Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: betting odds, preview, pick

Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE

Teams headed in opposite directions clash in the Thursday Nighter but it's the total instead of the point spread that may be the best bet of the night, according to OddsShark.com.

The Jacksonville Jaguars will try to avoid losing their sixth straight game Thursday night when they host the surprising Indianapolis Colts at EverBank Field.

But is the Jags-Colts point spread - most shops such as Bovada had the Jags as 3-point home underdogs - the best play? Certainly the over-under has seen some dramatic and profitable trends involving these teams lately.

The UNDER is 7-1 in Jacksonville's past eight games within the division. The Colts, playing directly into this trend, have played nine straight UNDERs against AFC South foes.

Coming off of a 5-11 SU and 7-9 ATS season in 2011, not many people were expecting much out of the Jacksonville Jaguars this year. But with the team's only name-brand offensive star Maurice Jones-Drew sidelined with a foot injury, things might be even worse than expected at 1-7 SU and 4-4 ATS.

The Jaguars are 0-5 SU and 2-3 ATS over their last five games and are averaging just 13 points per game over that stretch.

Indianapolis, meanwhile, is surging in the right direction. Andrew Luck is more than living up to the hype he came into the season with. His 433-yard performance Sunday against Miami was the most passing yards ever by a rookie in a single game, and led the Colts to their third straight win and a 4-1 SU and ATS record over their last five games.

At 5-3 SU, the Colts are currently holding on to one of the AFC's Wild Card positions just one season after going 2-14 SU and 6-10 ATS in 2011.

There isn't much from an X's and O's perspective that supports the Jaguars here, but they do have a few trends going in their favor. Indianapolis is just 1-10 SU in its last 11 road games (including a 1-2 SU and ATS road record this season), and the Colts are 0-3 SU and ATS in their last three games against the Jaguars including their only home loss of the season this year back in Week 3.

Having said that, things have changed a lot since Week 3. The Jaguars no longer have Maurice Jones-Drew, and Andrew Luck has come a long way in a short period of time in his development. The Colts are also playing inspired football for their coach, Chuck Pagano, who is out battling Leukemia.

With Indy surging and Jacksonville nose-diving, the Colts look like the choice here.

PICK: Indianapolis -3 (courtesy of PickShark.com)

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