3 Ways To Win Big On Thursday Night Football: Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Jets
First Scoring Play Type, Home (Colts) Field Goal (+350) - DraftKings
The Colts have been a good offense between the 20s. Between key players a bit healthier, Carson Wentz playing decent ball, and Jonathan Taylor running like arguably the best back in the league, Frank Reich has not had too much issue guiding this offense down the field to get into scoring range.
The problem is they can’t convert.
Per Football Outsiders, the Colts offense ranks 29th in red zone DVOA. Their miscues versus the Rams in Week 2 stick out as the obvious pain point, but they still have not fully figured things out since then. The Colts also hold the fourth-worst red zone touchdown percentage right now at just over 50%. There is certainly the chance that Michael Pittman dunks on one of the Jets’ sorry cornerbacks or something along those lines, but it’s been just as likely this year that the offense sputters out and forces themselves into a field goal.
It’s also worth noting the Jets are a surprising 11th in red zone DVOA this year. That’s not special, but it’s better than their work between the 20s, and bodes well for them in forcing a few field goals out of the Colts’ red zone chances.
Successful Two-Point Conversion at +350 - DraftKings
Believe it or not, both the Jets and the Colts are some of the most frequent two-point attempters in the NFL through eight weeks. Whether that’s game script or a natural inclination towards aggression does not much matter, the reality is that these teams continue to end up needing or wanting to go for these two-point attempts.
The Jets average 0.9 two-point attempts per game, while the Colts average 0.6. That is not a lot, but those figures rank first and tied for third, respectively. The Jets have even attempted four two-point attempts over their last three games.
Of course, one of these teams has to convert on the attempt, not just go for it, but with as often as both of these teams end up in this position, it would not be a shock to see one of them convert at some point.
Jets RB Michael Carter, First TD Scorer at (+1200)
Michael Carter continues to look better and better each week. Though injuries to the Jets backfield have given him this opportunity to some degree, Carter has taken it and ran. The rushing efficiency has been hit or miss thanks to a rollercoaster of an offensive line, but Carter has shown excellent balance, toughness, and vision, making him the Jets’ most reliable runner by a country mile.
Last week was the culmination of all that he’s shown as a rookie. Carter received 15 carries and a whopping 14 targets, both of which were comfortably season-high marks for him. The explosive plays have been missing to this point in his career, but his tough, consistent rushing style paired with his skills as a pass-catcher bring such a high floor to the position for the Jets.
It would make sense for a running back’s volume to increase with a backup at the helm and that is especially true with the Jets. Rookie Zach Wilson is not a quarterback who is experienced or comfortable with getting to his checkdowns efficiently, but backup and current spot starter Mike White is much, much more willing to check it down early and let a guy like Carter do the work. 15 targets is a bit extreme, but he should still get a healthy workload through the air in addition to all his carries.
Carter also took on the red zone workload last week. Not only did he take all four of the team’s red zone carries, but one of his targets was also in the red zone. It’s clear the Jets are willing to give Carter opportunities to help the team get into scoring range as well as finish off drives himself.