NFL Week 16 Betting Picks: Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs

Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday, December 23, 2012, 1:00 pm Eastern, TV: CBS, NFL Sunday Ticket
Arrowhead Stadium – Kansas City, Missouri
Opening Line: Indianapolis -6
Current Line: Indianapolis -7 (-105)
Opening Total: 43
Current Total: 41 1/2
Opening Money Line: Colts -300 / Chiefs +250
Current Money Line: Colts -300 / Chiefs +250

The 9-5 Indianapolis Colts can clinch a playoff berth with a road win over the 2-12 Kansas City Chiefs. The Colts are 7 point favorites.

One year ago, the Indianapolis Colts were finishing off a miserable 2-14 season without quarterback Peyton Manning who missed the whole season after neck surgery. The Colts ended up with the worst record in football and drafted quarterback Andrew Luck. Manning was released and signed with the Denver Broncos They fired coach Jim Caldwell and replaced him with Chuck Pagano. Many thought the Colts would improve but few thought they would be on the verge of clinching a playoff spot  in week 16.

But that is exactly the case for the 9-5 Colts, as they travel to the 2-12 Kansas City Chiefs. The Colts will clinch a playoff spot with a win or a tie or a Pittsburgh Steelers loss or tie at home to the Cincinnati Bengals. The Colts lost at the Houston Texans last week 29-17 to snap a three game winning streak for Indianapolis. Houston clinched the AFC SOUth title with the win. Indianapolis is 9-5 ATS and the total is 6-8 this season.

Early in the season Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia. Offensive Coordinator Bruce Arians has served as the interim coach while Pagano underwent chemotherapy. Pagano has been medically cleared and will coach the team in next week’s regular season finale at home against Houston.

The Kansas City Chiefs are coached by Romeo Crennel. The Chiefs are tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the worst record in football. Kansas City is dealing with some emotional issues of their own following the murder-suicide of linebacker Jovan Belcher, who killed his girlfriend earlier this month then drove to the team’s facility and shot himself in front of team personnel.

The Chiefs lost at the Oakland Raiders 15-0 last week. Kansas City is 5-9 ATS and the total is 6-8 this season.The Chiefs have scored 10 points or fewer in four of their last 5 games. The Chiefs have never finished last in scoring in the league in their history but could do so this year.

Indianapolis has won 5 of the last 7 games against Kansas City since 2001. The Chiefs beat the Colts 28-24 last year in Indy to snap a three game losing streak in the series.

Indianapolis is averaging 374.7 yards per game on offense, including 267.6 passing yards and 107.1 rushing yards. The Colts are in the top 10 in total offense and passing. Indianapolis is being outscored 24-22 this season. The Colts are -17 in turnovers. Indianapolis has forced 27 sacks and allowed 37 this season. The Colts are 90/206 on third and fourth down conversions. On defense, Indianapolis is allowing 366.4 yards per game including 241.6 passing yards and 124.7 rushing yards The Colts are 21st or worse in all defensive categories. Indianapolis has 4 defensive special teams touchdowns this season.

Luck has completed 54.6% of his passes for 3,978 yards with 20 touchdowns and 18 interceptions, along with 51 carries, 233 yards and 5 touchdowns. luck has been sacked 37 times this season. He is probable with a knee injury. Luck needs 75 yards to break the rookie record for passing yards in a season set last year by Cam Newton.

Running back Vick Ballard has 164 carries, 667 yards and a touchdown, along with 15 catches, 143 yards and a touchdown. Three of his primary back-ups are out for the season, in Donald Brown, Delone Carter and Robert Hughes are out for the season. Look for Mewelde Moore to get more carries. He has 13 carries for 20 yards along with a receiving touchdown.

Receiver Reggie Wayne has 97 catches, 1,234 yards with 4 touchdowns. Donnie Avery has 55 catches, 743 yards and 3 touchdowns. T.Y. Hilton has 44 catches, 716 yards with 6 touchdowns, along with a punt return for a touchdown. Tight end Dwayne Allen has 40 catches, 482 yards and 3 touchdowns. Coby Fleener has 24 catches, 278 yards and a touchdown. Fourteen Colts’ defensive players are listed as questionable, doubtful or out.

Kansas City is averaging 320.1 yards per game on offense including 180.9 passing yards and 139.3 rushing yards. The Chiefs are #7 in rushing and #31 in passing. Kansas City is being outscored 26-14 this season. The Chiefs are #32 in scoring and #25 in points allowed. Kansas City is -22 in turnovers. The Chiefs have forced 24 sacks and allowed 35 this season. Kansas City is 71/202 on third and fourth down conversions. On defense, Kansas City is allowing 352 yards per game, including 215.6 passing yards and 136.4 rushing yards. The Chiefs are #7 in pass defense and #27 in rush defense.  KC has 2 defensive/special teams touchdowns but has allowed 6.

The Chiefs have used two quarterbacks this season. Matt Cassel has completed 58.1% of his passes for 1,796 yards with 6 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, along with 27 carries, 145 yards and a touchdown. He has been sacked 19 times this season. Brady Quinn has completed 59.7% of his passes for 930 yards with 2 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, along with 12 carries for 51 yards. He has been sacked 12 times this season. Quinn is probable with a rib injury. There is a chance that tird string quarterback Ricky Stanzi could start, but Crennel hasn’t announced his starter.

Running back Jamaal Charles has 249 carries, 1,230 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 33 catches, 218 yards and a touchdown. Shaun Draughn has 53 carries, 206 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 23 catches for 160 yards. Peyton Hillis has 65 carries, 204 yards and a touchdown, along with 10 catches for 62 yards.

Leading receiver Dwayne Bowe is out for the season with a rib injury. He had 59 catches, 801 yards and 3 touchdowns. Tight end Tony Moeaki has 31 catches, 432 yards and a touchdown. He is questionable with a head injury. Dexter McCluster has 48 catches, 417 yards and a touchdown. Jon Baldwin has 18 catches, 261 yards and a touchdown. He is probable with an illness. Other than the running backs no other Chief has more than 8 catches. Seventeen KC players are listed on the injury report including 7 defensive players and 4 offensive linemen.

Indianapolis is 7-0 ATS after a straight up loss, 6-0 against teams with losing records, 5-0 after failing to cover, 8-1 in December, 4-1 in Week 16, and after allowing 350 yards or more, 7-2 overall, 6-2 against AFC teams, and 3-11 after allowing more than 150 rushing yards. The Colts are 8-3 ATS in the last 11 against the Chiefs, including 5-1 in Kansas City.

Kansas City is 5-1 ATS against teams with winning records, 4-1 after rushing for less than 90 yards, 5-2 in Week 16, 2-5 after allowing 350 yards or more, 4-10 at home against teams with winning road records, 2-5 against AFC teams, and 1-5 after passing for less than 150 yards. Four of the last five game sin series in KC have gone over the total.

The Chiefs will play hard in the home finale, but the Colts simply have too much for 9them. Both teams have a lot of injuries, but The Colts have more depth. Kansas City hangs around for a while, but the Colts win in the end.

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