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Mike Handzelek's NFL Week 15 Analysis/Review/Notes

By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Dec 17, 2018
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Sunday, December 16, 2018 Dallas Cowboys vs. Indianapolis Colts (NFL) - 1:00 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -160 Indianapolis Colts Rating: 9* Mike's NFL Public Missed Perception Play (WIN) What? We're going against one of the hottest teams in the Cowboys who are winners of 5 straight SU? Yep, there's a good reason for it. I believe in new HC Frank Reich & how he's resurrected the Colts after a 1-5 SU start. Even though Dallas is streaking, Indianapolis is the team that's won 6 of 7 (Jerry's Kids 5-2 same interval) heading in. They key to this game lies on defense for the home squad. DC Matt Eberflus is now roaming INDY'S sidelines this season fresh off being with the Cowboys last season. The Colts' QB is the better QB & has the experience over Dak Prescott. Luck has thrown for 34 TD's which represents twice as much as Prescott. He's the more desperate QB since Indy must sweep 3 in hopes that Baltimore slips up along the way to earn the last slot (#6-seed) in the AFC Wild card race. My bottom line says Eberflus & Co. is getting execution (especially @ home) using a unique version of the "Tampa 2" 4-3 scheme. Eberflus is also getting results sustaining pressure with 3rd-down blitzes that has the Colts tied with Dallas with 35 sacks. When you compare offensive lines, Indy's Luck has been sacked (16) three times as less than Prescott thus far (48) after 13 games. Situationally, Dallas knows they'll get to 10 wins (by beating Tampa bay & the N.Y. Giants) & win the division even if they lose today. The first dagger for us will the Colts being a perfect 7-0 ATS against .500 or greater teams against unfamiliar non-conference teams. The last one points out the fact that NFL favorites (Indy) are a super-solid 24-11 ATS the past 28 seasons AFTER defeating an opponent that had won each of its past 7 games SU. If this week's opponent is coming off a SU win of 6 or less, that favorite has won 17 out of the past 20 SU. Let's go to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to play the INDIANAPOLIS COLTS as my 9 Star NFL Public Missed Perception Play! NOTES: The last few weeks of the NFL we will see selective handicapping. Lines are sharper which means plays are fewer. However, that ALSO gives us a chance @ pinpointing at least one BIG play a week. This week that was Indianapolis. HC Frank Reich's game plan was spot on using RB Marlon Mack (27 rushes for 139 yards & 2 TD's) among the team's 39 rushing plays that consumed the clock for 20 1/2 minutes of the second half. Even though QB Andrew Luck didn't have any TD passes, Indy's deliberate-style offense was effective (only 1 lost fumble late) throughout the day. The biggest key had to be the decision by their DC Matt Eberflus to play 2 deep safeties & light boxes (unless short-yardage situations) & try to contain Ezekiel Elliott from getting huge chunks of yardage. The priority of stopping the passing game (mainly Prescott to Cooper bombs) by using two-deep zone coverages worked like a charm since Dallas could not take advantage of the soft spots in between zones. When Prescott DID try to throw deep into these tighter coverages, he came up short because of closed windows or poorly thrown balls. The Eberflus' "D" won the battle by taking away the Cowboys' outside receivers schematically & dared Prescott to make adjustments. A key play shifting momentum came in the 2nd quarter with Dallas @ the Indy 3-yard line. OC Scott Linehan's decision to run in a condensed formation from a single-back set using 13 personnel (1 RB, 3 TE's & 1 WR) on a 4th & 1 was busted up for a 2-yard loss. Attempting to run a weak-side zone concept is feast or famine & left no margin for error running Ezekiel Elliott into the most crowded part of the field. The Cowboys (with a 1-game lead over the Eagles & Redskins) need 1 win to clinch (or a Philly or Washington loss) the NFC East & have a game @ home with Tampa Bay this week before ending the regular season @ the N.Y. Giants. Since Dallas was exposed this week, it will be interesting to see if their remaining opponents can mimic what the Colts were successful doing. Here's the Indy playoff scenario. The Colts are in a 3-way tie for the last wild card @ 8-6 with Baltimore & Tennessee. To win the AFC #6 seed, they'll need a Baltimore loss to the Chargers this week (or vs. Cleveland the last week) combined with a win over the Giants @ home this week before having to win @ Tennessee the final week. As it stands, the AFC #6 seed plays @ New England the opening week of the playoffs. Be back & cheer us on as we try to shatter the winning percentage (65%) of the World Championship season. Mike Handzelek's 2018-19 NFL Overall Seasonal Record: 26-13 for 67% (#1 NFL Handicapper in Winning Percentage @ VegasTopDogs) NFL December Record: 6-1 for 86% Thanks to all loyal followers & subscribers!

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