What better way to start a drama-filled Week 9 than with the Jets traveling to Indianapolis to take on the Colts in primetime.
Sure, both of these teams have losing records—but they both put up 30-plus points last Sunday and offer bettors some value plays for Thursday's tilt.
Do you ride the Mike White hype and take the Jets straight-up? Can you really trust Carson Wentz to cover a double-digit spread?
If you're on the fence about what to bet tonight, we're here to help.
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SI Betting Writer Kyle Wood's take:
I'll say it while I can: the Jets are hot. Not only did they just beat the Bengals, the AFC front runner, they also took down the Titans, who seem to have the Colts' number.
I like Robert Saleh instilling confidence in White after the big win, not hesitating when asked if the quarterback would start Thursday night. New York doesn't have much to lose and Indianapolis has a lot to lose, like the AFC South.
The Colts need this game, and I think they win it, but I'm backing the Jets at +10.5. I also like the over on 40.5 receiving yards for Michael Carter. He's gone over the past two weeks with eight or more catches in each game. Plus, White saw success peppering his running backs with targets. Go with what you know.
MMQB Writer Conor Orr's take:
If you take out the New England games, Robert Saleh's defense has been tough and competitive despite being regularly overmatched. Plus, as a resident of the Greater New York City area, the Mike White hype is palpable, with some Jets fans suggesting on local talk radio that they trade Zach Wilson for the journeyman former fifth-round pick. I don't know if White remains in Canton but I was impressed with his mid-range accuracy in training camp
I don't hate Wentz at +410 to score a rushing touchdown. The former No. 2 overall pick may be a bit gun shy this week after tossing some costly picks last week and overcompensate on the ground. Throw in the exotic looks he'll see from the Jets defense and we have the recipe for a naked bootleg touchdown run at some point.
Picks: Colts moneyline; Jets +10.5
SI Fantasy & Betting Director Bill Enright's take:
Pardon me while I burst the White passing for 405 yards in his fist career start out of my memory bank. The Colts have an opportunity to capture the AFC South despite being three games behind the Titans. When the 2020 Offensive Player of the Year and Tennessee’s primary identity is lost for two months, a small window has indeed been cracked. The Colts must win three of their next five games before their bye, but with matchups against the Bucs and Bills looming, it’ll be much easier for them to beat the Jets and then against the Texans and Jaguars…but it has to start Thursday. Lay the points as Indy looks to ground the Jets for a lengthy delay for four quarters.
Coordinating Producer Dave Seperson's take:
It took White only one game to end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In his first career start, White threw for 405 yards and three touchdowns as the Jets upset the Bengals. The same Bengals who entered last Sunday as the AFC's No. 1 team. On Thursday, the Jets head to Indianapolis as 10.5-point underdogs.
Now, if you listen to New York sports radio this week, this is game No. 2 in what is destined to be the next “Tom Brady/Kurt Warner late-round NFL draft pick to Pro Football Hall of Fame career” story arc.
It’s easy money! Jets +10.5 is an easy cover. Heck, they might win outright!
But as a Jets fan, I don’t live in that fantasy world. I can’t… I’ve been burned way too many times before for getting my hopes up thinking that the next great quarterback has arrived to save the franchise. Remember when Mark Sanchez torched the Patriots and beat Tom Brady in Week 2 of the 2010 season, completing 21 of 30 attempts for 220 yards and 3 touchdowns? How about when Geno Smith absolutely obliterated the Miami Dolphins in Week 17 of the 2014 season, completing 20 of 25 passes for 358 yards, 3 touchdowns and a perfect 158.3 rating?
Man, I’ve watched quarterbacks like Qunicy Carter, Brooks Bollinger and Bryce Petty lead (more like drag) the Jets to victory before.
Could White become the next great quarterback in the NFL? Sure. Will he?
I’m going to use my level-headed mind and remind myself that it’s the Jets, and they don’t get to have nice things. So, while I hope I’m wrong, if you’re asking me where I’m putting my money, it’s on the Colts -10.5.
A 2-5 team playing a 3-5 team screams of another awful Thursday Night Football game coming nowhere close to the over/under of 46.
SI Fantasy Editor Craig Ellenport's take:
Nice story, but Jets fans know better than to get too excited. When good things happen to this team, disappointment is always right around the corner. And sure enough, the Jets don't even have a full week to enjoy their big win over the Bengals. That was just their second win of the season. Their first win was also a big upset, a Week 4 victory over the Titans. They followed that game with a 7-point loss against Atlanta (and they were down by 10 before kicking a field goal in the final seconds).
Not only do they have a short week before a road game against another playoff contender in Indianapolis, but the Jets' weak run defense must now face Jonathan Taylor, who is thinking rushing title now that Derrick Henry is out.
Taylor runs wild in this one, and the Colts cover a big number.
SI Betting Editor Matt Ehalt's take:
I love the over on Michael Pittman Jr.'s receiving yards (68.5). Pittman has been on an absolute tear, and has topped that number in three of his last four games. The Jets' secondary is not great, and I believe Pittman tops this numbers especially since T.Y. Hilton is not playing Thursday. The Colts should ride Pittman and Taylor and cruise to a win on a short week against a Jets team that struggled on the road.
I'm also taking the Colts straight-up and to lay the points.
Assessing Indianapolis' divisional chances: Assuming the Colts win and the Rams beat the Titans, the Colts will be two out but three in reality since the Titans own the tiebreaker. The Colts' are solid but they've only beaten teams below .500.
Derrick Henry is a remarkable talent, but he's still only a running back. The Titans should not collapse with him sidelined.
I'll pass on taking Indianapolis at +750 to win the division just because the math isn't in its favor, and the Colts still have some tough remaining games (not including this one).
SI Betting Writer Jennifer Piacenti's take:
Yep. I am drinking the Kool-Aid. Colts win, but Jets legend Mike White is able to keep this closer than 10.5. Colts have allowed nineteen passing TDs to opposing quarterbacks (second-most in the league), and 13 to opposing wide receivers (most in the league) and guess what? White can spread the ball around.
Carter, Jamison Crowder and Ty Johnson all saw major targets Sunday. Yes, Taylor will run wild, and he'll also be charged with controlling the clock and game tempo. With no Hilton or Parris Campbell, I don't see this being a blowout.
And ,yes, I like Pittman, but the Jets have only allowed 1,041 receiving yards (seventh-fewest in the league) and five touchdowns to opposing WRs across seven games played this year. the 2020 Wentz showed up Sunday, throwing a couple of picks, and the Colts have not been much better at home than on the road this season and the Magic Mikes from N.Y. will be able to keep this game competitive.
SI Betting Editor Dave Scipione's take:
I like the Colts to win this game, but I don’t think it will be a lopsided score.
When you’re dealing with double-digit spreads, it’s best to take a look at the quarterbacks and determine if you’re comfortable spotting points with who is under center. It’s Carson Wentz, people. Carson. Wentz.
The Colts will put on a defensive clinic, making Mike White look like an average quarterback, and in the end, Indy wins—but won't cover the spread.
Now, what I'm doing before the game is hammering the Colts to win the AFC South at +750.
For the price of a pizza you’re getting a return of nearly $100—and you have half the season to work with. A win against the Jets put the Colts at 4-5, and with Henry injured—and Mike Vrabel coaching—I like the Colts to potentially overtake the Titans.
It starts Thursday night.
SI Betting Writer Frankie Taddeo's take:
If you want my picks on the game check out my Thursday Night Football breakdown.
With all due to respect to my colleagues, if you are considering backing the Colts to overtake the Titans to win the AFC South (a wager I made preseason at +105) you simply love to lose money!
You can't be serious if you are considering backing Wentz, who is one of the most overrated and brittle quarterbacks there is. Give me the underrated Ryan Tannehill, who is easily the Rodney Dangerfield of the NFL.
Losing the best running back is a blow no doubt, but Henry's absence will not lead to essentially a FOUR-GAME collapse. I'll see you all the betting window in a few months when I cash my Titans Future to WIN THE AFC SOUTH!
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