2014 NFL Week 16

66-42 YTD
3-2 last week but not completely happy, because I leaned NE all week long and couldn’t pull the trigger on 7.5, so I took them in a teaser that just lost because of one point. But I hit another big play, so 2-0 on them this season. Another one going this week..
Indianapolis Colts +3 -102 (2x) **
First of all, this play is not based on the injury update of DeMarco Murray. I didn’t notice that before evaluating this strong lean. Murray underwent surgery yesterday and even though they plan on playing him, he won’t be 100% on Sunday. He can’t practice at full strength and his head will be a factor after some hits against his left hand.
Matchup: I will keep saying this, until they prove me wrong. The Cowboys have an awful defense. They give up 5.9 yards per play (#27) and can’t stop anybody. According to ESPN, they gave up an average of 8.1 YPPA to Mark Sanchez (2x), Jay Cutler and Eli Manning in their last four games. That’s 1.9 yards shy of a first down on every throw. Peyton Manning averages 0.07 less yards per pass attempt on a tougher defensive schedule than the Cowboys gave up to these three average QBs. Now the Colts come to town with one of the best passing offenses in the league. Can you smell the mismatch ? Andrew Luck will burn the Cowboys secondary so heavily, it’s unbelievable right now. Over the last four games, Andrew Luck faced the #11, #17, #3 and #14 passing defense. Now he will face the #27 passing defense. Also, Dallas have a worse pass rush than all his recent opponents. It will feel like taking candy from a baby for Andrew Luck. Cowboys generally win their games due to eating the clock and keeping their defense sidelined, as they are #2 in the league in TOP. Now they will face a team that also likes to eat the clock (#3) and the Cowboys’ top RB who is responsible for eating the clock had a surgery on his hand and won’t be 100%. I don’t believe the running game is the key to this game. Btw. the Cowboys give up 4.8 YPC at home. Will help ALuck a bit.
Situation: Dallas come off two road wins against two soft opponents. Chicago defense is a mess and Philly had to face the “Seattle-myth”. Teams are banged up after playing Seattle and are on a 0-8 ATS run. The Cowboys were special motivated for seeking revenge. They won their emotional revenge game and took over the division lead. Now they have to travel back home where they have been awful. Colts had to fight during their last few games. A last minute win at Cleveland against a very good pass defense and a close win in a divisional game. Colts will be focused, they have no letdown spot IMO. They still want to win to have homefield advantage in the first round. Dallas are flying high emotionally but will quickly feel all the pressure when the Colts are up at some point in this game. Being behind in front of their home crowd hasn’t been good in the past. If DeMarco Murray won’t be that much of an impact, what I believe, the Dallas passing game will lack as well.
Conclusion: I believe the Colts are a better overall team than the Cowboys and have an offense that can totally blank the Cowboys. Cowboys will come back to earth and will again have their final game for a playoff spot in week 17. Give me 34-21 Colts.
Updated card:
Baltimore Ravens -4.5 -110
Miami Dolphins -5 -108
Indianapolis Colts +3 -102 (2x)**
Oakland Raiders +7 -117
MNF: Cincinnati Bengals +3.5 -118
SF: I know about that crazy ATS trend after playing the Seahawks, but I’ll take my chances with the Niners. They still have one of the best defenses and they have depth on the defensive side, that’s why they have been good despite all the injuries. Niners can play without pressure and CK7 will face a “soft” pass rush. He will have more time than he got against Seattle. I am also banking on an interception by Rivers. There is no need to play against the coach as Harbaugh will be gone anyway. SD averaged 16.7 points against top11 passing defenses and they went 2-5 SU and 2-5 ATS in those games. One of these wins was at home against the Seahawks who were in the most terrible spot of 2014.
BAL: Clearly the better team on both sides of the ball. Whoever will play QB for the Texans, he will get Problems against the Ravens front seven. They have to give Foster the ball but Ravens have the 5th best run D (3.7 YPC). Ravens offense is on a high level, can’t see Houston stopping them. I see an easy win for the Ravens here.

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