Preview: JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

Sunday football, week 10 - Jaguars @ Colts

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Time: 1:00 PM ET, Nov. 14, 2021
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind.
Current Line: IND -10.5  Total: 47.5

THE PICK:

Don’t forget Jags QB Trevor Lawrence left last week’s game for a while. He may not be 100 percent. The bottom line is simply this – the Colts are a better football team. Somehow, Jacksonville has won two of the last three against the Colts, but the one loss came last season in a game played at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indy won 28-14. Expect something similar on Sunday as Indianapolis wins and covers the 10-point spread.

Back the Colts -10.5

If the Indianapolis Colts have that feeling of déjà vu again, there’s a good reason why. It was just last Thursday that Indy faced a New York Jets team in just about the same situation as Jacksonville this week. The Jets, who had a 1-5 record prior to their game against Cincinnati on Oct. 31, were a huge underdog and pulled off an almost unimaginable upset of the Bengals.

The Jets then traveled to Indy to face the Colts as a 10-point underdog. With all of the hype from their win, the Jets appeared to be improving…or were they? Indy jumped all over the Jets and led 42-16 into the fourth quarterback before winning 45-30 and covering the spread easily.

This week, it’s the Jacksonville Jaguars that come to Lucas Oil Stadium fresh off one of the biggest upsets in the NFL in recent history. Betting lines closed before the Jags game against Buffalo last week with the Bills as a 16-point favorite. Jacksonville’s defense came up big holding one of the league’s top scoring teams to just a pair of field goals. The Jags recorded just their second win of the season and are now 2-6.

So, with two wins in their last three games, the Jags appear to be playing better…or are they? This is an offense that is one of the worst in the NFL. The Jags rank 31st in the league in scoring averaging just 16.5 points per game. In their last two games, head coach Urban Meyer’s offense has scored a total of 16 points. The Jags’ season-high this year? Twenty-three. That was against a Miami defense that is awful. How does the Jags offense stack up against the Colts defense?

Indianapolis isn’t an elite defense, but the Colts do rank in the top half of the league against the run and in scoring defense. The Colts are built to dominate weaker teams in the NFL. They have proven that this year  with double-digit wins over Miami, Houston, and the Jets. You can add in a 30-18 win over San Francisco, a team that is just 3-5 this season.

Now, as good as Jacksonville’s defense was last week, that hasn’t been the case all season long. The Jags rank 24th against the pass and 15th against the run. They allow 26.1 points per game which is 26th overall. When you give up close to four touchdowns per game, it’s hard to win games. It’s even harder when you’re offense is one of the worst in the league.

Indianapolis has the type of offense that can dominate bad teams as well. The running game is outstanding with RB Jonathan Taylor who has 821 yards and eight touchdowns so far this season. Taylor is second in the NFL behind Cleveland’s Nick Chubb in rushing this season. Taylor’s ability to run the ball allows QB Carson Wentz to operate in the Colts play action passing game. Wentz has really improved as the season has gone on. He played his best game last week completing over 73 percent of his passes for 272 yards and three touchdowns.

There is also some history involved in this pick. In the last 34 games where a double-digit underdog squeaked out a close win, those dogs are 15-18-1 ATS the following when they are an underdog again. That means the underdog only covers in this situation 45 percent of the time. However, when that underdog is a double-digit dog again (like the Jags are here), those underdogs are just 1-7 ATS.

Don’t forget Jags QB Trevor Lawrence left last week’s game for a while. He may not be 100 percent. The bottom line is simply this – the Colts are a better football team. Somehow, Jacksonville has won two of the last three against the Colts, but the one loss came last season in a game played at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indy won 28-14. Expect something similar on Sunday as Indianapolis wins and covers the 10-point spread.

Back the Colts -10.5

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