Now that Week 4 of the NFL regular season is behind us, let’s try to start Week 5 off on the winning track with the big “Thursday Night Football” matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos.
Here are three bets to make for this big game against AFC playoff hopefuls. Let’s start with the point spread.
Broncos -3.5 (+105, DraftKings Sportsbook)
Both teams enter this primetime game having underachieved so far during this young season. The Colts have been the model of inconsistency. Two weeks ago, they upset one of the best teams in the league, the Kansas City Chiefs. Last week, they were favored at home to beat the division rival Tennessee Titans and were unable to do so as Derrick Henry ran roughshod all over the defense. The Broncos have also had issues with consistency this season. Russell Wilson has not lived up to the hype surrounding his offseason acquisition or the monster contract extension he was awarded. Both teams were expected to be at or near the top of their respective divisions, yet both are currently mediocre. Denver sits at 2-2, while the Colts own a 1-2-1 mark. Ultimately, with the Broncos being at home and the Colts facing life without their best player in Jonathan Taylor, I’m going to lay the -3.5 available at +105 on DraftKings on Denver because it is dealing with less adversity than Indy right now.
Under 42 total points (-110, DraftKings)
My prediction for the style of play in this game will be for Denver to run everything through Wilson. That includes the running game. With the injury to Javonte Williams and the fact that an older Melvin Gordon is not the same player he used to be, I think Wilson could see more RPOs in his playbook Thursday night. That could mean longer drives and Denver trying to win the time-of-possession battle. For the Colts, Matt Ryan doesn’t present that same dual-ability skillset. That leaves Indy as much more one-dimensional without Taylor on the field. I don’t have faith in Ryan turning back the clock to his MVP form and leading the Colts to victory. Ryan is 26-41-1 against the spread over the last five seasons. As somebody who has bet on him in big spots over the years, I feel this pain personally. If the Colts can’t score touchdowns and Denver is playing ball control offensively, that is the perfect forecast for the under 42 total points at -110 on DraftKings ticket to cash.
Russell Wilson over 12.5 rushing yards (-135, DraftKings)
My final bet for this game is on a player who I think will be the star of the night and put some of the questions about him to bed, at least for another week. I believe we will see a vintage performance from Wilson. At his best in Seattle, he was a dual-threat QB who could decimate you with his arm and legs. He was also cerebral enough to read your defense pre-snap and determine which one of his gifts would be most effective at beating you. However, in recent years, we’ve seen him run less and become more of a strict pocket passer. On Thursday, I like the over 12.5 rushing yards at -135 on DraftKings for Wilson.