The Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos will kick off NFL Week 5 when these AFC clubs face off at Empower Field in Mile High on Thursday night. In the first month of the season, these two teams have yet to really hit the ceiling of what many expected them to be heading into the year, especially after each improving at the position. quarterback in the offseason. The Broncos are 2-2 going into this game while Indy is 1-2-1.
Here we will look specifically at the different betting angles this game has to offer. In addition to the spread and total, we’ll also be looking at several player props and handing in our picks for how we see this matchup playing out.
All NFL odds via Caesars Sportsbook.
How to watch
Date: Thursday October 6 | Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Location: Empower Field at Mile High (Denver)
Stream: Amazon Prime Video
Follow: CBS Sports app
Odds: Broncos -3.5, O/U 42
Featured game | Denver Broncos vs. Indianapolis Colts
The Broncos opened as 3.5-point favorites when this line first opened in the spring. Since then, we’ve seen that drop a full point in anticipation where it was at Denver -2.5. This line returned to Broncos -3.5 after the events of Week 4 and after dropping to Broncos -3 it returned to Broncos -3.5.
The choice: Foals +3.5. It has the makings of a lousy play in Denver, so getting more than a field goal with Indy seems like good value. Denver will be without running backs Javonte Williams (ACL) and Randy Gregory (knee) for this game, which hurts both sides of the ball significantly. Indy is also dealing with injuries, including defending racing champion Jonathan Taylor, who was ruled out with an ankle injury. Franck Reich has historically had his team ready to go in prime time. Under his leadership, the Colts are 9-2 ATS in the spotlight. Meanwhile, the Broncos rank dead last in red-zone touchdown percentage (30%) and have a punt rate of 48% (the worst in the NFL). This suggests we’re looking at a hotly contested game and the field goal-plus pad is a good thing to have in your back pocket.
Key trend: Colts are 5-1 ATS in their last six games after a straight loss
The total opened at 44 in the spring and fell one point to 43 in anticipation. It has hovered between 42.5 and 43.5 throughout the past week but stabilized at 42 on the eve of this head-to-head.
The choice: Under 42. Under betting is a combined 7-1 between these teams this season and it looks like we could be heading for another low-scoring affair on Thursday night. Those two teams are bottom three in the league in points per game this season, with the Colts trailing at 14.3 and the Broncos 30th in the NFL at 16.5. As we noted above, Denver has been horrible in the red zone this season and it’s only expected to get worse with Javonte Williams now out for the season with a torn ACL. Since last season, the Unders have scored in 71% of Broncos games and those contests are averaging 37.7 points per game.
Key trend: Under is 9-0 in the Colts’ last nine games.
- Touchdowns: 1.5 (more than +114, less than -157)
- Passing yards: 233.5 (over -106, under -129)
- Ground course: 2.5 (Over -106, Under -129)
- Completion of the longest pass: 36.5 (over -121, under -113)
- Interception: 0.5 (more than -123, less than -111)
The Over on Ryan interceptor prop is a solid game. He’ll likely be forced to pass more often with Taylor out, giving Ryan more opportunities to throw him into the arms of a Broncos defenseman. In his last three starts on short rest, Ryan has thrown six interceptions. He also has five to four games this season.
- Touchdowns: 1.5 (more than +116, less than -160)
- Passing yards: 229.5 (over -137, under +100)
- Ground course: 13.5 (Over -101, Under -135)
- Overtaking attempts: 31.5 (Over -109, Under -125)
- Completion of the longest pass: 35.5 (more than -117, less than -117)
- Achievements: 19.5 (Over -133, Under -103)
- Interception: 0.5 (more than -108, less than -127)
Wilson is suffering from a right shoulder injury, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping him from playing. That said, a quarterback’s shoulder injury will limit him a bit, won’t it? It made me lean on the Under on his 229.5-yard passing prop. In the past three weeks, he’s gone under that total twice and is averaging 213.3 passing yards per game. Factor in the injury and it’s hard to see his passing stats seeing any kind of drastic uptick, even with Williams’ injury possibly causing him to pass more often.
Player accessories to consider
Melvin Gordon’s total rushing yards: Under 54.5 (-199). The prevailing idea is that Gordon should see an increase in work with Williams now out for the year. Yes, it is certainly possible, but Mike Boone will also be part of the calculation. Last week, Boone edged Gordon 36% to 19%. In the second half, Boone saw three carries and four targets while Gordon received two carries and one target. With that in mind, this could be more of a committee than most realize and if Gordon fumbles, he could be on the bench in this game.
Michael Pittman total receptions: more than 5.5 (+106). Pittman has exceeded that number twice this season and has been the only reliable option for Ryan in the passing game. Ryan completes 71% of his passes to Pittman with a passer rating of 106.8. For every other wide on the list, Ryan makes 59% of his throws with a passer rating of 56.4. With Taylor out, Ryan could rely even more on Pittman to move the chains, giving us good value here at more money.