Denver Broncos (7-0 SU, 5-2 ATS) vs. Indianapolis Colts (3-5 SU, 3-5 ATS)
NFL Week 9
Date/Time: Sunday, November 8, 2015, 4:25 pm EST
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind.
TV: CBS, DirecTV 714
by Badger, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: DEN -5/IND +5
Over/Under Total: 45
One of the NFLs remaining undefeated teams will put their perfect record to the test against a team desperate and in a must win situation, when Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos travel to Lucas Oil Stadium for a date with Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in late afternoon action this Sunday on CBS.
The Broncos looked every bit like an undefeated team in last Sunday Nights dominating victory over the Green Bay Packers , 29-10. Denvers top-ranked defense didnt give the Packers Aaron Rodgers anything, and Manning looked just fine in leading the Broncos offense to a highly impressive win that was made even more punctual by the fact in came in front of millions on a national broadcast on NBC.
One night after the Broncos showed their balance and strength on national T.V., Luck and the Colts showed off their resilience on national T.V. making a strong comeback in the fourth quarter to rally and tie the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football, only to fall in overtime, 29-26. Indy scored 17 points in the fourth quarter and actually had several chances to win it in regulation, only to instead drop their third straight defeat in a game they could have easily won. Offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton was fired this week in the start of what could be many more major changes if the Colts dont breakthrough and win this weekends need-to-win game at home.
Oddsmakers set up the Sunday afternoon game inside Lucas Oil Stadium with the undefeated Broncos as 3-point favorites when the point spread opened late after Monday Night Football. By Tuesday the line had climbed to Denver minus -5 at most sportsbooks, with even a few books at -5.5 after less than the first 24 hours of going live.
The over/under total opened at 45 and has held tight since it went on the board.
Its no secret that Manning and the Denver offense has been overshadowed thus far in 2015 by the Broncos dominating defense. Even still, there was a C.J. Anderson sighting in the Packers game, so a two-pronged attack with Ronnie Hillman on the ground in Denver will give them better balance as we approach the playoff stretch of the regular season schedule. On paper, it could get ugly since the Colts are 28th overall (405 ypg) and 28th versus the run (125 ypg) on defense.
Luck has been tattered and bounced around all season as the Colts offensive line has struggled with protection. The Broncos defense will make Luck work for everything he gets on Sunday, although the Colts did show more of a focus on running the ball with Frank Gore and Ahmad Bradshaw in the Carolina game on Monday. Of course, it was in a downpour, but with rumors that Luck is already playing with broken ribs the Colts should emphasize running the ball as much as possible. Of course, Denver is 4th versus the run (89 ypg), so the Colts have a huge task ahead of them thats made even harder with a short week following the Monday Night game.
Of course the last time these two met in was in completely different circumstances, when Luck and the Colts knocked a gimpy Manning and the Broncos out of last years AFC playoffs, 24-13. The Broncos are just 1-6 SU against the Colts since 2005, with the only victory for Denver coming in 2014, 31-24.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im not so sure the line movement for this game is finished yet. I wouldnt be surprised if the point spread gets up to a full touchdown by kickoff. The NFL has a weird way of evening itself out week-to-week. Denver wont play as good as they did against the Packers, and Indy has to have this game. They have too. Im not completely fooled into a moneyline bet on Indy, but I sure like them as a home dog in this game especially if it gets up to +6 or +6.5. Im taking Indianapolis plus the points.
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