Colts vs. Jaguars: NFL Week 18 betting odds, preview, and pick
Indianapolis will seek to clinch the final playoff spot in the AFC on Sunday, when the Colts travel to Jacksonville to face the Jaguars in NFL Week 18 action.
Sun, January 9 2022, 6:00 PM
Colts must end losing streak in Jacksonville to make playoffs
Indianapolis had a chance to secure its playoff participation last weekend, but a last-second field goal from the Raiders left the Colts with a 23-20 defeat and a must-win situation in Week 18.
The Colts led 17-13 heading into the fourth quarter, and tied the game back up, 20-20, with less than two minutes remaining, but Derek Carr marched Las Vegas down the field to give the Raiders the win. The Colts managed just 262 yards of offense in the defeat.
Now, the Colts travel to Jacksonville, needing to win away from home against the Jaguars for the first time in seven years. They defeated Jacksonville 23-17 back in Week 10, in a game where the Colts stormed out to a lead but then allowed the visitors to nearly come back late.
Jonathan Taylor, arguably the league MVP, had 116 yards and a touchdown in that game. The defeat to Las Vegas was the first time in his ten 100-yard games that the Colts failed to claim victory.
Carson Wentz was rusty against Las Vegas, as he missed the entire week of practice on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and he has thrown for an average of 168.6 yards in Indianapolis’ last seven games.
Taylor has picked up the slack, ranking second in the NFL with 2.8 yards after contact and breaking the third-most tackles in the league. The defense has done its job as well, forcing turnovers and have held five of its last seven opponents below 20 points.
Jaguars’ defeat gives them top overall pick again
With a half-game advantage on the Lions, Jacksonville is one more defeat away from securing the No. 1 pick in the draft for the second year running. The Jaguars also are on the verge of being the first team in NFL history to lose 15 games in consecutive seasons — albeit with an extra game played this season.
The No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Trevor Lawrence, has had a rough season, not helped by the coaching turmoil and injuries suffered by the offense.
He threw three interceptions last weekend in the Jaguars' 50-10 humiliation at New England, and his screen pass in the fourth quarter against the Patriots’ backup defenders resulted in just his second touchdown pass in the last nine weeks.
The Jaguars will again be without running back James Robinson, their lone bright spot this season, who tore his Achilles against the Jets in Week 16.
The Jaguars are averaging a league-low 14.2 points per game, and have not won a game since Week 9, when they stunned the Bills 9-6.
The defense has gone downhill since then and allowed four rushing touchdowns and three passing scores last week. The unit's 124 missed tackles are the second most in the NFL, and last weekend, it looked uninspired and uninterested, as it whiffed on tackle after tackle.
The Jags have lost their last seven games by an average of 19 points, and their third-down defense of late has been among the worst in the league.
Colts vs. Jaguars injury report
|Indianapolis Colts||Jacksonville Jaguars|
OT Eric Fisher: Questionable (knee)
TE Dan Arnold: Questionable (knee)
FS Andrew Sendejo: Questionable (concussion)
LB Dakota Allen: Questionable (shoulder)
CB Xavier Rhodes: Questionable (hamstring)
TE James O'Shaughnessy: Questionable (hip)
WR Parris Campbell: Questionable (foot)
Colts and Jaguars Trends
- The Colts are 6-0 ATS in their last six road games
- The Colts are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games as a road favorite
- The Under is 4-0 in Indianapolis’ last four games
- The Jaguars are 0-7 ATS in their last seven games
- The Jaguars are 11-1-1 ATS in their last 13 games against the Colts
- The Over is 3-0 in Jacksonville’s last three games
The trends for the Colts and Jaguars all say that Jacksonville should cover. Indianapolis has not swept the season series against the Jaguars since 2014, which was the last time they beat the Jaguars away from home. The Jaguars have covered the spread in 11 of their previous 13 meetings, with one push. Earlier this season, Jacksonville covered a 10.5-point spread on the road.
All that said, the Colts being in a must-win situation puts them in a position they’ve not been in before when facing Jacksonville on the road. Indianapolis will be focused and driven to win against an opponent who has nothing more to play for than pride. And we saw last week that pride is nearly non-existent in Jacksonville, as was the Jaguars' offense.
At the end of the day, Jacksonville has no offensive weapons to point to as a way for the team to keep this game close. The Jaguars' turnover issues will be a focus for the Colts, whose defense leads the league in fumbles forced and total takeaways.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars' inability to tackle Taylor will cause issues, and Indianapolis will feed him the ball all game long to make sure the Colts get into the playoffs. The Jaguars have allowed more than 450 rushing yards over the past two games, and Taylor should have a field day.
Take Indianapolis to cover the spread easily in this one, as the Colts learn from the first meeting this year, where they jumped out to a 17-0 lead and then let things get tight late.
For a Same Game Combo play, pair the Colts’ cover with a low Jacksonville score, as the Jaguars have scored more than 14 points just three times in their last 10 games.
Score prediction: Indianapolis 31, Jacksonville 13
Colts vs. Jaguars Pick powered by The Quant Edge
Our predictive engine is calling for the Colts to win outright.