Jaguars host Colts as slim favourites in crucial AFC South clash
Daniel Coyle, American Sports Correspondent | December 12, 2015
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts
The Jacksonville Jaguars face what is likely their last chance to return to contention in the AFC South, when they entertain division rivals Indianapolis Colts on Sunday as slim 1-point favourites in NFL betting at Coral’s online sportsbook.
The 4-8 Jags blew a golden opportunity to seize a share of top spot in the division, dropping a pair of decisions to Tennessee Titans and San Diego, clubs with losing records that Jacksonville were widely expected to defeat.
However, the Colts (35/1 with Coral to win Superbowl 50) have not fared much better of late, bringing a three-game straight up win streak to a halt last week with a lopsided 45-10 loss in Pittsburgh, failing to cover as 9.5-point underdogs.
Indy remains atop the division, deadlocked with Houston at 6-6, holding the tiebreaker edge over the Texans on the strength of their 27-20 win in Houston earlier this season, and their perfect 3-0 SU record against division rivals.
The Colts also eked out a narrow 16-13 victory over Jacksonville, back in Week 4, extending their current win streak against the Jaguars to six games.
New England (-3.0) @ Houston
The Texans, meanwhile, will have their hands full when they host New England Patriots on Sunday night as 3-point underdogs.
Houston’s recent surge towards a playoff berth hit a road block last weekend, when they fell 30-21 to Buffalo, ending the four-game SU and ATS win streak that had lifted them into a tie with the Colts.
The Texans’ defense proved fearsome during that stretch of wins, holding opponents to under nine points per game, and just 250.2 total yards per game.
The club hosts a Patriots squad that suddenly appears vulnerable following a pair of SU losses that ended a 13-game SU win streak.
New England blew a 14-point fourth-quarter lead in a 30-24 loss to Denver two weeks ago, before handing Philadelphia a 35-28 victory last week, serving the Eagles 21 points on two interceptions thrown by Tom Brady, and a punt returned for a major score.
Brady was without two of his favourite targets in the loss to Philly. Receiver Julian Edelman is expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the regular season with a foot injury, while tight end Rob Gronkowski was sat down after suffering a knee injury late in the loss to Denver.
While “Gronk” reportedly participated in practice this week wearing a knee brace, he remains doubtful for Sunday’s contest, to the delight of the Texans, who have surrendered an average of 38 points per game in three straight losses to the Patriots.
Buffalo (-0.5) @ Philadelphia
In other NFL Week 14 betting action at Coral, Buffalo will try to keep their slim playoff hopes alive when they visit the Eagles as narrow 0.5-point favourites.
The Bills have averaged almost 165 rushing yards per game over their last five, but remain winless in their last two road contests.
However, the Eagles have been brutal on offense, with Philly pivots averaging under 140 passing yards per game in their last two, while the defense has surrendered over 400 total yards in four of their last five.
AFC Wild Card race tightens up
Titans visit the New York Jets this weekend as 6.5-point underdogs. The 7-5 Jets are one of the teams the Bills must surpass in their pursuit of an AFC Wild Card and their first playoff berth since 1999, and go into action against Tennessee amid a two-game SU and ATS win streak.
The 7-5 Kansas City Chiefs currently lead the AFC Wild Card race on the strength of tiebreakers, while the 7-5 Steelers also remain in this hunt.
Pittsburgh visits the 10-2 Cincinnati Bengals this weekend as 2.5-point underdogs, while red-hot Chiefs look for their seventh straight victory when they host Chargers as 10-point favourites.
Take a look at our US Sports page for NFL previews plus more American sports.