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Colts vs Jaguars betting odds – Jags feeble pass rush no match for perfect Colts

Posted by Stan Simmons on 12/18/2009 2:20:42 PM

NFL Odds: Pick Colts -3

We’ll see the Colts vs Jaguars betting odds on Thursday Night Football on the NFL Network (8:20 PM ET) in an all-AFC South matchup. The story of this game will be the Jaguars pass rush, which has notched the fewest sacks in the NFL, up against Peyton Manning and the lethal Colts passing game. Sports betting sharps know that if you don’t pressure Manning, you probably won’t win.

Sportsbook Odds: Colts -3, O/U: 42.5

What’s On The Line?
The Indianapolis Colts (13-0) are just one of two undefeated teams left in the NFL and their only playing for two reasons: to stay healthy and to stay perfect. The Colts have already clinched the top seed in the AFC and will get home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Tony Dungy’s Colts wouldn’t care too much about a perfect season but Jim Caldwell’s Colts have not talked about easing up whatsoever.

For Jacksonville (7-6), they have a lot more on the line. Their perfect season ended in Week 1 and they have been scrapping every since. At 7-6, the Jags are holding down the last playoff seed in the AFC and with Baltimore, Miami and the New York Jets on their tail, they need to keep winning to make the postseason.

Offensive Matchups: Colts vs Jaguars betting odds
The Colts have won an NFL-record 22 straight regular season games and the main reason for that is Peyton Manning. While the conversation of whether to rest him or not will start coming up in the next few weeks, it’s unlikely he starts sitting out now. This is a great matchup for the Colts, who are going up against the league’s worst pass rush and the league’s 26th-ranked pass defense.

For Jacksonville, their path to victory has to be via Maurice Jones-Drew.MJD is mired in a four-game slump where he’s averaged just 69 yards per game and a 3.4 yards per carry average. The Jags are not going to beat the Colts at their game and outscore them, so they’ll have to play ball control and run the ball efficiently.

Betting Edge: Colts

Defensive Matchups: Colts vs Jaguars betting odds
The Colts run defense will be tested this week but that’s nothing new for them. In the last month, they have faced Knowshon Moreno, Chris Johnson, Steve Slaton and Ray Rice, and they have managed to hold those backs to just 304 yards on 80 carries with no touchdowns. The Colts defense is very underrated and if they have a weakness, it’s the young secondary – not the rush defense.

For Jacksonville, they will have to get their pass rush in order. The Jags have just 14 sacks this year, which is the fewest in the NFL. They are not going to win this game if they allow Manning all day to throw. Meanwhile, the Jags secondary has been a weakness all year long and while they might get their top cornerback Rashean Mathis back this week, that might not be enough considering how multifaceted the Colts passing game is.

Betting Edge: Colts

Notable Injuries: Colts vs Jaguars betting odds s
NFL betting betting fans know that a short week is tough on both teams. The Colts are especially beat up and could be without a number of regulars. Defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis and defensive backs Jerraud Powers and Antoine Bethea did not practice early in the week and will be game-time decisions. The Colts have played significant time this year without wideout Anthony Gonzalez, running back Donald Brown and kicker Adam Vinatieri.

Meanwhile, the Jags top cornerback, Rashean Mathis, has missed four straight games and will also be a game-time decision.

Betting Edge: Jaguars

Over/Under Picks: Colts vs Jaguars betting odds
The Colts success comes through the air but the conditions in Jacksonville are expected to be soggy on Thursday night. Both passing games will likely struggle and force the teams to get into an ugly short-yardage contest. While the knee-jerk reaction is to play the over because of the Colts offense, look for the teams to be a bit sluggish in sloppy weather on a short week.

Pick: Under 42.5

Outlook and Pick: Colts vs Jaguars betting
The Colts haven’t lost in 22 regular season games, which means the Jags have a tall order on Thursday night. On top of that, their running game has been missing over the last month while the Colts run defense has been stellar in that same time period.

The Jags are at home but considering their fans – however many there are – don’t show up to their games, their only home field advantage will be the soggy outdoor conditions. But given the Jags feeble pass rush, there is no reason to trust them especially since you only have to lay such a small number with the Colts.

STAN'S PICK: Colts -3

Visit the Betting Edge for all your sports betting analysis, including Colts vs Jaguars betting odds and many other NFL matchups.



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