Capper Favors Colts +3 vs. Cowboys for Week 16 NFL Picks

Joe Gavazzi

Friday, December 19, 2014 4:41 PM GMT

This week, we line up with a division leader in a great fundamental, situational, and technical spot. At this writing, key offensive players remain questionable for this contest. That includes RB Murray (hand) for Dallas and WR Hilton (hamstring) for Indianapolis.  A quick look at the standings shows us that these are division leaders. The Cowboys lead the Eagles by a game in the NFC East, but that lead is tenuous at best. It means the Cowboys will feel far more pressure in this game than an Indianapolis team who has clinched their division at 10-4 SU.

UNDERDOG GAME OF THE WEEK

Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys (-3) 4:25 PM EST
Every week in the NFL Point Spread Prognosis, I isolate an underdog of the week. It is a team who is receiving points whom I feel can win the game outright based on statistical, situational, or technical concepts. Last week, it was the Buffalo Bills and their outright home dog victory against Green Bay. This week, we line up with a division leader in a great fundamental, situational, and technical spot. At this writing, key offensive players remain questionable for this contest. That includes RB Murray (hand) for Dallas and WR Hilton (hamstring) for Indianapolis. The game day status of either of these players could well influence my game day selection on this game. A quick look at the standings shows us that these are division leaders. The Cowboys lead the Eagles by a game in the NFC East, but that lead is tenuous at best. It means the Cowboys will feel far more pressure in this game than an Indianapolis team who has clinched their division at 10-4 SU.

The Cowboys rely on a strong running game that averages 32 attempts per game, an average of 146/4.6. If Murray is compromised, it not only negatively impacts the Cowboys’ running game, but also makes the play action passing of QB Romo far less effective. In any case, this is clearly not the role for the Cowboys, for on this field they enter with a mark of 4-16 ATS as home chalk in NFL odds, including 1-4 ATS in that role this season. Furthermore, as non-division favorites they are 0-11 ATS following a victory.

Indianapolis is on a late season roll. Though they have clinched their division, they still trail other division leaders New England and Denver by a full game. Home field is at stake for the upcoming playoffs. The Colts have won four consecutive games against outmanned foes; that includes 17-10 last week at home vs Houston. That was a substandard offensive outing for the Colts, who gained just 278 yards.  That is well below their offensive output of the season that averages 421 YPG. Yet that type of substandard performance on offense has keyed a resilient tendency by QB Luck. In games where the Colts scored less than 21 points the previous game, QB Luck has led Indy to a 13-0 SU ATS mark. Be assured he will come out firing against the #28 pass defense of the Cowboys, who is allowing 66% completions and 250 PYPG.

When the fundamentals, the situation, and the technicals all converge it is tough to pass up the better team in the role of underdog for this NFL pick.

Free NFL picks: Take Indianapolis Colts (+3)