The Indianapolis Colts were able to knock off the Cincinnati Bengals by a final score of 26-10 setting the odds for the AFC Divisional Playoff matchup with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Obviously this matchup is going to be extremely fun to watch, as both teams have high-powered offenses that will be going up against each other head-to-head.
Everyone will be focused on the stat sheet battle between Peyton Manning and his successor in Indy, Andrew Luck. Peyton and the Broncos got a much-needed week of rest between the last week of the regular season and this AFC Divisional Playoff matchup, and are favored by a touchdown over the Colts.
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) January 5, 2015
Which Broncos team will take the field against the Colts? The Denver squad that defeated Indianapolis already this season in the opening game of the football season or the late season Broncos that struggled to pass the ball with questions about age and injuries?
Analyzing The Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos AFC Divisional Playoff Betting Line, Picks & TV Schedule
Matchup: Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos
Date: Jan. 11, 2015
Start Time: 4:40 p.m. ET
Location: Denver, Colorado
Stadium: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
TV Info: CBS
Radio: Indianapolis Vs Denver
Point Spread: Broncos -7
Game Total: 54
All 4 of Denver’s regular season losses occurred on the road. So, those backing the Broncos should have some confidence going into this game, but they shouldn’t have too much confidence. Denver finished the regular season at 4 and 4 against the spread at home. That’s not a great ATS home record considering that on paper the Broncos look unstoppable.
The problem that Denver has had is that their pass blocking just hasn’t been as good as it has been in the past this season. Denver has turned to rushing the ball more often because the pass blocking isn’t giving Peyton Manning enough time to read the defense and deliver his usual strikes to the Broncos’ wide receivers, running backs and tight-ends.
Denver’s defense took somewhat of a hit as well towards the end of the regular season when T.J. Ward and Brandon Marshall both got hurt. Word is that both Ward and Marshall will play, but their effectiveness could be in doubt.
That’s not a good sign for the Broncos. Indianapolis goes into this game on Sunday with arguably the best passing offense in the NFL. QB Andrew Luck torched Denver’s defense in Week 1, when it was at full strength, for 370 yards and 2 touchdown passes. Luck did throw two interceptions but he rallied the Colts to only lose by 6 points.
That was in Week 1 when Indianapolis didn’t have much of a rushing attack. The Colts are now utilizing Dan Herron and Zulu Tipton, both of whom have played very well in the Colts last few games. Herron in particular has run hard and has helped to keep pressure off of Luck.
Denver’s defense is good, but it could have trouble stopping Indianapolis from moving the ball and scoring points. If that happens, it will be up to Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase to out strategize the terrific Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis’s head coach who comes up with the Colts’ defensive schemes.
— FOX Sports NFL (@NFLonFOX) January 5, 2015
The trends point to a Colts cover. Indianapolis is 7 and 0 ATS in the last 7 meetings between these two. The Colts are also 7-1-1 ATS in their last 9 games after allowing less than 150 yards passing in the previous game and 4 and 1 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
Denver is 1 and 4 ATS in their last 5 playoff games and 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 games in January.
Indianapolis is good enough to beat Denver on the road this Sunday. They should definitely cover the spread because Pagano figures to come up with a defensive game plan to get to Broncos’ QB Peyton Manning while Andrew Luck has already shown that he can move the ball and put up points against the Broncos’ defense.