2008 Season NFL Football Past Picks

December 18, 2008

18

Indianapolis at Jacksonville

Thursday 12/18 08:15 PM Eastern

5 units on Jacksonville +7 (-115) (risk 5 to return 5)  RESULT: LOSS

The Indianapolis Colts have now won seven-straight games after a sluggish start. But against whom? Their last five wins have come against teams with a combined record of 19-51! Five of their seven wins came by 6 points or less and the 0-14 Lions had them tied late in the game last week. There Colts are not the same team they have been in the past. The explosive offense that used to put teams away early and often has not been present this season as the Colts rank just 18th on offense - in the bottom half of the league. Their biggest problem has been the absence of a running game where they are gaining just 80 yards per game, which ranks just 29th in the league. Their 3.45 yards-per-carry ranks 30th. They have a 10-4 record, but have flirted with disaster on many occasions. Of their 10 wins, seven have been by four points or less with several required a late rally to come-from-behind. You can look at those seven games and make a statement that the Colts are four points away in seven different games from being 3-11! That would be a bit misleading, but if three or four of those games turned on a FG, they could be 6-8 or 7-7. It shows up even more on the road where they are 5-2, but have been outscored by 12 points. The reason is that in seven tries they have yet to win a road game by more than four points all season, including four games against teams with a combined 22-34 record. The Jags have had a disappointing season and this is their chance to have their playoff game against a hated rival. They ran for over 200 yards and Garard was 16-22 in their win over Indianapolis early in the season. They have had plenty of close games themselves this season, but unlike the Colts, theirs have resulted in losses as nine of their games have been decided by a TD or less. The Jags have also been at their best in the underdog role where they are 12-6 ATS in their last 18 games. Speaking of close games, these division rivals have had 11 of the last 13 decided by eight points or less. I expect a big effort from the Jags tonight with an amped-up weeknight crowd. This game amounts to their Super Bowl this season, trying to knock off the hated Colts. The Jags get the call.

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