NFL: BETTOR’S BACKING COLTS
The Jacksonville Jaguars have fallen to new lows this season but they still want a win badly tonight against the Indianapolis Colts. Sportsbook.com has the Colts as a six-point favorite, with the Total lodged at 44. At last check, 86% of bettors were backing the Colts.
Buried in last place in the AFC South, the Jaguars own poor numbers that reflect their position in the standings. The Jaguars are 20th in total offense, 17th in rushing defense, tied for 17th in sacks and have a turnover ratio of minus-2.
Jacksonville (5-9, 4-10 ATS), which split its first six games, has won just two of seven at home heading into tonight.
After topping Detroit 31-21, the Colts have the longest current winning streak in the NFL—seven games—and are approaching their seventh straight trip to the playoffs.
The Jaguars have been chasing Indianapolis (10-4, 5-8-1 ATS) ever since the NFL went to its current division format in 2002 and pitted them as rivals in the AFC South.
But that’s not to say these teams have been separated by a wide margin. Even though Jacksonville trails the all-time series, 11-4, all but five of the matchups have been decided by a touchdown or less, with the Jaguars 9-3-1 ATS in the last dozen meetings.
Indianapolis is one of five teams the Jaguars have beaten this season. It happened in Week 3 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Fred Taylor, who two weeks ago passed O.J. Simpson on the all-time rushing list moving into 16th place, rushed for 121 yards and Maurice Jones-Drew added 107 yards and a touchdown to lead Jacksonville to a 23-21 victory in one of their highlight wins of the season. Quarterback David Garrard completed 16 of 22 passes for 167 yards.
Both Garrard and head coach Jack Del Rio received hefty off-season contracts, and neither has delivered in the first year of the deal. Just last week, Garrard eclipsed 3,000 yards and has a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 13-to-10, and Del Rio has been unable to keep problems from spilling out of the locker room.
For the most part, the Colts bring out the best in the Jaguars. Typically they give a great effort and Jacksonville is 8-2 ATS as December dogs against AFC South foes.
It will be interesting to see if the Jags use a similar offensive game plan as last week, using tight ends in a short passing game and throwing deeper passes to Dennis Northcutt, who had his first 100-yard receiving game in four years last week.
Jacksonville has not covered consecutive games since Week’s 15 and 16 last season.
Indianapolis is 8-2 ATS as a road favorite of six or less points with revenge, plus 14-3 against the spread after two straight wins by 10 or more points.
This will be a good test for the Colts run defense, which appears improved, however facing Cleveland, Cincinnati and Detroit might be a bigger reason why they look better.
Amazingly, Tony Dungy’s club is only 1-10 ATS versus weaker defensive teams allowing 5.65 or more yards per play.
Thursday Night Football Prediction: – Jacksonville covers
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