Can anything stop the Indianapolis Colts? They’re overcoming every obstacle thrown at them, and the sharps have made the Colts one of their early NFL picks for Week 7, along with the plucky Buffalo Bills.
Jason’s Record After Week 5: 19-16 ATS, 5-7-1 Totals
Profit: plus-0.1 units
The NFL lines them up, and the Indianapolis Colts knock them down. The Colts were at it again last Thursday, outlasting the Houston Texans (+2.5 at home) 33-28 to take sole possession of first place in the AFC South at 4-2 SU and 5-1 ATS. It was a fairly close finish, as expected, but we didn’t think it would turn into a Texas shootout. Indianapolis dropped 24 first-quarter points on one of the better defensive teams in the league.
You’ve gotta ask yourself one question: “Do I feel Lucky?” The sharps have given their answer, giving Andrew Luck (99.6 passer rating) and the Colts 99 percent support at the open for Sunday afternoon’s tilt (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS) with the Cincinnati Bengals. Indianapolis opened as a 3-point home chalk on the Week 7 NFL odds board, and that’s where they remain as we go to press, still pulling in 70 percent consensus according to our reports.
Día de las Culturas
We’re assuming that’s sharp action because it happened early in the week, but we might want to be a bit careful with making that generalization – it’s Columbus Day as we write this, which means a long weekend for bettors in the United States (and in Canada, where it’s Thanksgiving). In theory, more casual fans will be in the early mix, making their NFL picks for Week 7 before they head back to their cubicle farms.
Then again, as John Oliver pointed out, Columbus Day is barely still a thing. Many states, including Nevada, don’t recognize the holiday. Others have replaced it with less contentious holidays; South Dakota, for example, observes “Native American Day” instead. Then you have states like California, which still have Columbus Day, but expect government employees to work regardless. So let’s go ahead and treat the early Week 7 consensus figures as we normally would.
Senses Working Overtime
Fortunately for us, we’ve got more evidence that it’s the sharps who are behind this early rush on Indianapolis. Our expanded consensus reports show the Colts drawing 73.71 percent of the action for Sunday’s game. That’s enough to give Indianapolis a somewhat bigger average bet of $27.60, compared to $22.05 for Cincinnati. Small bets in both cases, but we are talking about a 25-percent increase.
Standard handicapping logic suggests this is a sharp spot to take the Colts, too. They’ll have had the benefit of extra rest after playing last Thursday; the Bengals (3-1-1 SU, 3-2 ATS) ended up in a 37-37 tie with the Carolina Panthers (+7 away) on Sunday, so not only did they drop the cash in back-to-back games, they also had to play an extra 15 minutes against Carolina. That’s no fun.
At least tying is better than losing. The Buffalo Bills (3-3 SU and ATS) couldn’t quite get it done last week, falling 37-22 to the New England Patriots (+1 away) despite the best efforts of our patron saint, QB Kyle Orton. We’re not going to rain on New England’s parade here, but this may have been an outlier for the Bills – it was their first OVER result of the season, as their No. 3-ranked defense gave up nearly as many points as it did in the previous three games combined.
The sharps aren’t deterred. They pounded Buffalo right out of the gate for Sunday’s matchup (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX) with the Minnesota Vikings, who dropped to 2-4 SU and ATS after last week’s miserable 17-3 loss at the hands of the Detroit Lions (+1 away). Guess that’s why Teddy Bridgewater (three INTs) slipped to the bottom of the first round. The Bills opened with 97 percent consensus as 4-point home faves, and with 96.58 percent of the action landing on their side. Ah, but the Vikings have the bigger average bet, $27.98 to $21. We’ll see what happens when the high rollers hit the market.