Colts vs. Jaguars Picks, Predictions & Betting Odds: Ride the Colts Against the Jaguars?
Douglas DeFelice-USA Today Sports. Pictured: Gardner Minshew.
- The Jaguars and Colts have endured tough seasons, so which one will be motivated in Week 17?
- Our experts offer their thoughts on how to approach this AFC South tilt.
Colts at Jaguars Picks, Predictions & Betting Odds
- Odds: Colts -3.5
- Over/Under: 43
- Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: CBS
Odds as of Thursday and via DraftKings, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
The Colts and Jaguars are each finishing off disappointing years, but they’ve got a final divisional matchup to finish their 2019 seasons. Should you trust the Colts even at the key number of 3.5?
Our experts preview this AFC South tilt, featuring a pick.
Colts-Jaguars Injury Report
Which team is healthier? Jags
Similar to Week 16, the Jaguars listed over 10 players on their injury report again, but every single one of them was removed from the injury report on Friday. I’d expect that to be the case again in Week 17.
Most of the injuries on the Colts are on the defensive side of the ball. The most notable are defensive lineman Denico Autry (concussion), cornerback Kenny Moore (ankle) and linebacker Darius Leonard (back). Autry is third on the team in pressures and hurries, Moore is their best cornerback in coverage and Leonard is one of their best pass rushers. — Justin Bailey
Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.
Colts Running Backs vs. Jaguars Linebackers
The Colts like to run the ball, ranking No. 6 with a 46.2% rush rate, and as home favorites, they seem especially likely to lean on the ground game.
The Colts don’t have an elite backfield, but their running backs are No. 8 in rush success rate and No. 11 in pass success rate (per Sharp Football Stats). At worst, they are competent, and against the Jags, competence can look like brilliance.
In Week 11, Colts running backs combined for 291 yards and two touchdowns against the Jags, and that was no fluke.
Just two years ago, the Jags had one of the league’s most feared defenses. They are now No. 31 in rush defense and No. 27 in pass defense against running backs (per Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric).
Since November — over the past eight weeks — the Jags have allowed 220.3 yards and 1.9 touchdowns on 26 carries and 6.9 targets per game to opposing backfields.
The problem lies primarily with the Jags linebackers: Starters Myles Jack (knee, IR) and Quincy Williams (hand, IR) haven’t played well this year anyway, but they’re both out, and backups Donald Payne and Austin Calitro are undrafted third-year special-teamers with little experience on defense.
And with their limited playing time this year, they’ve produced some incredibly poor Pro Football Focus grades.
- Donald Payne: 27.2 overall grade, 38.3 run defense, 27.5 coverage
- Austin Calitro: 43.9 overall grade, 47.9 run defense, 44.5 coverage
It almost doesn’t even matter who the running backs are: If they’re facing the Jags, they have a huge edge.
With Marlon Mack, Jordan Wilkins, Jonathan Williams and Nyheim Hines, the Colts have a stable — pun intended — of backs capable of putting up yards.
With this matchup, Colts running backs could combine for 200 yards and multiple touchdowns. — Matthew Freedman
Freedman: Colts -3.5
Since joining the Colts last year, head coach Frank Reich has had notable opponent-based against-the-spread splits.
- Divisional Opponent (12 games): 8-3-1 ATS, 38.1% ROI
- Non-Divisional Opponent (21 games): 8-11-2 ATS, -16.1% ROI
It helps that the Jaguars are in the AFC South. In 2017, they almost made the Super Bowl, but since then, HC Doug Marrone’s team has sensationally underwhelmed, and just last week, Executive VP of Football Operations Tom Coughlin was fired.
I’d say there’s an above-average chance the Jags fire Marrone after the season, and it’s hard to say it wouldn’t be deserved. Marrone’s offense over the past three years has been one of the league’s least imaginative.
Since last season, opponents are 18-11-2 ATS (19.7% ROI) against Marrone’s Jags.
Freedman is 542-411-22 (56.9%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.