Indianapolis Colts (3-8 SU, 6-5 ATS) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-4 SU, 6-5 ATS)
NFL Football Week 13
Date/Time: Sunday December 3rd, 2017. 1:00PM (EST)
Where: EverBank Field Jacksonville, F.L.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: IND +9.5/JAX -9.5
Over/Under Total: 41
The Indianapolis Colts take their 3-8 SU campaign on the road this week for a battle with the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. The Jaguars shut out the Colts 27-0 back on October 22nd in a dominating performance on both sides of the football. The win sparked a 4 game winning streak for the Jaguars that was eventually snapped last week with a 27-24 loss to the Cardinals. This week Jacksonville looks to regain their momentum with another win over the Colts and maintain their share of 1st place in the AFC South.
In the first meeting, the Jaguars racked up more than 500 total yards of offense without star running back Leonard Fournette who was sidelined with an ankle injury. Backup T.J Yeldon exploded for 122 yards and quarterback Blake Bortles threw for over 300 yards in a collaborative yet overwhelming performance for the Colts defense. If things are going to be any different in this 2nd meeting on Sunday, the Colts must play better defense especially against the run. On the season, Indianapolis has defended the run rather well limiting opponents to just 109 yards per game and less than 4 yards per attempt.
In the first meeting, the Colts gave up several big plays on the ground which avalanched into a complete defensive meltdown. However if they can turn the tables with a solid defensive effort, there is reason to believe they can challenge the Jaguars in this game. For starters, the Colts have been competitive in most games this year despite the 3-8 record. In 3 of their last 4 losses, the game has been decided by 4 points or less. As a result, Indianapolis supports an above average 6-5 mark ATS and have covered in 3 of their last 4 games.
The problem Indianapolis faces every week is their continued inconsistent nature on offense. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett is a subpar passer that occasionally gets by on athletic ability. Running back Frank Gore is at the end of his career in an offense that is not designed for the run. Meanwhile, receiver T.Y Hilton cannot get the ball thrown his way and is a weekly boom or bust. With those concerns in mind, it would be highly irrational to think the Colts matchup well against Jacksonvilles defense. The Jaguars lead the league in pass defense by a wide margin allowing just 169 yards per game through the air. They also generate a lot of pressure along the defensive front by leading the NFL with 41 sacks. Needless to say, this appears to be a nightmarish matchup for Jacoby Brissett and a Colts offensive front the leads the NFL with the most sacks (47) giving up to opposing defenses.
I want to believe the Colts are going to find a way to contend in this rematch. Despite the measly 3-8 record, they often find ways to compete. Still they are going to need a few big plays and ideally need a fast start. Last week Arizona jumped out to a fast start which ultimately forced the Jaguars into abandoning the run game. Jacksonvilles offense is not nearly as potent or threatening when playing from behind. They are much better at grinding out first downs and taking shots over the top. However, I am just not convinced that Head Coach Chuck Pagano will give this team the opportunity to compete. The play call has been horrible this season and their unwilling attempts to force feed Hilton the ball has been mind boggling. Therefore, I have a hard time finding any reasons to back the team that is stagnant with their play calling and has an absolutely worst matchup imaginable.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread:After being held to just 25 yards on 12 carries last week, I expect the Jaguars to put a renewed focus on establishing the running attack. Eventually they wear down the Colts and cruise in the 2nd half. A few turnovers forced by the Jacksonville defense and things could get out of hand. Take Jacksonville -9.5 - If you went to the store and two of the same exact product were sitting side by side; One for $105.00 and one for $110.00, which would you buy? THE CHEAPER ONE OF COURSE! So why are you still betting at -110 odds when you could be betting at -105? Dump your overpriced bookie TODAY and start enjoying the benefits of discounted odds at the web’s BEST sportsbook: 5Dimes!