New Orleans Saints (2-4) at Indianapolis Colts (3-3)
The Colts are in a bunch of spots that they’ve been historically good in since Andrew Luck and Chuck Pagano arrived in 2012. The Colts are 19-9 ATS at home (including a cover last week as 9.5 point home underdogs in a loss to the Patriots), 14-3 ATS off of a loss, and 8-2 ATS at home off of a loss. On top of that, they are 16-4 ATS in week 5 or later against opponents who have a winning percentage of less than 50% like the Saints here. The Colts have always had trouble with tougher opponents, but they’re a covering machine in easy situations like this, at home, against an easy opponent, and coming off of a loss that dropped the line a little bit.
The line has been dropped from 6.5 in the early line last week to 4.5 this week, as a result of Indianapolis’ home loss to the Patriots and the Saints home win over the Atlanta Falcons. I love fading significant line movements whenever it makes sense, as they tend to be overreactions to one week. This game will be no exception, as we’re getting a good amount of line value with the Colts. The Colts rank 10th in rate of moving the chains differential, while the Saints only rank 21st.
This is despite the fact that the Colts were without Andrew Luck for 2 of their 6 games and now he’s going into his 2nd game back. The Colts will be without safety Mike Adams in this one, but, compared to early in the season, when they had all sorts of guys banged up, the Colts are in a relatively good injury situation right now. The Saints are too, only missing cornerback Keenan Lewis, after struggling with injuries early on, but there’s no way they should be just 4.5 point underdogs in Indianapolis against a relatively healthy Indianapolis team. They should be at least touchdown underdogs, especially given Indianapolis’ homefield advantage. The Saints’ defense is atrocious, even when healthy, and should have major problems slowing the Colts’ now healthy offense.
The only reason why the Colts are my Pick of the Week or a high confidence pick is because they do have a tough game next week in Carolina, which could provide a distraction. The Saints, meanwhile, host the New York Giants, which is an easier game. Underdogs are 113-70 ATS since 2010 before being favorites when their opponent will next be underdogs, as teams tend to be more focused than their opponent in spots like that. Still, I like the Colts chances of covering in this one. This line is too low and the Colts always bounce back off of a loss and always take care of business at home against bad opponents.
Indianapolis Colts 30 New Orleans Saints 20
Pick against the spread: Indianapolis -4.5