Oakland Raiders (1-2) at Indianapolis Colts (2-1)
The Colts have gotten off to a 2-1 start with new starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett, but they are one of the most banged up teams in the league right now. On offense, top wide receiver TY Hilton is doubtful, while their defense will be without their best player linebacker Darius Leonard, it’s best defensive back safety Malik Hooker, and possibly starting cornerback Pierre Desir, who only got a limited practice in on Friday, and expected starting defensive end Jabaal Sheard, who was yet to play this season and only got limited work in practice this week.
Despite that, this line has jumped to Indianapolis -7 after the Colts’ narrow home victory over the Falcons last week, a game in which they lost the first down rate battle. On the season, they rank just 22nd in first down rate differential at -2.70%. The Colts don’t have a tough opponent this week, with the Raiders (26th in first down rate at -4.75%) coming to town, but, without the Colts’ roster as banged up as it is, I only have this line calculated at Indianapolis -4, so we’re getting pretty significant line value here.
On top of that, this could be a look ahead spot for the Colts ahead of a trip to Kansas City next week. Favorites of 7+ are just 13-30 ATS since 2008 before being underdogs of 7+ and the Colts are currently 8.5-point underdogs on the early line. They could easily overlook the Raiders, something that could really hurt them at much less than 100%. This should be a close game, so I like the Raiders a lot this week.
Indianapolis Colts 27 Oakland Raiders 24
Pick against the spread: Oakland +7