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NFL Week 1 Jaguars at Colts Betting Preview

Trap Game in Indianapolis?

Two teams who finished 2022 in very different manners meet up in the week 1 Jaguars at Colts betting matchup to see how 2023 gets started. Jacksonville won six of their last seven regular season contests to claim the AFC South while the Colts dropped their last seven to finish 4-12-1.

The Jaguars have much higher hopes for the 2023 campaign than Indianapolis does, but Jacksonville is still just a -4.5 road favorite on Sunday. That number seems low considering the Colts have tons of questions on the offensive side of the football, including starting a rookie QB and possibly a 3rd or 4th string RB. Close to 70% of the betting public likes the Jags to cover the number here.

Why the Jaguars Have Value at -4.5

Trevor Lawrence seems like he’s on the verge of superstardom, and his third NFL season will be the first one where he has any stability. Lawrence’s rookie year was marred by the Urban Meyer debacle and last season he had to learn the new Doug Pederson system. Once Lawrence got comfortable he thrived and most importantly cut down his INTs from 17 in 2021 to just 8 last year.

Lawrence should take another leap in 2023 due to the addition of former 1,300+ yard receiver Calvin Ridley who had to serve a gambling suspension last year. Combined with Zay Jones and Christian Kirk – as well as TE Evan Engram – that’s one of the best arsenal of pass catching targets in the NFL.

The Jacksonville defense had some issues last season, but they were also starting two rookies in Trayvon Walker and Devin Llloyd. They should both be better in year two, and in the week 1 Jaguars at Colts betting matchup Indianapolis will be starting a rookie QB and also be without former rushing leader Jonathan Taylor who is on the PUP list.

Why the Colts Have Value at +4.5

This line seems on the low side with all the questions the Colts have on offense – which as any seasoned gambler knows can often point to a trap game. It wouldn’t be a complete shock if Indianapolis won this one as the two division rivals have split their last 10 meetings with each one going 5-0 at home – including when they sometimes shouldn’t like the Jags’ 26-11 win in January 2022 when the Colts just needed to win to get into the playoffs.

The big knock on new Indianapolis QB Anthony Richardson is that he lacks experience, and while it’s true he only started 13 games at Florida he still showed enough to be taken at #4 in the 2023 NFL draft. Richardson is the type of mobile QB that can give opponent fits, and the Jaguars also had a bottom 5 pass defense last year.

The disgruntled RB Taylor will miss the first four weeks of the year on the PUP list, but Indy still has a solid offensive line anchored by All-Pro Quenton Nelson. Backups Deon Jackson and Evan Hull have a great opportunity here and the Colts should run the ball frequently to take pressure off Richardson.

Free Week 1 Jaguars at Colts Betting Pick

This looks like an easy Jaguars win against a rookie QB, but these are also the types of games that can surprise you. The home team has won every meeting between these two clubs the last five years, and until that trend is broken you ride it.

Free Pick: Colts +4.5

Carl Taylor

Every loss is a chance to learn a lesson. That being said, wins are so much more enjoyable. Follow along to tap into the wisdom I've learned from 20 years as a sports bettor. Follow along on Twitter for more picks and DFS news @dailydogsports.

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