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Indianapolis at Jacksonville

October 22, 2007
img8:30 PM Eastern
Premium Pick
4 units on Jacksonville +4 (-115) (risk 4 to return 4)

The Indianapolis Colts come to Jacksonville attempting to remain unbeaten to keep pace with the Patriots. On Sunday, the sexy high-powered teams came through again. Dallas covered a big spread and New England put up 42 points in the first half of their game to cruise to a 21 point road victory. How can you not back the Super Bowl Champion Colts here? That's what the public is thinking (69% of bets are on the Colts). We will go the other way. Before the season started, we recommended backing Jacksonville to win 10+ games. After dropping their opener, they have run off four straight wins in convincing fashion. The Indianapolis offense certainly can put up points, but Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio seems to have that Indy offense figured out. The Colts, who have little trouble hanging 30+ on nearly everyone, have been limited to 18.5 points per game vs. Jacksonville in the last four meetings. The Jags won the last meeting here at home, 44-17 last December. That score highlights a problem for the Colts - they are a different team on the road. There is no doubt this high-powered offense has been much more productive at home. The last six games at home Indy has put up an average of 36.3 ppg. In their last six on the road, they have scored just 20.3 ppg, failing to top 30 points once. Jacksonville has the top scoring defense in the league (11.6 points per game) and they are especially tough at home. Last season they were 6-2 here, outscoring opponents 212-88! In their last 16 games at home, they have allowed an average of just 11.9 ppg. Ten of the 16 opponents scored 13 points or less! Those sixteen games included a couple vs. Indy as well as Dallas and Pittsburgh. The formula for the Jags has been to just run the ball down Indy's throat, shorten the game, and play the defense that has denied many an opponent on this field. The Jacksonville running game is in peak form, as they have pounded opposing defenses for 195.3 yards over the last three games. Fred Taylor is contributing (4.9 yards per carry) while Maurice Jones-Drew has been busting for 5.7 ypc and Garrard gets 4.2 ypc when he tucks it and runs. That trio has led to 146 carries for 735 yards. In terms of yards gained, this is a top 7 team in the league! Suprised? This team is still under the radar even though they are 4-1 and dominating statistically. Indianapolis has done a better job limiting the damage of opposing running games, but most of that is due to teams have been playing from behind. The 4.2 yards per carry allowed is still in the bottom third of the NFL. The only two teams Indy has faced with good running games were Tennessee (ranked #5) and Denver (ranked #9). Those two teams racked up 364 yards (182 per game). Jacksonville torched this defense for 375 yards on the ground last year in this building. David Garrard has done exactly what the Jags have needed this season. He has not thrown an interception and has six TD passes to his credit while passing for 7.9 yards per attempt. These two teams have both been red-hot, and since 1980 when two teams on 4+ game winning streaks have met, the underdog has gone 27-5 ATS! If you break that down even further, the home dog has gone 9-1 ATS! We have a live home dog in this fight with the right ingredients to win the game outright. We'll take the points for insurance and back the Jags. The line is 3.5 at Bodog as of this writing and pushing up from 3 at all sportsbooks as the public money continues to pour in on the Colts. The line should be 3.5 by game time and if not, buy the half-point.

Indianapolis Colts
Jacksonville Jaguars
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