Pro Football Betting Preview: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts
Sunday, 11/13/11, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Jacksonville -3
Current Betting Line:  Jacksonville -3
Opening Total:  37
Current Total:  37.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Jacksonville Jaguars rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert is completing less than 50 percent of his passes

Jacksonville comes out of its bye week to face a winless Indianapolis’ squad, bringing in an 8-8 record after enjoying a week off.  The Jaguars have lost 15 of the last 20 matchups in this AFC South divisional rivalry, picking up a split in last year’s series, registering a 34-24 defeat as four-point road underdogs on Dec. 19, 2010.  Many are surprised that Jacksonville is dressing up as a road favorite in this one, as rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert has completed less then 50 percent of his passes this year.   Jacksonville is 8-5 ATS versus division opponents the last two-plus seasons.

The Jaguars will likely hand the ball to a rested Maurice Jones-Drew 30 times offensively, coming in as the sixth-leading rusher in the NFL, gaining 740 yards and has gained 929 yards in 10 career meetings with Sunday’s opponent.  It still might not be enough for an offensive attack that puts up just 12.3 points and averages 242.6 yards a contest.  From a situational standpoint, Jacksonville will be lining up as a road favorite of three points or less for the first time since at least the 2009 season.

Indianapolis will try to avoid its first 0-10 start since the 1997 campaign and comes in with a 7-2 record in its last nine games prior to a bye week.  “It’s different than any other year obviously we’ve ever had,” Colts head coach Jim Caldwell stated.  “Our task is to find a way out of it.”  Star quarterback Peyton Manning hasn’t taken a snap, while signal-caller Curtis Painter is coming off a dreadful performance, completing just 13-of-27 passes for 98 yards last week.  Indianapolis is 0-2 ATS this season when the betting odds fall between a field goal on either side, while the over has cashed in both of those contests.

The Colts must be able to stop Jones-Drew to have any shot at winning this game, something that AFC South teams have had a hard time doing since 2006.  Jacksonville has averaged 152.6 rushing yards per game against the division over that span.  Indianapolis is allowing 146.1 rushing yards per game.  The Colts have won eight of 10 home matchups with the Jaguars.

Bettors will likely back the Jaguars due to their 4-0 ATS mark as a favorite of three points or less, while the Colts are 0-8 ATS versus a team with a losing record.

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