AFC Divisional Playoffs Betting Picks: Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos

2015 AFC Divisional Playoffs
Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos

Sports Authority Field at Mile High – Denver, Colorado
Sunday, January 11, 2015, 4:40 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Opening Line: Denver -7 (-120)
Current Line: Denver -7
Opening Total: 53
Current Total: 54
Opening Money Line: Broncos -340 / Colts +280
Current Money Line: Broncos -300 / Colts +250 

The Broncos are 7 point favorites against the colts in the AFC playoffs Sunday.
The Broncos are 7 point favorites against the colts in the AFC playoffs Sunday.

The 12-4 Denver Broncos and 12-5 Indianapolis Colts meet Sunday in the AFC Divisional Playoffs in Denver. The winner will play either the New England Patriots or Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game next week. Besides being a playoff game, this game is intriguing because Denver quarterback Peyton Manning plays against the team he led for many seasons.

Denver won the AFC West and is the #2 seed in the AFC playoffs. The Broncos had a first round bye last week. Indianapolis won the AFC South and is the #4 seed. The Colts beat the Cincinnati Bengals last week 26-10 in the Wild Card game.

Since 2002, Indianapolis leads the series 9-3 against Denver. The Broncos beat the Colts 31-24 in Denver in the regular season opener this year to snap a six game losing streak against Indianapolis. The Colts beat the Broncos in back to back seasons in the wild card playoffs in 2004 and 2005, both by 25 points or more. Manning was the quarterback for the Colts back then.

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 Indianapolis is coached by Chuck Pagano. The Colts have road losses at the Denver Broncos 31-24, Pittsburgh Steelers 51-34 and Dallas Cowboys 42-7, along with home losses to the Philadelphia Eagles 30-27 and the New England Patriots 42-20. Indianapolis has  road wins at the Jacksonville Jaguars 44-17, Houston Texans 33-28, New York Giants 40-24, Cleveland Browns 25-24, and Tennessee Titans 27-10 along with home wins over the Titans 41-17, Ravens 20-13, Bengals 27-0, Jaguars 23-3, Washington Redskins 49-27 and Texans 17-10. Indianapolis has won 6 of the last 7 games. The Colts are 11-5-1 ATS and the total is 9-8 this season. Indianapolis was a 3.5 point favorite against Cincinnati and the total was 47.

Denver is coached by John Fox. The Broncos have road losses at the Seattle Seahawks 26-20 in overtime, Patriots 43-21, St. Louis Rams 22-7 and Bengals 37-28. Denver has won 5 of the last 6 games. The Broncos have home wins over the Indianapolis Colts 31-24, Kansas City Chiefs 24-17, Arizona Cardinals 41-20, San Francisco 49ers 42-17, San Diego Chargers 35-21, Miami Dolphins 39-36, Buffalo Bills 24-17 and Oakland Raiders 47-14 two weeks ago. Denver has road wins at the New York Jets 31-17, Oakland Raiders 41-17, Chiefs 29-16 and at the Chargers 22-10. The Broncos are 8-8 ATS and the total is 10-6 this season. The Broncos were 16.5 point favorites against the Raiders and the total was 49.

Indianapolis is outscoring teams 29-23 this season. The Colts are #6 in scoring and #19 in points allowed. Indianapolis is averaging 407 yards per game on offense including 306 passing 101 rushing yards. The Colts are #3 in total offense, #1 in passing and #22 in rushing. On defense, Indianapolis is allowing 343 yards per game including 229 passing and 113 rushing yards. The Colts are 95/232 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 71/218. Indianapolis has forced 41 sacks and allowed 29 this season. The Colts are -5 in turnovers. Indianapolis has 2 defensive touchdowns and has allowed 5 this season.

Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck has completed 61.7% of his passes for 4,761 yards with 40 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, along with 64 carries for 273 yards and 3 touchdowns. Running back Trent Richardson has 151 carries for 519 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 27 catches for 229 yards. He is probable with the flu. Ahmad Bradshaw has 90  carries for 425 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 38 catches for 300 yards and 6 touchdowns. He is out for the season with an ankle injury.  Daniel Herron has 78 carries for 351 yards and a touchdown, along with 21 catches for 173 yards.

Receiver T.Y. Hilton has 82 catches for 1,345 yards and 7 touchdowns. Reggie Wayne has 64 catches for 779 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tight end Coby Fleener has 51 catches for 774 yards and 8 touchdowns. Tight end Dwayne Allen has  29 catches for 395 yards and 8 touchdowns. Donte Moncrief has 3 touchdown catches and Hakeem Nicks has 4. Twenty one Colts players are listed on the injury report including 8 offensive linemen and 11 defensive players.

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Denver is outscoring teams 30-22. The Broncos are #2 in scoring and are #16 in points allowed. Denver is averaging 403 yards per game on offense including 291 passing and 112 rushing yards. The Broncos are #4 in total offense and #4 in passing. On defense, Denver is allowing 305 total yards per game, including 225 passing and 70 rushing yards. The Broncos are #3 in total defense, 39 in pass defense and #2 in rush defense. Denver is 100/216 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 91/231. The Broncos have forced 41 sacks and allowed 17 this season. Denver is +5 in turnovers. The Broncos have 3 defensive touchdowns this season and have allowed 3 special teams/defensive touchdowns.

Denver quarterback Peyton Manning  has completed 66.2% of his passes this season for 4,727 yards with 39 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Manning is probable with a nagging quad injury but has practiced every day this week so he will play. Brock Osweiler is the back-up.

Running back C.J. Anderson has 179 carries for 849 yards and 8 touchdowns along with 34 catches for 324 yards and 2 touchdowns. Ronnie Hillman has 106 carries for 434 yards and 6 touchdowns, along with 21 catches for 139 yards and a touchdown. Juwan Thompson has 54 carries for 272 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is probable with a hip injury. Montee Ball has 55 carries for 172 yards and a touchdown plus 9 catches for 62 yards. Ball is out for the season with a groin injury.

Receiver Demaryius Thomas has 111 catches for 1,619 yards and 11  touchdowns. Emmanuel Sanders has 101 catches for 1.404 yards with 9 touchdowns. Julius Thomas has 43 catches for 489 yards and 12 touchdowns. Wes Welker has 49 caches for 464 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tight end Jacob Tamme has 14 catches but 2 touchdowns. Ten defensive players and 3 offensive linemen are questionable or out for the Broncos.

Indianapolis is 7-1-1 ATS after allowing less than 150 passing yards, 4-1 after gaining more than 350 total yards, 21-7-1 after passing for more than 250 yards, 9-3 after a straight up win of 14 points or more, 18-7-1 against AFC teams, 15-6-1 overall, 10-4 on grass, 35-17-2 after allowing less than 15 points, 2-5 in road playoff games and in January, and 1-4-1 against teams with winning records. The Colts have covered the last 7 times against the Broncos.

Denver is 20-8-1 ATS on grass, 2-6-1 in January, 1-4 in playoff games, and 0-4 after a cover. The over is 8-1 in this series recently.

Manning has struggled by his standards and has thrown a lot of interceptions in the second half of the season. Luck has also been plagued by interceptions this season. Still, these are two of the best quarterbacks in the league. The weather should be in the low 40’s and I think there will be a lot of scoring. Denver wins but it will be close.

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