NFL Picks: Raiders vs. Colts Betting Preview

Steve Merril - Steve@prosportsinfo.com

Friday, September 6, 2013 5:41 PM GMT

Oakland will begin their 2013 season on the road in Indianapolis on Sunday afternoon. Let's have a look at the betting odds, and how they match-up against the Indianapolis Colts.

NFL Preview: Raiders at Colts

The Raiders went just 4-12 SU and 5-11 ATS last season. Oakland has a season wins total of just 5.5 and they are +2200 to win the AFC West

Indianapolis shocked a lot of people in 2012 as the Colts went 11-5 SU and 11-5 ATS. They made a one-game playoff appearance and lost 24-9 to the eventual Super Bowl champions, the Baltimore Ravens. Indianapolis has a season wins total of 8.5 and they are +260 to win the AFC South.

The Raiders will give Jacksonville a run for their money to garner the title of the worst team in the NFL. Their roster is not of a high quality, and they’ll be starting guys who really shouldn’t be. Oakland’s four wins last season came by a combined 31 points while their twelve losses came by a combined 184 points.

Oakland is a team in transition, but at least they may be headed in a better direction. The Raiders acquired QB Matt Flynn from Seattle, and with new offensive coordinator Greg Olson, many thought Flynn was the obvious choice to start at quarterback. That will not be the case in Week 1 as Terrelle Pryor will get the start at QB for Oakland.

Olson has installed his downhill power-running game scheme to fit RB Darren McFadden. The team feels that Pryor fits Olson’s system better than Flynn. McFadden’s ability to run the ball will take a lot of pressure off Pryor which will make the Raiders’ offense balanced and less predictable.

The Raiders’ defense has a lot of new starters. So, it’s going to take time for all of the pieces to come together. The good thing for Oakland in this game is the fact they will be facing a mediocre Colts’ offense that also has many new parts. The Raiders’ defensive leaks may not be exposed to the fullest in this opening game.

Indianapolis had nowhere to go but up in 2012. They were coming off a dismal 2-14 record from the previous season and they had an influx of new coaches and young talent, most notably QB Andrew Luck. Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians is terrific with young quarterbacks and he was able to extract Luck’s talent early in his rookie season. But Arians is in Arizona now, so we’ll see if Luck’s progression continues. 

The Colts made the playoffs, but they were a phony playoff team and their 11-5 regular season record was not indicative of their on-field play. Indianapolis was the only team to make the post-season with a negative point differential (-30). Nine of their eleven wins came by 7 points or less with six of those wins coming by 4 points or less. Indianapolis will be an overvalued commodity this season.

Oakland went 3-4 ATS as a road underdog last season, including 1-0 ATS as a double digit away dog; they lost 23-20 in Atlanta.

Indianapolis went 3-1 ATS as a home favorite last season, but the Colts were favored by 4 points or less in every one of those game. Indianapolis was never more than a 4.5 NFL odds favorite in 2012.

The current pointspread on this game has the Colts -10 with a total of 47 at the majority of sportsbooks.

[gameodds]16/226878/?r-1=19-349-43-192/us[/gameodds]

Oakland and Indianapolis are two teams that have major question marks coming into the 2013 season. However, in this particular game, there’s a lot of value in playing against the overrated Colts. They were a fraudulent team last season, and they simply have no business laying this many points, no matter who the opponent is. The Raiders have a solid running back in McFadden, and QB Pryor is also mobile enough to keep plays alive with his legs. This isn’t the best looking NFL game on the betting board, but there’s too much value on the road underdog to pass up. Take the big points with the Oakland Raiders on Sunday afternoon.

Free NFL Pick: Play the RAIDERS +10 or more at Bet 365.