Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars Betting Pick
Opening Line: Indianapolis -8
Indianapolis shocked San Francisco last week with a 27-7 victory. Jacksonville was cannon fodder again in a 45-17 blowout loss to Seattle last Sunday.
The Colts rushed for 179 yards last week against a defense that has allowed fewer than 100 yards per game over the past four seasons. The additions of RBs Ahmad Bradshaw and Trent Richardson give this offense a new dynamic. The Jaguars have surrendered 503 yards on the ground in 2013 and appear to have real issues in their front seven. Look for Indy to establish the run game early and force the Jacksonville safeties to play closer to the line. This is where QB Andrew Luck can do damage. The second-year player has upped his game this season, especially in completion pct. He has several targets to throw to and will be facing a secondary that is relying on several rookies. The Jags have allowed seven TD passes and picked off only one pass so far and opposing QBs have a 108.9 QB rating.
Jacksonville turns once again to QB Blaine Gabbert but he has proven he isnít the answer. He missed the last two games and was 16-35 for 121 yards in the opener. He threw two interceptions as well. He hasn't established a connection with WR Cecil Shorts III, the team's best wideout in the absence of suspended WR Justin Blackmon. Shorts has twice as many receptions as any other Jaguar and more than twice the yardage but almost all of that was in the two games Gabbert missed. The Colts run defense was good last week but has struggled in recent years. RB Maurice Jones-Drew has looked sluggish and is averaging only 2.6 yards-per-carry. Indianapolis will make stopping Jones-Drew a focal point of their game plan and try to force Gabbert to the air. OLB Robert Mathis has four sacks this season and should be able to bother Gabbert. Jacksonville ranks 32nd in total offense and simply lacks consistent playmakers.
ATS Game Pick
We know it is very risky to back a nearly 10-point divisional road favorite but hear us out. The Jaguars have been outscored by 26, 10 and 28 points. While QB Chad Henne isn't a star, he is better than Gabbert. The defense can't stop the run and is counting on youngsters at the back end. The Colts won 27-10 last season when they visited Jacksonville and they have just enough veterans around to keep the young players on an even keel after last week's huge win. This is not something we would normally do but in this case, we feel it is warranted. We feel the Colts can move the ball effectively on the ground and through the air and that Jacksonville simply lacks enough talented players to give this average defense much trouble.
Crew's Pick: Take the Indianapolis Colts -8 at GtBets