Week five of the NFL season features a Thursday night matchup of the Indianapolis Colts heading to Denver to take on the Broncos. While both of these teams came into this season with high aspirations, both have started the season stumbling out of the gate much to the disappointment of their respective fanbases. The Colts are entering this game with a 1-2-1 season in a season they thought the addition of veteran QB Matt Ryan would surely improve their struggling start. The Broncos signed star QB Russell Wilson with one of the highest paid contracts and were certainly better than a 2-2 record with a struggling offense. Both of these teams need a win badly Thursday night so let’s break into this game’s matchup odds and predictions.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Denver Broncos Betting Odds
The Broncos at home are entering this game as tight favorites. They are currently moneyline favorites at -175 and a spread line of only -3.5 points. These teams have both struggled to score early in games but have been able to rely on their defense to keep them in games. The Colts lost week 24-17 against division rival Titans. They went down 24-3 early and were able to stop the Titans from scoring again but their late half surge wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit they put themselves in early. They need to show more urgency early Thursday if they want a chance to win. The Broncos took a deficit 32-23 last week against the Raiders and their offense has just not been gelling the way they hoped for in the new season.
New QB Russell Wilson has only had four TDs this season and was expected to be way more explosive. New head coach Nathaniel Hackett has struggled to get used to the head job with some of his decision making. They have the talent to have a great season though.
The over/under line is currently placed at 43.5. The lower total it’s placed at with both of these teams being defensive first so far this season. The Colts have shown their ability to stop a high-powered offense like the Chiefs from scoring late in games and the Broncos did not let up more than 20 points before last week’s game with the Raiders.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Denver Broncos Predictions
My pick: Under 43.5 (-110)
While I typically like picking a team spread, this game seems like it will be a very tight matchup with defense being the decision maker on this outcome. Colts RB Jonathan Taylor has struggled to be as explosive as he was last season as the Colts O-line has struggled to protect the backfield. Matt Ryan has a league-high ten fumbles on the year. The Broncos scoring problems are also going to be met with a Colts D that is great at making big stops on drives. I think this outcome might be closer to 35 total.
If I were to pick a team in this game, I like the Colts to find a way to cover at +3 as they typically find a way to shock teams after a tough loss. The Broncos are still getting used to their new quarterback and their offense just haven’t proven explosive enough yet.
- The Under is 9-0 in the last nine Colts games
- The Under is also 6-1 in the last seven Broncos games following a game they let up 30 or more
- In head-to-head, the Colts are 4-1 ATS in their last five games in Denver
Colts vs Broncos Injuries
Indianapolis Colts: Darius Shaquille Leonard (out), Tyquan Lewis (out), DeForest Buckner (questionable), Ryan Kelly (questionable), Jonathan Taylor (questionable), Julian Blackmon (questionable)
Denver Broncos: Jonathan Cooper (questionable), Tyrie Cleveland (questionable), Quinn Meinerz (questionable), Darius Phillips (questionable), Billy Turner (questionable)
Colts vs Broncos Key Matchups
Will Russ be able to cook against this Bronco defense? Check out the key matchup for Colts vs Broncos below.
Russell Wilson vs. Indianapolis Colts Defense
The top matchup to watch will be Russell Wilson against the Colts defense. Russell was expected to have an MVP season with his new team and got one of the highest paid contracts in league history. He has not shown the playmaking ability he had in Seattle and many are questioning if it’s a bad fit. He only has four passing TDs on the season and needs to pick it up to prove to Bronco nation that he is the answer moving forward.