Indianapolis Colts (6-8 SU, 6-8 ATS) vs. Miami Dolphins (5-9 SU, 4-10 ATS)
NFL Week 16
Date/Time: 12/27/15 1:00 PM ET
Where: Pro Player Stadium, Miami, FL
by Keith, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: IND +2.5/MIA -2.5
Over/Under Total: 44
We are playing this one strictly on points, Indianapolis also has incentive to win this game as a loss will likely put them off of contention with the Texans getting an easy match against Tennessee this week. Mathematically the Colts are out if they lose no matter what, but a win puts the clamps on Houston to finish strong and gives Indy a chance to fight another week. Miami is out of the AFC Playoff Race, they cannot win the AFC East nor can they secure a wild card berth, perhaps it is time for the Dolphins to get their lesser experienced players in to the mix and fold their tents until next year.
We are not gung-ho on this play and rightfully so, the game is of little consequence but looking at this contest from a perspective of the teams involved, the Colts are assuredly the better of the two. Many will argue against in spite of Indys recent three-game skid but this was against three excellent football teams in Pittsburgh, Jacksonville and Houston. Yes, we just said Jacksonville is excellent. Blake Bortles has been brilliant all year and he has two highly underrated but nevertheless dangerous wide-outs in Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. We saw what Robinson did to Tennessee, three weeks ago when he exploded for three touchdowns. This is the same Jaguars football team that posted 51 on Indianapolis, showcasing how potent and lethal this team is really is.
We are not here to herald in the achievements of Jacksonville, Indianapolis alone is an excellent spot play. We exude the importance of buying low and selling high. Never more is Indianapolis in a situation where you can book them for a great place. Even with their three-game losing streak mentioned, the book has little faith in Miami, opening them with a minimal line to cover of 1.5. Bettors have quickly jumped on the Dolphins, most likely because they seem to be a more viable option of the two because they are at home and facing a team on a three-game skid. However, we dont like this sentiment.
While Indys defense has looked porous, the Dolphins have one of the worst defenses in the NFL. The Dolphins rank 30th in total defense, 29th against the run, 26th in scoring and 27th against the pass. This scenario bodes well for receivers like Donte Montcrief who have made a living, feasting on weak secondaries. In addition, with veterans like Andre Johnson, Frank Gore and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck at the helm, the Colts have the hands-on experience and expertise to find ways to score against a very accommodating defensive unit. This scenario in itself is worth backing.
As stated we like Indianapolis for a plethora of reasons. First, we like spot they are in. Often teams on losing streaks are traditionally offered at more affordable prices. In many instances, the play is of course all the more treacherous. However, when the price is good against a team that has an excellent chance of losing, we like that situation. Second, we like the match-up of Indianapolis personnel against Miamis Swiss Cheese defense, this scenario has a lot of upside and with this line continuing to move away from Miami, we would not be surprised if we could get away with a field goal spotted to the Colts in this one. Finally, the issue at the hand that we saved for last. Miami is also on a losing streak of their own. The Dolphins are coming in off a rout on the road suffered at the hands of the San Diego Chargers, last week. Miamis porous defense was on display a week earlier when they blew a lead against the Giants at home, the Fins made the mistake of leaving explosive wide-out Odell Beckham, Jr. unguarded and he made them pay, scoring the game-winning touchdown for the G-Men. It boils to down to simple math, if you have to pick two-teams on a losing streak, would you rather take the team with the points or take the team against the line? That answer is simple, this is a very volatile play but the Colts have the capability to open this thing up and secure a seventh win, if they are responsible with the football. Given Miamis achievements in the turnover department, we like those odds as well.
Keiths Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Indianapolis +2.5
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