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Opening NFL odds Week 18: Colts 15-point favorites at Jaguars

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Every Sunday, our partners at DraftKings take an early look ahead to the following week’s games. If you’re looking to get an early start, visit the opening odds on DraftKings Sportsbook.

The Colts fell short of locking up a playoff berth at home against the Las Vegas Raiders. As has been the case throughout most of the season, missed opportunities were heavily to blame. The Las Vegas Raiders came into the game knowing that a loss would mean elimination, they had to win to keep their playoff hopes alive. They were also playing perhaps with John Madden’s legacy in their hearts and showed no signs of relenting.

Kudos to the Raiders for a key road win to stay alive.

For Indianapolis, the loss means that they will have to wait at least a week to stamp their ticket to the playoffs. As with Sunday, the Colts can lock up a playoff berth with a win against the Jaguars in Jacksonville.

This is a Jaguars team that got completely dismantled by the New England Patriots on Sunday. A Patriots team that the Colts bullied at home just a few weeks ago. However, this is a Jacksonville franchise that has found a way to frequently give the Colts fits — despite their supposed roster composition or season record.

Could the Colts cover a 15-point spread? Absolutely. If they’re playing hard and if they capitalize on their opportunities, if the defense is as opportunistic as it has been for much of the season, there’s no doubt that Indianapolis can stomp the Jaguars and head into the playoffs riding a win. With that said, I’d be picking the Jaguars to cover — as this series has often been played much closer than expected.

The Colts haven’t won in Jacksonville since 2014. It’s a six-game losing streak on the road against the Jaguars.