New York Jets (1-0) at Indianapolis Colts (0-1)
One of my favorite things to do in betting is to go against significant week-to-week line movement. The logic behind it is this: significant line movements from one week to another that aren’t the result of serious injury are usually overreactions to one week and thus provide line value. This line shifted from 9.5 last week in the early line and now it’s fallen down to 7, for reasons other than injuries, as injured Colts receiver TY Hilton is more likely than not going to be able to play. The line movement is not a surprise, considering the Colts lost 27-14 in Buffalo last week, while the Jets had one of the biggest victories of the week, beating the Browns 31-10.
The Colts’ loss in Indianapolis did expose them as a team with a great passing offense and good weapons in the passing game, but little else, a weak offensive line and running game and a defense with a bunch of problems. The Bills’ stout defense was able to handle the one-dimensional Colts’ offense, while their weak offense was able to take advantage of frequent good field position provided by the defense and move the ball against the Colts’ porous stop unit.
However, there is still a lot that’s good about the Colts and I like their chances of bouncing back and taking care of business here at home against a Jets team that won’t get to play the Browns every week and that still has serious problems, including the quarterback spot, the pass rush, and the secondary behind Darrelle Revis, especially with Antonio Cromartie now hurt and likely to miss this one. This line suggests that the Colts would be mere 1 point favorites in New York against the Jets, which doesn’t make any sense considering the Colts were 3 point favorites in Buffalo last week and Buffalo is better than the Jets.
In addition to the line value created by overreaction to last week, there are a few other reasons why I like the Colts to bounce back here. One reason is that they typically have bounced back from losses in the Andrew Luck/Chuck Pagano era, going 14-1 ATS off of a loss since that duo arrived in 2012. The Colts are also in a way better spot, with only a trip to Tennessee on deck, while the Jets will host the Eagles next week. The Colts are expected to be road favorites of more than a field goal in Tennessee, while the Jets are expected to be more than field goal underdogs at home against Philadelphia. Teams are 96-70 ATS since 2012 before being road favorites of a field goal or more, while teams are 65-103 ATS over that time period before being home underdogs of a field goal or more. It’ll be easier for the Colts to be focused for this one with no upcoming distractions.
The Colts are also especially good at home, going 18-7 ATS at home since 2012, including 8-1 ATS at home off of a loss over that time period. On top of that, they’ve always been able to handle below average teams pretty easily over the past few years, going 18-4 ATS against sub .500 teams in week 4 or later. I know the Jets aren’t sub .500 and it’s not past week 4, but the logic follows anyway. I think, more likely than not, as the season goes on, that the Jets will show themselves to be a sub .500 team and that will start with a big loss here in Indianapolis. Indianapolis is my Pick of the Week.
Indianapolis Colts 31 New York Jets 17 Survivor Pick
Pick against the spread: Indianapolis -7
Confidence: Pick of the Week