DraftKings Sportsbook has the Indianapolis Colts as 6-point dogs on the road in Las Vegas. The Raiders have been pitiful this year, underperforming every expectation and contributing to the biggest divisional flop I can remember. Playing the Colts should help them get back on track.
It is difficult to fully describe how bad things are in Colts-land. The franchise is in a terrible position. There are too many good players on the roster on their rookie contracts or in the prime of their careers to feel comfortable blowing things up and starting over.
The defense has looked good most of the season and has done its best to keep the offense within striking distance. The arrow should remain pointed up for this group, given that some of the biggest contributions come from young players.
Even though they were supposed to lack weapons, the offensive skill players are similarly well-positioned to develop and grow into the future. Michael Pittman Jr. leads the receiver's room, but Alec Pierce looks like a developing weapon, and Parris Campbell is playing the best ball of his career. The tight end room is young and full of athletic freaks, with mismatch nightmares in Jelani Woods and Mo Alie-Cox, with move tight end Kylen Granson flashing the ability to carry some of the load through the air. This doesn’t include Drew Ogletree, who was dominant in training camp and preseason - and projected as a surprise rookie starter.
At this point, the most expensive offensive line in the league is the glaring weakness in Indianapolis. Matt Pryor has been a disaster at every position the Colts have used him. He has zero lateral agility and is too slow-footed to react to stunts. Rookie left tackle Bernhard Raimann will have to spend an offseason with a professional training program to get enough functional anchor and strength to be a long-term option at left tackle. Even the highly-paid veterans aren’t nearly as dominant this year as they were two or three years ago.
Expecting the Colts to win any game at this point without major changes or signs of life that go beyond a position switch or minor coaching move is silly. Indy’s best chance at a win right now is the defense creating turnovers and putting points on the board. I’d be picking the Raiders to cover and not look back.