Colts vs. Raiders Odds & Picks
Indianapolis Colts (8-4 SU, 7-5 ATS) vs. Las Vegas Raiders (7-5 SU, 7-5 ATS)
When: Sunday, December 13, 4:05 p.m.
Where: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas
Point Spread: IND -3/LV +3 (Best Teaser Odds)
Total: O/U 51.5
It’s backs-to-the-wall time for Las Vegas, which needs to find a win here if it’s going to have any hope at all of making the postseason. At 7-5, the Raiders are still in control of their own fate, but a loss here would essentially finish them off. Not only would a loss here put them two games behind the Colts (plus the tiebreaker), but with only three games left, they’d have to run the table and get some help.
For the Colts, a little help could put them in the postseason. Only Vegas and Baltimore are within a game of the Colts for the final playoff spot in the AFC, and if the Ravens fall to the Browns, Indianapolis would hold a two-game lead with games against Houston and Jacksonville left on the slate. However, consistency has really plagued the Colts, who have managed to knock off Green Bay at home but got drilled at home by Tennessee. Then again, Vegas has shown the widest range of outcomes in the NFL this season, as the Raiders handed Kansas City its only loss of the season but needed a last-second touchdown to avoid becoming the Jets’ only victim of the season.
How the Public is Betting the Indianapolis/Las Vegas Game
The public appears to be siding with the Colts on this one, as 58 percent of tickets have come in on Indianapolis. In turn, that’s pushed the line up from -2.5 to -3 for the Colts, while the total has dropped from 52 to 51.5.
Guard LeRaven Clark is out for the season with an Achilles injury. Linebacker Bobby Okereke (ankle), safety Khari Willis (back), tackle Anthony Castonzo (knee), cornerback Isiah Rodgers (concussion), and cornerback Xavier Rhodes (undisclosed) are questionable. Tight end Noah Togiai (knee) is out indefinitely.
Cornerback Damon Arnette (concussion), running back Josh Jacobs (ankle), cornerback Isaiah Johnson (groin), and safety Jonathan Abram (knee) are questionable. Defensive tackle Maliek Collins (hamstring) is out indefinitely, and linebacker Tanner Muse (toe) is on injured reserve.
When Indianapolis Has the Ball
Offense hasn’t been the problem for Indianapolis. The Colts are moving the ball quite well through the air and are averaging nearly 30 points a game over the past three weeks, based almost entirely on their ability to score. The Colts’ big problem is that they’ve got to keep scoring because they’ve been getting no help whatsoever from their defense.
Actually, they’ve got two big problems because their other issue is that they really can’t run the ball all that well but are still committed to trying. Indianapolis is one of four teams averaging a league-worst 3.7 yards per carry, and the Colts have 340 carries on the season, more than any of the other three teams with such a low average. Jonathan Taylor did come to life in the win over the Texans, averaging seven yards per carry, but for the most part, Rivers and T.Y. Hilton have been on their own.
That’s not the worst thing in the world against the Raiders, who give up 257 yards per game through the air, worse than any AFC playoff contender except the Titans — the same team Rivers torched for an average of 302 yards per game in two meetings with this season.
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When Las Vegas Has the Ball
Something isn’t right with the Raiders right now, as they’ve looked terrible over the past two weeks. Getting blown out by the Falcons is bad enough, but needing a last-second play to escape the Jets suggests that there’s something seriously wrong.
For Las Vegas, it starts with not holding on to the football, as the Raiders have seven turnovers in just their past two games. Vegas actually had firm control in the Jets game, but a fumble led to a New York touchdown, and a turnover on downs nearly cost the Raiders the contest, as the Jets had a chance to run out the clock but managed to botch it.
Getting Josh Jacobs back would really make a difference for the Vegas attack. Jacobs hasn’t done a great job as the primary running back in terms of yards per carry, but he’s made up for it by his ability to handle a sheer volume of carries. Vegas is at its best when it’s able to use its pass attack to set up scores and its ground game to eat clock. Over the past two weeks, they haven’t effectively accomplished either goal, which has led to the past two nightmarish games. Such is life when you’re one of only two teams with both a winning record and a negative point differential, an oddity the Raiders share with the Browns.
However, Cleveland has the excuse of managing to pair defensive meltdowns in the games where the offense couldn’t get going, leading to two of its three losses being blowouts. The Raiders can’t say the same, as they’ve held just two opponents all year under 26 points.
Going on the road has actually been a great thing for Indianapolis in 2020, as the Colts have covered in their past four trips outside of Lucas Oil Stadium. That fits quite well with this series’s history, as the road team has covered in four of the past five meetings between these teams. However, the Raiders have actually done pretty well against fellow AFC teams. They’ve failed to cover in each of their past two contests (one was against the NFC Falcons), but outside of that, Vegas had covered five straight against AFC foes.
As for the total, Vegas as a home dog has been a reliable recipe for a lot of points. The over has hit in six of the Raiders’ past seven home games, and the seventh game was a push. That fits well with the Colts, as the total has gone over in six of the past eight Colts games.
Allegiant Stadium is domed so that the weather won’t be a factor.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread
The Colts’ defense worries me, but the Raiders are a mess right now. Plus, I really don’t want to go against the Colts on the road. For whatever reason, Indianapolis plays its best football outside of Indianapolis, as evidenced by the fact that the Colts crushed Tennessee in Nashville and got drilled by 19 against that same Titans team two weeks later at home.
For the year, Indianapolis is 4-2 SU away from home, and I think they can cover here against a Raiders team that seems to be running out of gas. Give me the Colts and the over. Editor’s Note: These teams have proven to be helter skelter this season. The best way to bet this game is likely to take in a quarter or so before deciding which team to back. For those note aware, there’s a sportsbook out there that reigns far superior to the rest when it comes to live in-game wagering: Bovada Sportsbook. They give you a 50% bonus and rebates on ALL your bets, whether they win or lose. Fast hassle-free payouts too. Check’em out!