Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Point Spread – Pick Against the Spread

Indianapolis Colts (5-3 SU, 5-3 ATS) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7 SU, 4-4 ATS)
NFL Week 10
Date/Time: Thursday, November 8th, 2012, 8:20 p.m. EST
Where: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Fla.
TV: NFL Network/DirecTV 212
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: Ind -3/Jax. +3
Over/Under Total: 42.5

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Both the Indianapolis Colts and the Jacksonville Jaguars are supposed to be in rebuilding mode with young quarterbacks, but the Colts and rookie Andrew Luck will try and keep their playoff hopes strong when they travel to EverBank Field to take on the Jaguars in an AFC South clash in primetime on Thursday Night Football on the NFL Network.

Luck has quickly made Colts fans forget about last season and forget about the Manning guy that played before him, and if the season ended today the Colts and Luck would be in at 5-3 despite some growing pains and the loss of head coach Chuck Pagano to cancer. The Colts looked good again last week with almost a 10-minute advantage in time of possession and over 500 yards of offense against a pesky Miami Dolphins team, winning 23-20.

But if there’s one game the Colts would like to get back it is a week three, last-second loss to these same Jaguars, a win that was swiped by the Jags on an 80-yard strike and continues to be Jacksonville’s only win on the season.

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Jacksonville has done little to nothing since their win over the Colts. After back-to-back decent showings on the road at Oakland and Green Bay the Jaguars once again laid a giant turd on their own turf in last week’s, 31-14, loss to Detroit. The Jags are now 0-4 at home (0-4 ATS too) and they have lost by a margin of 23 points, so QB Blaine Gabbert and the young Jags are playing like a ship lost at sea right now.

With as many people fading the Jags these days as there are people starting to catch on to the Colts, oddsmakers interestingly opened the Thursday night game with Indianapolis as 3-point favorites on the road. With money pouring down on the Colts early the sportsbooks have resisted the urge to move the line so far, but with 70 to 80 percent of the money on the Colts it would be fishy if the number doesn’t move a little before kickoff.

The over/under total opened at 42.5 and has yet to show any line movement in either direction yet.

The gap between where the Colts and Luck are currently in their progression into the NFL passing game (6th in passing - 285 ypg; 9th overall - 391 ypg), compared to Gabbert and the Jaguars (32nd in passing - 171 ypg; 32nd overall - 255 ypg) are in year two, tells you all you need to know about why these two teams are heading in opposite directions. One could argue that Gabbert has had the “luxury” of Maurice Jones-Drew in the backfield too, but with Jones-Drew still out with a bum foot the Jags have struggled even more to move the chains.

With TE Coby Fleener out and WR Donnie Avery and RB Donald Brown both listed as questionable with bad hips, the Colts and Luck might be limited on offense too. A short week tends to favor the defense anyway, but it’s hard to rely on either the Colts (23.9 ppg - 23rd) or the Jaguars (27.4 ppg - 26th) to stop most teams most of the time anyway.

These AFC South rivals have had some good battles over the years, but the Jags have definitely gotten the better of the Colts in recent years winning three straight and four or the last five including the Jags week 3 theft in Indy. Jacksonville has also covered in three straight, and four of the last five including the last two times they met at EverBank.

But before you race to the window to buck the trend and back the Jags since they “own” Indy right now, know that the Colts are 8-1-1 ATS on Thursday compared to the Jags 0-4 ATS mark on the special night.

The over is the best betting trends wager, with it going 8-3 in the last 11 Colts-Jags series games played in Jacksonville. The over is also 7-0-1 in the Jaguars last eight games versus the AFC South, and the over is 16-6 in the Colts last 22 road games.

Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: How you can bet with confidence on the Jags these days? I can’t, and won’t, but I’m not sold on the young Colts on the road either, especially since the Colts defense seems to lose a step or two when they’re on grass and off that fast carpet in Indy. I think both QBs will play well in a 28-21 or 27-24 type of game, so I’m taking the over of 42.5.

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