In-Depth Prediction, Preview, and Odds
Broncos vs. Colts Prediction
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
Table of Contents
- Introduction & Team Review
- The Running Game
- The Passing Game
- Final Outlook & Prediction
- Second Opinion on this pick from StatSalt.com
- Latest Updates, Injury Reports, & Line Movements
- Insiders' Best Bets
Last Updated: Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 8:56pm EDT
A pair of teams from the AFC coming in off different results take the field in the Hoosier State looking to pick up a victory. The Denver Broncos are on the road as they make the trip to face the Indianapolis Colts Sunday afternoon. Denver was trounced 30-6 at home by Kansas City last Thursday night in their previous contest. Indianapolis came up with a 30-23 home triumph over Houston in an AFC South battle last Sunday. The Broncos lead the all-time regular season series 14-10 and have won the last two meetings, including a 25-13 road win in the most recent matchup on December 14, 2017.
Denver Broncos Review
Denver looked dead in the water after the first four weeks of the season as the team struggled to get things going for first-year coach Vic Fangio. The Broncos started the year with four straight losses, including a pair at the final gun on field goals, leaving many to wonder if this was another wait until next year for the team. Denver was beaten on Monday Night Football to open the season, falling 24-16 on the road against the Raiders. That was followed by a 16-14 home loss to Chicago on a 53-yard field goal at the final gun. Denver then lost at Green Bay (27-16) and at home to Jacksonville (26-24), again giving up a field goal on the game’s final play. Things seemed to be going in a positive direction as the Broncos beat the Chargers (20-13) before dropping the Titans 16-0 at home. That led to their contest with the Chiefs at home: with a chance to make a real impact, the Broncos fell flat.
The Broncos got off to a solid enough start against the Chiefs, taking the ball off the opening kickoff and going 75 yards in 10 plays, chewing up 5:54 off the clock, to score a touchdown on a Royce Freeman one-yard score. Denver went for two after a penalty on the extra point but was stuffed: things went downhill from there. The Broncos gave up the final 30 points of the game despite the Chiefs losing Patrick Mahomes and were wiped out. Denver was outgained 271-205 despite a 15-14 edge in first downs and lost the time of possession battle 32:13 to 27:47 in the contest. The Broncos committed the lone turnover, which the Chiefs turned into a touchdown on a scoop-six by Reggie Ragland. Denver allowed nine sacks in the game and never really threatened after that opening drive.
Indianapolis Colts Review
Indianapolis has been pretty solid this season as they enter this week 4-2 and atop the AFC South. The Colts opened the season with a tough 30-24 overtime loss on the road to the Chargers before bouncing back with two straight wins. Indianapolis dumped Tennessee (19-17) on the road and edged Atlanta 27-24 at home. That was followed by a 31-24 home loss to Oakland in their week four contest. The Colts then handed the Chiefs their first loss of the year with a 19-13 victory on the road heading into their bye week. Coming out of the bye, Indianapolis faced Houston with first place in the AFC South at stake.
The Colts had a strong offensive showing in the game with the Texans: that, coupled with a couple timely plays defensively, helped them come up with a victory. Indianapolis got four touchdown passes from Jacoby Brissett and a safety on a botched special teams play for Houston. Leading by seven in the final two minutes, the Colts preserved the win when Darius Leonard picked off Deshaun Watson with 26 seconds to play. Indianapolis was edged 391-383 in total offense despite holding a 23-21 edge in first downs and a 32:52 to 27:08 advantage in time of possession. The Colts forced a pair of turnovers while committing only one in the game.
The Running Game
Denver Broncos Running Offense
Indianapolis Colts Running Defense
Denver Broncos Running Offense
Denver’s run game has been up and down as they likely need to move away from the time share situation that they have been going with and turn the lion’s share of the workload over to one guy. The Broncos ran the ball 23 times for 95 yards against Oakland in the opener and followed that with 24 carries for 90 yards against Chicago. In the last five weeks, Denver has run for 100 yards three times as they went for 149 yards plus a score against Green Bay, 191 and a score against the Chargers and 103 plus a score against the Titans. In the two games they fell short of the century mark in that span, they had 16 carries for 68 yards against Jacksonville in week four and mustered only 71 yards on 21 carries against the Chiefs last week.
Phillip Lindsay leads the Broncos on the ground with 95 carries for 433 yards and four scores this season. Royce Freeman is the second back in the system with 76 carries for 319 yards and a score while Joe Flacco is a distant third with 11 carries for 11 yards on the season. As a team, the Broncos have five run plays of at least 20 yards: Lindsay leads the team with four while Freeman has the other. Denver has moved the chains 35 times on the ground so far this season.
Indianapolis Colts Run Defense
Indianapolis has had their struggles against the run so far this season. Opposing teams have cracked the 100-yard mark four times in their first six games this season. The Colts gave up at least 100 yards to the Chargers (21 carries, 125 yards) in week 1, the Titans (24 carries, 124 yards) in week 2, the Raiders (32 carries for a season-high 188 yards) in week four and the Texans (24 carries, 100 yards) last week. The only teams they’ve held under that mark were the Falcons (20 carries, 93 yards) in week three and the Chiefs (14 carries, 36 yards) in week five.
Anthony Walker leads the team with 37 tackles (28 solo) this season from his linebacker spot. Safeties Khari Willis (29 tackles) and Clayton Geathers (24 tackles) along with linebacker Darius Leonard (28 tackles) and cornerback Rock Ya-Sin (24 tackles) are among the team leaders. Leonard returned against the Texans after missing three games with a concussion. Justin Houston (18 tackles, fumble recovery) leads the team with 5.5 tackles for loss while Walker is right behind with four. Indianapolis has 33 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries on the year.
- 13th in run play percentage (42.01 percent)
- 15th in rushing attempts per game (26.3)
- 16th in rushing yards per game (109.6)
- 15th in yards per carry (4.2)
- Tied for 18th in rushing TD (five)
- 21st in longest rush (32 yards)
- 12th in percentage of run plays against (38.46 percent)
- 7th in run plays per game against (22.5)
- 19th in rushing yards allowed per game (111)
- 27th in opposing yards per carry (4.9)
- Tied for 7th in rushing TD allowed (four)
- Tied for 22nd in longest rush allowed (60 yards)
Who has the Edge?
Indianapolis has struggled against the run game this season and it's going to be tough sledding against a Denver team that is capable of pounding the rock. Lindsay and Freeman are a solid 1-2 combination though there are many that would like Fangio to actually settle on a #1 back instead of what we've seen this season. The Colts have been up and down this season and their front seven is going to have to step up and make some plays to put the Broncos behind the sticks. Expect a heavy dose of Lindsay and Freeman in the early going to help move the sticks.
Advantage: Denver Broncos
Indianapolis Colts Running Offense
Denver Broncos Running Defense
Indianapolis Colts Running Offense
Indianapolis has been effective on the ground in the first couple games of this season. The Colts are going to stick with the ground game and try to run the ball down opposing teams throats. Gone are the pass happy days with Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck under center: with Luck's retirement in the preseason, the team had to pivot to a more run-oriented system. That has led to a heavy dose of the ground game this season as the team has run the ball at least 23 times in every game this season while going over the century mark in three of their six contests.
Marlon Mack leads the team on the ground with 119 carries for 514 yards and two scores on the season. Jordan Wilkins has added 21 carries for 134 yards while Jacoby Brissett (29 carries, 72 yards, TD) and Nyheim Hines (14 carries, 33 yards) have had their share of chances to move the ball on the ground. On the season, Indianapolis has five rushing plays that have covered at least 20 yards: Mack has four and Wilkins has one. The Colts have moved the chains 47 times via the ground game this season.
Denver Broncos Run Defense
Denver’s run defense has been pretty solid this season, holding four of six foes under 100 yards and 3.5 yards per carry. The Broncos look to continue that trend and keep themselves in the game. Denver held Oakland to 28 carries for 98 yards plus two scores in the opener before giving up 29 carries for 153 yards and a touchdown against the Bears. The Broncos held Green Bay in check (23 carries, 77 yards, two TD) before getting gashed by Leonard Fournette and the Jaguars to the tune of 38 carries for 269 yards. Denver has been stingy in the last few weeks, stifling the Chargers (16 carries, 35 yards) and Titans (21 carries, 39 yards) in victories. The Broncos followed that by holding the Chiefs to 27 carries for 80 yards in their week seven defeat.
Justin Simmons leads the team with 38 tackles (28 solo) on the season for the Broncos from his safety position. Linebackers Todd Davis (37 tackles) and Josey Jewell (28 tackles), along with cornerback Kareem Jackson (30 tackles, forced fumble) plus nose tackle Shelby Harris (24 tackles) are among the team leaders in stops. Bradley Chubb (21 tackles, forced fumble) is tied for the team lead with five tackles for loss despite being on IR since after week 4. DeMarcus Walker (17 tackles) is tied for the team lead with five and Derek Wolfe (19 tackles) adds four of his own. The Broncos, as a team, have recorded 34 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery on the season.
- 5th in run play percentage (46.37 percent)
- 5th in rushing attempts per game (30.8)
- 10th in rushing yards per game (128.7)
- 14th in yards per carry (4.2)
- Tied for 23rd in rushing TD (three)
- 7th in longest rush (63 yards)
- 23rd in percentage of run plays against (43.13 percent)
- 17th in run plays per game against (26)
- 16th in rushing yards allowed per game (107.3)
- 14th in opposing yards per carry (4.1)
- Tied for 9th in rushing TD allowed (five)
- 29th in longest rush allowed (81 yards)
Who has the Edge?
One of the trademarks of this year's Indianapolis team is the commitment to the ground game. Without Manning or Luck under center this season, the Colts have had to run the ball far more often than they have in recent years. Even though opposing teams know that the Colts are a run-first team, they've had success moving the chains on the ground. Denver's run defense has been tough but the Colts have one of the best offensive lines in the league to run behind. That can wear down the Broncos' front seven and give Mack space to run through.
Advantage: Indianapolis Colts
The Passing Game
Denver Broncos Passing Offense
vs. Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense
Denver Broncos Passing Offense
Denver hasn’t been lighting the world on fire offensively this season as the team has only one 300-yard game through the air while being held under 200 yards in each of the last two weeks. The Broncos threw for 268 yards against the Raiders in their season opener followed by a 292-yard showing against the Bears in week 2. Denver threw for 213 yards against Green Bay followed by a season-high 303 yards against the Jaguars. In weeks five and six, fans saw the Broncos lean on the run: they threw for 182 yards against the Chargers and 177 yards against the Titans in their victories. Against the Chiefs in week seven, Denver threw for 213 yards but gave up nine sacks that ate up 79 of those yards.
Joe Flacco has completed 151 of 230 passes for 1,648 yards with six touchdown passes and five interceptions on the year. He has been sacked 24 times, losing 193 yards in the process. Courtland Sutton leads the team with 36 receptions for 564 yards plus three touchdowns. Emmanuel Sanders (30 catches, 367 yards, two TD) along with Freeman (25 grabs, 177 yards), Lindsay (20 receptions, 143 yards) and rookie tight end Noah Fant (15 grabs, 159 yards, TD) are solid targets. The Broncos have 21 pass plays that have covered at least 20 yards on the season: Sutton leads the team with eight while Sanders is next in line with five. Denver will need to find a new #2 receiver as Sanders was traded to San Francisco earlier this week: that means DaeSean Hamilton (11 receptions, 106 yards) and Fred Brown (reception, five yards) are going to have to step up opposite Sutton.
Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense
Indianapolis has been strafed through the air this season, giving up at least 300 yards through the air in four of their six games this season. The Colts were torched by the Chargers (333 yards) in week 1. In addition, Atlanta (304 yards) in week 3, Kansas City (321 yards) in week five and Houston (308 yards) last week have gone over the 300-yard mark against the Indianapolis defense. The Colts held the Titans to 154 yards in week two and the Raiders to 189 yards in week four. On the plus side, Indianapolis has picked up at least three sacks in four of their six games this season.
Houston leads the team with four sacks on the season. Denico Autry (14 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, two pass defenses, forced fumble) has 2.5 sacks while Grover Stewart (nine tackles, two tackles for loss) has a pair on the season. Pierre Desir (23 tackles, tackle for loss) leads the team with three pass defenses while Autry and Leonard each have two. Desir, Leonard, Malik Hooker (10 tackles, pass defense) and Clayton Geathers (24 tackles, pass defense) each have one interception to share the team lead. As a team, the Colts have 16 sacks, 14 pass defenses and four interceptions on the season.
- 20th in pass play percentage (57.99 percent)
- 12th in completion percentage (65.7)
- 26th in passing yards per game (207.9)
- 29th in TD passes (six)
- Tied for 14th in INT thrown (five)
- 23rd in net yards per pass attempt (6.3)
- 9th in longest pass play (70 yards)
- Tied for 22nd in passer rating (86.3)
- 21st in pass play percentage against (61.54 percent)
- 20th in net passing yards per game allowed (250.2)
- 28th in completion percentage allowed (69.5)
- Tied for 21st in TD passes allowed (11)
- Tied for 20th in INT (four)
- Tied for 19th in sacks (16)
- 27th in passer rating allowed (103.5)
- 25th in net yards per pass attempt (7.5)
Who has the Edge?
Indianapolis has struggled against the pass this season but they catch a break facing a Broncos team that hasn't done a ton through the air. Denver has been struggling to protect Flacco, who took a beating last week by taking nine sacks. The loss of Sanders in the deal with San Francisco took the one proven veteran option out of the passing game and turns the #1 receiver role over to Sutton. The problem is, there isn't anyone else on the roster that scares anyone. That makes things difficult for the Broncos' passing game.
Advantage: Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense
Denver Broncos Passing Defense
Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense
Indianapolis hasn't had to rely a ton on the passing game in the early stages of the season as they have been aggressive running the ball. The Colts have pivoted quickly from the pass-oriented system that they ran for the last two decades to more of a run-centric system. Indianapolis has yet to crack the 200-yard mark through the air in three of their six games this season. The Colts threw for 190 yards against the Chargers and finished with only 146 yards against the Titans in week 2 before getting 151 yards against the Chiefs in week 5. Indianapolis does have two 300-yard games this season: they finished with 310 yards against the Falcons in week 3 and a season-high 326 yards last week against Houston.
Jacoby Brissett has completed 134 of 206 passes for 1,388 yards with 14 touchdowns and three interceptions: he has been sacked seven times for 57 yards in losses. T.Y. Hilton leads the team with 30 receptions for 306 yards and five scores on the year. Hines is next in line with 19 receptions for 133 yards while tight ends Eric Ebron (13 catches, 206 yards, three TD) and Jack Doyle (17 grabs, 149 yards, TD) are next in line. The team has to develop a solid secondary receiver opposite Hilton with Devin Funchess (three catches, 32 yards) on injured reserve with a broken clavicle. Indianapolis has 15 pass plays that have covered at least 20 yards this season: Zach Pascal (13 receptions, 239 yards, three TD) leads the team with six while Hilton and Ebron each have three.
Denver Broncos Passing Defense
Denver, despite having issues with an inconsistent pass rush along with injuries in their secondary, has held up fairly well against the pass. The Broncos have not allowed a 300-yard passer yet this season. Denver gave up a season-high 259 yards through the air in the opener against Oakland and followed that by limiting the Bears to only 120 yards the next week. The Broncos held Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to 235 yards and saw Jacksonville pick up 213 yards. Against the Chargers, Philip Rivers ended up with only 211 yards before the defense stepped up by holding the Titans to 207 yards through the air last week. After not recording a sack in their first three games, the Broncos had two games with at least five sacks in a three-game span from weeks four through six. Against the Chiefs in week seven, Denver allowed 193 yards through the air in the defeat.
Walker leads the team with four sacks on the season. Von Miller (20 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss) is next in line with 2.5 sacks while Wolfe has two sacks this season. Simmons leads the team with eight pass defenses while Harris has five: Jackson is next in line with four. Chris Harris Jr. (18 tackles, tackle for loss, forced fumble), Shelby Harris and De’Vante Bausby (13 tackles) each have three. Simmons leads the team with two interceptions, while Alexander Johnson (20 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, two pass defenses), Harris Jr. and Jackson each have one on the year. The Broncos have recorded 13 sacks, 29 pass defenses and five interceptions on the season.
- 28th in pass play percentage (53.63 percent)
- 16th in completion percentage (64.7)
- 24th in net passing yards per game (221.8)
- 4th in TD passes (14)
- Tied for 6th in INT thrown (three)
- 22nd in net yards per pass attempt (6.4)
- 28th in longest pass play (48 yards)
- Tied for 9th in passer rating (100.5)
- 10th in pass play percentage against (56.87 percent)
- 3rd in passing yards per game allowed (195.3)
- 13th in completion percentage allowed (64.3)
- Tied for 4th in TD passes allowed (six)
- Tied for 17th in INT (five)
- Tied for 23rd in sacks (13)
- 5th in passer rating allowed (81.7)
- 5th in net yards per pass attempt (six)
Who has the Edge?
This one is a tough one to figure out. Indianapolis has a lot of success on the ground so they don't use the aerial game all that much. When they do, it can pan out, as we saw last week against the Texans when Brissett threw for 326 yards and four scores. The tough part for the Colts is that the Broncos have been stingy against the pass as they have shut down opposing passing games. Denver's challenge will be getting their pass rushers past the offensive line of Indianapolis to harass Brissett as their secondary has been susceptible at times this season. All things considered, this one is a wash.
The Broncos have had their issues on the offensive side of the ball this season as they are 29th in the league with 16 points per contest. Denver stands 25th in the league in total offense as they average 317.4 yards per contest while ranking 26th in yards per play as they pick up 5.1 yards per snap. The Broncos are currently 8th in the league in scoring defense by allowing only 19.4 points per contest. Denver is 4th in the league in total defense by allowing 302.6 yards per game and a stand 6th in yards per play by allowing five yards per snap. In giveaway/takeaway, the Broncos are tied for 24th with a -3 ratio this season.
The Broncos have sputtered punching the ball into the end zone once they drive into the red zone as they are ranked 26th in the league by converting only 47.37 percent of their chances. Defensively, Denver has been stellar so far this season, ranking 3rd in red zone defense by allowing 38.1 percent of drives to reach the red zone to end in touchdowns. The Broncos are struggling this season in third-down conversions, ranking 29th by converting only 29.67 percent of their third-down situations so far this season. Denver’s defense is 5th in those situations as they hold the opposition to 33.33 percent success on their third downs. The Broncos are 19th in the league in time of possession by holding the ball 48.51 percent of the time this season.
Brandon McManus has hit eight of nine extra point attempts and 12 of 15 field goal tries with a long of 53 this season. Colby Wadman averages 45.3 yards per punt on 36 boots with a 38.6-yard net average. He has dropped 13 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line while recording four touchbacks on the year. Devontae Booker averages 23 yards on three kick returns with a long of 25 this season. Diontae Spencer has a 60-yard kickoff return and has averaged 7.6 yards on 17 punt returns with a long of 42 on the year. Dre’Mont Jones blocked a field goal against the Chargers in week five.
Indianapolis is in the middle of the pack, ranking 15th in the league in scoring offense as they average 23.8 points per game on the season. The Colts currently are 22nd in the league in total offense with 350.5 yards per game and stand 23rd in yards per play with only 5.3 yards per snap. Indianapolis is 17th in the league in scoring defense as they give up an average of 23 points per contest. The Colts are 20th in total defense as they allow 361.2 yards per game and are solidly near the back of the pack, ranking 29th as they give up 6.2 yards per play. Indianapolis is 15th in the league in the takeaway/giveaway department as they are a +1 on the season.
The Colts are 6th in red zone success as they have cashed in 65.22 percent of their drives that got inside the opposition’s 20-yard line into touchdowns. Indianapolis is mediocre in their red zone defense: they are 19th as opposing teams have a 60 percent success rate as far as scoring touchdowns goes. Indianapolis is a solid 7th in the league in third down conversions as they have converted 46.91 percent of their opportunities this season. They have converted seven of eight fourth down situations on the year. The Colts are below average in getting off the field as opposing teams have converted 43.28 percent of their third downs, which is 23rd in the league. Indianapolis is 6th in the league in time of possession as they hold the ball 53.3 percent of the time.
Adam Vinatieri has rebounded from a slow start to hit 13 of 16 extra point attempts and eight of 11 field goal tries with a long of 49. Rigoberto Sanchez has averaged 44.6 yards per punt (41.4-yard net) with a long of 60 this season. He has dropped six punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line with only one touchback on his 20 boots. Zach Pascal averages 22 yards on six kick returns with a long of 30 while Parris Campbell has a 22.6-yard average on five runbacks with a long of 31. Chester Rogers has one kick return for 13 yards while he averages 10.3 yards on eight punt returns with a long of 19.
Who has the Edge?
Denver has struggled when it comes to putting points on the board this season. A major part of that is the fact that they've had issues punching the ball in when they reach the red zone. The Broncos have struggled to get off the field on third down and they are putting a ton of pressure on their defense to step up and make plays. Indianapolis has been decent offensively and they are good at extending drives, which can make things tough for Denver. The kicking game is pretty even since you take the altitude out of play in this one, which means McManus won't be booming kicks from the mid-50s more than likely. This one is pretty even when you get down to it as the teams balance each other out.
This one depends a lot on which team controls the play in the contest. Denver is weak offensively, especially in the passing game without Sanders, but stout defensively. The Broncos are going to have to generate a couple of turnovers to get short fields for Flacco and company. Indianapolis is content to grind it out and try to force the Broncos to adapt to their style. If Denver loads up the box, Brissett can beat them with his arm, as we saw him do to Houston last week. The biggest matchup in the game is the Broncos' front seven against the Colts' offensive line.
The Colts are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game, 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games in October and 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game. Denver has gone 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games and 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a double-digit loss at home. It's hard to see Miller and company wreaking havoc against Indianapolis: the Colts are at home and they prevail in this contest.
Latest Updates, Injury Reports, and Line Movements
Denver has a few injury issues to deal with in this game, which is a problem for them. Safety Will Parks is out after undergoing surgery on his hand and is expected to be out until after the Broncos' bye week. Corner Bryce Callahan is out still and Fangio said he could miss the entire season with a foot injury. In addition, backup linebacker Justin Hollins (knee) is questionable as well. On the offensive side of the ball, starting right tackle Ja'Waun James is questionable with a knee injury: if he can't go, the Broncos would turn to Elijah Wilkinson.
Indianapolis has both starting corners, Pierre Desir and Kenny Moore II, listed as questionable for this contest. Rock Ya-Sin and Quincy Wilson are the next men up in that category. Backup defensive end Tyquan Lewis (ankle) is questionable while backup defensive tackle Carl Davis (hamstring) is out for this contest. Receiver Parris Campbell (abdomen) is also questionable after practicing in a limited fashion all week. Deon Cain would see an uptick in snaps if he can't go.
The weather could end up being a factor in this one but only if you're tailgating since Lucas Oil Stadium is an enclosed venue. The game-time temperature is expected to be in the mid-50s for this contest with clear skies. Winds are expected to come from the west around 15 miles an hour with gusts up to 21 miles per hour. There is no precipitation in the forecast for the tailgaters. Inside, the temperature will be in the high-60s with no weather to speak of: once you get inside, everything will be good to go, at least for a few hours.
When the initial lines opened for this contest, Indianapolis was listed as a 4.5-point favorite with the over/under set at 43.5 points. As of Thursday afternoon, the line has moved upward slightly with the Colts are now a five-point favorite in the contest. The over/under ticked downward slightly to 42 points in this contest. Currently, the moneyline shows Indianapolis as a solid -230 to -240 favorite while the Broncos can be found as a +190 to +200 underdog depending on the sportsbook. As of this writing, 76 percent of the bets are backing the Colts -5 points. When it comes to the moneyline, a slight majority, 52 percent of the wagers, are backing the Broncos as the visiting team. Meanwhile, 67 percent of bets are projecting this one to stay under the total.
The Colts are going to have to rely on the run game as it could be a challenge moving the ball through the air against the tough Denver secondary. Indianapolis is more than content to play that style with pounding the ball on the ground and moving the chains. Denver has to be better than we saw against the Chiefs last week because they forgot the game was 60 minutes long instead of six. Playing on the road is going to be tough sledding for the Broncos: look for the Colts to prevail in this contest.
Prediction: Indianapolis Colts -5.5Second Opinion on this pick from StatSalt.com
Additional Insiders' Best Bets
Full-game Total Bet
Indianapolis has been solid at moving the ball and are in the middle of the pack when it comes to putting points on the board this season. The Colts showed last week that they can still do damage through the air when they need to: Houston forced them to throw as they struggled to move the ball on the ground. Denver has been solid defensively but their offense leaves plenty to be desired at this point in time. The Broncos have to be better on that side of the ball to take some pressure off their defense. Can Denver find a way to come up with the victory in this contest or will Fangio's team suffer another tough defeat?
The over is 4-1-1 in the Broncos' last 6 games in Week 8 and 19-7 in their last 26 games on fieldturf. Indianapolis has seen the over go 4-0 in their last 4 games following a straight up win, 4-0 in their last four overall, 4-0 in their last four after an ATS win and 4-1 in their last five against teams with a losing record. The over is 6-1 in the last seven meetings in Indianapolis and 10-3 in their last 13 meetings overall. Look for this one to end up going over the number as well.
Half-time Side Bet
Denver has been up and down in the opening half this season. The Broncos were down at the half in their first three games, bounced back to lead at intermission in their next three and then were down to the Chiefs in week seven. Indianapolis has been up at the half in four of their six games as they've been pretty good in the early going of their contests. The Colts are playing tough football and they should be able to take advantage of the weak Broncos' offense to hold the upper hand at the half.
Half-time Total Bet
We haven't seen a ton of offensive firepower in the opening half of Denver's games this season. The Broncos have been outscored 63-59 in the first half this season, meaning that both teams average single-digit points in the opening half of those contests. On the flip side of the equation, the Colts have a 76-67 advantage in scoring in the first half this season, which means in an average game, it's about 13-11, which, of course, is a rare number to see on the board. Seeing how defense has carried the day early in games for both sides, this one falls just short of the mark as it's 10-7 or 13-7 at the half.