At 5-3, Indianapolis has been one of the biggest surprises in the NFL when you consider their in their first year of the post-Peyton Manning era, and head coach Chuck Pagano has been battling cancer as well. The Colts have taken all their emotion and played as well as they could, and they could extend their winning streak to four games when they head to Jacksonville for a Thursday night NFL betting matchup.
Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars
NFL Odds: Colts -3
How The Colts Can Win
Andrew Luck has been surprisingly consistent so far in his rookie season as he holds the weight of the franchise on his shoulders, and he is coming off a record performance as he broke Carolina’s Cam Newton’s rookie passing mark, throwing for 433 yards in a win over Miami. You can overlook a poor performance against Chicago in his debut, and another stinker against the New York Jets because Luck seems to come through in the clutch, which is something that a lot of rookies don’t pick up on for a while. The defense bends, but doesn’t break and they keep the team in the game until the end, which is when Luck turns on the magic.
How The Jaguars Can Win
The 1-7 Jags are a miserable team and second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert hasn’t improved at all so far in his career. Jacksonville is last in the league in passing yards and you could make the argument that Gabbert doesn’t have any weapons in the aerial attack; when Cecil Shorts is your leading receiver, there is a problem. Rookie wideout Justin Blackmon hasn’t played that well either, but it all starts with Gabbert as the NFL is a quarterback-driven league. The poor play has carried over to the defense, which doesn’t rank higher than 25th in either pass or rush defense. If anything, Gabbert didn’t play horribly when the Jags beat the Colts 22-17 in Week 3.
Outlook And Pick
The Colts are favored by a field goal on the road, where they are 1-2 this season, but the Jags have yet to win a home game in four tries and their fanbase is about as apathetic as it gets. If the Jaguars are moved to Los Angeles (or somewhere else) in the next season or two, absolutely no one would be surprised and if they play as badly as they have been lately in a primetime game, get ready for the boos to start.
Luck will win his matchup with Gabbert, who doesn’t seem to be able to make adjustments and Luck will learn from his first game against the Jaguars, who just aren’t a talented team on either side of the ball. They don’t even seem to try hard and while Indianapolis doesn’t have the most talent in the league, they’re playing hard and that’s half the battle; not to mention, they’re playing for their coach. If you’re going to bet the NFL, Look for the Colts to cover the spread and roll over the Jags on the road.
Pick: Colts -3