Monday Night Football Predictions: Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets Odds & Picks
by Alan Matthews - 12/1/2016
Not a great Monday night matchup this week as both the Colts (5-6) and Jets (3-8) have disappointed this season after both just missed out on the playoffs in 2015. The good news is that the final three MNF games of the 2016 season look pretty interesting and all include at least one likely playoff team.
I think it's ridiculous that an NFL coach would get fired after just two seasons, but that could be the case for the Jets' Todd Bowles if New York ends up 3-13, which is quite possible. Bowles was the toast of the NFL entering Week 17 last season with New York at 10-5 and looking good for a playoff spot. But the Jets were upset in Buffalo (by Bowles predecessor Rex Ryan) in the regular-season finale to miss out on a playoff spot.
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That negative momentum has carried over into this season. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has regressed in a huge way (if you didn't see that coming, shame on you), and while the defense has been good it hasn't been great as was expected. At this point, it behooves the Jets to play second-year QB Bryce Petty to see what he has and simply lose out to ensure a Top 5 pick. There's no way that Fitz is back next year, and either Petty or current rookie Christian Hackenberg figures to start unless the team adds a veteran stop-gap like a Jay Cutler or Colin Kaepernick.
As for the Colts, they are pretty much a mess everywhere on the roster other than at quarterback with Andrew Luck. GM Ryan Grigson ruined the chance to build a Super Bowl team around Luck while he was still a relatively low-paid rookie. That all ended this past summer when Luck got his mega-extension. If the Colts miss the playoffs again, I don't see how owner Jim Irsay can keep Grigson and/or Coach Chuck Pagano even though everyone said that after last season and Irsay stupidly gave both extensions. It's only money, and Irsay can afford to eat those deals. Many top coaches would want this job because of Luck.
The good news for mediocre Indy is that a division title is still very possible with how bad the AFC South is. The Colts are one full game behind Houston (6-5), and can you trust the Texans to win anything at this point with Brock Osweiler under center? The main threat in the South might be Tennessee (6-6), which is off this week. After this game, Indy hosts Houston, visits Minnesota and Oakland and hosts Jacksonville. So that's probably 2-2. Would 8-8 be enough for the division? It might be when tiebreakers are factored in -- and the Colts swept the Titans.
Colts at Jets Betting Story Lines
I previewed the Colts' Thanksgiving night home game against Pittsburgh last week and was big time on the Steelers at -8 and under the total of 50 because Luck was out with a concussion. Sure enough, the Colts lost 28-7 behind backup QB Scott Tolzien. He was 22-for-36 for 205 yards, a TD and two picks -- about what you would expect. Tolzien actually was better than his numbers indicated as Colts receivers had three key drops, including one in the end zone by Phillip Dorsett. The Colts' 23 drops are tied with Philadelphia and just one behind the NFL leader, Detroit.
The only way Tolzien sees the field on Monday is if Luck gets hurt again as he's expected to play after practicing in full Wednesday. Certainly the extra few days off can only help him. Also likely back this week is safety Clayton Geathers, who was out on Turkey Day with a concussion. Center Ryan Kelly left the Steelers game after three snaps with a shoulder injury but he should play.
The Jets always get fired up to face the hated Patriots and New York played about as well as it could have defensively in Sunday' s 22-17 home loss. New York led by one with fewer than five minutes left but allowed Tom Brady to lead a long touchdown drive. A 2-point conversion by the Pats was originally ruled good on the field but overturned on replay. So that gave New York a shot to win with a TD, but Fitzpatrick was strip-sacked on 2nd-and-5 at the New York 30 and that was that. He actually had a solid game, completing 22-for-32 for 269 yards two TDs and, for once, no picks. There's still no reason not to play Petty, however, over the NFL's lowest-rated QB.
This is the second Jets' Monday night game of the season and like here they entered that one on a three-game losing streak. The Jets played terribly n Week 6 at Arizona, Bowles' former team, in a 28-3 loss. New York also played at Indianapolis on a Monday in Week 2 last year and won 20-7. New York forced five turnovers, with Darrelle Revis picking off a pass and recovering two fumbles. Luck is 0-2 in his career vs. the Jets.
Colts at Jets Betting Odds and Trends
At 5Dimes , Indianapolis is a 1-point favorite (-120) with a total of 49. On the moneyline, the Colts are -128 and Jets +108. Just one alternate line as of now: Colts -2 (-110). Indy is 5-5-1 against the spread (2-2-1 on the road) and 7-4 "over/under" (5-0 on road). New York is 4-7 ATS (2-3 at home) and 5-5-1 O/U (2-2-1 at home).
The Colts are 9-2 ATS in their past 11 road games vs. teams with a losing home record. They are 10-4 ATS in their past 14 on Monday. New York has covered 10 of its past 13 in December. The under is 21-5 in Indy's past 26 after a double-digit loss at home. The under is 4-0 in New York's past four on Monday. It's 8-3 in its past 11 in December. The Colts are 1-5 ATS in the past six meetings.
Colts at Jets Betting Prediction
This matchup tests one rule I usually live by: take the team with the vastly superior quarterback if there is one. And there's no doubt that's the Colts here. But the Jets are better on the offensive line and at running back as well as everywhere on the defense. And they are at home. It looks to be rather chilly on Monday night in East Rutherford, with lows around freezing. That's more Jets weather. So New York is the pick. Go under the total.
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Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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