NFL Drafts and Picks
This is the time to buy low on the Colts.
Because as bad as they looked, it’s important to remember that they haven’t played a home game yet. The forward line for this game was Colts +2.5. Have we learned enough about the Colts in two weeks to move the line an entire field goal?
There are teams like the Colts that crush in this kind of place. According to our Action Labs datawinless home teams entering Week 3 facing a visitor with at least one win are 31-19-2 (62%) ATS since 2005.
And Week 3 dogs with at least one ATS loss that open under a TD are 89-54-2 (64%) ATS since 2005.
The shutout in Jacksonville was terrible, but the offense will be in much better shape with the return of Michael Pittman, who went off for nine catches, 121 yards and a TD in Week 1.
On defense, the Colts should be able to hold up better than Gus Bradley’s reps with the raiders because the Chiefs no longer have Tyreek Hill to beat Bradley’s preferred single-high coverage.
Since 2005, Dogs coming off a shutout loss are 41-21-3 (66%) ATS since 2005, beating the spread by an average of 2.73 points per game.
We should get the best effort from the Colts in this spot. It’s their home opener after being ridiculed all week, and I expect them to be more physical than a Chiefs team that hasn’t played in 10 days.
While Andy Reid is known to be good with extra time to prepare, that story doesn’t hold up in these areas. With 9-13 days rest, Reid is 7-10 (41%) ATS since 2008, including 5-7 on exactly 10 days of rest after playing on Thursday Night Football the previous week.
The Colts are 9-3-1 as a dog catching more than a field goal under Frank Reich, hitting the spread by an average of 5.31 points per game. One of those wins was a 19-13 upset of the Chiefs in 2019 as a 10.5-point underdog.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs are just 7-17 (29%) ATS over their last 24 games when outscored by more than a field goal.
Despite serving as the Panthers starting tight end, Thomas was held to 13 yards or less on 13 of 19 plays (68%) since the start of last season.
In Week 2, he saw his route participation percentage drop from 58% to 50% – and now this week, offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo says he wants to get wide receivers more involved. The Saints allowed the seventh fewest receiving yards to tight ends (43), including just 19 to Kyle Pitts on seven carries in Week 1.
Despite a rough preseason, Burks has been a revelation so far in the otherwise maligned Titans offense.
Burks posted 55 yards in his debut against the Giants and still managed 47 against the Invoices on Monday Night Football in a game in which Tennessee only passed for 123 yards. He did so despite running a route on only 48% of the team’s dropbacks and he is fifth among wide receivers through two weeks with 3.40 yards per route run (minimum 10 targets).
Burks is the Titans’ leader in catches and yards through two weeks, and his route completion percentage did improve from 37% in Week 1 to 61% in Week 2. He could see another jump this week with fellow rookie Kyle Phillips — who happens to be second on the team in targets in yards – listed as questionable with a shoulder injury.
Houston has a good chance to pull off the upset here.
Through two games, the Texans rate the better team on offense (26th in DVO vs. 30th), defense (16th vs. 27th) and special teams (17th vs. 24th). Houston’s overall team PFF grade of 60.2 is 28th, which obviously isn’t good, but it’s still more than 10 points above Chicago’s league-worst 50.1.
On offense, the Texans’ biggest strength is that they don’t turn the ball over. Davis Mills has yet to throw an interception and has the NFL’s fourth-lowest turnover-worthy play percentage (1.2), per PFF. Compare that to Justin Fields, who has already thrown two picks on 40 dropbacks and has the NFL’s highest turnover-worthy play percentage (9.8%) by more than three percentage points above the next-highest passer.
The Bruins won’t be able to cover Fields all game, and this is a tough matchup for him against a Love Smith zone defense that will always look to him as a runner. Fields leads the NFL in average time to throw (3.54) by more than half a second, and I expect Smith’s looks to confuse him.
The Texans have arguably the two most explosive players in this game in wide receiver Brandin Cooks and running back Dameon Pierce. And while the Texans have been average on offense in early downs (which tends to be most predictive of future success), the Bruins are at or near the bottom of the league.
- First passing DVOA: HOU 14th, CHI 32nd
- First down offensive DVOA: HOU 14th, CHI 30th
- Second down passing DVOA: HOU 14th, CHI 32nd
- Second-lowest offensive DVOA: HOU 12th, CHI 20th
According to our Data from Action Labswinless dogs +1.5 to +7 are 127-81-4 (61%) ATS in Weeks 2-4 since 2005, including 40-26-2 (61%) in Week 3.
Houston also fits our “Road Dog, low total after bad season” PRO trend, which I’ve modified a bit to make it stronger while keeping its A grade.
Collins lines up on the left side of the formation for the majority of his snaps, which means he’ll most often match up against Bears right cornerback Jaylon Johnson, who teams just aren’t throwing to this season.
According to PFF, Johnson was targeted three times and allowed one reception on 65 snaps in coverage.
Collins’ catch rate is just 50% this season and 54.2% for this career, so he probably won’t hit four receptions. He was under this number in 12 of 16 career games.
He also doesn’t play true starters, as his route participation rate this season is 75%, which is more like a #3 WR than a #2.