmakers have each gone for over 1,000 receiving yards last year and were the first couple to do so since the Jags had Keenan McCardell and Jimmy Smith in their rolls. However, Hurns has been shelved with an injury and Robinson didn’t even eclipse 1,000 yards this season as he has halved his production compared to 2015. Brian Walters has stepped in for Hurns and the Jaguars have since cultivated a reputation for blowing games they have leads in. However, the Jags may be impervious to this narrative on Sunday be that the Colts may have their reserves in for the most of the game. However, it is likely Jacksonville employs a similar strategy and thus this fixture is all the more unpredictable when we have to dissect the reserves on each squad.
We are going to go ahead and play on previous success with the team that has the hot hand in this series and make a play on Jacksonville. When analyzing the numbers, the safest bet if there is such a thing is taking the points in this contest as it can be easily inferred there is no true favorite. Let us reiterate that home teams give three points to away teams in a virtual toss up so the implication here is that an Indy team with four more wins that Jacksonville is just 1.5 points better than them on neutral ground. Furthermore, the Indianapolis defense is extremely porous with their starters out there, who knows what may occur if they are playing with back-ups. Jacksonville will likely come in to this contest a bit more motivated be that 4-12 is certainly a better mark than 3-13. Every win counts for Jacksonville but for Indianapolis at this point, missing the post-season is enough to demoralize this team outright and have them come in flat. A loss here is far more inconsequential to the Colts and with this being said, we will go ahead and take the points while we can with Jacksonville. In Over/Under markets, the Under is worth consideration given the scenario taking shape with these teams in this contest. This will likely be nothing more than a scrimmage for all intent and purposes.
KEITH’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Jacksonville Jaguars +4.5
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