If you were aware of Mike White's football work before Week 7, you're a Western Kentucky alum, a serious draft nerd, a New York Jets superfan or someone who watches every minute of the preseason.
White took over for injured Zach Wilson in Week 7, threw a touchdown pass, and then started in Week 8 because Joe Flacco wasn't going to be ready after the Jets traded for him midweek. Then White threw for the most yards of any Jets quarterback in 21 years.
White's 405-yard game in an upset win over the Cincinnati Bengals was a pleasant surprise to Jets fans and a nightmare to a lot of survival pool players. Now we get to see in prime time if White was a one-week wonder, or if he was just a secretly capable quarterback who'd never gotten a shot.
White and the Jets are 10.5-point underdogs at BetMGM vs. the Indianapolis Colts, an indication that oddsmakers aren't buying White as the next Kurt Warner.
White was a fifth-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in 2018 and hadn't appeared in a regular-season game before Week 7. He was a very efficient quarterback his final two college seasons at Western Kentucky. He made some mistakes against the Bengals but made some good plays too. The Bengals defense had been playing well before last week, too.
The Colts come in off a devastating loss in overtime to the Tennessee Titans. Carson Wentz melted down with two awful late interceptions. The Colts are three games behind the Titans in the AFC South and lost the tiebreaker, so they know they're probably not catching Tennessee, even without Derrick Henry. The Colts might look at the Jets and have a hard time getting up for the game on a short week. It's worth taking the Jets and seeing if White is more than just a one-game fluke.
Here is the first look at the sports betting slate for Thursday:
How about some props for Thursday night?
In a game with a 10.5-point line, you might want some other action. Somewhat surprisingly, Mike White's passing yardage total is higher than Colts QB Carson Wentz. White is 253.5 and Wentz is 244.5. The possibility of the Jets falling far behind and having to throw a lot is the main reason. Since we'll be on the Jets +10.5, let's also assume White won't be in garbage-time mode and go under on that yardage.
Jonathan Taylor was a nice prop win last week with the over on his rushing yards, but his total has gone from usually being in the 60s to 85.5 on Thursday night. That's a high total for anyone, and the Colts don't overwork Taylor. They won't on a short week either and the under is a fine play, even in a great matchup.
What else is on the schedule?
There's a short five-game NBA schedule. The Utah Jazz at Atlanta Hawks is a fun game between two teams that could be a factor in their respective conferences. Utah is a 1-point favorite. The Los Angeles Lakers play an Oklahoma City Thunder team that beat them once this season. The Lakers are favored by 12.5. Coming into Wednesday's games the Lakers were the worst against-the-spread team in the NBA.
There are nine NHL games and one college game, which is Georgia State at Louisiana. Louisiana is a 12-point favorite.
What's the best bet?
You could do worse than taking 10.5 points and the Jets against a disappointing Colts team. Let's go in a different direction and take the Miami Heat as 7-point favorites over the Boston Celtics. The Heat look like a title contender, and the Celtics have been disjointed this season.