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Tonight’s Thursday Night Colts/Jaguars Pick

Posted by in NFL Picks on December 18th, 2008 | Comment »

Tonight the NFL Network will feature the Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars.  The Colts are 6-point favorites after the line opened Colts -6.5.  I don’t know why the line would move down since 80% of the money is riding on the Colts.  I like the Colts tonight.  The Colts have won 7-straight, but are only 3-3-1 ATS in that time.  The Jaguars managed to win at home last week against the Packers thanks to a breakout game from Dennis Northcut, but I’m still extremely concerned with their general inability to move the football.

Under normal circumstances, I tend to avoid IND/JAC games because they’re usually close, but this is an exception tonight due to Jacksonville’s struggles.  The Jags are 3-7 ATS in their last 10.  The stats of these teams indicate that this will be a close game though.  The offensive and defensive numbers for these teams are so close that you would think that this one could easily end in a 23-30 game.

Before taking the Colts you always have to look at the injury list, which doesn’t look good and could explain why the line moved down.  Marvin Harrison is out, LB Gary Brackett is out, Bob Sanders is questionable, Joseph Addai is questionable, and there are a handful of players that are banged up that are listed as probable (Ugoh, Saturday, Clark, Bethea).

After taking all of that into consideration, I really like the Colts to win straight up, but still a little unsure on whether they can cover 6.  A win by the Colts will clinch a playoff, so I’ll put my faith in Manning.  The Colts injuries concern me, but the Jaguars offense has been struggling big time.

I’m debating whether to take the Colts -6 or go with another teaser and taking the Colts straight up and the under 51 or over 37.  I’m leaning towards the under 53 since I don’t see the Jags scoring more than 20 this game.  The Jags are scoring an average of 19.4 PPG on the year, 15.7 PPG in their last 3, and 18.6 PPG at home.  The Colts should score a max of 31 points.  I think the under 51 is a bit safer.  The Colts offense hasn’t been explosive at all: 23.1 PPG, 20.1 PPG on the road, 25.3 PPG in their last 3.  74% of the money is on the over though, so maybe over 37 is the way to go if you want to follow the public.

After talking to Brandon, he likes the teaser of Colts/Over 37 citing the Colts solid pass offense against a weak Jaguars pass D and MJD always running well against the Colts run defense (ranked 25th).

After getting a second opinion, they feel the over/under is too risky either way and say Colts -6 is the way to go.

Let me know what you think of this game by hitting me up in the comments.  I would love to get your feedback on this game before placing any bets.  Take the Colts -6 or take the Colts to win straight up by teasing it with the over 37 or under 51?

UPDATE: The line has now moved to Colts -5.5, which is a very odd move considering the vast amount of money that is already on the Colts.  This is what is called a “smart move.”  This shows that the bookies think that the Jags have a good chance to cover and they want to “tease” people into taking the Colts -5.5.  I like the Colts in this one and most “experts” do.  I think the Jags can keep this one close and may cover if the Colts win in a 23-20 or 24-20 game, but the Colts are red hot and the Jags have been terrible.  The injuries remain a concern.  The Colts will be without Harrison, Addai should be out, and Bob Sanders is 51/49.  With those players out, this game at -5.5 is far from a lock, but the Colts is still the play to make.

TONIGHT’S BET: Playing it safe, Colts Moneyline (-255)

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