Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) at Indianapolis Colts (0-1-1)
The Colts have gotten off to a 0-1-1 start, but they still rank 17th in overall efficiency, with their biggest problem thus far being a -4 turnover margin, which is not predictive week-to-week. However, they have faced one of the easiest schedules in the league across the first two weeks of the season, playing the Texans and Jaguars, two of the least talented teams in the league on paper, so their performance has been pretty underwhelming overall.
Their underwhelming performance is not terribly surprising though, considering the Colts lost a pair of offensive line starters this off-season and are playing without their most important defensive player Shaq Leonard to begin the season. The Colts do get top receivers Michael Pittman and Alec Pierce back from one-game absences this week, but are still a below average team in my roster rankings, especially with Matt Ryan seemingly showing his age, in his age 37 season.
The public and odds makers seem to be catching on that the Colts are not as good as expected this season, with this line shifting significantly from favoring the Chiefs by 3 on the early line last week to 5.5 this week, but I still think we are getting significant line value with the Chiefs, who I have calculated as 10-point favorites. That has as much to do with the Chiefs legitimately being one of the top teams in the league as it has to do with the Colts being a below average team without Leonard.
Overall, the Chiefs rank 2nd in the league in overall efficiency, only behind the Bills, led by an offense that leads the league in efficiency by about 1.5 points over the next best team and a defense that is significantly improved over a year ago, ranking 11th in defensive efficiency, despite facing a pair of high level quarterbacks in Kyler Murray and Justin Herbert. That largely mirrors my roster rankings, in which the Chiefs actually rank first, ahead of the currently banged up Bills. This isn’t a huge play, but the Chiefs are worth betting, even with this line shooting up in the past week. It shouldn’t be difficult for them to beat the Colts by multiple scores.
Kansas City Chiefs 30 Indianapolis Colts 20
Pick against the spread: Kansas City -5.5