Indianapolis Colts (12-5 SU, 11-5-1 ATS) vs. Denver Broncos (12-4 SU, 8-8 ATS)
NFL Divisonal Playoffs
Date and Time: Sunday, January 11, 4:40pm EST
Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High – Denver, CO
by Bob, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: IND +7/DEN -7
Over/Under Total: 54
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One of the more intriguing playoff games in my opinion is the Colts and Broncos game which is set to kick off this Sunday at 4:40pm. It will be Peyton Manning trying to knock out his former team once again. Andrew Luck however, will be trying to get this biggest win in his short and successful career. Both of these teams have won 12 games in 2014, one of the Colts was last weeks playoff win over the Bengals while the Broncos won 12 of their 16 regular season contests. This will be the second meeting between these two teams this year. On September 7th, the Broncos got a week one win over the Luck and the Colts at Mile High Stadium with a 31-24 score. This game should be a good one as well.
The Broncos open this game as a touchdown favorite at home over the Colts and the total points are set at 54. Against the spread this season, the Colts were the more successful team, much of that is due to the public pounding the Broncos in many games to the success of last season’s run. At this time, 67% of the action is on the Broncos to get the cover, and most gamblers also believe the game will go over the 54 points.
The Denver Broncos have been the favorite all season to get back to the Super Bowl and represent the AFC. Not only do the Broncos themselves want to get to the big game, they really want to get the bad taste out of their mouths after the beatdown they got from the Seahawks. I for one, have not been too high on Denver this season. Their running game has not been as dominant, and their defense has not lived up to the expectations either. However, with that said, they did manage to end the season with a 12-4 record and a two seed in the AFC playoffs. The key to this game for Denver is to score points. Peyton Manning will need to continue his passing success and move the ball against the Colts defense. The run game though, which is ranked 15th in the NFL will need to keep the Colts defense on their toes. If Indy is able to stop the run and force Manning to throw, then the defense of the Colts will be able to pin their ears back and go after Peyton. We all know that Peyton is a great QB, but when under extreme pressure, he is prone to make some big mistakes. If Denver can prevent this, then they should be okay in this game and move on the AFC Title game.
Before the season started, I was very high on this Colts team. I liked them to make a playoff run and a possible AFC title. Well, here is the big test. Indy will go into Mile High as an underdog and hope to pull the upset. A win for the Colts will be the biggest win for Andrew Luck and it would set the tone on what I believe is going to be an amazing career. The key for Indianapolis is to get the offense clicking early. Luck has the Colts ranked first in all of the NFL in passing, and this is important to win against the Broncos. Both defenses are pretty good, so the offenses will need to get moving and make the other team play catch up. Just like Manning, Luck is a very talented quarterback but under pressure can also make some mistakes. Andrew Luck needs to grow up on the big stage here and protect the ball. The Colts offense also needs to get the running game going. Denver is 2nd in the NFL against the run, but the Colts must overcome that and get a balanced attack. Teams that win Super Bowls always, and I mean always have a running game to fall back on. If Indy stays one dimensional then it may not be good for them.
I think this spread is about right based on the game these two played in week one, but as the season has gone on, I believe that Denver has taken a step or two back, while Indianapolis has hit their stride. Don’t get me wrong, both of these teams are very strong, but for some reason, maybe it is just my fanboy feelings over Andrew Luck, I just feel like the Colts are closer to Denver than many think. I do not think the Colts are ready to get this win, but I do like them to keep this game competitive. I see Denver winning a hard fought 31-27 type game with lots of big plays from both offenses.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Take the Indianapolis Colts +7 and also take OVER the posted total points of 54!