NFL Betting Week 17: Colts could lose top pick with win over Jaguars

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday, 1/1/12, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Jacksonville -5
Current Betting Line:  Jacksonville -3.5
Opening Total:  37
Current Total:  37
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Jaguars Colts NFL Game Preview
Jacksonville RB Maurice Jones-Drew leads the NFL in rushing heading into Week 17.

The Indianapolis Colts need another loss to lock up the top overall pick in the NFL draft, and they will have to earn their first road victory of the season to avoid that scenario when they visit the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.  The Colts (2-13) have their sights set on selecting Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck in April, but they likely would not get that opportunity if they beat the Jaguars (4-11) and the St. Louis Rams lose.

Indianapolis has yet to win a road game this year but rides a two-game winning streak into Jacksonville following a 19-16 victory against Houston on December 22.  The Colts have also covered the spread in four straight, but they have lost two of the last three meetings with the Jaguars both straight-up and against the line.

Indy quarterback Dan Orlovsky relieved Curtis Painter in a 17-3 home loss to Jacksonville in Week 10 but did not take over as the starter until three weeks later at New England, when he threw for 353 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in a 31-24 loss.  Orlovsky has played better than any of the team’s QBs this season and might have earned himself a spot on the roster next year regardless of whether or not Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning are also there.

The Jaguars (-3.5, O/U 37) return home after losing their last two games on the road at Atlanta and Tennessee.  They have covered two of their past three and kept last week’s game close against the Titans before falling, 23-17.  Running back Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for 103 yards on 24 carries and scored one touchdown while adding six receptions for 21 yards.

Jones-Drew leads the league in rushing with 1,437 yards and has 128 more than Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy.  He has played a huge role in keeping Jacksonville competitive at times despite rookie QB Blaine Gabbert’s struggles.  Gabbert has completed just over 50 percent of his passes for 2,122 yards with 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, and he has been sacked 37 times.

In the last meeting with the Colts, Gabbert threw for 118 yards with one touchdown and one interception, and Jones-Drew added 114 on the ground and scored once.  The Jaguars defense totaled five sacks and picked off Painter twice before Orlovsky took over and had a late fumble that eventually led to Jones-Drew’s TD with 3:52 remaining.

Indianapolis is 1-10 against the spread in its last 11 games vs. a team with a losing record, but the road team is 7-2 ATS in the past nine meetings.  The OVER is 14-4 in the last 18 road games for the Colts and 6-2 in the past eight meetings.

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