Colts vs. Jaguars Predictions, Picks, Betting Tips 9/13/20
Game: Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars
Date: Sunday, September 13, 2020
Location: TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, FL
Odds/Point Spread: Indianapolis -7.0
It is Standard Football Wisdom that no one will ever get rich consistently betting on NFL road favorites. And that old chestnut has held true when it comes to NFL Week 1 road favorites. Over the last 10 years, teams laying the points on the road in their opening game have gone just 26-28 against the spread in NFL Week 1.
Week 1 NFL divisional road favorites have been a horror show for bettors, going just 5-15 ATS when laying the points away from home against a division rival.
That doesn’t bode well for Indianapolis when they roll down to Jacksonville at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 13 for their Week 1 opener.
Making matters worse for the Colts is the fact that the home team has dominated this series in recent years, winning nine of the last 10 meetings and covering the spread five straight times. Further, the Jaguars have gone 9-1 ATS in the last 10 meetings with their division rivals.
That is a hell of a lot of trends pointing toward the home dog Jaguars.
So now I’m going to hit you with this little gem of advice from a seasoned professional and one of the top handicappers in the country: sometimes you gotta say, “Screw the trends” and go with your gut.
And my gut tells me that Indianapolis is going to manhandle Jacksonville because one of these teams is a well-coached, well-rounded team set to be a threat in the AFC…while the other team is the Jacksonville Jaguars.
I’m bullish on the Colts this year. I thought they did an admirable job navigating Andrew Luck’s stunning retirement last season, and I thought the Philip Rivers signing for the upcoming campaign was inspired. I’m a big fan of Frank Reich’s, and I think he will have his team ready to go in Week 1.
Then there’s Jacksonville.
This Jaguars team isn’t completely rudderless. I thoroughly enjoy their decision to go with Gardner Minshew as the team’s starting quarterback. They still have a powerful offensive line, and D.J. Chark is one of the most underrated receivers in football. The defense is young and raw but has pockets of talent.
However, while I can’t look at the Jaguars and say that they are definitively better heading into this season than they were last year, I can look at the Colts and project them to be much more formidable. Besides signing Rivers, the Colts added Pro Bowlers DeForest Buckner and Xavier Rhodes to a core that shockingly started last season 5-2.
The last meeting between these two teams took place last December in Week 17. The Jaguars outscored the Colts 22-0 in the second half to earn a 38-20 victory to close out the year. The turning point in that one was a strip-six from the Jacksonville defense, turning the game from 24-20 to 31-20 with nine minutes to play.
Jacksonville has had the upper hand in this series over the past several years by being a more physically imposing squad. I don’t think that’s the case this time around. Mix in the fact that Jacksonville is still trying to trade two of its best players – Leonard Fournette and Yannick Ngakoue – and this line could go even higher by the time these two meet in September.
The Jaguars defense fell of the cliff last year, finishing No. 21 in points allowed and No. 24 in total defense after back-to-back seasons in the Top 5 in both categories. With two rookies penciled into the starting lineup, I expect that downward trend to continue.
We know Rivers can fill it up. And the Jaguars have some sneaky-good skill position players. I think that the Colts will be able to wear down Jacksonville with their running game. And I expect Minshew and Co. to do what they can to turn this one into a shootout. But I simply can’t see the Jaguars defense getting enough stops to keep this one close.
This one will be close to the spread. But I see it ending up as a double-digit margin for the road squad.
Who will win the Colts/Jaguars NFL game against the spread?
Robert Ferringo’s Pick: Take Indianapolis (-7) and Over 46.0.
NOTE: Robert made these picks and predictions in May. Things can and will change in the four months between May and September. These May predictions may or may not match his rated Week 1 picks released to his clients on Thursday, Sept. 10.
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