Chiefs vs. Colts Week 3 Odds, Trends, Predictions
Kansas City Chiefs (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. Indianapolis Colts (0-1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS)
When: Sunday, September 25, 1 p.m.
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
Point Spread: KC -5.5/IND +5.5 (BAS – Stop overpaying for odds! STOP laying -110! Start laying only -105 TODAY!
Total: O/U 50.5
How much do we read into the Colts’ struggles? On the one hand, the Colts played three listless halves of football, falling behind 17 to Houston before rallying to earn a tie in Week 1 and getting drilled by Jacksonville in Week 2. On the other, the Colts never play well in Jacksonville anyway (they’ve lost eight straight to the Jaguars on the road) and always start the year poorly under Frank Reich. Their demise has been written about before, and they’ve come back from the dead in the past.
But this time, they’re up against the Chiefs, who have dominated the AFC for most of the past three seasons and look every bit as strong as they’ve been in previous years. Kansas City already has two wins under its belt, and the Chiefs’ offense has torched both the Chargers and Cardinals, putting up more points in each individual game than the Colts have all season. The Chiefs’ offense has simply been far more efficient than the Colts: Kansas City has only outgained Indianapolis by 36 yards per game, but the Chiefs have scored almost at will, and the Colts have barely done anything. If it continues, the hole might get too deep for Indianapolis to overcome.
How the Public is Betting the Kansas City/Indianapolis Game
The public is all in on the Chiefs, but the sharps aren’t ready to bury the Colts just yet. Despite thoughts that the line was about to push itself to -7, it’s actually headed in the opposite direction and gone to -5.5 because of money coming in on Indianapolis. That’s despite 79% of tickets coming in on the Chiefs. The total has risen from 49 to 50.5.
Wide receiver Justyn Ross (foot), tight end Blake Bell (hip), offensive lineman Lucas Niang (knee), cornerback Trent McDuffie (hamstring), and linebacker Willie Gay (suspension) are out. Defensive end Mike Danna (calf), wide receiver Mecole Hardman (ankle), kicker Harrison Butker (ankle), tackle Darian Kinnard (elbow), and defensive end Malik Herring (abdominal) are questionable. Wide receiver Justin Watson (chest), wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (hip), wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster (shoulder), offensive lineman Trey Smith (ankle), and tackle Orlando Brown Jr. (knee) are probable.
Tackle Carter O’Donnell (undisclosed), tight end Andrew Ogletree (knee), punter Rigoberto Sanchez (Achilles), safety Armani Watts (ankle), and safety Trevor Denbow (ankle) are out. Wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (quadricep), tackle Bernhard Raimann (ankle), defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (back), and defensive tackle DeForest Buckner (hip) are questionable. Defensive tackle Grover Stewart (shoulder), wide receiver Alec Pierce (concussion), linebacker Shaquille Leonard (back), linebacker Zaire Franklin (shoulder), and safety Julian Blackmon (shoulder) are probable.
When Kansas City Has the Ball
Trying to stop Kansas City starts and ends with trying to get a handle on Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes just continues to get better each season, and the Chiefs keep surrounding him with plenty of weapons to keep the offense sailing through whatever opponents try to do. Kansas City really doesn’t even have to worry about having that much of a running game; the Chiefs run enough to keep opponents honest, so Mahomes has time to hit them with the pass.
Against the Chargers, the Chiefs ran the ball just 18 times, compared to 35 passing attempts for Mahomes. Given that the run defense has been the one thing that actually hasn’t gone wrong for the Colts this season, Kansas City probably isn’t going to bother with the run any more than necessary in this matchup. The Chiefs know that Trevor Lawrence carved up the Colts a week ago, and Mahomes shouldn’t have any problems doing the same thing.
Fargo's NFL Thursday Star Attraction (3-0 L3)
When Indianapolis Has the Ball
There’s only one thing to say about the Colts’ game plan against Jacksonville: it was disastrous. Indianapolis has, for whatever reason, insisted on putting the ball in the hands of 37-year-old Matt Ryan in the first two games — and the results have been poor. The Colts only ran the ball 13 times the entire game against the Jaguars, even though Jonathan Taylor averaged six yards per carry and Matt Ryan was sacked five times and tossed three interceptions.
With the Chiefs’ defensive line being what it is, the Colts will likely try to go to the air again, and having a healthy Michael Pittman Jr. would help a lot in those efforts. No receiver has really stood out for Indianapolis without Pittman on the field, and that has to change if Indianapolis is going to insist on throwing the ball on more than 60 percent of its plays. There is some talent here, but the way the Colts have managed their first two games suggests that this isn’t going to work out.
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If the Chiefs have a weakness, it’s that they tend to play down to their competition. Kansas City has gone just 2-7 ATS in their past nine against teams with a losing record, and the Chiefs are a mere 1-4 ATS in their past five September games.
On the other side of the coin, betting against the Colts in Week 3 has historically been a bad idea. Indianapolis is kind of like playing Mario Kart on the old Nintendo 64: the Colts consistently rubber-band to their competition. Not only are the Colts 5-1 ATS in their past six Week 3 games (as they tend to start slow and they turn things around after they get left for dead), but they’re 21-10 ATS in their last 31 against teams above .500. When they’re favored, they’re at their worst; when they’re underdogs, they tend to come out of nowhere. Even though these are thought of as high-powered teams, the under has cashed in five of the past six meetings, although Kansas City has cashed the over in five straight road games overall.
With temperatures at 72 degrees at kickoff on Sunday in Indianapolis, expect the Colts to open both the roof and the window at Lucas Oil Stadium. The one thing that could change that; is the wind. Steady winds will blow west-northwest at 12 miles per hour, with gusts of up to 31 miles per hour. With the Colts having problems in the kicking game, that could cause them to keep the roof closed, so monitor this situation carefully before you bet.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread
Part of me feels like this game could be a trap, and part of me feels like Matt Ryan just doesn’t have it anymore at age 37. I lean toward the latter based on the first two weeks of action, as nothing the Colts have shown suggests that they’re going to be able to get this turned around.
Either this game is a gift at -5.5, or it’s a trap where the Colts announce that they’re still going to be a threat. I’m going to choose to throw a saddle on this gift horse rather than look it in the mouth. I’ll back the Chiefs. Bet your Week 3 NFL predictions for FREE by taking advantage of a 100% real cash bonus up to $300 when you use bonus code PREDICT100 at MyBookie Sportsbook!