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The Indianapolis Colts enter their late Bye Week with a 7-6 record in the AFC, this puts them in striking distance of just about everything... seriously. Getting the top seed in the AFC remains a possibility with four left to play.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s entirely unlikely, but that’s how the conference is shaking out as of today.
With that said, there are some key matchups coming in Week 14 that have playoff implications for the Colts — notwithstanding tonight’s Monday Night Football game between the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots, who are both currently ahead of Indianapolis in the Conference.
The Cincinnati Bengals are hosting the San Francisco 49ers. The early line has the Bengals favored by 1 point but the 49ers have been playing good football and it could be easier said than done. Without any question, Colts fans should be cheering for the 49ers. Indianapolis beat the Niners in San Francisco earlier this year and a Cincinnati loss will push them ahead of the Bengals due to the Conference record tiebreaker.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are also in the playoff mix after defeating the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. They will travel to Minnesota to play the Vikings, who are fresh off of a loss to formerly winless Detroit. With that said, the Vikings on the road won’t be easy and again Colts fans clearly will be pulling for Minnesota. A Vikings win will push the Colts up the ladder again. Minnesota is favored by 3.5 points.
The Jacksonville Jaguars travel to Tennessee to face the Titans. Tennessee is favored by 10.5 points but division games are tricky and the Titans have cooled off quite a bit after Derrick Henry went down. A Jaguars’ win would put the Colts within a game of the Titans and keep the AFC South division within reach — at least on paper.
The Kansas City Chiefs host the Las Vegas Raiders and are favored by 10 points. While either outcome has playoff implications, it all boils down to whether Colts fans want a better chance at a Wild Card berth or a better chance for a possible playoff bye if Indianapolis can win the AFC South. If it’s the former, fans should be pulling for Kansas City. If it’s the latter, a loss for the Chiefs will help the Colts more — assuming they beat the Raiders down the stretch.
The Baltimore Ravens travel to Cleveland to face the Browns. Similar to the Chiefs and Raiders, there are playoff implications, and who Colts fans root for depends heavily on expectations. The Browns are favored by 1.5 points. If the Ravens win, the Colts will gain ground on the Browns and it will increase their chances for a Wild Card berth. If Cleveland beats Baltimore, the Ravens drop to 8-5 and have only a half-game lead on the Colts.
Finally, the Los Angeles Chargers host the New York Giants. They are favored by 10.5 points. As unlikely as an upset appears here, Colts fans should be pulling for New York. If the Giants win, the Colts would pass the Chargers in the playoffs race due to AFC Conference wins.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.