Colts vs. Broncos Odds
A matchup of two offenses without their star running backs takes center stage on Thursday Night Football, when the Colts travel to take on the Broncos.
Denver is 2-2 under rookie head coach Nathaniel Hackett, while Indianapolis is 1-2-1, although its only win came against the Chiefs.
Let’s try to find an edge in this game.
Colts vs. Broncos Matchup Analysis
Colts vs. Broncos DVOA Breakdown
When the Colts Have the Ball
The Colts offense has been dreadful through the first four weeks of the season, ranking dead last in DVOA. Now, they’ll be without their best player, Jonathan Taylor, this one.
A lot of the blame can be placed on Matt Ryan, who has looked like a downgrade from Carson Wentz to start the season. Out of 32 qualified quarterbacks, Ryan ranks 23rd in adjusted net yards per attempt, 19th in QB rating and 27th in Expected Points Added per play.
Ryan has performed like a top 20-25 QB so far this season. His poor EPA per play could most likely be chalked up to the fact he leads the league with nine fumbles on the season, two of which gave Titans the ball in the red zone last week and turned into 14 points. These costly turnovers have been devastating for the Colts early in the season, but I can’t imagine a veteran like Ryan continuing to make these types of mistakes. We also have to remember that back in Week 2, he was without his top two WRs, which was one of the many reasons for the Colts embarrassing 24-0 loss to the Jaguars.
The Colts have been a fairly balanced team this year, ranking 19th in early-down pass rate (in neutral situations). However, I’m expecting them to be more pass-heavy with Taylor out of the lineup and they will likely run more packages with pass-catching specialist Nyheim Hines likely leading the backfield.
When the Broncos Have the Ball
The Broncos will also be without starting RB Javonte Williams, who suffered a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season. However, the Broncos should be fine with Melvin Gordon and Mike Boone taking over the backfield, and they also added Latavius Murray on Monday.
This is also a matchup the Broncos are likely going to attack through the air since the Colts defense ranks second in DVOA against the run but 27th against the pass.
One of the issues that have plagued the Broncos has been their inability to score in the red zone. A very low 30% of red-zone drives have resulted in a TD this season, which ranks dead last in the NFL. Two of those drives ended with a fumble inside of the 10-yard line. I have to imagine that figure will regress towards league average, especially as Russell Wilson gets comfortable in the new scheme.
Both offenses have been performing below expectations and will be without their starting RBs this week.
I’m expecting a more pass-heavy game plan from both teams, which currently rank in the bottom six in red zone TD%. I’m expecting both teams to have better luck in the red zone going forward and that could happen as soon as tonight. 80% of the action has been on the under here, but I think that is more of an overreaction to the first four weeks of the season.
I’m projecting this closer to 43.5 so I do like the value we are getting on the over here, especially considering 43 is a key number. It’s 42.5 at BetMGM and FanDuel, but you can get 42 at most other books.
I’m still just considering this a “lean” for now. Be sure to follow me in the Action app to get notified if I end up locking in this bet.
Pick: Lean Toward Over 42
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