Thursday Night Football Best Bets: Colts @ Broncos

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Game Preview:

In Week 5 of the NFL, the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos face off at Mile High on Thursday Night Football.

With new quarterbacks Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson leading two teams that were poised to contend in 2022, expectations were much greater for both Indianapolis and Denver. But after four weeks, neither team has lived up to preseason predictions, and in Week 5, both bookmakers and bettors are sorting through the same shoddy outcomes.

Betting Statistics on This Matchup:

  • 71% of the money and 63% of the bets are on the Broncos spread of -3
  • 78% of the bets are on the under while 90% of the money is on the under of 42 points
  • 80% of the bets and 71% of the money is on the Broncos money line
  • The spread opened and currently sits at -3 Denver
  • The over under opened at 44 and sits at 42

My Picks

The faltering Colts offense has now lost its best player, running back Jonathan Taylor, who is expected to be sidelined with a severe ankle sprain.

The Indianapolis rushing attack was underwhelming compared to how well it did last season even before that injury. That brings the passing game and Matt Ryan into focus. On Thursday night, the passing offense will face its biggest test against Denver’s defense.

Ryan’s lengthy history of success was praised by Reich, but he also offered a short note to rookie receiver Alec Pierce. The former Cincinnati Bearcat has increased his involvement in this system over the previous two weeks, catching six of eight passes for 80 yards against Tennessee last Sunday and three of five targets for 61 yards against Kansas City.

A concussion that prevented Pierce from playing in Jacksonville’s shutout defeat in Week 2 hindered his development, but since returning to the field, the experienced quarterback has come to trust Pierce. The 6-foot-3 wide receiver has demonstrated his athleticism and size on contested passes in addition to creating space with his route running. The last two weeks, he went for longs of 30 and 44 yards, demonstrating his explosiveness on huge plays as well.

Because the Colts and Broncos both had strong defensive squads returning, the total for this game was set at 45 points in the offseason.

However, this Over/Under number was officially set as low as 43 points on Sunday night due to the offensive’ slow starts. These teams are constructed upon strong defensive groups, as was previously established. Denver is currently rated No. 8 in Defensive DVOA, while Indianapolis is ranked No. 11 at Football Outsiders going into Week 5.

The Broncos are 1-3 O/U, largely due to underwhelming offensive units, while the Colts have played Under in all four of their games in 2022.

  • Alec Pierce over 34.5 receiving yards (1 Unit)
  • Under 42 points -110 (2 units)