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Thursday, December 18, 2014

NFL Predictions 2014 Week 16: Colts Vs Cowboys

Indianapolis Colts Vs. Dallas Cowboys: IND +3 (Pinnacle)

Market Watch

Last week this game was a "pick em", but after the weekend it reopened at Cowboys -3.  With a few days to go before kickoff, 58% of the bets are on the road team.

Bottom Line

I must be missing something here because I think the Colts are the better team in this matchup, and that's before taking into account the DeMarco Murray injury.

How much of an impact would Murray's absence be? I don't think their run game will suffer as much as one would think, because a lot of their success is driven by the OL. At the same time, anytime you remove the leading rusher from the equation, it's going to be a factor. Especially when you consider that the Colts are better against the pass than they are the run this season.

I still believe the Cowboys will be able to move the ball and put up points, but they might have to rely on Romo more than usual - mostly because of what's going to take place on the other side of things.

The big test for the Cowboys this week will be figuring out how to slow down Andrew Luck. He hasn't been playing as well as the early half of the season, but this week he's not going to be facing a pass rush capable of getting the QB.  If the Cowboys play zone, Luck is going to dice them apart, and I don't think their corners will be able to hold up long enough in coverage if they play man-to-man. Slowly but surely, the Dallas D has continued to slide down the rankings in all the critical categories.

Yes, the Colts have their division wrapped up, but there's no indication that they will go through the motions here. Pagano didn't sit players in his previous two seasons either, and they won those "meaningless" games, too.

Given the matchups on the field, I think the Colts have a really good chance at walking away with the straight up win on Sunday, but I'm happy to take the points.

NFL pick: IND +3.

Read more: Week 16 picks.
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