New Orleans Saints (2-4 SU, 3-3 ATS) vs. Indianapolis Colts (3-3 SU, 2-4 ATS)
NFL Week 7
Date/Time: October 25th, 1:00 PM ET
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium
by Jeff Hochman, Professional Handicapper, jhsportsline.com
Point Spread: N.O. +4.5/ IND -4.5
Over/Under Total: 52
The long awaited rematch from the 2011 season is finally here. On Sunday, October 23rd, 2011 the New Orleans Saints defeated the Colts 62-7 as 13.5-point home favorites. Drew Brees was almost perfect, completing 31-of-35 passes for 325 yards and Five touchdowns. The starting quarterback for the Colts was Curtis Painter and than Dan Orlovsky came in for some relief. The two combined to throw for 102 yards for the entire game. The Saints rushed for 236 yards and outgained the Colts 557-252. New Orleans had 36 First downs while the Colts had only 11. It was one of the most lopsided games you will ever see, and you can be sure the entire Colts’ organization is fired up for this game.
The Saints are coming off its most impressive victory when they defeated the Falcons 31-21 as 3-point home dogs. Atlanta is no longer undefeated, thanks to the Saints, who played big in a must win game. New Orleans was outgained for the fifth time in six games. That’s a red flag to me. Still, they looked extremely focused on both sides of the ball and will now have three extra days to prepare for this contest. The Colts are coming off a big revenge game and they failed to get the job done against the Patriots. The Colts covered the eight-point spread, but were outgained for sixth time this season. Indianapolis is rather fortunate to be 3-3. It could be been much worse if they played in a different division.
To me, this game is all about revenge for the Colts from that 62-7 dismantling back in 2011. New Orleans ran up the score when they didn’t have to. You might say that four years is a long time. Not when a team scores over 60 points, while setting the NFL record for most points scored by one team since the merger. The game was played on Sunday Night so the entire NFL nation saw the game. The Colts finished the 2011 season with a 2-12 record and would go on to draft Andrew Luck at No. 1 in the 2012 draft. How fitting that Luck is now the starting QB for this game!
Speaking of Luck, the Colts offense is not clicking on all cylinders. They rank 23rd in points per game, 19th in yards per game, 13th in pass yards per game, and 22nd in rush yards per game. I think the Colts’ offense will start playing better each and every week. The Saints offense has been improving with every game. New Orleans is ranked 17th in points per game, 7th in yards per game, 3rd in passing yards, and 31st in rushing yards per game. The Saints can’t rush the ball and they can’t stop the rush. Not a good combo. This defense is allowing 138 rushing yards per game and a whopping 6.6 yards per play. The Colts are not much better. They are allowing 289 passing yards per game and 6.1 yards per play. Drew Brees should have some success through the air. Playing indoors should help the Saints too. The Colts will need to hold the Saints to field-goals and not touchdowns once in the red zone. New Orleans has six players on the injury report, including Marques Colston who missed last week’s game with a bum shoulder.
I really believe Andrew Luck will have a field day against the Saints’ pass defense. Rob Ryan’s stop unit has a lot of leaks that can be exploited by a savvy quarterback. Of course, every quarterback needs time to throw and the Colts offensive line has surrendered 11 sacks in six games. Not terrible. The Saints’ defense is ranked No. 26 in sacks. Give a huge edge to the Colts special teams. Pat Mcafee is by far the best punter in the league. He’s a big weapon to have and can turn field position with every punt. I would expect a rather clean game from Andrew Luck and the entire Colts team. Indianapolis is 13-2 SU and 11-3-1 ATS when playing a team with a losing record over the last three seasons.
Jeff’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread:Indianapolis Colts -4.5
This line opened at Colts minus six and early public money has been on the road underdog. The public saw the Colts and that awful special teams gaff and are looking to bet against them. This line may come down another half point before going back up to at least 5. No letdown for the Colts after their playoff revenge game. The Colts remember what took place in 2011 and should be focused. It’s also a chance for the team to climb above .500 for the second time this season. The Colts are 15-6 SU in all home games over the last three seasons and should easily cover this 4.5-point spread.
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