NFL Picks Colts vs Falcons: Bet Under in Slow Paced, Low Scoring Game

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, November 19, 2015 8:31 PM GMT

The Colts and Falcons will lock horns in Atlanta this Sunday yet we are not concerned about who wins or loses but which way this total will cash in our NFL picks.

No Luck in Indy
Things should be quite merry around Indianapolis right about now despite their disappointing record. The Colts are tied for first in the AFC South due to a dearth of talented teams in the division and are coming off a big win over Denver in Mile High. They have had two weeks to gear up for their tilt with the Falcons but unfortunately their starting quarterback and franchise savior Andrew Luck is sidelined for the foreseeable future with kidney/abdominal injuries. Now they must turn their lonely eyes to 40-year-old Matt Hasselbeck who will command an offense that has sputtered and a defense that has been invisible at times this season.

The Colts simply have not gotten engaged this season and it has much to do with a porous offensive line and a starting quarterback who has been ailing to one degree or another throughout the season. The Colts don’t exactly have a treasure trove of weapons as their 15th ranked passing and 22nd ranked rushing attack attests. The team is averaging a disappointing 22.2 points per game and is surrendering 25.2 PPG which is not the recipe for a successful season.

Matt Hasselbeck is a more than serviceable backup even at his advanced age. In his prime he was perhaps only a click below the truly elite passers routinely passing for well over 3000 yards and twenty-something touchdowns a season. He has started in two games this season, both victories over Jacksonville and Houston, in relief of Luck and did a solid, though unspectacular, job in those starts. The veteran signal caller combined for 48-of-76 passing on 495 passing yards with three touchdown strikes and no interceptions. It is indeed that last stat that makes coaches smile especially when resorting to a backup QB. Oftentimes the understudy will try to do too much to make a gambit for the starting job but Hasselbeck understands his role and realizes he is in the sunset of his career.

 

Falcons Soaring No More
The Falcons have failed to cover the NFL odds over their last five consecutive games and it is no wonder that each and every one of those games has gone under the posted total. When the Falcons’ offense doesn’t fly, it does not bode well for their chances of winning let alone cashing for those who include them in their NFL picks.

Matt Ryan has been using Julio Jones almost exclusively which has taken much of the mystery away from the Falcons’ offense. Jones has been targeted 120 times, the most in the NFL and three times as many targets as any other Atlanta receiver. Roddy White is complaining about not getting enough touches and the offense has struggled without the services of Leonard Hankerson who has been injured over the last two games with a hamstring injury. Hankerson’s status for Sunday is still up in the air as of this writing but Matt Ryan is undoubtedly a big fan of the 26-year-old product of the University of Miami.

"Hank has had a great year for us when he's been able to go," Ryan said, "and I think having him back opens up a lot of things for everybody. It makes us a better offense. And so, certainly good to have him out there practicing today."

 

NFL Pick
The Falcons and Colts were supposed to hook up for an air show when this game was scheduled way back when but things have changed dramatically as Matt Ryan seems to trust only Julio Jones and relies on a middling rushing attack to set up the pass. Meanwhile, Andrew Luck won’t even be playing so it will be Matt Hasselbeck most likely trying to limit mistakes, playing it cautious and giving the ball to veteran running back Frank Gore.

I don’t see this as a shootout at the Georgia Dome but rather a slower paced, ground-and-pound attack from the Colts while the Falcons grind it out as they have been in their last five contests which have all gone under the posted total

NFL Picks: Play Under 47 ½ at GTBets

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2837138, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,93,19,92,238,349], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]