Originally posted on The Football Fan Spot  |  Last updated 11/7/12
Indianapolis Colts (5-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7) Every once in a while I kick myself for not taking a line the week before. I’ve never put money on an early line, but here’s one instance I wish I had. Jacksonville was -1 last week. Even if Indianapolis had lost to Miami, I would have put a big play against Blaine Gabbert as a favorite. Aside from the obvious Blaine Gabbert sucks stuff, divisional home dogs are 10-28 ATS before being divisional double digit road dogs since 1989. The Jaguars go to Houston next weekend. At the same time, teams are 57-82 ATS as favorites off a loss as dogs before being dogs, the classic sandwich game. Jacksonville lost to Detroit as dogs last week. Meanwhile, road dogs trying to avenge a same season home upset loss are 50-25 ATS since 2002. The Colts lost at home as favorites to the Jaguars earlier this season. Not only is that a good spot, things are completely different for these two teams than it was last time they played. The Colts have won 4 of 5 since, with that one loss coming in a game in which they were flat off a huge emotional win, the first ChuckStrong victory. Meanwhile, Maurice Jones-Drew is out for the Jaguars. He was 40% of their offense this year, in terms of yards from scrimmage, before his injury, which was actually down from the 47% he was last year, which was the highest by a non-quarterback since OJ Simpson in 1974. The Jaguars would have had no chance of winning last time without Maurice Jones-Drew, who rushed for 177 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries against a banged up Colts defense, allowing them to win despite Blaine Gabbert going 10 of 21 for 155 yards and a touchdown. It’s worth noting that 80 of those yards and the touchdown game on one play to Cecil Shorts, in which the receiver did most of the work. And it wasn’t just in that game. Maurice Jones-Drew was instrumental in the Jaguars’ two wins over the Colts last year, rushing for 283 yards and a score on 50 carries in those 2 games. Gabbert, meanwhile, combined to complete 25 of 40 for just 210 yards, 2 touchdowns, and a pick in those two performances. As bad as the Colts’ were last year, Gabbert could have easily lost both of those games last year without MJD. In MJD’s absence, Rashad Jennings has rushed for a pathetic 148 yards and a touchdown on 50 carries in 3 games. Speaking of the Colts’ previously banged up defense, they’re much healthier this time around than they were last time around, at least in the front 7, which is most instrumental to stopping the run. Both Dwight Freeney and Pat Angerer missed that game. They are now healthy, as are all of their front 7 starters. The Jaguars won’t be able to run it nearly as well as they did last time thanks to MJD’s injury and the Colts’ improved injury situation in the front 7. The Colts will be missing both starting cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Jerraud Powers, but I have no faith in Gabbert to do much against them. All that being said, this line has shifted from Jacksonville -1 to Indianapolis -3.5 in the last week. That might not seem like a lot, but it’s one of the biggest single week line shifts I’ve ever seen that was unrelated to a quarterback getting hurt or something like that. The good news is that all it really did was shift to where it should have been all along. The Colts are not overrated because of the line shift; they were just underrated last week, as they had been all season (-1 at home for Cleveland, +2 at home for Miami, -3 at home for Jacksonville, +7 at home for Green Bay, +1 at home for Minnesota, etc.) We are actually still getting a little bit of line value with the Colts. The yards per play differential method of computing line value gives us a real line of Indianapolis -3 and the rate of sustaining drives differential method of computing line value gives us a real line of Indianapolis -8. That’s not taking into account fully these two team’s momentum and injury situations. This isn’t because the Colts are particularly good in either statistic. In fact, they’re outside of the top-10 in each, ranking 13th in rate of sustaining drives and 24th in yards per play differential (despite their 5-3 record, they still have a significant negative points differential, -32). It’s because the Jaguars are so terrible. No one is within 2.4% of their dead last rate of sustaining drives differential and they have the league’s worst yards per play differential as well. The Jaguars are also still in a bad spot. Teams are 34-60 ATS before being divisional double digit dogs since 2002. That makes sense. Teams tend to be distracted before having to play what’s probably the division leader. The bad news, however, with the line shift, is that there’s still a ton of public action on the Colts. If you don’t know, the odds makers caught killed last week, losing 12 of 14 games, including all of the heavy leans. That’s not going to continue, at the very least. At the most, we might see some sketchy things happen in games with heavy leans. I hate the combination of the giant line shift, the heavy public action, and the odds makers needing to make money back. It’s reckless to put any money on the Colts this week. The Jaguars suck as well and the Colts, in normal circumstances, should be the right side, in spite of the line movement, because we’re still getting line value with them. However, in this situation, if I had to, gun to my head, Jacksonville would be the pick. This would be a zero-unit pick if I did them. Indianapolis will probably win because they’re a much better team, but we could easily see some sort of sketchy backdoor cover with the Colts winning by 3. It’s not smart to bet on the Colts this week. They’re also in a few bad spots as well. First, they’re coming off a home win of 3 or fewer. Teams are 30-51 ATS off a close win as home dogs since 2002, including 8-15 ATS as favorites. Since 1989, teams are 7-16 ATS as divisional road favorites off a close home win as dogs. Meanwhile, road favorites are 8-19 ATS since 1989 after 2 or more straight wins as a dog. Finally, teams with 1 win or fewer are 77-42 ATS as divisional dogs after week 8 since 1989. I do like the under a lot more than either side. The under is 70-53 on Thursday Nights. These tend to be ugly games. Indianapolis Colts 20 Jacksonville Jaguars 17 Pick against spread: Jacksonville +3.5 (-110) 1 unit Total: Under 42.5 (-110) 1 unit
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Marshawn Lynch suspended one game for contact with official

Report: Rockets fear Chris Paul could miss a month with knee injury

15 key questions for NFL Week 7

Vin Scully will not make appearance during World Series

Leonard Fournette still not practicing ahead of Week 7

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dusty Baker calls Nationals dismissal ‘hard to understand’

Draymond Green feels ‘big relief’ that knee injury was minor

Bradford ruled out of Week 7, expected to play again in 2017

NFL on Ezekiel Elliott: ‘We’re not looking to make a deal’

Brad Stevens: Hayward 'pretty positive' following surgery

Panthers LB Luke Kuechly ruled out for Week 7

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cubs owner up for Heritage Foundation post

The 'Like Mike, only better' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with newbies Rutta and Forsling

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cubs owner up for Heritage Foundation post

The 'Like Mike, only better' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker