The Thursday Night games this year have been less than stellar to say the least. So far all 5 games played have been decided by at least 20 points, with the favored team covering 4 out of 5. Some people are saying that the short week gives a big advantage to the better team since the underdog has less time to scheme against the favorite. However, many are looking at this week as the one that finally ends the streak of blowouts when the Colts take on the Texans in Houston.
I have to admit that I’m torn on this game. On one hand, everything that we’ve seen so far on the Thursday Night games suggest just taking the better team, which is clearly the Colts. They’re only 3-2, but they’ve been in all 5 games are arguably should have beaten the Eagles in week 2. Plus, Andrew Luck has been spectacular in close games so far in his career, and I could totally see him driving down the field late in the game for the go ahead score.
But on the other hand, I think that I’d choose the Texans if I were handicapping this as a regular Sunday afternoon game. I have this spread calculated at closer to a pick em than 3 points, so we’re getting a little bit of spread value with the Texans. Houston also has a very good home field advantage, and they should be out in full effect for this game. The Texans fans were so loud on the road last week that Tony Romo had to use a silent count in Dallas. Now imagine what they’ll do at home against their biggest division rival.
The tiebreaker for me is going to ultimately come down to the spread movement and public betting. If you saw my picks article for last weekend, you’ll remember something that I mentioned called the 80/20 rule. If you didn’t see it, basically what it means is that any time 80% of the public is on one team, you want to side with the other team. Currently just under 80% of the bets are coming in on the Colts, so the Texans come very close to qualifying as an 80/20 team. The spread has also moved from 3 to 2.5, so there must be some sharp money coming in on Houston. Home underdogs also tend to cover at a higher than average rate, particularly in division games.
The Bottom Line: Although I don’t have a great feel for this game, I’m going to take the Texans +2.5 because of the spread movement and the potential of the 80/20 rule coming into effect. But I could totally see the Texans leading for most of the game only to be thwarted by a late Andrew Luck TD. This is a stay away game for me.
The Pick: Houston Texans +2.5 vs Indianapolis Colts
Thursday Night Record (3-2)
Last Week- Minnesota Vikings +7.5 (Loss)
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