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. The Chiefs only ran the ball 20 times total in that game, and only 13 times to Jamaal Charles the whole time. He had over 100 yards on those 13 carries, and with how the Colts have played the run this season, I expect a totally different game this week, despite it being in Indianapolis.
The Sharp Pick
Charles will likely be called upon to carry a heavy load for the Chiefs in this game. They are on the road, they are up against a shaky run defense, and they need to establish a ground game if they want to be successful. I expect Charles to touch the ball at least 25 times if not more on Saturday. If the Chiefs can keep the Colts’ offense off the field, they are going to not only cover this game, but maybe win as well.
The Chiefs were 7-1 ATS this season when playing on the road, and I think they are once again undervalued. The big reason why I like KC here is because they are finally getting healthy. Dwayne Bowe practiced yesterday after sustaining a concussion, and while the news isn’t as good on Tamba Hali, word out of KC is they are mildly optimistic on his status for this game.
Justin Houston, the Chiefs Pro Bowl linebacker (who missed the first time these two played) looks to be making his return as well, which might take the Chiefs over the top. Their defense has not been great since Houston hurt his elbow all the way back in November, and even though he practiced last week, the Chiefs were in “play it safe mode,” and Houston did not play in the meaningless game.
With Branden Albert likely making his return as well, that makes two or three Pro Bowl caliber players who missed the first matchup likely playing this game. The Colts have already struggled to run the ball this season, and if they can’t rush the ball, they are done for. The Chiefs’ pass defense is stout with Brandon Flowers and Eric Berry, and I expect them to make a statement this week in Indianapolis. With how well they played on the road this season, I'll back the Chiefs covering and possibly winning outright here for our NFL pick.
My Pick: Chiefs +2 ½