Colts And Bears Both Road Favorites For Crucial Week 16 Contests

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Continuing their respective late-season pushes to qualify for the playoffs, both the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears are road favorites in early line betting across Indiana and Illinois.

The Colts (10-4), who are tied atop the AFC South with Tennessee, face North-leading Pittsburgh and can clinch a spot in the postseason with a victory coupled with losses by either Baltimore or Miami. Indianapolis likely needs to win its final two games to have any chance of claiming the division title since the Titans currently have a better record in both intradivision and conference play.

Chicago (7-7), seeking a third consecutive win, currently holds the seventh and final playoff spot in the NFC wild-card race. The Bears will face one-win Jacksonville, which recently took the pole position for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft after the previously winless New York Jets upset the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday. If the Jaguars lose their last two games, they would then have the entire offseason to ponder taking Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with that selection.

Books take U-turn as Steelers’ slump makes Colts favorites

Sportsbooks across the Hoosier State have installed the Colts as narrow road favorites, which may have more to do with the Steelers losing three straight games after an 11-0 start than it does the Colts beating the Houston Texans twice during their current three-game winning streak. The look-ahead line William Hill offered prior to the weekend slate for Week 15 had the Steelers as 2.5-point favorites, but after their 27-17 loss at Cincinnati on Monday, oddsmakers have looked more favorably upon the Colts.

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The Colts can be grabbed on the moneyline anywhere from -125 on the Kambi platform — covering BetRivers, DraftKings, and Unibet — and William Hill to -135 at BetMGM. It should be noted Unibet deviates slightly here, offering the Colts at -130, while FanDuel has a -126 listing and PointsBet is offering -131.

The seven books are offering the Colts at either -1.5 or -2. FanDuel, PointsBet, and William Hill have the former, all at -110, while BetMGM and Kambi offer the wider spread at -110 and -112, respectively. The over/under also has narrow offerings, coming in at 44.5 points at Kambi (-106/-114) and BetMGM (-115/-105) and 45 at FanDuel, PointsBet, and William Hill, all at -110 in each direction.

Among the five books offering team totals for the Colts, BetMGM is offering its customary options at three different numbers: a -165/-130 split at 20.5 points, -110/-115 at 23.5, and +145/-190 at 26.5. The Kambi platform is offering 22.5 points at -127/-103, while PointsBet ticks one-half point higher to 23 at -115/-105.

There is more range for the first-half offerings, with the moneyline spanning -120 at William Hill to -130 at Kambi, though that platform is also offering the Colts at -110 on the three-way moneyline. It also has the most distinct side offering for the first two quarters, listing Indianapolis as a 1.5-point favorite at +105. BetMGM (+100), PointsBet (-105) and William Hill (-110) all have the Colts laying one-half point.

For the first half over/under, PointsBet and William Hill are aligned offering 21.5 points at -110 in each direction, while BetMGM has 22.5 at -110. Kambi also has 22.5 points but a -105/-121 split. BetMGM and Kambi also have a first-half team total of 10.5 points for Indianapolis, with the former offering a +100/-130 split and the latter listing -110/-127.

One other area Unibet offers a break from the Kambi platform is a three-way moneyline offering of Indianapolis +123 for the first quarter compared to -129 at DraftKings and BetRivers and -115 at BetMGM for the standard no-draw listing. Bettors confident on the Colts leading after 15 minutes could fancy their chances, considering BetMGM is offering +135 laying one-half point and Kambi counters with +132 at the Colts -1.5.

Bears look for momentum ahead of Packers showdown

Chicago’s postseason fate is all but certain to be decided with its Week 17 showdown at home versus eternal rival and NFC North champion Green Bay, which makes defeating Jacksonville crucial to having any sort of margin of error depending on how other results play out. Mitch Trubisky has ignited the offense since replacing the injured Nick Foles, throwing for 978 yards and eight touchdowns in the last four games.

All four mobile sportsbooks in Illinois with available listings (William Hill had no lines listed as of 11 a.m. CST on Wednesday) were challenging bettors with the Bears as 7.5-point favorites, with PointsBet offering -105, the Kambi platform of DraftKings and BetRivers -107, and FanDuel -110. Kambi had the best moneyline offering for a Bears straight-up win at -360, with FanDuel right behind at -370 and PointsBet listing -380.

FanDuel opted to go low for the over/under at 46.5 points, offering a -120/-102 split, while PointsBet (-110) and Kambi (-107/-114) checked in at 47.5 points. All four books were in agreement for a Bears team total at 27.5 points, with FanDuel and PointsBet providing the standard -110 in both directions and Kambi narrowly split -113/-115.

Playing the three-way moneyline could prove a better option in the first half, with Kambi offering the Bears -215 compared to the standard -278 and FanDuel offering -230 versus -270. PointsBet does not have a three-way ML and has a -245 listing.

The Australian-based book is also on the low end for the side bet, offering the Bears -4 at -110. Kambi ticks one-half point higher with -113, but FanDuel is offering even money at the same Bears -4.5 offering. Bettors have their pick of the over/under, starting low at PointsBet with 23 points (-115/-105), followed by Kambi at 23.5 (-130/+100) and FanDuel at 24 (+110/-130).

Kambi is again teasing bettors with the high-side hook, offering a +105/-148 split for Chicago’s team total of 14.5 points in the opening two quarters. It also has the Bears -1.5 in the first quarter at -109, with an over/under of 9.5 points split -125/-105.

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Chris Altruda

Chris Altruda has been a sportswriter with ESPN, The Associated Press, and STATS over more than two decades. He recently expanded into covering sports betting and gambling around the Midwest.

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