Remember back a few weeks ago when Andrew Luck suddenly retired from football? How everyone was freaking out and acting like the Colts were going to become less competitive than an XFL team? We weren’t on that dubious bandwagon. To the contrary, we were telling everyone who would listen to load up on the Colts season long prop bets particularly their season win total which was dropped to a laughable O/U 7 following the Luck retirement.
It’s not to early to claim at least partial vindication. Jacoby Brissett is just what we said he would be–a pretty damn good NFL quarterback. The public’s meltdown over Luck’s retirement might have been the biggest overreaction I’ve seen in 20+ years in sports betting. Even now with Brissett having a 7 to 1 TD/INT ratio and a 112 QB rating good for #6 in the NFL Indy isn’t getting the respect they deserve and as long as that continues we’ll be looking to take advantage. The Colts were a tepid -1 home favorite against downward spiraling Atlanta last week and now they’re less than a touchdown favorite against the Oakland Raiders.
Lest we forget (and we forget nothing that relates to sports handicapping) the Oakland Raiders are one of the worst road teams in the NFL. They’re not great at home either but they’re horrendous on the road and enter this contest on a 3 year run of 3-14 SU/4-12-1 ATS away from NorCal. They’re 12-21 ATS overall in that timeframe as well. In this price range (underdog of +3.5 to +9.5 points) the Raiders are 2-12 SU/4-10 ATS over the last three seasons. That 9-17 SU/10-15 ATS record against AFC opponents doesn’t install us with a lot of confidence either.
The Colts, meanwhile, have gone 11-1 SU/8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 spots as a favorite. Indy has covered all three games this season (assuming you got their season opening loss against the LA Chargers at anything but the worst price) and they’re a few missed Adam Vinatieri kicks away from a 3-0 start. What was completely lost on the ‘squares’ during the ‘OMG ANDREW LUCK HAZ RETIRED!’ freak out was the fact that the Colts are a pretty solid and well balanced team. They’ve got good coaching, good defense, good special teams and an excellent offensive line. Frank Reich did an excellent job tinkering with the offensive scheme following Luck’s retirement to make it a better fit for the significantly more mobile Brissett.
Following this game, the Raiders will be heading off to London for a game against the Chicago Bears next Sunday. Oakland has been outscored by a total of 137 points in their last nine road games. Under John Gruden, they’ve been outscored on the road by an average of 15 PPG. There are quite a few 7’s out in the marketplace so make sure you get the more favorable 6.5.