The Indianapolis Colts and the Las Vegas Raiders enter the game with much on the line. The Colts will at least maintain a three-way tie for the AFC South lead if they win and will significantly improve their odds of making the playoffs. The Raiders must win the game to stay in the playoff race.
The two teams have been going in opposite directions recently. The Colts had a pretty nice win streak going until they looked awful against the Atlanta Falcons. However, the Colts have mostly bullied teams they should beat with a strength of schedule, making this kind of run possible. The Raiders have been dominant defensively and overcame a pretty anemic offense with two defensive scoring touchdowns in the last two games. They just stunned the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Christmas.
Will the Raiders' dominance on defense carry over? How dominant will they need to be against a Colts offense that hasn’t been nearly as productive in the last few games as it had at other points in the season?
Aiden O’Connell - Bet the Under 1.5 TD Passes
In 9 games this season, Aiden O’Connell threw for more than one touchdown only once - and that was against the Chargers. He has four games without a passing touchdown and another four with only one passing touchdown. The Colts' pass defense’s biggest strength is limiting opponent receivers in the red zone. This is a good bet.
Raiders Team Points - Bet under 19 points
The Raiders have scored 17 or fewer points in six of the nine games O’Connell has started. In two of those games, he was aided by two defensive scores, although the Chargers game was well over the number. The point is, unless the Raiders can score defensive touchdowns (a hard thing to repeat), the offense isn’t likely to score a ton of points.
Zamir White - Over 73.5 Rushing Yards
With O’Connell under center, you can bet the Raiders are going to run the ball, a lot. White was the bell-cow back in Kansas City and likely will be today. The Colts' run defense hasn’t been very good but even if it has a good game, volume will likely get White over this mark.
Maxx Crosby - Over .75 sacks
Maxx Crosby is a beast. He is leading an inspired Raiders defense and will be lining up against a player who has missed weeks with a knee injury in Braden Smith. It’s hard to imagine he doesn’t get at least one sack as he does his part in trying to keep Vegas alive in the playoff hunt.
Colts to Win - Moneyline
As of this writing, Draftkings Sportsbook has the Colts as 4-point home favorites over the Raiders. Part of me wants to recommend better the Raiders cover the spread but in lieu of that, we’ll go Raiders under 19 points and the Colts to win Moneyline. It’s hard to repeat defensive scoring and it will likely take defensive wins for the Raiders to get there. The Colts at least get their starting RT back from injury, plus Michael Pittman Jr. is slated to return to the lineup. If Gus Bradley is aggressive to keep O’Connell off-balance, the Colts should find a win to win this one.