Every NFL Thursday, I will attempt, using the tools and stats from FTNBets.com, to slay the sportsbooks, scribbling my favorite side, total or prop picks for the week’s Thursday night game. Some will win. Many will lose. Fade or follow? That, of course, is up to you. Here’s where I’m stacking greenbacks on Colts/Titans:
SIDE: Indianapolis ML (+112, DraftKings) — The Colts defense isn’t the ‘85 Bears or ‘00 Ravens, but it’s damn good. Darius Leonard, one of the most unassuming stars in the league, is a tackling machine. His gap coverage combined with the hole-stuffing abilities of Grover Stewart and Anthony Walker — the pair have accounted for 32 combined run stops this season — is why Indy is among the league leaders in several rushing D categories. Call a “dive” and chances are they’ll surrender only inches. On the year, they’ve yielded 3.12 yards per carry, 62.0 rush yards per game and four ground scores to RBs. Equally rigid through the air giving up 6.9 pass yards per game and 221.1 pass yards per game, the Colts are a force to reckon with. Saddle them up and you just might gallop into the winner’s circle. Keep in mind Indy has taken seven of the last 10 straight up in the series.
Player Prop 1: Jordan Wilkins OVER 31.5 rush yards (-118, William Hill) — Wisconsin product Jonathan Taylor has emitted a stench on par with a block of Limburger. Putrid compared to Wilkins in almost every important category, including YAC per attempt (JT: 2.11; JW: 3.22) and missed tackle percentage (JT: 6.3%; JW: 27.7%), he simply isn’t living up to the hype. The former Ole Miss standout is a better fit in Frank Reich’s power run scheme. It’s why he’s commanded double-digit touches in consecutive weeks. Tennessee has allowed 4.5 yards per carry and 97.6 rush yards per game to rushers. If Wilkins receives another 9-11 carries, which is likely, he blasts his way to 32-plus yards. The OVER on 8.5 rush attempts at +115 is also low-hanging fruit.
Player Prop 2: Derrick Henry UNDER 90.5 rush/receiving yards (-118, William Hill) — See hole. Smash hole. See Josh Norman. Push Josh Norman into the parallel universe. That’s the running mantra of Tennessee’s Football Frankenstein. Henry, evidenced by his 3.51 YAC per attempt, is a runaway beer truck. Get in his way and odds are strong you’ll become a hood ornament. Still, as discussed above, Indy is up to the challenge. Kareem Hunt is the only rusher to exceed the proposed total against them. Heck, even Superman Dalvin Cook couldn’t do it. Losing occasional work to Jeremy McNichols and almost nonexistent in the pass game (10 receptions on the year), Henry may need 25 carries to eclipse 90.
Last week’s record: 2-2