NFL Week 3 Predictions: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts
Sunday, 9/23/12, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Indianapolis -3.5
Current Betting Line:  Indianapolis -3
Opening Total:  42
Current Total:  43
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert needs to start putting things together in his second year

Jacksonville has lost its first two games of the season, including a 27-7 setback against the Houston Texans as 6.5-point home underdogs last week.  “Obviously 0-2 doesn’t help but the fact is we have a long way to go,” commented Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny.  The Jaguars set a franchise-record low with 117 total yards of offense last week.  The franchise has an opportunity to bounce back in this contest, as it captured a 19-13 win over Indianapolis as three-point home favorites last season.  Jacksonville is 3-5 ATS as a road underdog of seven points or less, with the “under” going 6-3 in that situation.

The Jaguars need second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert to start performing, as he finished with just 53 yards passing.  The former Missouri Tigers star was the NFL’s lowest-rated passer a year ago.  Running back Maurice Jones-Drew will likely need to carry the offense, considering he’s averaged 101.0 yards per game and scored nine touchdowns in 12 career games in this series.  Rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon didn’t catch any of the four passes thrown to him in Week 2.

Indianapolis earned a 23-20 victory over the Minnesota Vikings as three-point home underdogs last week, which served as quarterback Andrew Luck’s first career win in the National Football League.  The former Stanford Cardinal star finished with 224 yards and two touchdowns in that contest.  “It’s just amazing that the guy’s able to go out there and do the things he does as a rookie,” commented Colts head coach Chuck Pagano.  The franchise holds a 15-7 lead in this series, including wins in five of the last seven meetings in Indianapolis.

The Colts have some weapons on the outside for Luck to target, including veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who leads the team with 206 receiving yards.  Due to Austin Collie still dealing with lingering effects of a concussion, former St. Louis Rams and Tennessee Titans receiver Donnie Avery is making the most of his opportunity.  He finished last week with a team-best 111 yards versus the Vikings.

Sports bettors will likely back the Jaguars due to their 4-1 ATS record on the road in this series, while the Colts are 0-11 ATS versus losing teams.

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