Andrew Luck is coming off one of the best rookie QB performances in NFL history, while the Jaguars are wondering whether or not Blaine Gabbert can even play in this league. Does this make the Colts a no-brainer pick on Thursday night?
The look-ahead line last week had the Jacksonville Jaguars as -1 point favorites. After Week 9, the line re-opened at -3 (odds from SBRforum). As it stands now, 81% of the betting public are on the road team, but the books have remained stubborn and haven't moved the line. This shouldn't come as a big surprise because Indy haven't been the best road this season and "sharp money" has come in on the Jaguars at home all year. If the line does move to -3.5, I imagine sharps will once again take their chances with the home dog.
By the Numbers
It's hard to argue with the heavy percentage of bets coming in on the Colts because the Indy offense has steadily improved over the last month. Luck's QB efficiency has moved up into the top third of the league and they've made nice strides in the running game. Their red zone efficiency is still below average, but let's consider the opponent for a second. The Jaguars defense ranks below average in every meaningful category and near the very bottom in sacks and on third down.
Offensively things are even more bleak for Jacksonville. Gabbert ranks dead last in QB efficiency, MJD is out with a foot injury, and they are among the worst in drive success rate. They simply can't move the football with any regularity and once they do get inside the 20, they settle for field goals more times than not.
The good news for the Jags is that Indy's defense is piss-poor themselves. They rank dead last in pass defense, and below average vs the run and red zone. What's worse is they racked up these stats against a very subpar group of offenses on the schedule. If Jacksonville have any hope of gaining some confidence on offense, this would be the opportunity to do so.
I'm taking a pass on this game, but I would lean Colts -3 if I had to make a pick. I've picked against the Jaguars in every one of their home games this season, but this is a spot where they just might get the cover. Keep in mind the Colts are coming off an emotional win. The last time this happened they laid an egg in New York. This time around they must travel on a short week as well. I think these intangibles could be enough to negate the advantages Indy have in the X's and O's department. There are better options on the card in Week 10.