Indianapolis Colts (1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS) vs. San Francisco 49ers (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
NFL Week 3
Date and Time: Sunday, September 22nd, 2013, 4:25 pm EST
Where: Candlestick Park, San Francisco, Calif.
TV: CBS/DirecTV 715
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Ind. +10.5/S.F. -10.5
Over/Under Total: 46
Note: This article was written and published prior to the Trent Richardson trade. The acquisition of Richardson does not change our view and predicted end result of this game.
Two of the National Football Leagues 16 teams with a 1-1 record will do
battle to drop one of them under .500 on Sunday, when the Indianapolis
Colts travel west to take on the San Francisco 49ers
in Candlestick Park.
The defending NFC champion 49ers ran into the buzzsaw known as the Seattle defense last weekend, dropping their first game of the season in disappointing fashion, 29-3. San Francisco had an uncharacteristic five turnovers against the Seahawks, but most of those were due to the defense and the hostile conditions, factors that will change in the 49ers favor this Sunday at home against the Colts.
Indianapolis also dropped to .500 last Sunday, losing a tough one in a back-n-forth game at home to the Miami Dolphins, 24-20. Although two weeks does not make a season, or break it either, but there is a slight cause for concern in Indy because after two weeks against Oakland and Miami the Colts and Andrew Luck are only averaging 20 points a game. Getting the offense back on track and rolling up points might be hard to do on the road in Candlestick this weekend.
The reaction to the Colts by bettors, and then the oddsmakers subsequent adjustment to the publics quick reactions, means that the 49ers were installed as 9.5-point favorites for the game Sunday. In other words, the public wont bet on the Colts unless oddsmakers give them double digits, and most sportsbooks have moved the number up to minus -10 or even -10.5 to get any kind of money to come in on the Colts.
The over/under total hasnt seen as much line movement, opening up at 45.5 and going up the hook to 46 at most sportsbooks.
As I mentioned, the 49ers offense struggled against the Seahawks, and since
the Colts defense is no where near the same caliber (23rd overall, 29th
vs. run 136 ypg) its safe to assume the five-turnover game was not the normal
result. The lack of a playmaker on the outside could end up causing the
49ers and Colin Kaepernick some yards this season, and with TE Vernon Davis
nursing a hamstring, the passing game could struggle this week. But the
run game against the Colts weak run defense should be able to move the chains.
The Colts offense is a little more balanced and dynamic this season with the addition of Ahmad Bradshaw, but it hasnt translated into points so far. Without Vick Ballard to crash between the tackles a few token times, it could get rough for Andrew Luck passing against the strong 49ers pass rush.
These two teams havent met since 2009, so its the every four-year renewal of the rivalry that Indianapolis has actually controlled since 1995, going 3-2 SU and 3-2 ATS including a win in their last visit in 2005 (28-3) in the Peyton Manning era.
The betting trends point toward a 49ers wager, since the Colts seem to have a recent history of slow starts (1-4 ATS in L5 Sept. games) and the 49ers have been strong at the Stick (16-6-1 ATS in last 23 home games). However, the road team in the last four head-to-head meetings has been lucky, going 4-0 ATS since 1998.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: This game will be a blowout. Look for Kaepernick to put up the best numbers of any QB yet this season. Niners win and cover 49-21.