NFL Picks - Colts vs. Jaguars Week 4 Early Predictions

Indianapolis Colts players in action

Jason Lake

Monday, September 26, 2016 8:52 PM UTC

Monday, Sep. 26, 2016 8:52 PM UTC

Everyone loves Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. They are a very popular football pick this Sunday when they visit Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville Jaguars, is the public right?

What's in a name? Plenty, if your name is Andrew Luck. For four straight years, his Indianapolis Colts have made a mockery of the efficiency charts, posting much higher win-loss records than their performance level would suggest. Is it Luck? Aside from a solid 2014 campaign, when he finished No. 11 among quarterbacks in DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average), Luck's numbers have been average when healthy – and awful when he's not.

Then you have Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Does anyone take these guys seriously? Bortles was the least efficient quarterback in the league as a rookie in 2014, then improved to replacement-level last year, outperforming both Luck and his primary back-up, Matt Hasselbeck. So are the Jags the hot NFL week 4 pick for Sunday's game across the pond (9:30 a.m. ET, CBS) at Wembley Stadium? Of course not. Our consensus numbers show two-thirds of early bettors on the Colts.

The Reitz Stuff
But wait, isn't early money supposed to be sharp money? In theory, but here at the ranch, we're putting extra emphasis on average bet size for 2016. And this matchup is drawing very light action on both teams, at $21 a pop for Indianapolis and $14 for Jacksonville. It's supposed to be all about the Benjamins, not the Jacksons.

A quick tour of the Internet also shows the Colts (1-2 SU and ATS) at No. 2 on the public money charts, behind only the Green Bay Packers, who get the bye in Week 4. The Jags (0-3 SU, 1-2 ATS) are way, way down the list at No. 25. They haven't finished above .500 since 2007. They haven't had more than five wins since 2010. Sure enough, the lines are already steaming toward the Colts, who sit at – 2.5 on our NFL odds board after opening at –1.

Here's the tricky part: Does this make Jacksonville a sharp pick for Sunday's game in London? Maybe if the spread moves to +3, or better still, +3.5 among top sportsbooks. Opinions have Indianapolis winning this game 66 percent of the time, or –4.5 according to Elo, but others are more pessimistic at 62.4 percent. That's more like Indianapolis –3.5. However, the Colts could be thin on the offensive line after RT Joe Reitz hurt his back last week. Keep an eye on the injury reports, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.


Record: 5-3 ATS, 4-2 Totals

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