NFL Picks: Bet the 49ers -11.5 vs. Colts

David Lawrence

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 3:18 PM GMT

Wednesday, Sep. 18, 2013 3:18 PM GMT

The Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers are both coming off very disappointing losses in week two of the NFL season. Which team will learn more and respond accordingly? 

Indianapolis Colts @ San Francisco 49ers

Odds: San Francisco -11.5

The Colts can win because…

They are going to be very determined to play better in this game with their most important offensive player leading the charge. People who make their NFL picks have to realize that Andrew Luck, the quarterback who guided Indianapolis to the playoffs last season, played college ball at Stanford. This game in San Francisco is a homecoming of sorts for him. Moreover, Luck will be confronting his college coach with the Cardinal, Jim Harbaugh. Luck hungers to win in general, but he’ll be particularly hell-bent on trying to win this game on this afternoon against this specific opponent in this particular city. It would mean the world to Luck to win in this situation, and that’s why there’s a very good chance you’re going to see Luck play his best brand of ball. If Luck is fully engaged and on target, the Colts become a dramatically different and better team than the one they’ve been through the first two weeks of the season. We’re still waiting for Luck to produce a top-level performance in 2013, and this just might be the context in which the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft does just that. It’s time for Luck to break through this season, and this would be the ideal occasion for such a showcase.

The 49ers can win because…

Their ability to respond to losses is exceptionally good under head coach Jim Harbaugh. NFL odds makers and expert handicappers should note that last season, the 49ers never did lose consecutive games at any point in the season. They were continuously able to bounce back from bad days at the office. Look at the 49ers’ track record in 2012 after their regular-season defeats: They lost 24-13 to Minnesota in week three and then won 34-0 over the New York Jets in week four. They lost 26-3 to the New York Giants in week six and then won 13-6 over the Seattle Seahawks in week seven. They lost 16-13 to the St. Louis Rams in overtime in week 13, and then beat Miami 27-13 in week 14. They lost to the Seahawks by a 42-13 score in week 16 but beat Arizona 27-13 in week 17. This is a resilient team. It’s a team that knows how to make adjustments. It’s a team that is able to properly regroup and flush out negativity after it performs poorly. This is so much a part of the life of professional athletes and coaches – they have to learn how to move on, and the 49ers are the best team in the NFL at doing that. It’s why the organization made the Super Bowl last season.

It also has to be said that Indianapolis’ offense looks very ordinary through two weeks. A San Francisco defense that played reasonably well against the Seattle Seahawks, (but simply received no help from its offense) should be able to hold down the Colts this weekend. Playing at home, the Niners should be able to get a much better effort from their offense, which looked intimidated by Seattle’s defense and the Seahawks’ home crowd. San Francisco’s offense won’t be hamstrung to that extent in this game.

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Outlook & NFL Football Betting Prediction:

The 49ers aren’t the only team that will get embarrassed on the road in Seattle. That loss should not be seen as an indication that San Francisco will continue to struggle. The 49ers should pound the Colts, so take them with your sports picks here.

NFL Picks: San Francisco -11.5 at Will Hill

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