Indianapolis Colts (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. Denver Broncos (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)
NFL Week 2
Date/Time: Sunday, September 18, 2016, 4:25 pm EST
Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Co.
TV: CBS, DirecTV 715
by Badger, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: IND +6/DEN -6
Over/Under Total: 45
Two of the better teams in the AFC will meet in second-week National Football League action on Sunday when the Indianapolis Colts travel to Mile High to take on the defending champion Denver Broncos on CBS.
A lot of experts predicted correctly that Sundays matchup between Indy and the Broncos would feature a 1-win team versus a 1-loss team, its just that most of them erred on which team would be the winner and which the loser.
Not many expected Denver to win their opener, especially since the Broncos were opening Trevor Simemians reign as the starting quarterback against the defending NFC Champion Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton. Siemian persevered through an up and down game and the Broncos defense took over late in the 4th quarter in an opening ,21-20, win when Carolina missed a last-second field goal.
Likewise, almost everyone expected the Colts with a healthy Andrew Luck back at QB to beat the Detroit Lions at home in the opener and they should have won, but they blew it in a, 39-35, opening week stunner. Luck threw the go-ahead touchdown to Jack Doyle with only 37 second remaining in the game, but the Colts defense failed to hold in the final 37 ticks allowing Matthew Stafford to complete four passes for 50 yards and get the Lions in range for the game-winning 43-yard Matt Prater field goal with 4 seconds on the clock.
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What should make this game even more interesting is the fact that the Colts have been a major pain in the Broncos side in recent years, winning eight of the last nine meetings which includes the last time the Broncos lost in the AFC playoffs (Indy 24-13 in 2015).
But the Broncos defense reminded everyone that even with Siemian at QB they are still legit, which explains why oddsmakers set the opening point spread for this game with Denver as 6-point favorites. So far the number appears to be spot on, with both sides taken on enough money that the number continues to hold at minus -6.
The over/under total opened at 45, but true to form it can be found at almost any number within a point and a half, with most sportsbook and sitting at 45.5 or 46 currently.
The game will hinge on one facet will the Colts defense show up to play and match the intensity from the Broncos defense. Im pretty sure the Colts offensive line will have issues with the Broncos front-seven, so if the Colts defense doesnt at least find a way to consistently stop C.J. Anderson and force Siemian to win the game in the air, it could be a long flight back to Indianapolis for Luck and the Colts. One injury to watch as it gets later in the week is the hip condition of Demaryius Thomas, who is currently listed as questionable.
Ive already mentioned the Colts recent run of dominance over Denver, but it also includes two wins in a row including a, 27-24, victory last November in Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts defense controlled the Broncos run game (only 35 yards on 14 carries), forced two interceptions on Peyton Manning in the game and held up when Manning tried to rally the Broncos on their last few 4th-quarter possessions.
Even more dominating has been the Colts at the betting window in this series. Indy is on a current 9-0 ATS covering streak including a 4-0 ATS record at Mile High (3-1 SU) which includes staright up victories when the Colts were listed as high as 9.5-point dogs (in the 2015 playoffs) and even an poetic and ironic 6-point dog in 2013.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The Colts defense is a huge question for me to get past in this game, but this is the NFL and you have to forget what happened last week really quickly. But at the same time Im not so sure Denver with Siemian will score enough points offensively to pull 6 points away from anyone all year. Indy seems to have their number right now too, although you could argue the Broncos are due. Either way, Im still going to take the points in this matchup. Im taking the Colts plus the 6-points.
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