Denver Broncos (6-0) at Indianapolis Colts (4-2)
The Broncos have failed to cover in their last 2 instances, barely winning in Dallas and sleepwalking to a 16 point win over the Jaguars at home. However, the odds makers continue boosting the spread on them as if they are some kind of perfect, invulnerable opponent. I never bought that they could continue this level of play all season and we’ve shown them display some cracks, particularly defensively, in recent weeks. This week, they are 7 point favorites on the road over the Colts and the public is still all over them. I think the Colts are too good of a team to be 7 point home underdogs to anyone.
The Colts are moving the ball at an 81% rate offensively thanks to a breakout season from Andrew Luck, in part because of new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton’s system and an improved offensive line. Defensively, they are allowing opponents to move the ball at a 74% rate. That’s slightly worse than league average, but they are still improved defensively over last season, thanks to the addition of new players through free agency and the return of defensive mind Chuck Pagano from cancer.
That +7% differential is 5th in the NFL. The Broncos are still 1st at +11%, moving the chains at an 86% rate, as opposed to 75% for their opponents. However, I don’t think they deserve to be favored by this much in Indianapolis. The Colts flopped last week in San Diego, but I don’t put much weight into that. It was an obvious trap game situation between a win as home underdogs over the Seahawks and this huge game. They also were in a bad spot as an Eastern Time Zone team on the West Coast at a 8 PM ET start. They should be able to bounce back and at least keep this within a touchdown, if not hand the Broncos their first loss of the season.
Denver Broncos 34 Indianapolis Colts 31
Pick against spread: Indianapolis +7