Week 6 NFL Pick on Total for Thursday's Colts vs. Texans

Jason Lake

Thursday, October 9, 2014 12:59 PM UTC

Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014 12:59 PM UTC

The Indianapolis Colts had their perfect 4-0 OVER record snapped last week. That hasn’t stopped people from rushing the NFL odds board and clicking that OVER button for Thursday night’s game against the Houston Texans.

Jason’s Record After Week 5: 19-16 ATS, 5-7-1 Totals

Profit: plus-0.1 units

Tim Couch. David Carr. JaMarcus Russell. All three of these quarterbacks were drafted No. 1 overall, but none of them amounted to much. Their failures have become part of NFL folklore, and we bring them up so often, it feels like teams are tempting fate when they take a quarterback with their first pick. That’s because we tend to forget where the great ones were drafted. We have other things to talk about when we’re discussing John Elway or Troy Aikman or Peyton Manning. Things like Super Bowls.

Will Andrew Luck join this elite group? He’s already well clear of being labelled a bust; Luck has grown into one of the very best quarterbacks in the league, and his Indianapolis Colts have driven the OVER to a 4-1 record five weeks into the 2014 campaign. They’ll try to make it 5-1 this Thursday (8:25 p.m. ET, CBS) against the Houston Texans; there’s a total of 47 points on our Week 6 NFL odds board, up from 45.5 at the open.


Burn Your Draft Card
It’s hard out there for a would-be franchise savior. It’s usually the really bad teams that get to pick first – Couch (Cleveland Browns) and Carr (Houston Texans) were taken by expansion clubs, and Russell (Oakland Raiders) may as well have been.Their failures were almost predestined.

Luck has had it easy by comparison. He fell into the lap of the Colts only because Manning missed the entire 2011 season with career-threatening neck issues. Indianapolis went 2-14 SU (6-10 ATS) that year, but with Luck in the saddle, they rocketed right back to the top of the AFC South at 11-5 (10-6 ATS).

On top of that, as we mentioned in our report on the opening NFL odds, Luck was fortunate enough to start his NFL career facing the weakest schedule in the league. He played well as a rookie and even made the Pro Bowl, but c’mon. Luck wasn’t that good. He probably shouldn’t have made it last year, either.


We Hit the Ton
This year’s different. Like many of his high-end contemporaries, Luck has blossomed in his third season as a pro, putting up the kind of numbers that are truly representative of a Pro Bowl-worthy quarterback. Here’s the data:

Luck 2012: 23 TDs, 18 INTs, 76.5 passer rating, No. 19 passing DVOA
Luck 2013: 23 TDs, nine INTs, 87.0 passer rating, No. 16 passing DVOA
Luck 2014: 14 TDs, six INTs, 100.0 passer rating, No. 6 passing DVOA

Those 14 touchdown passes in five games look really good if you’re thinking about betting the OVER this week. So does his escalating DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) ranking, which takes strength of schedule into account. It’ll take that level of performance, and maybe more, to get the job done Thursday night against J.J. Watt and the Texans defense, which ranks No. 6 in the league against the pass.


Un-Break My Bankroll
Perhaps the Colts defense can help out. They’re second-last in the league against the run, and while the Texans are only No. 20 in rushing efficiency, that’s partly because Arian Foster (4.7 yards per carry) missed Week 3 with a hamstring injury and played hurt in Week 4. Foster was back in fine form last Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, piling up 157 yards on 23 carries.

If only Houston’s passing game had shown up. That game ended in a 20-17 overtime victory (UNDER 47.5) for Dallas, and with Luck’s offensive line falling apart, we can envision something similar happening on Thursday. Getting those extra 1.5 points on the total helps, too, especially when we’re landing on the somewhat magic number 47. Just like Toni Braxton. Bet the Under for your Week 6 NFL Picks.

Free NFL Pick: Bet one unit on UNDER 47 (–105) at Pinnacle

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