NFL Odds and Picks
Now is the time to buy low on the Colts.
Because as bad as they looked, it’s important to remember that they haven’t played a home game yet. The preview for this game was Colts +2.5. Have we learned so much about the Colts in two weeks to move the line an entire field goal?
It’s teams like the Colts that crush in places like this. According to our Action Labs datawinless home teams going into week 3 and facing a visitor with at least one win are 31-19-2 (62%) ATS since 2005.
And Week 3 dogs with at least one ATS loss that open below a TD are 89-54-2 (64%) ATS as of 2005.
The Jacksonville shutout was terrible, but the offense will be in much better shape with the return of Michael Pittman, who made nine catches, 121 yards and a TD in Week 1.
On defense, the Colts should be better able to hold their own than the Gus Bradley iterations with the Raiders because the Chiefs no longer have Tyreek Hill to beat Bradley’s favorite single-high cover.
Since 2005, dogs coming out of a shutout loss have been 41-21-3 (66%) ATS since 2005, beating the spread by an average of 2.73 points per game.
We should get the best of the Colts in this place. It’s their home opener after being ridiculed all week, and I expect them to be more physical than a Chiefs team that hasn’t played in 10 days.
While Andy Reid is known to be fine with extra time to prepare, that story doesn’t hold up in these spots. With 9-13 days of rest, Reid is 7-10 (41%) ATS since 2008, including 5-7 on exactly 10 days of rest after playing Thursday Night Football the previous week.
The Colts are 9-3-1 like a dog catching more than a field goal under Frank Reich, beating the spread by an average of 5.31 points per game. One of those wins was a 19-13 upset of the Chiefs in 2019 as a 10.5 point underdog.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs are only 7-17 (29%) ATS over their last 24 games when favored by more than a field goal.
Despite the Panthers operating at the end of the game, Thomas has been held at 13 yards or less in 13 of 19 games (68%).
Week 2 saw his route participation drop from 58% to 50% – and now offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo says this week he wants to engage broad receivers more. The Saints have admitted the seventh fewest receiving yards to tight ends (43), including just 19 for Kyle Pitts on seven goals in Week 1.
Despite a rough preseason, Burks has been a revelation in the otherwise maligned Titans attack thus far.
Burks put in 55 yards in his debut against the giants and still managed 47 against the bills on Monday Night Football in a game in which Tennessee passed just 123 yards. He did so despite running a route on only 48% of the team’s dropbacks and he is fifth among wide receivers for two weeks with 3.40 yards per router run (minimum 10 goals).
Burks is the Titans leader in catches and yards for two weeks, and his participation in the route improved from 37% in Week 1 to 61% in Week 2. He could see another jump this week with fellow rookie Kyle Phillips – who also happens to be second on the team in goals in yards – listed as doubtful with a shoulder injury.
Houston has a good chance of clearing the turmoil here.
By two games, the Texans judge as the better team on offense (26th in DVOA vs. 30th), Defense (16th vs. 27th), and Special Teams (17th vs. 24th). Houston’s overall PFF mark of 60.2 for the team is 28th, which isn’t good, of course, but it’s still more than 10 points above Chicago’s worst 50.1.
On offense, the Texans’ greatest strength is that they don’t turn the ball around. Davis Mills has yet to throw an interception and has the NFL’s fourth-lowest turnover-worthy playing rate (1.2) per PFF. Compare that to Justin Fields, who has already thrown two picks at 40 dropbacks and has the highest turnover-worthy play percentage in the NFL (9.8%) by more than three percentage points over the next highest passer.
The Bears won’t be able to hide Fields for the entire game, and this is a tough match for him against a zone defense from Love Smith who will always be watching him like a runner. Fields leads the NFL in average time to throw (3.54) by over half a second, and I expect Smith’s appearance will confuse him.
The Texans arguably have the two most explosive players in this game in wide receiver Brandin Cooks and running back Dameon Pierce. And while the Texans were average on offense in the early downs (which is usually the most predictive of future success), the Bears are at the bottom of the league.
- First along DVOA: HOU 14th, CHI 32nd
- First down offensive DVOA: HOU 14th, CHI 30th
- Second by DVOA: HOU 14th, CHI 32nd
- Second down offensive DVOA: HOLD 12th, CHI 20th
According to our Action Labs Datawinless dogs +1.5 to +7 are 127-81-4 (61%) ATS at week 2-4 since 2005, including 40-26-2 (61%) at week 3.
Houston also fits our PRO trend “Road dog, low total after a bad season” which I tweaked a bit to make it even stronger while maintaining the A grade.
Collins is on the left side of the formation for most of his snaps, meaning he will usually go head-to-head with Bears right cornerback Jaylon Johnson, who teams just aren’t throwing this season.
According to PFF, Johnson has been targeted three times and has allowed one reception in 65 snaps in cover.
Collins’ catch rate is only 50% this season and 54.2% for this career, so he’s unlikely to make four receptions. He has been below this number in 12 of 16 career matches.
He doesn’t play any real starter snaps either, as his participation in the route this season is 75%, which is more like a No. 3 WR than a No. 2.