Kansas City Chiefs (1-3, 2-2 ATS) at Indianapolis Colts (0-4, 2-2 ATS), Week 5 NFL, Sunday October 9th, 1:00 PM Eastern, Lucas Oil Stadium (Field Turf), Indianapolis Indiana
By Jeff Hochman, Pro Handicapper, JH-Sportsline
Point Spread: KC +1.5/Indy -1.5
Over/Under Total: 39
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The Indianapolis Colts look for its first win this season after hosting the Kansas City Chiefs at Lucas Oil Stadium (formerly RCA Dome) this Sunday. Last year, when these two teams played in week five the Colts were 9.5-point favorites. No Peyton Manning and an 0-4 record will effect the line for sure. The Colts actually won and covered by a 19-9 final score.
KC got off the snide winning their first game of the season. They defeated Minnesota 22-17 as 3-point home chalk. Kansas City's defense set the tone early, forcing Minnesota to go three-and-out on its opening possession. Ryan Succop's 40-yard field goal gave Kansas City its first lead all season. The Chiefs run and pass defense came to play on this day. Donovan McNabb finished 18-of-30 for 202 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, while Adrian Peterson carried the ball 23 times for 80 yards in another underwhelming performance.
It was nothing new for the Colts last Sunday, as they lost the game and lost the stats for the 8th straight game dating back to last season. Indianapolis has been out-gained by 481 yards in their four losses this season. This team is desperate for not only a victory, but actually winning the stats and playing the right way. The Colts have struggled to replace All-Pro QB Peyton Manning. Kerry Collins started the first three games, posting a 65.9 passer rating, and Curtis Painter was under center for Monday's 24-17 loss at Tampa Bay with Collins suffering from concussion-like symptoms. Painter completed 13- of-30 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns on Monday Night Football, but he struggled in the fourth quarter, going 4- of-10 for 56 yards while getting sacked three times as the Buccaneers went ahead for good.
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According to my special teams rankings the Kansas City Chiefs check in at No. 24. The Colts are ranked No. 22. This formula of mine calculates kicking, punting, field position, takeaways, giveaways, tackling, and technique/philosophy. Of course, it's still early in the season and these rankings are sure to change. Two thing stand out when I watch the Curtis Painter on tape this year. He has a strong arm but lacks the poise needed to be an above average quarterback. Painter is still learning the game and should get better as he gets more comfortable in his new role.
The Colts have been very tough at home inside that loud dome, going 15-6 straight-up over the last three seasons, and 105-59 SU since 1993. Their big advantage happens when the opposing team has the ball. The home crowd gets so loud that it allows Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis to take advantage of the slower offensive lineman, as they rush from the edge. The Colts averaged almost two more sacks per game at home than on the road last year.
Both teams are two of the more banged up teams in the NFL. The Chiefs and Colts have a combined 8 starters from last year on injured reserve, out for the year. The Chiefs have not been the dominant running team of last year. Kansas City is hoping to have better success rushing the ball against the Colts' struggling run defense, which ranks 28th in the league (133.0 yards per game). I think the Chiefs will have success against a make-shift Colts offensive line.
Jeff's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Kansas City Chiefs +1.5.
Indianapolis suffered numerous injuries on offense and defense. The Colts will be coming off a short week having played on MNF. The new injuries further weaken a defense that ranks 25th in yards allowed (390.3 per game). The Chiefs have actually won the stats in a game while the Colts have been out-gained in 8 straight. Lean to KC in this one!
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