Indianapolis Colts (6-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8)
The Colts lost in Pittsburgh 45-10 last week, but still rank 16th in rate of moving the chains differential, as opposed to 28th. Given that, I think we’re getting at least some line value with the Colts as 1 point underdogs. That’s no surprise, considering teams are 51-26 ATS off of a loss by 35 or more points since 2002. Teams tend to be overlooked, undervalued, and embarrassed off of a loss like that. I don’t expect the Jaguars to overlook the Colts, considering the Colts still lead the division, but the Colts definitely seem undervalued.
They could also easily be embarrassed after last week’s debacle against a tough team and get back on track against a weaker team this week. The Colts generally do well against weaker teams, particularly divisional opponents in what has been arguably the weakest division in football over the past few years. Since Chuck Pagano took over in 2012, the Colts are 16-5 ATS against the division, 19-7 ATS against opponents with a losing record, and 13-3 ATS against divisional opponents with a losing record.
It also helps the Colts that they’re in their 2nd of two road games. Teams are 126-91 ATS as road underdogs off a road loss since 2008, including 103-62 ATS when it’s their 2nd of 2 road games. Historically, teams cover at about a 65% rate in that situation. This is because teams tend to do better in their 2nd straight road game than their first one, but lines don’t really adjust for this. Teams are 221-219 straight up in their 2nd of two road games since 2008, getting outscored by an average of 0.37 points per game, as opposed to 311-431 straight up in their 1st of one road game since 2008, getting outscored by an average of 2.83 points per game.
The Colts are banged up, missing quarterback Andrew Luck, left tackle Anthony Castonzo, and middle linebacker Jerrell Freeman. Luck has been missing for a while and wasn’t playing well even when on the field, so that one doesn’t matter too much, but Castonzo is missing his 4th straight and Freeman his 2nd straight and they’ve both been missed in their absence. I still am taking the Colts for a money play, but I really wish we were getting a field goal with them.
Indianapolis Colts 24 Jacksonville Jaguars 20 Upset Pick +100
Pick against the spread: Indianapolis +1