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NFL Betting: Colts-Jaguars Preview

Posted by Stan Jenkins on 9/28/2013 11:53:03 PM

The Indianapolis Colts were doubted, and with good reason, after a week-two loss at home to the Miami Dolphins. However, a big win over the San Francisco 49ers in California has changed the way the Colts see themselves… and how the rest of the NFL sees them. The Colts will try to avoid a letdown this upcoming weekend in North Florida, while the Jacksonville Jaguars will try to post their first win of the regular season.

Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Odds: Colts -9.5

Total: 43

The Colts and Jaguars were both uninspiring in the first two weeks of the season, but in week three, the two teams separated from each other. Indianapolis turned its season around by going into San Francisco and hammering the 49ers by a substantial margin. The acquisition of running back Trent Richardson from the Cleveland Browns in exchange for a first-round draft pick gave an extra measure of toughness to the Colts and their running game. Indianapolis was able to run the ball against San Francisco’s front seven in the second half, which is no easy thing to do. Indianapolis was very shaky in its first two games of the season against Oakland and Miami. The Colts could have been 2-0 in those games, but they just as easily could have been 0-2. Indianapolis did not look like a playoff team, and after reaching the 2012 postseason, everyone on the roster needed to make considerable improvements in week three. Sure enough, the Colts responded the way head coach Chuck Pagano hoped they would. Playing physically on defense is something a lot of NFL pundits didn’t expect. Since the Colts were able to silence their critics against the defending NFC champions, they should enter this game with a great deal of confidence.

The Jacksonville Jaguars, on the other hand, are anything but a confident team at the moment. Jacksonville’s defense actually held up rather well in a week-two loss in Oakland against the Raiders, but this team’s offense has been poor all season long. This past Sunday in Seattle, Jacksonville’s defense collapsed, as the Seahawks raced to 45 points. What made this loss extra humiliating for the Jaguars is that they allowed 14 points to Seattle’s backups, including number-two quarterback Tarvaris Jackson. Seattle moved the ball regardless of the situation against the Jaguars, and when one combines that reality with the fact that Jacksonville’s offense has yet to reach 18 points in any game this season, it’s hard to see how Jacksonville will score 20 points in this game. If an opponent scores no more than 20 points, Indianapolis – given its talent on offense – should feel very good about its chances. If the Colts score 28 points in this game, they should definitely be able to cover a single-digit point spread. Indianapolis might have been vulnerable here if it had gotten kicked around in San Francisco, but the Colts now know that they’re a good team. They won’t be complacent against Jacksonville.

Prediction

Some teams get complacent after big wins, but the Colts are young enough and hungry enough that they won’t let down their guard. This is a good situation for the Colts. They should be able to roll over the Jaguars, who show no real signs of getting off the mat.

Pick: Colts -9.5

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