NFL Week #2 Picks: Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos

Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos
Sunday, September 18, 2016, 4:25 pm Eastern, TV: CBS, NFL Sunday Ticket
Sports Authority Field at Mile High – Denver, Colorado
Opening Line: Denver -5 1/2
Current Line: Denver -6 1/2
Opening Total: 44
Current Total: 47
Opening Money Line: Broncos -260 / Colts +210
Current Money Line: Broncos -290 / Colts +230

The Broncos are favored against the Colts Sunday.
The Broncos are favored against the Colts Sunday.

The Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts renew their rivalry Sunday in Denver. The Colts lead the series 13-12 and have won 11 of the last 14 meetings against the Broncos since 2002. The Colts won last year at home 27-24.

Denver is 1-0 under coach Gary Kubiak. The Broncos opened defense of their world championship by beating the same team they beat in the Super Bowl last year. Last Thursday, the Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 21-20 in Denver. The Panthers were 3 point favorites and the total was 40.5.

Indianapolis lost a wild 39-35 shootout at home to the Detroit Lions last Sunday. The Colts are coached by Chuck Pagano. Indianapolis was a 2.5 point favorite and the total was 51 last week against Detroit.

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The Lions jumped out to a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter. Detroit would expand the lead to 21-3 and would lead 21-10 at halftime. The teams exchanged touchdowns in the third but the Colts converted a two point conversion to make it 28-18 going into the fourth. The Colts tied it up midway through the fourth. Detroit regained the lead with 4:04 left but missed the extra point. Indianapolis went ahead 35-34 with 37 seconds left. The Lions would kick the game winning field goal from 50 yards with 4 seconds left. Detroit added a safety as Indianapolis tried several laterals on the last play of the game to make it 39-35.

Indianapolis had 450 total yards including 368 passing and 82 rushing yards. Detroit had 448 total yards including 332 passing and 116 rushing yards. Detroit had 28 first downs and Indianapolis had 25 first downs. The Lions were 5/9 on third down conversions and the Colts were 9/16. Detroit had 8 penalties for 70 yards and and Indianapolis had 5 for 45. Neither team had a turnover.

Quarterback Andrew Luck played his first game since suffering a lacerated kidney last season. He completed 31/47 passes for 385 yards and 4 touchdowns, and rushed for 21 yards on 3 carries. He is probable with a shoulder injury.

Running back Frank Gore had 14 carries for 59 yards, plus 4 catches for 19 yards. Receiver Phillip Dorsett had 4 catches for 94 yards. T.Y. Hilton had 6 catches for 79 yards. He is probable with a knee injury. Donte Moncrief had 6 catches for 64 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Dwayne Allen had 4 catches for 53 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Jack Doyle caught two touchdown passes.

Twenty players are listed on the injury report for the Colts including 15 defensive players. Eight of those are defensive backs.

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Carolina took a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter. Denver would tie it up early in the second on a 28 yard run from fullback Andy Janovich. Carolina scored 10 straight points to take a 17-7 lead into halftime. Neither team scored in the third quarter. The Broncos took a 21-17 with two touchdowns by running back C.J. Anderson, one rushing and one receiving. Carolina pulled to within 21-20 on a 36 yard field goal with 4:21 left. After a Denver punt, Carolina took over with 3:06 left. The Panthers drove down the field but missed a potential game winning 50 yard field goal with 4 seconds left. Denver took a knee and sealed the upset.

Carolina had 333 total yards including 176 passing and 157 rushing. Denver had 307 total yards  including 159 passing and 148 rushing yards. Each team had 21 first downs. The Broncos were 5/10 on third down conversions and 1/1 on fourth down. The Panthers were 9/15 on third down conversions. Denver had 3 turnovers to just 1 for Carolina. The Panthers had 8 penalties for 85 yards and the Broncos had 4 penalties for 22 yards.

Denver started quarterback Trevor Siemian, a second year player who was making his first career start. He completed 18/26 passes for 178 yards with a touchdown and 2 interceptions, and had 5 carries for 20 yards.

Anderson had 20 carries for 92 yards and a touchdown, and had 4 catches for 47 yards and a touchdown. Janovich had the single carry for 28 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Emmanuel Sanders had 5 catches for 49 yards. DeMaryius Thomas had 4 catches for 48 yards. He is questionable with a hip injury. Virgil Green had 4 catches for 28 yards. Four defensive players are listed on the injury report.

Indianapolis is 4-1 ATS against teams with winning records and after allowing 250 passing yards or more, 21-8 after a loss, 13-5 after rushing for less than 90 yards, 24-10-1 after passing for 250 yards or more, 19-8-1 after failing to cover, 2-5 after allowing more than 350 total yards, 1-4 in week two, 0-5 after allowing more than 30 points, and 0-4 in September. The Colts are 10-1 ATS in the last 11 games against the Broncos, including 4-0 in Denver. The underdog has covered the last four games in this series.

Denver is 4-0 ATS in September, 3-0-1 overall, at home and on grass, 6-1 after allowing more than 150 rushing yards, 4-10 after a cover, 1-4 against teams with losing road records, and 1-6 against teams with losing records. The over is 9-2 in this series recently.

The Colts are decimated by injuries on defense, and even though Denver isn’t exactly an offensive juggernaut, this could be a high scoring game. Indianapolis has dominated this series recently, but I think Denver reverses that trend in this game.

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