NFL Sunday Night Preview: Indianapolis Colts vs. New Orleans Saints

Indianapolis Colts at New Orleans Saints
Sunday, 10/23/11, 8:20 PM EST, TV:  NBC
Opening Point Spread:  New Orleans -14
Current Betting Line:  New Orleans -13.5
Opening Total:  48
Current Total:  49.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Cowboys Saints NFL Preview
The New Orleans Saints are large home favorites against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday night

Indianapolis has opened the season with six consecutive losses and now finds itself as overwhelming double-digit underdogs for the third time this year.  The Colts have been very close to victory, but mistakes made without the services of star quarterback Peyton Manning have been too difficult to overcome.  “We’re hurting ourselves,” commented Colts center Jeff Saturday.  “We’re doing things that, we talk about week in and week out.”  Anything is possible, especially against a team that ranks tied for 29th in the league in turnover margin.  Indianapolis is 22-19 ATS over the last two-plus seasons and the ‘over’ is 25-16 in those contests.

The Colts will obviously have revenge on their minds tonight, suffering a 31-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLI the last time these two met.  Indianapolis has dropped each of its past five games by 10 points or less, signifying that the franchise still has fight left in them.  Quarterback Curtis Painter should come in with plenty of motivation, facing a player that many compare him to due to their respective times at Purdue.

New Orleans will be looking to bounce back from a 26-20 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as six-point road favorites.  The Saints finished their three-game road trip with a 2-1 record, winning the yardage battle in each contest.  Head coach Sean Payton suffered the biggest loss in Week 6 of the season, injuring his left knee and leg after a sideline collision in the loss to the Buccaneers.  He will be directing his team from the press box during a recovery that is expected to take three to six months.  New Orleans is 3-10 ATS off a division game the last two-plus years.

The Saints have tallied a 19-7 record inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome since the start of the 2008 season.  Quarterback Drew Brees continues to be one of the best in the NFL, completing 29-of-45 passes for 383 yards and a touchdown with three interceptions last week, as he became the first to have three consecutive games of at least 350 yards passing.  He could easily move that streak to four in facing a defense that ranks 26th in the NFL in defense.  New Orleans is second in total offense and 17th in defense thus far in 2011.

Bettors will likely back the Colts due to their 10-2 ATS mark as an underdog of 10.5 or more points, while the Saints are 1-5 ATS as a home favorite of 10.5 or more points.

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