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2011 NFL ATS Wild Card Pick: N.Y. vs. Indianapolis Preview

NEW YORK JETS (11-5) INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (10-6) NFL Free Pick – Odds – Handicapping Preview

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Wildcard Weekend: Jets at Colts Matchup – Betting Lines

Date/Time: Saturday, January 8, 8:20 PM ET
Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
Broadcast: NBC
Jets vs. Colts Betting Lines from Sportsbook.com
Spread: Indianapolis -2.5
Moneyline: NY Jets +115: Indianapolis -135
Over/Under: 44.5 points
Go Inside This Matchup With Our NFL ATS Stats —>

The New York Jets return to the scene where their story book season ended last year – Lucas Oil Stadium. The difference this year – they aren’t playing all that well as evidenced by their 2-3 SU and ATS record in their last five games. The Indianapolis Colts would love to see Rex Ryan eat another humble pie and then become a spokesperson for Jenny Craig!

New York started the season as many expected – with an incredible running game and with a defense that was the envy of every NFL team. Gone is the threat of the Jets running the ball down your throat and gone is the mystique of a dominating defense!

The Jets finished the season with the 4th best rushing attack in the NFL, averaging 148.38 yards per game but there is no denying that was working for them early in the season has gone away! LaDainian Tomlinson has been totally ineffective in the last six weeks of the season and it may have to be Shonne Greene that steals the show again this year. Indy’s run defense has improved in the last month – the Jets are going to have a difficult time generating any sort of flow.

New York’s passing offense finished 22nd in the NFL with Mark Sanchez doing most of his impressive work early in the season. Overall, the Jets offense averaged around 10 points per game over the final five games.

The Indianapolis Colts appear to be peaking. Since being 6-6, the Colts have won four straight games to finish the season. The offense has its confidence back and the defense has finally started to gel.

The Colts enter Saturday’s contest with the best passing game in the NFL (288.06 yards per game). Peyton Manning set a record this season with 450 completions without Austin Collie or Dallas Clark for much of the season. Still, Manning is Manning and he has developed a chemistry with Pierre Garcon, Blair White and Jacob Tamme.

Indianapolis finished with the 3rd worst running game in the NFL (92.69 yards per game). However, the resigning of Dominic Rhodes and the return of Joseph Addai from injury has suddenly given this unit some legitimacy. The running game is playing well and it acts to control the clock. Gain some yards, and most importantly, to set up the play action pass for Mr. Manning.

The Indianapolis defense has transformed in the last month of play. They were always strong against the pass (13th – 214.565 yards per game allowed), but somewhere along the line, this unit has found a way to stop the run. The 25th ranked rushing defense has been stellar and has allowed its last three opponents 171 combined yards. Their opponents in those games – Jacksonville, Oakland and Tennessee – three of the best rushing teams in the NFL.

Betting Prediction:

The Jets are 11-4 SU in their last 15 games and 11-3 SU in their last 14 on the road. The Jets are 6-14 SU in their last 20 games against the Colts and are 3-8 SU in their last 11 games at Lucas Oil Field.

The Indianapolis Colts are 4-1 SU in their last five games but are just 2-4 ATS in their last six. The Colts are 21-4 SU in their last 25 home games but are 1-4 ATS in their last five at home.

Saturday’s game features a team that is playing possibly their best football of the season and another team that appears to have already peaked and is on the downslide of their season. If the Jets defense was playing well, I might give them a chance but since they are not – Advantage Indy! The Colts will score points and I don’t think the Jets offense will be able to do enough to keep up.

Pick: Indianapolis Colts -2 ½

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About DaveB

Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.