Cleveland Browns (0-2) at Indianapolis Colts (0-2)
The Colts have been one of the worst teams in the league this season, but injuries are the major reason why. Obviously the injury to Andrew Luck is the big one, but they’re also missing top cornerback Vontae Davis, talented hybrid safety/linebacker Clayton Geathers, and starting center Ryan Kelly. The Browns enter this game with significant injuries too though, and unlike the Colts, they are not that good even when healthy.
Rookie defensive end Myles Garrett, the #1 overall pick in the draft, remains out with a high ankle sprain and will be joined on the sideline this week by linebacker Jamie Collins, who has a concussion. Those are arguably their two best defensive players, from a defense that wasn’t good to begin with. The Colts are significantly better with Jacoby Brissett under center than Scott Tolzien and could move the ball pretty easily in this one.
The Browns could also move the ball against Indianapolis’ weak defense, but these two teams are about even and this line suggests that the Browns are a whopping 4.5 points better than the Colts. With Cleveland now missing Collins, I actually have the Colts one spot better in my roster rankings, so we’re getting good value with the Colts as home underdogs here. The Colts are also in a better spot as home underdogs tend to cover off of a loss as home underdogs, going 75-57 ATS in that spot since 2002. The Browns, meanwhile, host the Bengals next week in a game in which they are expected to be home underdogs and road favorites are 52-73 ATS since 2002 before being home underdogs. The Colts should win this outright by a field goal or more.
Indianapolis Colts 23 Cleveland Browns 20 Upset Pick +105
Pick against the spread: Indianapolis +1.5