The NFL doesn’t want teams playing on very short weeks in the final two weeks of the season for competitive reasons with playoff berths as stake. Thus, this week’s game between the Denver Broncos and Colts in Indianapolis is the Thursday finale for the 2017 season. Denver is a short road NFL betting favorite.
Thursday Night Football: Broncos at Colts NFL Betting Pick & Week 15 Preview
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) December 12, 2017
When: Thursday, 8:25 PM ET
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
TV: NFL Network
Radio: KOA 850 AM (Denver) / 1070 AM (Indianapolis)
Stream Option: NFL Live
Opening NFL Betting Lines: Broncos-2 (41)
- Mostly Cloudy: -3°C/26°F
- Humidity: 69%
- Precipitation: 12%
- Wind: 4 mph NNE
- Cloud Cover: 72%
- Type of Stadium: Retractable
This will mark the first Broncos-Colts game since 1993 that won’t have either Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck as a starting quarterback.
Last year in Denver, the Broncos beat the Colts 34-20 in Week 2. Broncos star defender Von Miller had a strip-sack of Luck with under two minutes left. Miller burst past right tackle Joe Reitz and swiped the ball from Luck’s grasp. Fellow linebacker Shane Ray scooped it up and returned it 15 yards for the touchdown for the clincher. Cornerback Aqib Talib returned an interception 46 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, giving Denver a 23-13 lead. Trevor Siemian outplayed Luck in completing 22 of 33 passes for 266 yards.
Why Bet on Denver?
The Broncos ended an eight-game losing streak, their longest since 1967, with a dominant 23-0 win over the Jets on Sunday. Siemian threw for 200 yards and his favorite target was Demaryius Thomas, who caught eight passes for 93 yards and a touchdown. Thomas’ TD catch was the 56th of his career, surpassing Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe for second in franchise history. Wide receiver Rod Smith’s 68 TD receptions are the most all-time. Thomas also moved past Sharpe into second place all-time in franchise history in receiving yards (8,475).
It was Denver’s first win in 70 days — and their first shutout since Nov. 20, 2005, a 27-0 win over the Jets, was fueled by a defense that held New York in check all afternoon. The Jets were limited to just 100 yards of offense, 59 on the ground and 41 through the air.
The Broncos emerged from the Jets game in fairly good shape on the injury front. Coach Vance Joseph said Monday safety Justin Simmons suffered a “mild high ankle sprain” when he stepped on linebacker Brandon Marshall’s foot after Marshall’s strip sack in the first quarter. Inside linebacker Todd Davis was evaluated for a possible concussion in the fourth quarter. Nose tackle Domata Peko (knee) and guard Ron Leary (back) both missed the win over the Jets and will be evaluated this week.
Denver must win one of its next two road games (its road finale is Dec. 24 at Washington) to avoid becoming the franchise’s first team since 1964 to lose every game away from home.
- Average Score For: 17.62
- Total Yards: 312.31
- Pass Yards: 206.54
- Rush Yards: 105.77
- Average Score Against: 24.23
- Total Yards: 280.54
- Pass Yards: 191.08
- Rush Yards: 89.46
Why Bet on Indianapolis?
Through 14 weeks, the Broncos are 0-6 in road games and 0-6 ATS, which is the worst road mark in the NFL (even the Browns have even covered in at least one road game). As for the Colts, as bad as they’ve been this season, they’ve actually done solid against the spread at home. Although they’re 2-4 straight-up at Lucas Oil Stadium, they’re 4-2 ATS.
A long season continued Sunday in Buffalo, as the Colts fell to the Bills in a blizzard in which Indianapolis appeared to take a late lead off a run-pass option to Jack Doyle for a two-point conversion. The referees called offensive pass interference, though, and the Colts fell in overtime 13-7. Five of Indianapolis’ previous six games have been decided by six points or fewer, and the Colts have been involved in eight such games during the course of the season.
With Luck out all season, Jacoby Brissett has completed 59.8 percent of his passes for 2,611 yards through 12 starts, and he’s thrown for 11 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. He’s also added 216 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
At 34 years old, Frank Gore set a career high Sunday with 36 carries. He rushed for 130 yards, his first journey over the century mark this season. Gore needs to average 79.3 yards over his final three games to reach the 1,000-yard barrier for the 10th time in his 13-year career. Gore, who has 941 scrimmage yards this season, can become the second player in NFL history with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards in 12 consecutive seasons, joining Emmitt Smith, who accomplished the feat in 13 consecutive seasons from 1990-2002.
The Colts have won six consecutive home games over the Broncos. The last time Denver won in Indianapolis was Dec. 21, 2003, when Jake Plummer threw a touchdown pass and ran for two more scores to lead the Broncos to a 31-17 victory over the Peyton Manning-led Colts.
- Average Score For: 16.31
- Total Yards:
- Pass Yards: 186.69
- Rush Yards: 104
- Average Score Against: 26.38
- Total Yards:
- Pass Yards: 257.77
- Rush Yards: 117.54
Latest NFL Betting Trends
- Denver is 1-8 ATS in the last 9 games
- Denver is 1-8 SU in the last 9 games
- The total went OVER in 5 of Denver’s last 7 games on the road
- Indianapolis is 4-2 ATS in the last 6 games at home
- Indianapolis is 1-7 SU in the last 8 games
- The total went UNDER in 5 of Indianapolis’s last 5 games
Expert Prediction & NFL Betting Pick for Week 15
The Broncos have to win once on the road this year. They have the better defense. Take Denver and under the total.