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Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Point Spread - Pick

Indianapolis Colts (3-8 SU, 6-5 ATS) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-4 SU, 6-5 ATS)
Week 13 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, December 3, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Florida
TV: CBS

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: IND +9.5/JAC -9.5
Over/Under Total: 40.5

The Indianapolis Colts take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in an AFC South battle at EverBank Field on Sunday. The Colts fell to 3-8 on Sunday after giving the Titans a good run for their money. The 20-16 loss was a tough one, but the Colts are still trying to make things happen and it was the first time in over a month that they failed to win ATS and it was only by one point. The Jaguars, meanwhile, came up short on Sunday, breaking a 4-game win streak in a 27-24 road-loss to the Cardinals. At 7-4, they are still tied with Tennessee for the best record in the AFC South division.

On October 22 in Indy, these divisional foes met for the first time, with Jacksonville a runaway 27-0 winner. Indy needs to show they can make something happen against the Jags' defense, while the Colts' defense allowed a big game to Jacksonville both aerially and on the ground. Can the Colts come up with something better? Or will an irritated Jaguars team re-impose their dominance over the Colts on Sunday?

On Sunday, the Colts fell behind early 6-0, before they started working their way back into the game with a Frank Gore touchdown and some Adam Vinatieri field goals. But after taking a 16-6 lead in the third quarter, the offense couldn't sustain another scoring drive, while a defense that had been stout allowed two late Tennessee touchdowns en route to the 4-point loss. They were hoping for better coming off the bye, with this being their second straight loss and fifth defeat in five games. Still, despite all their shortcomings, the Jacksonville loss was their only bad defeat in the last two months. They've shown more mettle on the road recently and can't be overlooked in this divisional setting. With a ton of key injuries on both sides of the ball, it's not hard to figure out what went wrong with the Colts this season, but they are trying to make the best of it.

On Sunday, Indy QB Jacoby Brissett threw for 196 yards with no touchdowns, but he didn't throw any picks at least. Injuries to the offensive line and inconsistent play from those who remain up-front have led to Brissett being under constant siege. He has been getting hammered by the opposing pass-rush and took eight more sacks on Sunday. It's just hard for a QB in his position to make good things happen with that lack of protection. RB Frank Gore is still at it, but also handicapped by a dysfunctional front. Ty Hilton was quiet on Sunday, with TE Jack Doyle leading receivers with 94 yards on 7 catches. While constantly under pressure, Brissett hasn't been able to make much of the talent around him. Hilton has had three good games, but otherwise, has barely made a peep. Donte Moncrief has basically disappeared. They are averaging just over 17 points a game.

The Indy defense played nicely on Sunday for about three quarters. Late in the third, the Titans had managed just a pair of field goals. They kept DeMarco Murray in check and forced Marcus Mariota into a bad game, with Nate Hairston and Rashaan Melvin (questionable) both recording interceptions. Still, with their QB sacked eight times, the Colts could manage a single sack of their own on the day. They have also blown some wins late in the game with not the most-clutch play. They will be facing a Jaguars offense that is a lot different than the one they faced in the first game, but they still need to play a lot better and put together four quarters of solid play.

It just wasn't Jacksonville's day in a road-loss against a hard-playing and resolute Cardinals' squad. After falling behind 13-0, the Jaguars fought their way back and even took a brief lead in a wild fourth quarter. But a defense that was making plays couldn't quite keep the Cardinals at bay, with a 57-yard field goal breaking a late tie in the last second after some strange clock-management by Jacksonville, who maybe should have just killed clock and got it to overtime. While it wasn't a positive development for the Jags, they are not invulnerable. A team on the rise, inconsistency is a part of the equation still. When a team that has been overturned on their back as long as the Jaguars have, there's only so much one can say as they sit at 7-4 heading into week 13, squarely in the playoff-picture.

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The Jacksonville offense wasn't great on Sunday. QB Blake Bortles was dogged and ran in two big touchdowns, though he had only 160 yards through the air, with no touchdowns and a pick. They only had three points midway through the third quarter. Leonard Fournette didn't really get off in the run-game. Without Allen Robinson and with Allen Hurns missing the last few games, they are pretty thin at receiver, with running back TJ Yeldon leading all receivers on the day with 42 yards. The game against Arizona illustrated the outstanding issue with the Jaguars. Sure, they have a playmaking defense and a back in Fournette that adds an electric element to the offense. But their aerial attack has really hit the skids and it has left the offense a little one-dimensional.

The flair for the Jacksonville defense to create was again on display on Sunday, when Calais Campbell took a Blaine Gabbert fumble and returned it for a TD. Still, their pass-rush was a bit muted on Sunday, though surging end Yannick Ngakoue recorded another sack and has made a nice pairing with Campbell on the other side. The middle is making a lot of plays with Myles Jack and Telvin Smith (questionable). Safety Barry Church had a pick on Sunday and along with Tashaun Gipson, AJ Bouye, and Jalen Ramsey, they have been excellent against the pass this season, even if they did allow a few big pass-plays to the Cardinals on Sunday.

It might have been better for the Colts if the Jags won last week. After losing to the Cardinals last week, Jacksonville will likely be at a heightened state of urgency this week at home. It's not easy for a long-suffering team to reverse course as dramatically as the Jaguars have this season. A loss here would be a bad development and one should expect them to play accordingly, even if victory came fairly easily against the Colts 6 weeks ago. And since that loss, the Colts have managed to at least not embarrass themselves. I see the Colts showing more resistance this time around and keeping this within single-digits.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Indianapolis Colts plus 9.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today by signing up and betting the Colts vs. Jaguars at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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