Minnesota Vikings (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. Indianapolis Colts (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)
NFL Week 2
Date/Time: 1PM Sunday September 16, 2012
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
by Jason Green, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Min -1.5/IND +1.5
Over/Under Total: 44.5
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So the Andrew Luck era for the Colt began last week, but even though the top pick in the last draft passed for over 300 yards and had 1 TD he was picked off 3 times and was sacked 3 times. On top of it all the Colts were crushed by the Chicago Bears. The Vikings won their season opener in OT and Minnesota got some great news in the game with the return of RB stud Adrian Peterson.
In their opening games of the season the Vikings beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 26-23 in OT while the Colts lost badly to the Chicago Bears 41-21.
While Luck is supposed to be the savior of the Colts’ offense they need one on defense as well. In the loss to the Bears they gave up 428 total yards (314 passing yards 114 rushing yards). Dwight Freeney is their defensive leader and he left the Chicago game early with an ankle injury, but he should be able to go in this game. The Vikings had a good game on offense in their win I see Indy struggling on D again facing a Minnesota team that got some much needed confidence after Week 1’s win.
Luck did have over 300 yards passing and Reggie Wayne (135 yards 9 rec) and his former college teammate in TE Coby Fleener (6 rec 82 yards) both averaged over 13 yards per reception. I think Luck will have another big game, but he has to avoid the pick. Luck was also taken down 3 times and the Indy offensive line must key on Jarred Allen, who had 22.5 sacks last season. Yeah, you don’t think Allen and the Vikings’ pass rush will be licking their chops facing a rookie QB playing behind a sketchy offensive line?
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Colts’ RB Donald Brown averaged a decent 5.3 yards per carry in the loss to the Bears, but Luck had to air it out a lot on the 2nd half to try to get back in the game. LB Chad Greenway (13 tackles last week) and LB Erin Henderson (10 tackles last week) lead a solid Minnesota run defense and Brown has not proved he is a legit #1 back and I think the Vikings will stuff him in this game.
Vikings’ QB Christian Ponder was 20 for 27 for 270 yards and 0 INT in the win over the Jags and while he did lose a fumble he managed the game well. Still, he did not throw a TD pass and that will change in this game facing an Indy pass defense that was torched by Jay Cutler last week. Minnesota WR Percy Harvin will have a big game and haul in a TD or 2.
Peterson had runs of 10 and 20 yards in the Jags win and finished the game with 84 yards and 2 TD and the Colts’ run defense did not play that bad in the loss to the Bears. Yeah, Matt Forte had 80 rushing yards with 1 TD averaging a legit 5 yards per carry, but one of his carries went for 32 yards. Peterson lacked the explosiveness we are used to seeing and I think that will be the case again. He will have similar numbers as Week 1, but will not crack the 100-yard barrier.
In checking out some betting trends for this non-conference match up the Vikings are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 road games, but they are only 2-6-1 in their last 9 games overall and they did not cover the spread last week. The Colts are only 4-10 in their last 14 home games and are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games overall.
Jason’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: This should be a pretty close football game but I believe Indy is actually the better team here. Minnesota has some big names in AP and Harvin, but this is a bad spot for them and the bookmakers think so too as evidenced by their sucker line of 1.5. Take the Colts in what won’t be an easy cover, but a cover nonetheless.
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