jets colts player props picks
PHOTO CREDIT: CRAIG DUDEK

After suffering a simply brutal loss a week ago, the Indianapolis Colts will try to regroup on a short turnaround for Thursday Night Football against the New York Jets. The Jets enter off a shocking last week. Notably, it was the first victory by an underdog of 7.5 points or more in the NFL this season. Mike White will once again be under center for the Jets, looking to recreate the same magic of a week ago.

Let’s take a look at this NFL Week 9 Thursday Night Football matchup with our best Jets vs. Colts player props picks.

Jets vs. Colts Player Props

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Carson Wentz Under 31.5 Attempts

If the end of Sunday’s crushing loss to the Titans taught the Colts anything, it should be that they want the ball out of Carson Wentz’s hands late in games. Wentz threw two critical interceptions which sealed Indy’s fate in that loss, and in a game against the Jets in which the Colts are heavily-favored, we believe the game plan will rely less upon the team’s quarterback.

If you look at Indy’s three victories, Wentz threw 32, 20, and 26 passes, an average of 26 passes per game. In the team’s five defeats, he took to the air 38, 31, 37, 35, and 51 times, good for 38.4 attempts per outing. That’s quite a stark contrast, and in a critical home game here in which the Colts must win, you should expect a run-first approach.

From a strategic standpoint alone, if the Colts do end up holding a sizable lead late in this one, they will obviously use their No. 12 rushing attack to chew up clock and keep their quarterback from taking any unnecessary hits.

New York’s pass defense is far from elite, ranked No. 27 in passing yards against. Notably, opponents throw against it 37.3 times per game. And while five opposing quarterbacks this season attempted more passes against the Jets than this prop bet allows, the two games in which they did not just so happen to be the two games we think will most closely resemble this one.

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The Patriots beat the Jets, 25-6, in Week 2 and the Broncos shut them out, 26-0, in Week 3. Those decisive losses each saw the the Jets fail to cross the goal line. New York trailed its opponent by at least 19 points at the end of the third quarter in each of those games, promising run-heavy fourth quarters. Indianapolis has the defense to set up a similar scenario here and will play against backup quarterback Mike White, who no longer enters as an unknown. White should look like a drastically different guy in his first road start.

Indianapolis shouldn’t need much of Wentz in the later stages of this game and he should stay under this prop’s allowance.

Jonathan Taylor Over 102.5 Total Scrimmage Yards

Jonathan Taylor should once again be primed for a big outing in this one. As noted above, we expect the Indy ground game to play a large role in the final chapters of this one, potentially meaning some cheap late yards for Taylor as the Colts grind down the game clock en route to their fourth win.

However, even without those possible late bonus yards, Taylor has proven to be the centerpiece of this Indianapolis offense once they started their improved play in Week 4. The Colts lost their first three games of the season, and it now hardly seems a coincidence that Taylor only tallied 56, 51, and 64 rushing yards in those outings. In fact, he only topped 72 total yards in one of those games, thanks in large part to six catches in the team’s opener.

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Taylor only averaged 14 rushes and three targets per game in the team’s three opening defeats. At that point, the Wisconsin product’s usage changed and the team has since gone 3-2, with the two losses both coming in overtime. Starting in Week 4, Taylor has rushed the ball 15.8 times per game and has been targeted in the pass game 3.2 times per outing.

The increase in usage may seem a bit subtle, but it has made all the difference for Taylor — and the Colts. He went from averaging 4.07 yards per carry in the first three games to 6.05 over the last five. His yards per catch average also spiked from 8.75 to 15.0 in that same stretch.

The result has been Taylor topping this yardage total in each of his last five games, averaging 134.6 yards from scrimmage in that span, after doing so just once in his first three outings.

Expect another big outing from Taylor here in a game his team desperately needs.

Nyheim Hines Anytime Touchdown Scorer

While we expect a big yardage game from Jonathan Taylor, oddsmakers are pricey on his TD prop. Taylor has the lowest odds to score an anytime touchdown in Thursday night’s game at around -200.

We are not interested in laying that number in what we expect to be a relatively low-scoring contest, but we think we have found some solid value in Taylor’s backup, Nyheim Hines, to score.

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As discussed, we expect this game to feature ample amounts of the Colts run game throughout. After all, New York’s opponents have rushed the ball 28.9 times per game, the NFL’s seventh highest average. In fact, that number spikes to a wild 31.2 ground attempts per game when the Jets are on the road, the fourth most in the NFL in that role.

Indy is going to need someone other than Taylor to handle that kind of a workload, as he has not topped 18 rushes in a game yet this season. That leaves upwards of 13 carries for the other Colts’ backs. Hines and Marlon Mack would be the two most likely to handle the bulk of that share, but it is Hines who has proven himself the preferred choice for coach Frank Reich.

While Mack has received just 13 carries and caught one pass in the team’s last four games, including nothing last Sunday, Hines has rushed it 17 times in that span to go with six receptions. Hines has just one less catch than Taylor on the season, despite his comparatively limited role and will be facing a Jets defense that has allowed backs to catch a touchdown pass in each of the last two weeks.

In fact, the Jets have struggled to keep running backs out of the end zone in general all season, especially these last two weeks. A running back has scored against them in six straight games, including seven times in the last two outings.

With Colts running backs having scored nine times in the last six games, including twice through the air, this should be a great spot for Hines to reach paydirt. And the nice wildcard with Hines is the fact that he handles much of the team’s return duties, as well, scoring two punt return touchdowns back in 2019.

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