NFL Betting: Colts vs. Titans Opening Odds Report

Darin Zank

Monday, November 11, 2013 7:13 PM GMT

There have been a few shockers in the NFL this season, but not too many like the one the Indianapolis Colts experienced Sunday at home against the St. Louis Rams. Will Sunday's outcome affect the line on Indy's game Thursday night at division-rival Tennessee? Should it?

A Real Puzzler

The Colts just got absolutely embarrassed by a Rams team that had lost three games in a row and was playing with its back-up quarterback. Was overconfidence a factor?

Indy went off Sunday as a 7.5-point favorite; some NFL odds had opened the Colts at as much as -12, but sharp money quickly pushed the line down below the key number of 10. The spread kept dropping right up until kickoff. Apparently, somebody knew something.

Indy got a first down on its first play from scrimmage Sunday, and already had the ball in St. Louis territory a minute and a half into the game. But the whole vibe turned around three plays later when Colts QB Andrew Luck got hit, fumbled, and saw Rams DE Chris Long pick it up and rumble 45 yards for a St. Louis touchdown.

Early in the second quarter Rams RB Zac Stacy scored from one yard out, and four minutes later rookie speedster Tavon Austin grabbed a bouncing punt at his own 2-yard line, dodged a couple of Colts along the sidelines and danced 98 yards for another score, putting Indy down 21-0.

The Colts have rallied from double-digit deficits several times over the last couple of years for victories, including last year against Green Bay (down 21-3), Detroit (down 33-21) and Tennessee (down 20-7), and this year against Seattle (down 12-0) and Houston (down 24-6). So even down by three TDs Sunday Indy, and bettors who backed them, probably still thought they had a chance.

Alas, it was not to be, as the Rams got two long Austin touchdown hook-ups from Kellen Clemens and a field goal to go up 38-0 midway through the third quarter.

Indy even eventually pulled Luck and gave back-up Matt Hasselbeck – yes, he's still in the league – some mop-up duty.

The Colts are now 17-8 SU and 16-9 ATS with Luck as their starting quarterback.

Another Big Upset

Tennessee, meanwhile, just blew a chance to pick up a game on Indy in the AFC South race, losing at home to previously winless Jacksonville Sunday 29-27. The Titans out-rushed the Jaguars 83-54 and out-gained them by 150 yards, but turned the ball over four times, gave up a safety and a defensive touchdown, all in losing outright as 11.5-point favorites.

With a victory Tennessee would have pulled to within one game of first-place Indy in the South; instead, the Titans are 4-5 and still two games back.

Tennessee is now also facing the possibility of playing the rest of the season without QB Jake Locker, who hurt his foot Sunday and left the game, never to return.

Colts-Titans Recent History

Indy with Luck swept two games from the Titans last year, winning in Nashville in overtime 19-13, then 27-23 in Indianapolis. Tennessee led both those games in the fourth quarter, only to have the Colts come from behind.

This Week's Betting Line

Every sportsbook we sampled Monday morning opened Indy as a three-point road favorite for Thursday night's game, and that spread had held steady in the early betting.

Free NFL Pick for Thursday

This is a tough one; the Colts are banged up, and the Titans will probably have to again go with back-up Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. These teams played two close games last year; Indy has an edge on offense, while Tennessee owns a short edge on defense; both teams just suffered embarrassing losses; and we're dealing with a division rivalry with a road chalk/home dog. But the Colts have shown an ability to win close games, while the Titans seem to lose a good share of their close contests. So we'll go with Indy minus the field goal for our free NFL pick for Thursday. 

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