NFL Week 1 Pick: Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Rams

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, August 1, 2017 10:46 PM UTC

Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017 10:46 PM UTC

Unfortunately, NFL fans won’t get a matchup of former No. 1 overall draft pick quarterbacks Sunday when the Colts open their season at the Los Angeles Rams.

Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Rams (-3.5, 42)

This game could have featured former Pac-12 star quarterbacks and No. 1 overall draft picks in the Colts’ Andrew Luck and Rams’ Jared Goff, but no Luck means little chance for Indy on the road. Survivor Pick: Rams.

Have you seen the Indianapolis Colts’ roster? Without Luck, they are basically the Cleveland Browns. Luck hasn’t practiced for Indy once in 2017 – much less played in a preseason game -- following January shoulder surgery, and the team is being very vague on when he might play. He’s not here, meaning it should be career backup Scott Tolzien under center. In his seventh season, Tolzien has played in just nine games. He got into three last year for the Colts, completing 23 of 37 for 216 yards, a TD and two picks. If the Colts knew Luck’s rehab was taking so long, why not go sign Colin Kaepernick or some other veteran? Meanwhile, Goff was a disaster as a rookie last year, but he didn’t get much help from Jeff Fisher’s former coaching staff. The Rams hired former Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay as their new head coach this offseason primarily because of his work with QB Kirk Cousins in Washington. L.A. also got Goff a solid receiving weapon with an August trade for Bills No. 1 receiver Sammy Watkins.

  • Colts are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games in September.
  • Colts are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games in Week 1.
Free NFL Pick: Rams -3.5Best Line Offered: JustBet

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The last time the Colts played the Rams in Los Angeles was September 17, 1989. Luck was five days old then. Tolzien should not be a starting quarterback in the NFL, and he won’t have arguably his best offensive lineman, either, in center Ryan Kelly. He played all 16 games last year as a rookie but will miss 6-8 weeks with a foot injury. This offense is going to struggle. Goff did look better in the preseason, and I expect Todd Gurley to have a season more like his rookie year than in 2016. The Rams’ offensive line remains a major question mark, though. Defensively, the Colts are below-average and will be without top cornerback Vontae Davis due to a groin injury. The Rams are pretty good on defense when they have Pro Bowl tackle Aaron Donald on the field, but he held out all of camp and as of this writing is still doing so. Donald is owed less than $9 million in base salary from 2017 to 2018, much less than other top defensive tackles in the league will make. The Rams need to pay him. Donald’s 28 sacks from 2014-2016 are four more than any other defensive tackle. Last year, his 31 quarterback hits led the NFL and his 17 tackles for loss were tied for the lead. Guy’s a monster.

  • Under is 5-2 in Colts last 7 games overall.
  • Under is 4-1 in Rams last 5 games in September.
  • Under is 19-9 in Rams last 28 games overall.
Free NFL Pick: ‘Under’ 42Best Line Offered: Heritage

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