The playoff-bound Indianapolis Colts still have an outside shot at earning a first-round bye. They finish the season Sunday by hosting a Jacksonville Jaguars team that they've beaten in the last two meetings by a combined 51 points.
But the Colts, perhaps in being over-rated by the oddsmakers, are just 2-7 against the spread ("ATS") the last nine times they've played the Jags in Indianapolis.
Point spread: Colts opened as 13-point favorites—the total was 45.5. (Line updates and matchup report)
Odds Shark computer prediction: 22.9-9.5 Colts
Why the Jaguars can cover the spread
Jacksonville has won four of its last seven games, and its last two losses have come by one score each. Since their dismal start to the season the Jags are 4-2-1 ATS over their last seven games. Jacksonville could have given up on the season, its first under Coach Bradley, but he hasn't allowed that to happen.
Finally, the Jags are 6-1 ATS in their last seven divisional road games and 3-1 straight up ("SU")—4-0 ATS over their last four road games.
Why the Colts can cover the spread
It's a bit of a long shot but Indy can still earn the two seed in the AFC, and the first-round bye that comes with it. Since getting bounced at Cincinnati three weeks ago, the Colts have won their last two games by a combined score of 48-10, covering both times out even though they had already clinched the AFC South.
Indy only ranks 17th in total offense and 19th in total defense, but it seems to be the little things that win games. Also, the Colts are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 divisional games.
The Odds Shark computer foresees an Indy victory and cover, but the Colts have still been out-gained and out-rushed on the season. Also, to move up in the AFC seedings, Indy needs losses by the Patriots and Bengals who play at the same time.
The Colts might do some scoreboard watching Sunday, and act accordingly should that scoreboard bring bad news.
Finally, Jacksonville has covered its last four games on the road at Denver (+26), Tennessee (+11), Houston (+10) and Cleveland (+7). The Jags should keep Sunday's game close, too, possibly continuing their streak of eight straight Week 17 OVERs.
- Past five meetings played UNDER the total
- Jaguars are 7-2 ATS past nine visits to Indy
- Jaguars are 4-0 ATS past four road games as dogs
- Jaguars won outright past two games as double-digit road dogs
- Colts are 9-1 SU and ATS past 10 divisional games
- Jaguars are 6-1 ATS past seven divisional road games
- Colts 4-16 ATS past 20 Week 17 games
- Jaguars played 8 straight Week 17 OVERs
- Jaguars 1-6 ATS past 7 regular season finales