To be fair, this is more of a bet against the public and the Denver Broncos (2-2) when they host the Indianapolis Colts (1-2-1) on Thursday Night Football in Week 5.
First of all, doesn’t this line (Denver -3.5) feel cheap? Denver is a tough place to play, historically. Indy has looked like trash. The Colts are going to be without last season’s NFL rushing leader, RB Jonathan Taylor, and Pro Bowl LB Shaq Leonard.
The Colts are just 1-3 against the spread (ATS) this season. Indy got lucky to tie the Texans in Week 1 as 7-point road favorites. The Colts were embarrassed in Week 2 by the Jaguars. The Colts stole a game from the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3 and lost wire-to-wire last week at home to the Titans.
What this line tells us is how little the sportsbooks think of the Broncos. The public is hammering Denver. Football Outsiders grades the Colts as the worst team in the NFL. Indy is without key contributors. Yet the Broncos are only 3.5-point favorites in Denver on primetime.
BET: Colts +3.5 (-120) at DraftKings Sportbook
All of the information above is baked into this number that feels like a sucker bet. The Broncos are just 0-2 ATS as favorites. Denver got dumb-lucky to beat the 49ers 11-10 on Sunday Night Football in Week 3. Indy outgained two of its opponents in total yards by 218 (Texans) and 122 (Titans).
Also, the Colts have a significant coaching advantage. Say what you will about Indianapolis coach Frank Reich, he’s a hell of a lot better than Denver coach Nathaniel Hackett.
Reich is eight games above. 500 in his four-plus seasons as Indy’s coach and the Colts have had a different starting quarterback each season. All Hackett has ever done is not get in Aaron Rodgers’ way as offensive coordinator of the Packers.
Finally, the injury to Broncos RB Javonte Williams is more significant to Denver than the loss of Taylor is for Indy. At least Colts backup RBs Nyheim Hines and Philip Lindsay are pretty good.
Broncos RB Melvin Gordon is Pro Football Focus’s worst-graded RB out of 57 tracked. Gordon’s four fumbles have been back-breaking and are double the next-closest RB in the NFL.
Since money keeps pouring in on the Broncos, I’d wait until closer to kickoff to BET the INDIANAPOLIS COLTS +3.5 (-120) in hopes of getting a better number at DraftKings Sportsbook.
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