2009 Season NFL Football Past Picks

January 24, 2010

This pick was released to clients on December 31, 1969 at 9:00PM ET.

24

New York at Indianapolis

Sunday 01/24 03:00 PM Eastern

3 units on New York +9 (-120) (risk 3 to return 3)  RESULT: loss

1 unit on Game Total OVER 40 -110 (risk 1 to return 1)  RESULT: win

I was on the Jets big-time last week vs. the Chargers, calling for the outright upset win. The Jets pulled it off. I like them again in this game, again given a lot of points and little respect. New York won last week according to plan - play great defense, pound the ball on the ground and stick around long enough to have a chance at the end. The Jets are by far the best defensive team this season and they are imposing their will right now. Since giving up 31 points to the Patriots in Foxboro in week 10, the Jets have held all opponents (eight) to 15 points or less, and an average of 9.4 points per game! Only five times in 18 games this season has New York allowed more than 17 points. The Jets were an unlikely candidate to get here, sitting at 4-6 after ten weeks of play. But, they have caught fire at the right time, winning seven of their last eight games and brimming with confidence and momentum. Sound familiar? It should as it is what the Giants did in 2008 and what Arizona did last year. The 2007-08 Giants limped into the playoffs with a 10-6 mark with a QB who was considered unable to lead his team to a Super Bowl win. They won it all. The Cardinals last year 9-7 going into the playoffs but caught fire in the playoffs and nearly (should have) won it all. No one gave either of those teams a chance. Now the Jets, a team that wasn't supposed to make it very far this year, is in the same position and the non-believers are yet again out with 61% of the public backing the Colts. The Jets have learned how to best utilize QB Mark Sanchez to limit his mistakes, manage the offense, and allow the defense to put them in position to win. This team reminds me a lot of the 2000-01 Baltimore Ravens. That was a team that started the season 5-4 and scored 16 points or less nine times. Yet, powered by a great defense, they went on to win the Super Bowl. That Ravens team allowed 248 yards per game. This Jets team allows 252 per game. That Ravens offense gained 313 yards per game. This Jets team averages 321 per game. Strikingly similar, wouldn't you say? This New York defense is for real. Over their last four games, all against playoff teams, they have allowed less than 11 points per game. That raises an interesting prospect for this one. Can the Colts get to 20 points in this game? It is an improtant question because home teams that fail to get to 20 in the Conference Championship round are 0-10 ATS since 1993. That number expands to an amazing 1-33-1 ATS in all NFL playoff games since 1993! Even home teams that score in the 20s are just 5-7-1 ATS in this round. To like the home team in this round, you better think they are going to score a lot. When teams reach 30 in this round they are a perfect 11-0 ATS. But, I don't see the Colts, a team that averaged just 23 points per game at home this season, getting to 30 here against this #1 defense. In, fact the liklihood of them getting to 20 is not great in my opinion. Since 2001 the Colts have played in the playoffs vs. three AFC teams that rank either #1 or #2 on defense. In those games, Indy did not score more than 20 points. This defense is better than the ones they faced in any of those years. Another important figure? The Jets projected rushing yards in this game. Indianpolis allowed an average of 124 yards per game on the ground this season. The Jets average a league-best 172 per game. Think New York will gain 125+ on the ground here? I do. And, the Jets are 8-1 straight-up this year when they gain 125 or more! This season, the Colts are 8-0-1 ATS in games in which they scored 27 or more points. In games in which they scored under 27 points, they are just 2-5 ATS. If you think the Colts will somehow crack this #1 ranked Jets defense to put 4+ touchdowns, then by all means, back the Colts. I don't think they will. They say that defense wins Championships, and I'm going with the defense here. I like the Jets plus the points. I am also putting a very small wager on the OVER. The obvious choice seem UNDER but I think the Jets will get points here. They have averaged 27 points per game over their last four games - all vs. playoff teams. They have scored 22 or more ten times this season. Their defense is capable of scoring, or at least giving their offense a very short field. And of course Indy will get points. I'm going contrarian here with a small play on the OVER as well.
FINAL SCORE
TEAM 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q FINAL
Jets 0 17 0 0 17
Colts 0 13 7 10 30

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Wins Losses Units
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