Colts vs. Broncos Prediction Week 2 - Good Teams Win, Great Teams Cover

Denver Broncos players in action

Nikki Adams

Sunday, September 18, 2016 3:54 PM UTC

Sunday, Sep. 18, 2016 3:54 PM UTC

Andrew Luck and the Colts descend on Mile High in week 2 NFL betting for a date with the defending Super Bowl champions. How do the NFL odds stack up and where are the valuable NFL picks?

Colts Upset at Home in Week 1
Nothing is more gut-wrenching than littering the stats sheet and still coming away with a loss. So was the case for the Indianapolis Colts in a 39-35 loss to the Detroit Lions at Lucas Oil Stadium, a game that saw prized quarterback Andrew Luck pass for 385 yards, throw 4 TDs and finish with a 119.5 passer rating. It’s a hard to come to terms with.

Few NFL bettors can claim surprise, though. In fact, week 1 NFL betting trends reveal the Colts were unpopular home favorites, a sentiment that contributed to the line moving against the Colts from and opening -6 to a closing -2.5. In the context of NFL betting that’s quite the drop. Sharp money loved the Lions plus the points and those wise-guy bettors pounded the Lions no matter the line.


Colts a Popular Fade in Week 1
One of the main reasons behind the unrelenting mood, despite Andrew Luck emerging as the priciest football morsel to parade his wares on a football field in the offseason, is twofold. To begin with, the NFL betting line felt high considering the Lions were coming into the new season behind a 6-2 SU finish in the second half of 2015. Another concern which contributed to the notion markets had originally overcooked the NFL betting odds was the lack of protection around Luck. Can the Colts protect Andrew Luck adequately? Not really. They didn’t show they could in seasons past, in the offseason and, now, in week 1.  


Super Bowl Champions Defy Odds in Week 1
In a complete twist, the Broncos closed as the home underdogs in week 1 after the public bet up to the Panthers something huge, from +3 in April to -1 in August and all the way to -3 at closing doors. The public got it all wrong in the end, serving up a big win for bookmakers and, admittedly, sharp bettors as well that fancied the defending champions.

One of the main reasons why the public favored the Panthers over the Broncos was because of the quarterback position. Denver had let go of Mark Sanchez and relegated their prized draft pick Paxton Lynch to the sidelines in favor of a complete unknown Trevor Siemian. Obviously, the Panthers had the more recognizable, proven quarterback as a result in Cam Newton. In a quarterback-centric game, it’s a reasonable NFL betting strategy to bet against a rookie quarterback.

In this case, though, with the league’s best defense still intact for the title defense campaign in 2016, there was cause for pause. Simply put the sum total of all Denver’s parts still made for a heavyweight and a viable contender. We’re not talking Marcus Mariota and the 2015 Titans, for instance. Tale told, Trevor Siemian lived up to the task at hand and then some as he led the Broncos to a come-from-behind 21-20 victory over the Panthers. Of course, it’s just one game. It remains to be seen whether he can deliver again.


Indianapolis Colts vs Denver Broncos
In a complete and total turnaround in betting perspective, the Broncos open as the -4 home chalk but, once again, public betting makes an immediate impact and moves the NFL betting line up to -6 with most sports betting platforms. Some hang the game on -6.5 or -7 spreads, such as Heritage and 5Dimes, respectively.

The intriguing bit about the NFL betting line move is it’s really a reverse line move to counter sharp money on the Colts, or so it would seem according to SBR Consensus Betting polls that reveal the Colts have 50% of bets wagered but a whopping 65% of the money risked, underscored by some large bets coming down the wire.

Why so sweet on Luck and Colts as the +6-ish road underdogs when they looked really rough against Detroit in week 1? Keep in mind the Lions don’t have a great defense to speak of? Well, Luck has had success against the Broncos in the past, so that’s something to hang one’s hat on.

Then there’s the notion Luck can’t possible strike out. Luck used to enjoy a reputation for avoiding losses in back-to-back games in his NFL career.  That went out of the window in 2014 when the Colts lost to Denver in week 1 and, then, to Philadelphia in week 2. To the chagrin of Colts fans, last term, the same thing happened again behind back-to-back losses to Buffalo and NY Jets in the first two weeks of the season.

It probably goes against conventional wisdom that the priciest quarterback in the NFL could potentially serve up a 0-2 SU record for the third season in a row. But is it really so impossible?

Consider Luck is coming up against the Broncos defense that gave Cam Newton a few headaches and rattled the entire Panthers team last Thursday, particularly in the second half to start the improbable comeback behind an untried quarterback in Trevor Siemian. The protection around Luck is one of the team’s main weakness.

Case-and-point, Newton was held to 194 yards and 1 touchdown, all while offering up 1 interception and suffering three sacks. As far as the passing yards are concerned that’s well below his regular season average of 240 yards per game in 2015. (keep in mind the rules have changed and teams start at the 25-yard line, thereby it’s a shorter field to boot). The three sacks marked a tenth of the sacks he endured through 16 games as well.


NFL Betting Prediction
Denver Broncos -6 (-105) is our choice NFL betting pick, with the listed price currently trading (at the time of writing) at Pinnacle. [On the side: NFL lines and odds are in constant flux; the widget below provides real-time NFL lines and odds so be sure to shop around for the best price from the vast choice of top-rated sportsbooks]

If the cupcake Lions defense can get two sacks against Luck imagine how many sacks the Denver defense might score with the threadbare Colts secondary protecting Luck? It’s certainly going to be harder for Luck to pick apart the Denver defense as well, let alone score you’d think.

Admittedly, going high on the hosts is a bit of a risky play. It’s a lot of points to lay when considering Luck’s individual quality and his phenomenal passing skills. But, then again, he’s never faced a Broncos defense quite this formidable and the Colts aren’t that great of a team. As the saying goes, good teams win. Great teams cover. (Colts are 0-1 SU and ATS in 2016).


Free NFL Picks: Denver Broncos -6 (-105) 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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