08 Oct Pick 1: Indianapolis vs. Houston and Baltimore vs. Tampa Bay
The Teaser: Pair Indianapolis and Baltimore
Game 1: Indianapolis vs. Houston
The Initial Line:
Indianapolis -3.5 away vs. Houston
Add 8 points to Indianapolis’ line
The Final Line:
Indianapolis earned its 3rd straight victory win a 20-13 home win vs Baltimore. Andrew Luck had a solid game with a line of 32-49, 312 yds and a TD, but he did throw for 2 INTs. However the defense was also able to force 3 turnovers in the win. Houston suffered a tough loss in Dallas, losing 20-17 in OT. They were down 10 pts in the 4th quarter before battling back to tie it; however, they weren’t able to hold on and saw themselves move to 3-2. Arian Foster had a great game on the ground, rushing for 157 yds and 2 TDs.
Indianapolis and Houston will both have short weeks as they play on Thursday night. Andrew Luck and Co. are feeling good about themselves as they’ve now won 3 games in a row. Houston has shown that they are a much improved team from last year, as they already have 3 wins and only had 2 total in 2013. Luck has been showing his elite status this season, as he leads the NFL in yds with 1,617 (323 yds/game) and passing TDs with 14 (2.8 TD/game). Expect this trend to continue against a defense that ranks 21st in opposing pass yds/game. Also Indy’s D has been decent, ranking 16th in opp. pass yds and 12th in opp. rush yds. This will probably be a tight game as both teams are fighting for 1st place in the AFC South, but Indianapolis is a better overall team and expect them to be leading the division after this one. Take them at +4.5 in case Houston pulls off the winning FG late at home.
Game 2: Baltimore vs. Tampa Bay
The Initial Line:
Baltimore -3.5 away vs. Tampa Bay
Add 8 points to Baltimore’s line
The Final Line:
Baltimore lost 20-13 in Indianapolis on Sunday, moving them to 3-2 on the season. They had a chance to drive down the field and tie it under 2 minutes, but failed to convert a 4th and 3 play giving Indy the victory. Flacco threw for 235 yds with an INT, and the running game didn’t contribute much as Forsett was the leading rusher with 42 yds. Baltimore also gave up 422 yds which was their highest total of the season, but it was against the hottest QB in the league in Andrew Luck. Tampa Bay almost pulled off the upset in New Orleans, but fell short as the home team took it in OT 37-31. Mike Glennon threw for 249 yds, 2 TDs, and 1 INT. The defense was able to force 3 turnovers against Drew Brees however. They now sit at 1-4 on the season, as they are 1-3 in one score games.
Tampa Bay is feeling better about their team as they have played some good teams right to the end. However Baltimore is the better team all-around in this matchup and they should be able to beat Tampa. Their pass defense ranks 30th in the league, which bodes well for the pass-happy attack offense of Joe Flacco and Co. In Baltimore’s 2 losses they lost by 7 pts or less, and both losses were to some of the best teams in the league (Cincinnati and Indianapolis). Look for a bounce-back game from Baltimore, as they will move to 4-2 after this game. The +4.5 is merely for insurance in case Tampa Bay is finally able to pull off a late upset against a contending team.