Indianapolis Colts (3-5 SU, 3-4-1 ATS) vs. Green Bay Packers (4-3 SU, 4-2-1 ATS)
NFL Football Week 9
Date/Time: Sunday, November 6 at 4:25pm ET
Where: Lambeau Field
by Evergreen, NFL Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: INDY +7.5/GB -7.5
Over/Under Total: 54
Anyone outside of New England feel good about their teams chances? You’ll get a few folks in Dallas to answer yes but past that, there are more questions than answers when it comes to most NFL teams. Two flawed but high powered teams tangle at Lambeau Field this weekend as the Green Bay Packers welcome the Indianapolis Colts to town. This is the first meeting between these two teams since 2012 so there is a nice freshness to this match and two of the best passing offenses in the league. Both teams feel like they are significantly better than what their record currently shows and one team is likely to show that come Sunday. A shootout is looking like a good possibility so this one should be one of the better watches during the later afternoon slate.
There is no shock that the Pack is favored in Green Bay and the online betting sites like the Green and Gold to the tune of -7.5 after some early betting pushed the opening line of 7 up just a bit. The Colts have hit a stride around this time with a 6-0 ATS win streak in the last six November games but the Packers usually handle a lesser opponent with four straight ATS wins against a sub-.500 foe. Green Bay is ranked 11th by the Sagarin Computers with Indy at 23rd. Those metrics show Green Bay as an eight point favorite which is very much in line with what Vegas is saying but the offense-defense predictor is calling for a larger 35-24 Packers win.
The Colts have been a tough team to figure. They were supposed to be better with a healthy Andrew Luck and they have gotten pretty good production from the passing game but the wins have been lacking. Indy has lost to Denver, Jacksonville and Houston on the road with just a win at Tennessee preventing them from being winless as a visitor this season. Uneven play from the offensive line continues to plague this team and that isn’t likely to change with a variety of injuries up and down the line. Indy has given up 31 sacks so far and Luck is often running for his life. That is never how you want to play it and that is a big reason why the Colts are converting just 40% of third downs. Keep an eye on the injury report as T.Y. Hilton (46/709/4) has been non-committal about his ability to play through a hamstring injury. Donte Moncrief did return from injury last week but the Colts will likely need all offensive weapons to be relevant in this game.
Green Bay is dealing with its own injury situation and theirs is probably worse. Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery could miss the game as they did last week with Montgomery’s absence especially troublesome as his role expanded with all the running game injuries. Corey Linsley will start at center in place of JC Tretter, Clay Matthews is questionable and the Packer secondary is a MASH unit. The injuries to the defensive backfield could spell big trouble given the Colts passing game potential and the loss of Matthews was certainly noticeable during the 33-32 loss at Atlanta last week. The offensive dings aren’t ideal but Aaron Rodgers looks like he can cover up for those now that the Packers are using five wide receiver packages and simply letting A-Rod throw it all over the yard. Rodgers has thrown for 572 yards with seven touchdowns and zero interceptions since the Packers were forced to go pass heavy and it actually suits his skill set perfectly. Defenses has been forced into man coverage with all the routes being run and Rodgers can pick the best matchup and make a throw. It didn’t equal a win last week but that was no fault of the offense.
I think it is pretty clear that Green Bay will score as Indy has not been good on defense, especially against the pass. The Colts are giving up 287 yards per game through the air and nearly 29 points per game. They only have two interceptions and fourteen sacks so far which is really stunning considering how many drop backs they have faced. This game then hinges on how well the Colts can move that ball and score. Green Bay has become a solid run stopping team, allowing just 74 yards per game and they come in at 7th in terms of total yards allowed. Teams have been able to score a bit with Green Bay allowing 22.3 points per game, good for 15th. With their ability to limit yards, you would expect a few less points per game allowed but much of that can be attributed to the rash of defensive injuries. Luck has done well in throwing for 16 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions but he could be facing a lot of third-and-long scenarios if the running game doesn’t get a little more than what is has been getting. Indy is just 22nd in rushing yards per game.
Give a small edge to Green Bay now that they have what amounts to a brand new offensive scheme. The book was clearly out on how to beat them since about midway last season but this pass-almost-always necessity has actually given them some non-scouted looks. Geronimo Allison and Trevor Davis got in the act last week and Davante Adams has broken through to lead the team in receptions and yards. Jordy Nelson is likely on the way to becoming a safety valve for Rodgers but that duo has still connected for six touchdowns. Rodgers is the leading active rusher for the Pack and there really isn’t a plan for Don Jackson to start carrying the ball 20 times so expect another 40+ pass attempts for the Packers passing game. Colts CB Vontae Davis is in the concussion protocol and could miss the game. His absence would make a tough task all the more daunting.
There is a lot of my sense that tells me that a one-dimensional team like Green Bay is probably a bad bet. Problem is, Indy isn’t much more diverse on offense and has the worse defense. Lambeau will be rocking per usual and Rodgers appears to absolutely love his moment to run the offense. These teams are massively flawed but the better QB plays for Green Bay and the Colts offensive line is making Luck’s job too hard right now. I do like Indy to get a bunch of points on the board but Green Bay is on the way to a 34-24 win so take the Pack and swallow that seven and a half.
Evergreen’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Green Bay
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