Indianapolis Colts (0-0-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)
The Colts opened the season with a tie in Houston. They fared well in more predictive stats like yards per play differential (+1.35) and first down rate differential (+8.09%), playing to a tie primarily because of special teams and turnovers, which are significantly less predictive, but it was still an underwhelming performance against a Texans team that still figures to be one of the worst in the league and it’s likely a sign of things to come for a team which lost a pair of starting offensive linemen this off-season and which is playing without top defensive player Shaq Leonard, who remains out after off-season back surgery.
This week, the Colts head to Jacksonville to face a Jaguars team which is underwhelming, but which is also a step up in competition from the Texans. The Jaguars lost their first game of the season in Washington, but won the first down rate (+0.20%) and yards per play (+0.61) battle in a 6-point loss in which they lost the turnover battle by two. I think the Jaguars are a little too competitive of a team for the Colts to be getting more than a field goal on the road against them and the Colts are in a tough spot having played to a tie last week, with teams covering at just a 43.3% rate after a tie all-time, which drops at 31.2% on the road. There isn’t quite enough here for the Jaguars to be worth betting, but they should be the right side for pick ‘em purposes and, if this line stays put and injured Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman ends up not playing, I may consider a bet on Jacksonville.
Indianapolis Colts 23 Jacksonville Jaguars 20
Pick against the spread: Jacksonville +3.5