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NFL Bargain Bets: Week 11
November 12th 2008
by Old Man Winner

Indianapolis Colts (-8.5) vs Houston Texans 

This one shapes up very much like last week's bargain bet, where New England just wore down and mentally beat the Bills . . . as usual!

Similarly, in this one, you have one team that has serious "ownage" vs. the other over a prolonged period of time. When this happens, and you don't have a coach who is able to make his team believe they can overcome it, the losing team carries with them a defeated subconscious that is hard to make the mind and body overcome, Deep down, for most of the players on the Houston Texans team, they remember that they have NEVER won in this building (or the last building for that matter).

Here's exactly how crushing these Houston defeats have been over the last four years in Indianapolis; average score: Indy 40, Hou 17.

OK, if you aren't a softer side kinda guy, and you aren't buying this "mental" stuff, then how about this angle: The Colts are already getting used to their impending playoff schedule. In their last five games they've played three teams (Pitt, Tenn, and NE) that are currently leading their AFC division and two teams that are only one game of the pace in theirs. The Colts went 3-2 in those games, while at the same time fighting through significant injuries. But if, as in baseball, you are a believer in "strength up the middle", then you gotta love that the Colts now have Jeff Saturday back at Center, Bob Sanders back at Safety, and Joseph Addai back at Running Back. They are healthy and hitting the easier part of their schedule. You should see their victory total build, along with their margin of victory as the season winds down.

On the flip side, Houston looks tired and beat up. Schaub is out, Slaton is "hitting the rookie wall" and the defense is getting run over by just about everyone. When Houston won three games in a row in October, folks started to believe they had turned the corner and were showing the promise of last year. But, again, like last week's bargain bet game, not many called attention to the fact that two of those three games were against winless Detroit, and one-win Cincinnati.

Indy rolls 34-20

Bargain Bets 2008 Record:  7-2-1

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