Nov 13, 2019
Nov 13, 2019

NFL Week 11 preview: Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts

NFL Week 11 predictions

The competitive AFC South

Analysing the Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts: Where is the value?

NFL Week 11 preview: Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts

The Jacksonville Jaguars travel to Indianapolis to take on the Colts in Week 11 of the NFL. Looking for value in the NFL Week 11 odds? Read on to inform your NFL Week 11 predictions.

The competitive AFC South

The AFC South remains one of the NFL’s most competitive divisions and the currently second-placed Colts play hosts to the fourth placed Jags on Sunday.

The 6-3 Houston Texans head the division and occupy one of the top four AFC seeding spots that are guaranteed to a divisional winner.

Indianapolis are just outside the top six playoff seeding in eighth position in the overall AFC standings, two places above their opponents on Sunday with Tennessee, another AFC South side, sandwiched in between.

Divisional games are always the most important fixture on the NFL calendar. They are often intensely contested and long-lived rivalries, and play a major role deciding which teams will make the post season.

The current AFC South leaders Houston have greater than an 80% chance of playing post-season football, most of which is via the route of divisional winners.

Indianapolis is the most likely of Houston’s three challengers to overhaul the Texans and capture the division. The Colts have around a 35% chance of seeing post-season action, with 24% of this comprising the divisional winning route.

They’ll nudge that overall number to just over 50% with a win on Sunday, but a loss would reduce their overall chances of extending their season to just 15%.

Individual games can cause big swings in the overall markets as the season stretches into November.

The implication of Sunday’s game is equally stark for the Jags. A win would boost their playoff chances to a shade over 30%, but defeat would all but finish their season and send their odds plummeting to a single figure percentage.

In keeping with this season’s theme of replacement quarterbacks, Sunday’s game may see a rotation under centre for both sides.

Analysing the Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville finally grew weary of Blake Bortles inconsistent tenure as their starting passer and paid big money for Philadelphia’s Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles.

Foles’ reputation hinges on his productive and efficient post season play in 2017 in place of the injured Carson Wentz. He failed to quite live up to those performances in similar, late season duty in 2018, and his debut for Jacksonville only lasted for 8 passes before he suffered a shoulder injury.

The Jags’ big money signing is expected to return to the field on Sunday, with their playoff ambitions precariously balanced following half a season under the leadership of Foles’ sixth round understudy, Gardner Minshew.

Minshew has performed well, anchoring the Jags as a midtable passing outfit, but he has been inconsistent, trading excellent games with poor completion rates and disappointing yardage.

Jacksonville will hope Foles’ belated full debut will improve their passing threat.

Defensively, neither side excels at stopping the running game. Both allow around half a yard per carry further than the expected opponent-adjusted average.

Indianapolis were also forced into making big, early season changes under centre, following the unexpected retirement of their seven- year quarterback Andrew Luck during pre-season.

They’ve played with Jacoby Brissett, a former Patriots back-up and three-year Colt, who played their entire 2017 campaign during Luck’s persistent injury-plagued final years.

Brissett was an understandably lowly-ranked passer in 2017, but he’s shown definite improvement in 2019. Safe rather than spectacular, with occasional lapses in yardage and completion, he’s taken Indianapolis into the top 20 NFL passing teams.

However, in this season of injury-cursed quarterbacks, Brissett exited the Jags’ week 9 loss in Pittsburgh through injury after just five snaps, sat out their week 10 defeat to the otherwise hapless Dolphins, and currently remains a day-to-day decision for Sunday.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts: Where is the value?

No side is injury-free eleven weeks into a season, but the number of inactive players in the skill positions for Indianapolis is beginning to mount up.

So, with great uncertainty in the make-up and possible performance levels expected from the passing game for each team, it perhaps makes sense to concentrate on the defensive capabilities and the rushing games, which tend to rely less on individual contribution.

Jacksonville has been marginally the more efficient of the two teams when running the ball, but Indianapolis has been better at turning yardage into points.

Defensively, neither side excels at stopping the running game. Both allow around half a yard per carry further than the expected opponent-adjusted average.

Both are above par against the pass, with Jacksonville creeping into the top ten pass defences and the Colts allowing 0.4 yards per attempt fewer yards than average, along with a sixth-best efficiency ranking.

Brissett’s potential absence and Foles’ expected return will alter the lines if either or both fail to appear. But in the absence of these uncertainties, both ground attacks appear likely to do well against a pair of poor run defences.

Indianapolis have, marginally, been the better of the two teams over the 2019 season, and with home field advantage they would be favoured by around 4 points. With uncertainty, potential rustiness and unfamiliarity in the passing game, the total points are pitched at around 43.

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