A look at metrics impacting betting lines
From Desk of John Ryan Sports
Contributing Sportsbook Editor
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We are now all quite accustomed to nearly every 'talking head' or radio voice proclaiming the parity evident in the NFL as Not For Long. However, through five weeks of NFL action, there are no real surprises and teams are playing in the manner they were projected in the preseason. One exception is the Indianapolis Colts.
The Colts started off very slowly losing their first two games, but there was need for panic knowing they play in the league's worst and weakest division - the AFC South. They now have won three straight games and have full control of the division. Those first two losses were again division leading opponents in Denver and Philadelphia. Since, they have defeated Jacksonville, Tennessee, and Baltimore and covered all three games.
They will have a much stiffer test in a resurgent Houston Texan team that is 3-2 on the season and covered four-of-five games ATS. This is a Thursday Night game that will determine the leader in the division and the Colts are favored by 3 points. My SIM projects that they have a 62% probability of winning the game. No matter the outcome for the Thursday game, the Colts are the vastly better team in the Division and barring any major injuries at skill positions they will easily win the Division.
Chargers are a solid 5* Titan play
The Chargers continue to rise in the rankings and grading and are simply not getting any public demand playing the shadows of the Denver Broncos in the AFC West Division. They have a 4-1 mark and lead Denver (3-1) by a half game due to the Denver BYE week having already passed. San Diego is on the road playing at Oakland, which is arguably the worst team in the league. No matter the conclusion, Oakland and Jacksonville have recorded the LOWEST (weakest) team gradings of any team since 1970. Getting seven points in a home NFL game will be appealing to the sharps and the fact that the Chargers have covered five straight games. Yet, based on my metrics, the Chargers are projected to win this game by 13 or more points. I like playing the Chargers for a 5* graded play.
Another game worth looking at is on the Denver Broncos as they face the Jets in an AFC matchup. Clearly, the only way Denver loses this game is by beating themselves on the field of play with a mountain of mental mistakes. Denver came off the BYE week and put up 41 points very easily on a solid Arizona defense. The Denver defense is playing very well and go mostly unnoticed in the media. I simply do not see how the Jets will be able to play a full 60 minutes and compete against one of the elite teams in the NFL for 60 minutes.
My metrics call for Denver to win this game by 13+ points and recommend them as a 5* Titan play.