Jets at Colts Monday Night Preview

ARE THE JETS AS GOOD...OR THE COLTS AS BAD AS THEY LOOKED LAST WEEK?!

This week's Monday Night matchup features a pair of teams who are expected to quickly regress towards the mean after missing their pointspreads by 18 and 15 points respectively last week. The New York Jets aren't likely to be as good as they looked in a 31-10 rout of floundering Cleveland. Indianapolis must be better than they looked in 27-14 virtual no-show loss in Buffalo.

The Las Vegas betting market has to make a guess about how much these teams will reverse course...and whether or not Preseason estimates were a bit out of whack. Maybe Indianapolis isn't ready to challenge New England at the top of the AFC. Maybe the NY Jets won't be a disaster with new head coach Todd Bowles and new quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

For now...this makes MNF a tough handicap! Let's run some numbers...

Won-Lost Records (Strength of Schedule)
NY Jets: 1-0 (very easy Week One challenge)
Indianapolis: 0-1 (very difficult Week One challenge)

Complicating matters here is the fact that the opponents may have been misread by Vegas. By kickoff of this game, it will be better understood whether or not Buffalo was a one-week wonder. If they played well vs. New England...then Indy's poor showing is more understandable. If Cleveland was waxed at home by Tennessee...then maybe the Jets are still a bottom quadrant team that happened to catch some breaks.

Yards-Per-Play
NY Jets: 5.6 on offense, 5.1 on defense
Indianapolis: 4.5 on offense, 6.2 on defense

What jumps out at us here is that poor defensive mark from the Colts. This defense is way too passive for our tastes. They've gotten away with that in a horrible division for a couple of seasons. But, when it's time to step up in class...teams who know what they're doing can embarrass them. Apparently Buffalo knows what it's doing! The Jets offense probably won't be much of a force with Fitzpatrick. This game will likely swing on how much NYJ can do when they have the ball against an opponent that sits back and hopes for errors.

Turnover Differential
NY Jets: +4
Indianapolis: -3

Don't skip over this category! Final scores can often be warped by fluky turnover counts. That certainly happened last week. No way the Jets can count on that kind of advantage every week. They may not finish at +4 for the whole season. Indianapolis had some bad luck too. Though, it has to be said that their defense won't force turnovers from good teams...and Luck becomes turnover prone when he tries to force things against good defenses. Very interesting dynamic here. If the Jets hang around while Luck tries to force things...the Colts could suffer their second straight upset loss.

Market Performance
NY Jets: 1-0 ATS
Indianapolis: 0-1 ATS

Teams with new coaches can be headaches for the market because there's so much volatility. If the new man inspires immediate improvement...it can take half a season for the line to catch up. If a new coach is in over his head...then it goes the other way. Nice start for Bowles in that sense. Indy is tricky too because it's their nature to bully and squash bad teams...but to underachieve when tested. Entering the season, the Jets were supposed to be a team Indy was going to bully. Has that changed? 

Current Line: Indianapolis by 7, total of 46.5

The market's kind of sitting in a nebulous zone that splits the difference of all the extreme possibilities. If the Jets are just a bottom-feeder that got lucky last week against another bottom feeder...then the Colts will win 31-10 and that line will look ridiculous in retrospect. If the Jets really do have their heads on straight now that Geno Smith isn't the quarterback, and Rex Ryan isn't grasping at straws on the sidelines...then we may have a legitimate nailbiter. The Colts will let you hang with them if you can move the chains and get some points on the board.

JIM HURLEY knows that Monday Night is the most important betting game of the week. He'll leave no stone unturned in trying to find you the right side or total winner. You can purchase the final word for Monday (NFL plus bonus baseball if you wish) right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about extended service, call us in the office at 1-800-323-4453 during normal business hours Monday. Be sure to ask about full-season packages that include the baseball playoffs when you call.

Back with you tomorrow to post our "midweek" report on the upcoming Thursday nighter in the NFC East. Here's how the week looks for big game TV previews in the NOTEBOOK...

Midweek: NFL TV Preview...Washington at NY Giants
Friday-Saturday: College Football TV Preview...to be determined
Sunday: NFL TV Preview...Denver at Detroit
Monday: NFL TV Preview...Kansas City at Green Bay

Our statheads will always crunch the numbers for you here in the NOTEBOOK. Enjoy the full force of NETWORK'S exclusive TEAM HANDICAPPING approach when you link up with JIM HURLEY!

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