Saturday, December 6, 2014

NFL Predictions 2014 Week 14: Colts Vs. Browns

Indianapolis Colts Vs. Cleveland Browns: IND -3 (-120) (Pinnacle)

Market Watch

The Westgate look-ahead line had the Colts favored by -3, but when it reopened it had moved to -3.5. I really wasn't expecting this to move back to -3, so this game was an afterthought for me, but there are enough books out there that are offering it with a bit of extra juice. Indy already had 77% of the ticket share, but that should go even higher if the number stays here.


Bottom Line

The first thing I look at in December is how a team has done with their home-road splits. I don't see much reason to worry about that here as the Colts are 4-1 ATS on the road this season. The Browns are a mere 3-2-1 ATS in the dog pound.

Matchup-wise, this is an interesting one. By DVOA, the Colts are 10th and the Browns are 21st, but it's not that black and white.  The Browns rank 19th on offense and the Colts 19th on defense. Indy is 13th on offense, and Cleveland is 13th on defense.

On paper, this should be a close one, which would seem to give us value on the home dog. But as we know by now, the Colts consistently outperform their stats, thanks in large part to Andrew Luck.  In contrast, could things be any worse for the Browns at the QB position?  Hoyer is slated to start, but how long do you think that lasts if he continues to play like he has over the past few weeks? Will these fans have much patience if they fall behind 10 or 14?  How loud will the cries for Manziel be if Hoyer has an early pick?

Even if the Browns play well and hold a lead going into the 4th quarter, I'll feel pretty good about Luck's ability to lead a comeback win. I can't say the same if my money was on Cleveland - regardless of the quarterback.

Give me the Colts.

NFL pick: IND -3.

Read moreWeek 14 picks.