Colts vs. Broncos: NFL Week 5 Thursday Night Football Best Bets

Courtland Sutton Russell Wilson Denver Broncos
Courtland Sutton #14 and Russell Wilson #3 of the Denver Broncos celebrate after scoring a touchdown against the Las Vegas Raiders. Jeff Bottari/Getty Images/AFP.

Both Indianapolis and Denver are coming off of losses to divisional opponents but it will be the Colts who have to take to the highway and try to get back on track in the thin air of Mile High.

Let’s break down the NFL odds and cash a ticket for this Thursday night matchup.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Denver Broncos

Thursday, October 06, 2022 – 08:15 PM EDT at Empower Field

Colts Lost More Than Just the Game

The Colts dropped a critical game last week to their divisional rivals from Tennessee but they may have lost much more than that. Colts’ superstar running back, Jonathan Taylor, fumbled in the fourth quarter in his team’s 24-17 loss to the Titans and limped off the field with what has been described as an ankle injury.

When asked what his status would be for Thursday’s game against Denver, Taylor said, “I’m not sure yet. It’s what, like an hour after the game? We’ll see how it goes tomorrow morning.”

The Colts trailed 24-3 in the second quarter but scored the last 2 touchdowns of the game to make the final score somewhat respectable. Matt Ryan ended with 356 yards, 2 touchdowns, and one interception.

And while the offense came up with too little too late, the Indianapolis defense was worn down by the punishing ground-and-pound of Titans’ former rushing champ, Derrick Henry, who had 114 yards and a touchdown. However, the Colts’ pass rush did register 3 sacks on Tennessee quarterback, Ryan Tannehill.

Broncos Busted by Raiders

The Broncos lost a divisional tilt to the Raiders, 32-23, but they were in the game throughout the afternoon up until the final two minutes when Las Vegas salted it away with a Josh Jacobs 7-yard run. Russell Wilson was unable to muster anything in the Broncos’ last drive allowing the Raiders to take over on downs and kneeling their way to victory.

And speaking of Russell Wilson, he quietly had an impressive game completing 68% of his passes for 237 yards, two passing, and one rushing touchdown. In short, Wilson was the Broncos’ offense but the lack of a rushing game came back to bite them. Javonte Williams had only 28 yards on 10 carries and the Denver offense became all too predictable.

The Prediction

You could make a case that we don’t know exactly what we have in either of these teams. We know that Russell Wilson is a tremendous playmaker, Matt Ryan can air it out with the best of them, and Indianapolis has the most dynamic rusher in the league in Jonathan Taylor.

However, Taylor could miss this one but even if he does suit up, will he be healthy enough to make an impact? Well, in this analysis I’m not counting on Taylor being a factor because even if he does play, I would be shocked if he shouldered an extensive workload so soon after suffering an injury, regardless of the severity.

What to Expect From the Colts

The Colts will rely on Matty Ice throwing early and often but the problem with that strategy is Ryan’s penchant for throwing picks this season. He has 5 interceptions and 3 fumbles while tossing several errant passes that were nearly picked off. He is also locked in on Michael Pittman Jr., the team’s only real deep threat, making this a perfectly predictable aerial attack for the Broncos’ secondary to key on.

Denver has won and covered their last three meetings with the Colts but both teams have had drastic makeovers in the offseason. Yet, the big issue with Indianapolis is that they can’t score. They are dead last in scoring, averaging only a click over 14 points per game and they will be facing the sixth-ranked scoring defense in the Broncos.

What to Expect From the Broncos

While Denver’s offense won’t keep opposition defenders up at night, Russell Wilson is a special player and he can make things happen through the air or on the ground. He is the consummate playmaker and he will be able to figure out this Colts’ defense, get the victory, and cover the number.

The Pick

For my NFL picks, I expect the Broncos to cover and this game to go low. Below you will find trends bolstering both opinions.

• The Broncos are 11-4 SU in their last 15 games played on a Thursday.

• The Broncos are 3-0 straight-up and ATS versus the Colts over their last three meetings.

• The Colts is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games.

• The total has gone Under in 5 of the Colts’ last 5 games on the road.

• The total has gone Under in 8 of the Colts’ last 8 games against AFC opponents.

• The total has gone Under in 11 of the Broncos’ last 15 games.

• The total has gone Under in 6 of the Broncos’ last 8 games at home.

Predicted Score: Broncos 21 – Colts 14

NFL Pick: Under 43 ½ (-110) at BetMGM

NFL Pick: Broncos -3.5 (-105) at FanDuel is your sports betting command center. Read featured betting strategy compiled from a panel of leading sports betting experts.

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