Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts
Thursday, December 14, 2017, 8:30 pm Eastern, TV: NBC, NFL Network
Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, Indiana
Opening Line: Denver -3 (-105)
Current Line: Denver -2 1/2 (-120)
Opening Total: 41
Current Total: 41
Opening Money Line: Broncos -128 / Colts +108
Current Money Line: Broncos -145 / Colts +125
In the last 20 years, the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts have made regular appearances in the AFC Championship and even Super Bowls. However, both teams have struggled mightily this season. The 4-9 Denver Broncos travel to the 3-10 Indianapolis Colts in the last Thursday night of the season. Denver is in last place in the AFC West. Indianapolis is in last place in the AFC South.
The series is tied 13-13 between the Broncos and Colts. Indianapolis has won 8 of the last 10 games against Denver, but the Broncos won last year in Denver 34-20.
Denver is coached by Vance Joseph in his first season. The Broncos have home wins over the Los Angeles Chargers 24-21, Dallas Cowboys 42-17, Oakland Raiders 16-10 and New York Jets 23-0 last week. The win over the Jets snapped an eight game losing streak for the Broncos. Denver has road losses at the Buffalo Bills 26-16, Los Angeles Chargers 21-0, Kansas City Chiefs 29-19, Philadelphia Eagles 51-23, Oakland Raiders 21-14 and Miami Dolphins 35-9 plus home losses to the New York Giants 23-10, New England Patriots 41-16 and Cincinnati Bengals 20-17. The Broncos were 1 point underdogs against the Jets and the total was 40.5. Denver is 3-9-1 ATS and the total is 7-6 this season.
Indianapolis is coached by Chuck Pagano. The Colts have home wins over the Cleveland Browns 31-28 and San Francisco 49ers 26-23 in overtime, and a road win over the Houston Texans 20-14. Indianapolis has road losses at the Los Angeles Rams 46-9, Seattle Seahawks 46-18, Tennessee Titans 36-22, Cincinnati Bengals 24-23, Jacksonville Jaguars 30-10 and Buffalo Bills 13-7 in overtime last week. The Colts have home losses to the Arizona Cardinals 16-13 in overtime, Jaguars 27-0, Pittsburgh Steelers 20-17, and Titans 20-16. Indianapolis has lost four straight games. The Colts were 3.5 point underdogs at the Bills and the total was 36.5. The game was played in a heavy blizzard with at least a foot of snow on the field. Indianapolis is 6-7 ATS and the total is 6-7 as well.
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Denver is being outscored 24-18 this season. The Broncos are #24 in points allowed and #26 in scoring. Denver averages 312 yards per game on offense including 207 passing and 106 rushing yards. On defense, Denver allows 281 total yards including 191 passing and 90 rushing yards per game. The Broncos are in the top five in all three categories. Denver is 81/210 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 57/191. The Broncos have forced 30 sacks and allowed 41 this season. Denver is -15 in turnovers. The Broncos have scored three defensive touchdowns but have allowed two special teams and three defensive touchdowns.
Denver has used three quarterbacks this season. Quarterback Trevor Siemien has completed 59.1% of his passes for 2,218 yards with 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, along with 31 carries for 127 yards and a touchdown. He has been sacked 31 times. Brock Osweiler started a few games. He has thrown for 701 yards with 3 touchdown and 4 interceptions, along with 22 rushing yards. Back-up Paxton Lynch started a game after missing most of the season with a shoulder injury. However, he suffered an ankle injury in that game and is out indefinitely. He has thrown for 41 yards with an interception, and has 17 rushing yards. Siemien is the starter again.
Running back C.J. Anderson has 181 carries for 700 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 21 catches for 179 yards and a touchdown. Jamaal Charles has 69 carries for 296 yards and a touchdown, plus 23 catches for 129 yards. DeVontae Booker has 57 carries for 192 yards and a touchdown, along with 23 catches for 216 yards.
Receiver DeMaryius Thomas has 68 catches for 771 yards and 4 touchdowns. Emmanuel Sanders has 40 catches for 487 yards and 2 touchdowns. Bennie Fowler III has 25 catches for 294 yards and 3 touchdowns. Cody Latimer has 16 catches for 227 yards and a touchdown. A.J. Derby has 19 catches for 224 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tight end Virgil Green has 13 catches for 185 yards and a touchdown. Eight defensive players and three offensive linemen are listed on the injury report.
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Indianapolis is being outscored 26-16 this season. The Colts are #31 in points allowed and #30 in scoring. Indianapolis averages 291 yards per game on offense including 187 passing and 104 rushing yards. The Colts are #31 in total offense and #29 in passing. Indianapolis allows 375 total yards per game including 256 passing and 118 rushing yards. The Colts are #30 in total defense and #30 against the pass. Indianapolis is 77/203 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 84/177. The Colts have forced 20 sacks and allowed 52 this season. The Colts are +3 in turnovers but have allowed six defensive touchdowns this season.
Quarterback Andrew Luck is out for the season with a shoulder injury. Jaboby Brissett took over as the quarterback for an ineffective Scott Tolzien. Brissett has completed 59.8% of his passes for 2,611 yards with 7 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, and also has 50 carries for 216 yards and three touchdowns. He has been sacked 48 times. Tolzien has thrown for 128 yards with two interceptions.
Running back Frank Gore has 210 carries for 762 yards and 3 touchdowns, and also has 21 catches for 179 yards. Marlon Mack has 299 rushing yards on 76 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 17 catches for 178 yards and a touchdown. Robert Turbin has 23 carries for 53 yards and a touchdown, along with 9 catches for 56 yards. He is out for the season with an arm injury. Two other running backs George Winn and Christine Michael are also on injured reserved.
Receiver T.Y. Hilton has 43 catches for 811 yards and 4 touchdowns. Tight end Jack Doyle has 64 catches for 564 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is probable with a foot injury. Donte Moncrieff has 26 catches for 391 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is doubtful with an ankle injury. Chester Rogers has 20 carries for 226 yards and a touchdown. Kamar Aiken has 14 catches for 131 yards. He is probable with a concussion. Brandon Williams has 13 catches for 121 yards. Seven defensive players are on the injury report.
The over is 10-2 in this series recently including 6-0 in Indianapolis. The underdog is 4-1 ATS in this series recently. The Colts are 9-1 ATS against the Broncos including 6-0 in Indianapolis.
The NFL did everyone a favor by scheduled this dog of a game eleven days before Christmas, knowing that everyone would be busy with Holiday parties and shopping. But seriously, the Colts are terrible without Luck but that is be expected. Denver being so bad is more puzzling. The Broncos have an elite defense and good players at the skill positions. The quarterback position has been awful no matter who is under center. I like the Broncos to win a close game on the road.