The Indianapolis Colts finally got back on the winning side of things last week and will hope to keep it going with a primetime game against the San Francisco 49ers. At home, the 49ers are being listed as four-point favorites over Indy. The game also has an over/under of 43 points.
The Colts certainly put themselves in an early hole this season by starting the year 0-3. With wins over the Dolphins and Texans in recent weeks, Indianapolis has stabilized things despite being 2-4. The Colts also have a more manageable schedule in late October and early November, but they mustn’t fall further behind in the AFC South race.
Of course, things aren’t going particularly well for the 49ers this year either. They appeared to answer some questions and doubts by starting 0-2. But San Francisco lost three in a row, albeit to three good teams, before last week’s bye, so it’s now been over a month since the 49ers last won a game.
Back in the Saddle
After missing San Francisco’s Week 5 loss to the Cardinals because of injury, Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to be fully healthy and in condition to play this week. Garoppolo and the San Francisco offense have had an even start to the season, averaging just 19 points per game against teams other than the Lions. But Garoppolo has played well at times and is forging a good relationship with Deebo Samuel, who is having a breakout season.
Defensively, the 49ers are coming off their best game of the season, holding the unbeaten Cardinals to just 17 points, albeit in a losing effort. But the San Francisco defense still looks like a shadow of the unit that helped get the 49ers to the Super Bowl two seasons ago. They have forced just two takeaways in five games and don’t have enough pass rush outside of Nick Bosa, who has five of the team’s 11 sacks.
It’s not just two wins in their last three games that have given the Colts some hope, and it’s also the play of quarterback Carson Wentz. He’s thrown six touchdown passes with no interceptions over his last three games, with Indy averaging 27.7 points per game during that stretch. Wentz is also benefiting from Jonathan Taylor, averaging 5.4 yards per carrying this season and giving the Colts a stable rushing attack.
Of course, there are still some lingering questions about the Indy defense, even though the Colts held the lowly Texans to three points last week. The Colts have allowed at least 25 points in four of their other five games and are dealing with a series of injuries, particularly in the secondary with safety Julian Blackmon lost for the season. On the bright side, the Colts have 12 takeaways and 12 sacks in six games, so they have made game-changing plays on that side of the ball.
Even with Garoppolo healthy, one could argue that the Colts still have the best quarterback in this game based on how Wentz has played lately. The Indianapolis defense also appears more likely to create a turnover that can swing a close game. That should be enough to bet on the Colts as road underdogs.
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