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In-Depth Prediction, Preview, and Odds

Colts vs. Saints Prediction

Monday, December 16, 2019 at 8:15pm EST
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans

This article covers a past game!

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In-depth Coverage

This is an in-depth analysis of this game, covering every possible detail and angle. Use the table of contents to navigate between each section, or just jump on in!

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Table of Contents

Last Updated: Monday, December 16, 2019 at 11:46am EST

Introduction

Monday Night Football action and we will see an Interconference battle between the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints take place. This contest has a start time of 8:15 pm ET and will take place at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. These teams last met back in 2015 and the Saints won that game 27-21 on the road.

Indianapolis Colts Review

The Colts come in at 6-7 on the year and their playoff hopes are currently on life support. they are two games behind a host of teams that are 8-5 on the year. A loss in this game will knock them out of the playoff race. Still, the Colts were not expected to be as good as they have been after Andrew Luck announced his retirement in training camp. Indy enters this game off a hard-fought 38-35 loss to Tampa Bay on the road. Their defense was shredded in that game and will now be facing a very good New Orleans offense that can be unstoppable at times. Can their defense step up and slow down Brees and company? We shall see.

New Orleans Saints Review

The Saints just played a Virginia Cavaliers style basketball game against the San Francisco 49ers. Unfortunately, they lost that game by a score of 48-46. The Saints piled up 465 yards of total offense in the game, but it just wasn't enough as their defense allowed 516 yards of offense. The Saints had been decent on defense for most of the year but that was not the case against a hot San Francisco offense. The Saints are now 20th in the league against the pass but they will be facing the 25th ranked passing attack in this one. Can the New Orleans' pass defense bounce back against a weak passing game? You will have to read on to find out.

The Running Game

Indianapolis Colts Running Offense
vs. New Orleans Saints Running Defense

Indianapolis Colts Running Offense

The Colts had to turn into a running team this year with the retirement of Andrew Luck in the preseason. Well, it has worked out well for them as the Colts enter this game ranked 6th in the league in rushing yards per game at 133.4. Marlon Mack has had a strong season with 900 yards rushing and this is with missing two games recently. He also had just 38 yards rushing in his last game. Despite him having just 38 yards rushing over the last three games, the Colts have still averaged 107.7 ypg on the ground over their last three games. 

Second on the team in rushing is Jonathan Williams, who has 235 yards while Jordan Wilkins is 3rd with 212 yards. The Colts have averaged 155 yards per game on the ground on the road but it will not be all that easy in this one as the Saints have the 5th best run defense in the league. It will be a good test for the Colts’ running game in this one.  

New Orleans Saints Run Defense

The Saints have allowed 112.4 ypg on the ground here at home this year but they are still 5th in the league against the run this year. We do note that teams only rush 21.8 times per game against them. Still, the Saints have a solid defensive line and will be tested in this one as the Colts have a strong offensive line. The Saints need to stop the run in this one or Jacoby Brissett could have a big game. 

It will not be easy as the Saints have allowed 124.0 ypg on 4.7 yards per attempt over their last three games and they are facing an Indianapolis team that has averaged a whopping 155 ypg rushing on the road. Can the Saints stop the run in this one? We shall see.    

Stats

Indianapolis’ Rushing Stats

  • 5th in rushing attempts per game (30.4)
  • 6th in rushing yards per game (133.4)
  • 16th in yards per attempt (4.4)
  • 2nd in rushing first downs per game (7.9)

New Orleans’ Run Defense Stats

  • 2nd in run plays per game against (21.8)
  • 5th in rushing yards allowed per game (94.2)
  • 18th in opposing yards per attempt (4.3)
  • 5th in rushing first downs per game against (4.6)

Who has the Edge?

I will actually give the Colts the edge in this one. Marlon Mack missed two of the last three games and he had just 38 yards in his last game, but the Saints have struggled to stop the run of late. The Colts have averaged 155 yards per game on the ground and the Saints have allowed 124 ypg rushing over their last three games. Marlon Mack will bounce back in this one and that is why I give the Colts a slight edge in this category.  

Advantage: Indianapolis Colts

New Orleans Saints Running Offense
vs. Indianapolis Colts Running Defense

New Orleans Saints Running Offense

The Sants are known more for their dynamic passing game than their ground attack and this year has been no different. The Saints enter this game at 16th in the league in rushing, which is the middle of the pack. Alvin Kamara has not had a great season so far as he has rushed for just 612 yards so far and that includes just 239 yards over his last five games. Last week, the Saints put up 46 points and he had just 25 yards rushing in the game. The Saints need to get their ground game going as it will on;y make their solid passing game all the more effective.

Second on the team in rushing has been Latavius Murray with 533 yards while 3rd is Taysom Hill with 140 yards. Never sleep on hill as he has been a jack of all trades and even blocked a punt this year. The Saints have averaged 114.3 ypg on the ground here at home and 109.7 ypg over their last three games. They will be facing a tough Indianapolis run defense.  

Indianapolis Colts Run Defense

The Colts have been tough against the run this year as they come in ranked 8th in the league in that department. Their run defense has been even better on the road as they have allowed just 91.5 ypg on the ground away from home. If their run defense can play that well, then they will have a shot at slowing down the New Orleans passing game. The Colts need their run defense to play that well as their pass defense has struggled this year. The Saints have not been great at running the ball, but they still have Kamara and Murray, who are talented backs and have the ability to explode at any time. 

  

Stats

New Orleans’ Rushing Stats

  • 22nd in rushing attempts per game (24.2)
  • 16th in rushing yards per game (108.0)
  • 13th in yards per attempt (4.5)
  • 14th in rushing first downs per game (6.1)

Indianapolis’ Run Defense Stats

  • 7th in run plays per game against (23.5)
  • 8th in rushing yards allowed per game (99.7)
  • 17th in opposing yards per attempt (4.2)
  • 12th in rushing first downs per game against (5.6)

Who has the Edge?

I will give this category a push. They have allowed just 91.5 ypg on the ground over their last three games and that should negate the fact that the Saints have averaged 114.3 ypg on the ground here at home. The Saints have been very average at running the ball this year and they have averaged 109.7 ypg over their last three games while the Colts have allowed just 109.3 ypg over their last three games. Those are even numbers and that is why I give this category a push. 

Advantage: Push

The Passing Game

Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense
vs. New Orleans Saints Passing Defense

Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense

The Colts have not had a good passing game this year and that was to be expected after Andrew Luck retired in the preseason. The Colts enter this game at 25th in the league in passing and 24th in completion percentage. They have a shot at getting it going in this one against a Saints team that has struggled against the pass, especially if they get their ground game going. Jacoby Brissett has thrown for 2496 yards with 18 Tds and just six INTs on the year. Those are decent numbers and they could have been even better if not for some injuries to the receiving corps. 

Ty Hilton had 966 yards receiving or more in each of his last six seasons but he has played in just seven games this year and has put up 378 yards receiving so far. His loss of production has been a huge hit to the Colts’ passing game. True they do not have Luck tossing him the pigskin but still, had he been healthy, it could have been a different story for this passing game. Hilton is listed as questionable for this game. Leading the team in receiving has been Zach Pascal with 547 yards while Jack Doyle is 2nd with 404. Another injury that has hurt the team of late has been the loss of TE Eric Ebron, who is now lost for the season.  

Update (12/16): Hilton is considered a game-time decision tonight. He's only expected to play if he's 100% healthy. Hilton was hampered by a groin injury earlier in the season and now is dealing with a calf issue.

“We kind of been down this road before and he wasn’t there. I know it’s T.Y. (Hilton) but we just want to feel good about it,” head coach Frank Reich said to reporters in USA Today.com. “We just want to do the right thing, make sure that he feels right and that we feel like he’s good.”

New Orleans Saints Passing Defense

The Saints always seem to struggle against the pass and this year has been no different. Part of the reason is that they have not had a strong secondary and part of the reason is that New Orleans is normally ahead I big in their games and their opponents have to play catch up. The Saints will not be facing a good passing game in this one, but the secondary could be under fire if the Colts can get their ground game rolling. The Saints have allowed 222.7 ypg through the air at home while the Colts have averaged just 166.3 ypg passing on the road.  

Now, we do have to note that the Saints have allowed 281 yards per game through the air over their last three games. This is a pass defense that can struggle and if they get off to a big led in this one, then the Colts will have to throw the ball a ton to try and catch up. The Saints will hope that their pass defense can step up in this one.  

Stats

Indianapolis’ Passing Stats

  • 22nd in pass attempts per game (32.8)
  • 25th in passing yards per game (207.7)
  • 24th in completion percentage (61.59)
  • 22nd in yards per pass attempt (6.3)
  • 19th in yards per pass completion (10.3)
  • 17th in passer rating (88.8)

New Orleans’ Pass Defense Stats

  • 29th in pass attempts against per game (37.9)
  • 20th in passing yards per game allowed (244.1)
  • 14th in completion percentage allowed (62.88)
  • 11th in yards per pass attempt (6.4)
  • 12th in yards per pass completion (10.2)
  • 5th in sacks per game (3.3)
  • 17th in passer rating allowed (90.7)

Who has the Edge?

I will call this one a push. The Colts do not have a good passing game as they have averaged just 166.3 ypg through the air on the road but the Saints have struggled against the pass of late as they have allowed 281 ypg passing over their kast three games. The Colts will get their passing game going some once their ground attack starts churning out yards. The Saints have been a bit better against the pass at home where they have allowed just 222.7 ypg on the year. I just can’t find an edge from either side in this category.

Advantage: Push

New Orleans Saints Passing Offense
vs. Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense

New Orleans Saints Passing Offense

The Saints have not had the powerful passing game that they have had the last million years but it still has been a good one and they come in ranked 8th in the league in that department. Drew Brees has had another solid season as he has thrown for 2140 yards with 17 TDs and just four INTs and remember that he has played in just eight games. His absence may for five games this year is a reason why the Saints are not in the top three in the league in passing.   

Brees just threw for 349 yards with five TDs and no INTs in the loss to the 49ers and that is a much tougher defense than the one he will face in this game. Brees has the best wide receiver in the league on his team in Michael Thomas, who leads the league in receptions with 121 and yards with 1424. He will be a handful for the Colts to handle. Second on the team in receiving is Jared Cook with 523 yards while 3rd is Alvin Kamara is 3rd with 462. 

Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense

The Colts have struggled against the pass this year and that is not good news as they are facing one of the better passing games in the league. They are also facing the best wide receiver in the league in Michael Thomas and I am not sure that the Colts have someone who can cover him. The Colts are ranked 30th in the league in pass completion percentage against and that is also not good news as the Saints are tops in the league in pass completion percentage.   

The Colts have allowed 277.3 ypg passing on the road while the Saints have averaged 305.1 ypg through the air at home. Not good numbers all the way around for the Colts. Leading the team in sacks has been Justin Houston with nine while leading them in INTs has been Darius Leonard with four. He also has five sacks and six passes defended.  

Stats

New Orleans’ Passing Stats

  • 12th in pass attempts per game (36.9)
  • 8th in passing yards per game (261.4)
  • 1st in completion percentage (71.04)
  • 14th in yards per pass attempt (7.1)
  • 23rd in yards per pass completion (10.0)
  • 6th in passer rating (105.0)

Indianapolis’ Pass Defense Stats

  • 17th in pass attempts against (34.5)
  • 22nd in passing yards per game allowed (245.4)
  • 30th in completion percentage allowed (69.20)
  • 22nd in yards per pass attempt (7.1)
  • 13th in yards per pass completion (10.3)
  • 18th in sacks per game (2.5)
  • 25th in passer rating allowed (97.4)

Who has the Edge?

This one is not even close. I have to give the Saints a huge edge in this category. They don’t have the same passing numbers overall as they have the last few years but also remember that Drew Brees has missed five games. He has thrown for 2140 yards with 17 TDs and just four INts on the year and has the best WR in the league at his disposal. The Saints have thrown for 305.1 ypg at home and they have the best pass completion percentage in the league. The Colts have allowed 277.3 ypg through the air on the road and they are 30th in pass completion against. This category is not even close.    

Advantage: New Orleans Saints

Intangibles

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts enter this game at 2-4 on the road for the year and they have averaged 23.0 ppg and have allowed 24.0 ppg in those games. Indianapolis is 22nd in total offense at 341.1 ypg and 17th in scoring at 22.8 ppg. They are 13th in offensive yards per points 15.0 and 20th in yards per play at 5.2, plus 9th in third-down conversion percentage at 43.60%. Let’s look at the kicking. The Colts are 16th in kick return average at 22.1 and 2nd in punt return average at 10.7, plus they are 15th in net punting at 45.2 and 30th in FG% at 68%.

On defense, the Colts are 15th in total yards allowed at 345.1 ypg and 16th in scoring defense at 22.7 ppg. Indianapolis has a defensive yards per point average of 15.2, which is 19th in the league and 20th in yards per play at 5.7. Lastly, the Colts are 1st in penalties per game at 5.2 and 16th in turnover margin per game at 0.0.

New Orleans Saints

The Saints enter this game at 5-2 here at home for the year and they have averaged 27.6 ppg and have allowed 25.1 ppg in those games. New Orleans is 12th in total offense at 369.4 ypg and 5th in scoring at 26.5 ppg. They are 6th in offensive yards per points 14.0 and 9th in yards per play at 5.9, plus 11th in third-down conversion percentage at 42.50%. Let’s look at the kicking. The Saints are 12th in kick return average at 22.3 and 4th in punt return average at 9.6, plus they are 11th in net punting at 45.9 and 10th in FG% at 88%.

On defense, the Saints are 13th in total yards allowed at 338.3 ypg and 17th in scoring defense at 22.8 ppg. New Orleans has a defensive yards per point average of 14.9, which is 22nd in the league and 13th in yards per play at 5.4. Lastly, the Saints are 25th in penalties per game at 7.7 and 3rd in turnover margin per game at +0.8.

Final Outlook

The Colts have done some things right this year but the Saints are off a very tough loss here at home and I will look for them to bounce back in a big way. The Colts can run the ball and they have an edge in that department but that edge is nothing like the edge that the Saints have in the passing game. New Orleans has thrown for 305.1 ypg at home this year while the Colts have allowed 277.3 ypg passing on the road. That is a huge advantage for the Saints. 

New Orleans is also 1st in the league in offensive pass completion percentage while the Colts are 30th in defensive pass completion percentage. The Colts will not slow down this saints offense enough to keep this one close. They will also not find enough off to keep the game close. The Saints are off a bad defensive game but I will look for them to bounce back on that side of the ball against a less than stellar Indy offense. Take the Saints to win by at least two TDs. 

Trends Are Courtesy Of Covers.com  

None Available From The Colts

  • The Saints are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games overall
  • The Saints are24-11 ATS in their last 35 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game

Latest Updates, Injury Reports, and Line Movements

Prediction: New Orleans -9

Second Opinion on this pick from StatSalt.com

Additional Insiders' Best Bets

Full-game Total Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

I will be siding with the Over in this game. The Saints were just in a game that saw 94 points scored and that was without OT. This game will not see that many points being scored but I do expect at least 50 points. The Saints have a very good offense and their passing attack should have a field day against an Indianapolis defense that has allowed 277.3 ypg through the air on the road. The Saints have averaged 27.6 ppg at home for the year and they have allowed 25.1 ppg at home as well. That puts the game over 50 points. I know that a lot of that was due to last week’s game, but still, the Saints got their offense going last week and the Colts should be able to pass on them some in this one. Take the Over. 

Trends Are Courtesy Of Covers.com

  • The Over is 5-1 in Indy’s last 6 Monday games

  • The Over is 5-1 in New Orleans last 6 Monday games
  • The Over is 22-7 in New Orleans last 29 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game

Prediction: Over 46.5

Full-game Prop Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

I'm going to play a wild Prop in this one and take the Over 27.5 yards as the shortest field goal. That means these teams need to be within the nine yards line to kick an FG. I do not see that happening. This is a huge game for both teams and I can see them taking chances when in close and go for it on 4th down rather than kick the FG. Take the Over in this prop.

Prediction: Shortest FG Over 27.5 Yards

Half-time Side Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

The Saints are upset about their loss last week and they will look to come out and put the Colts away early. They hung up 46 points last week and still lost. the problem last week was that the Niners had a strong offense and the Colts do not. If the Saints come out on fire and get out to the big lead, they know that the Colts do not have the firepower to come back.

Prediction: New Orleans -5.5

Half-time Total Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

I like the Over in the game and I expect it to begin with a high-scoring first half. The Saints have averaged 12.7 ppg and they have allowed 12.5 ppg in the first half at home this year. The Colts have averaged 13.2 ppg and have allowed 13.0 ppg on the road for the year. The Saints will come out on fire offensively and the Colts will put up at least 10 points of their own. I see this game as 21-10 New Orleans at the break.

Prediction: Over 23.5
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Written By David Hess

David has always had a fascination with numbers and sports, so he combined the two to become a handicapper and a writer for us here at Winners & Whiners, along with StatSalt. All the information that David puts in his articles are well-researched and his predictions are well-thought out. He is a big fan of all the major pro sports and the colleges making David a very versatile and a constantly winning handicapper. David has been writing for the past 10 years and has been handicapping for over 20 years. He will help you beat the Man, so be sure and follow along.