The NFL Odds for the total have stayed steady over the last several days, and it still sits at 46 points after opening at 46 ½. I think I have found some value in these odds.
The Colts went into Kansas City in Week 16 and pummeled the Chiefs 23-7. It is one of the reasons the Chiefs had no reason to play hard in Week 17, but this week I can guarantee they will come with a much harder effort than what they displayed over the last two weeks.
The Colts scored five unanswered times in that game including 20 unanswered points from the 11:40 mark in the 2nd to 12:55 in the 3rd. After that score early in the third quarter, the Chiefs had to all but abandon the running game, which is their best weapon.
This time around, look for both teams to try and run the ball as much as possible. Jamaal Charles will have double the 13 carries he had in the Week 16 game, and don’t be surprised to see the Colts attempt to be a power running team. While Indy’s defense is far from stout, at home and with the roof likely closed, they should be more than adequate, especially in the secondary if Vontae Davis’ hamstring is ok. The Colts have also sold the game out, so it will be plenty loud, and probably warmer than the other games this weekend.
On the flip side, the Chiefs’ defense is getting back at least one and maybe two crucial players. Justin Houston is set to make his return (arguably the MVP of their defense before he injured his elbow) and after missing him in Week 16, Andrew Luck will likely be running for his life away from Houston, who had 11 sacks in basically 10 games before getting hurt early in Week 11.
I believe all of this combined is going to lead to a low scoring affair in Indianapolis, and I think the under could be the play.
The Sharp Pick
I have already backed the Chiefs and locked them in as one of my NFL picks earlier in the week at +2 ½, and now that the spread is down to +1 or a PK, I feel pretty good about it. With the underdogs seemingly getting the love, I think it makes the under look better. The Chiefs’ gave up 23 unanswered points at home to this team in Week 16, and if Kansas City’s offense can’t get going against Indy, it’s going to help us even more. The three times the Chiefs were road underdogs this season, the under cashed in two of those three games. Especially if Tamba Hali plays, look for the Colts to struggles some on offense.
There were barely more than 600 yards of total offense the last time these two hooked up, and Kansas City turned the ball over four times. While I doubt they do that again, the turnovers might be plentiful from both sides this time. The Chiefs and Colts were #1 and #2 in turnover differential in the AFC this season, and combined they took the ball away 31 more times than they turned it over. It could be a crazy game, and if the ball starts popping out, I think it could lead to a lower score that what sportsbooks have set.
My Pick: UNDER 46