Detroit at Indianapolis Week 1 Free Pick & Lines
The Colts’ 2015 season was torpedoed by injuries to QB Andrew Luck. He’s a bit banged up heading into Indy’s Week 1 matchup with Detroit but he will play in a matchup of former No. 1 overall picks in Luck and Detroit QB Matthew Stafford. The Colts are slight favorites on NFL lines.
Here’s a Look at the Detroit at Indianapolis Week 1 Free Pick, Lines & TV Info
When: Sunday, Sept. 11, 4:25 PM ET
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
Radio: Detroit / Indianapolis
Opening NFL Lines: Colts -3.5 (51.5)
Why Bet on Detroit?
It was a tale of two seasons within a season for the Lions last year. After starting 1-7, the Lions played spoiler after their bye week. Detroit closed out the season winning six of their final eight games. The Lions will expand running back Ameer Abdullah’s role in an effort to boost the rushing attack but don’t expect to move too far away from the passing game. Stafford has thrown for over 4,000 yards in each of the last five seasons and posted the best completion percentage of his career (67.2) in 2015.
The struggles the Lions’ offense had finishing drives in the preseason has been well documented. The first teamers had the ball nine times and scored a total of nine points on three field goals. But none of the players on that side of the football seem too concerned about it.
“I know any time we get the ball we want to go down and score a touchdown, there’s no question about that,” Stafford said. “Fell short in some areas in the preseason, but not worried about that at this point.” The defensive line is one of the NFL’s best. Ziggy Ansah made his first Pro Bowl last year when he had 141/2 sacks and emerged as one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. He’s quick and powerful, and there’s a good chance he’ll have another big year. Haloti Ngata isn’t as consistently dominant as he was with the Ravens, but he’s still a wrecking ball who’ll team with Tyrunn Walker to give the Lions a nice 1-2 punch inside. Devin Taylor starts at left end, and while he lacks polish as a pass rusher, he did have seven sacks a season ago.
At linebacker, star DeAndre Levy played just 17 snaps last year because of a hip injury that eventually required surgery, and he missed most of training camp with a knee problem. Levy was one of the best 4-3 outside linebackers in the NFL during his last full season two years ago.
Lions coach Jim Caldwell returns Sunday to Indy for the first time as a head coach following a 10-year stay with the Colts that ended with his firing after a 2-14 season in 2011. He has already returned as an opposing coach, when he was Baltimore’s offensive coordinator in 2012 and the Ravens beat the Colts in an AFC wild-card game.
Why Bet on Indianapolis?
It was a surprise when Luck showed up on the Colts’ first injury report. Luck, recently signed to a contract that makes him the NFL’s highest-paid player, was listed as limited on the injury report Wednesday with a right shoulder injury. No details were provided, but it’s worth noting that Luck sustained a right shoulder injury last season that caused him to miss two games early in the season. But there’s no doubt that Luck plays.
The Colts’ first-team offense had some of the same struggles Detroit’s first teamers had when it came to finishing drives in the preseason. The Colts had seven possessions with their first-team offense and no touchdowns to show for it. Coach Chuck Pagano said that’s been a point of emphasis this week, along with eliminating penalties and turnovers that “shot themselves in the foot” and killed drives.
While Luck is ready to lead the offense, the Indianapolis defense is coming into the season at less than 100 percent. The Colts secondary could be without a few starters on Sunday but defensive end Kendall Langford, who missed most of camp after undergoing knee surgery, is expected to play. Indianapolis DT Henry Anderson (knee) and CB Vontae Davis (ankle) are not expected to play while CB Darius Butler and S Clayton Geathers are questionable.
The contest will mark the 42nd all-time meeting between the teams in the regular season, with the Colts holding a 21-18- 2 advantage. Indianapolis defeated Detroit, 35-33, in their last matchup on Dec. 12, 2012 at Ford Field.
My Free Pick
Lions are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
Lions are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games in Week 1.
Colts are 25-10- 1 ATS in their last 36 home games.
Colts are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games in Week 1.
Take the points on NFL lines, go over the total.