Colts Face Another Tough NFC West Foe As Rams Visit Indy

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The Indianapolis Colts face a daunting challenge to avoid an 0-2 start Sunday when they host the Los Angeles Rams in their second straight interconference matchup.

The NFC West looks to be the best division in the NFL, with early evidence in Week 1 coming from all four teams winning — three doing so on the road. Indianapolis got an up-close look at Seattle, falling 28-16 as Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson shredded the defense for three first-half touchdown passes and finished with four overall while racking up 254 yards.

Carson Wentz, who missed part of the preseason due to COVID-19, finished with 251 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his Colts debut under center, but he failed to consistently move the offense as it turned the ball over on downs twice in the second half.

The Rams were the only NFC West team to play at home, and they delivered for their fans, rolling past the Chicago Bears 34-14. Matthew Stafford had touchdown passes of 67 and 56 yards while throwing for 321 yards and three scores in his L.A. debut, and the defense did its part by forcing two turnovers and recording three sacks.

The teams’ widely varied performances have led to the line moving in the Rams’ favor during the week, though the Colts opened as home underdogs. Bettors likely will be sweating the high-side hook all the way up to kickoff across Indiana’s sportsbooks.

A lockstep spread and little variety on the main plays

The Colts opened as 1.5-point underdogs, but that shifted to a consensus of +3.5 as of Friday afternoon, and they will certainly be home ‘dogs for the second straight week. The lone sportsbook not offering -110 in both directions on that number is DraftKings, which has the Colts -115.

The moneyline has a decent band range, from +165 at theScore to +150 at Unibet. PointsBet, BetMGM, Caesars, and WynnBET are all offering +160, FanDuel checks in at +158, and both DraftKings and BetRivers have +155 for Indianapolis to even its record to 1-1.

The over/under has a more narrow band at either 48 or 48.5 points. FanDuel (-105/-115) and DraftKings (-110) are offering the latter, with the Kambi platform for BetRivers and Unibet straying from -110 on 48 points with a -109/-112 offering.

The Colts’ team total is where variety can be found. Caesars is on the low end at 21 points with a -135/+105 split, with DraftKings (-120/-110) and Kambi (-113/-115) on the high side at 22.5 points. FanDuel is offering 22.5 points at -108/-112 for its single game parlay option, but those numbers get flipped at 22 points on a standard play.

WynnBET and PointsBet (-110), theScore (-115), and BetMGM (-120/-105) all have a high-side hook for a team total of 21.5 points.

Wentz’s window for passing yards and other props

Facing a stout Rams defense has created a relatively large band when it comes to the over/under for Wentz’s passing yards. On the low side, WynnBET is offering 233.5 yards at -115 in both directions, while BetRivers and Unibet are at the other extreme at 238.5 yards at -114 each way. PointsBet (-115) and BetMGM (-120/-110) have the listing at 234.5 yards, FanDuel (-114) is offering 235.5 yards, Caesars (-115) ticks higher to 236.5 yards, and DraftKings (-115) is at 237.5.

Oddsmakers do not figure on Wentz throwing two or more TD passes for a second straight week, with DraftKings, BetMGM, and WynnBET offering the best value for over 1.5 TD passes at +165, followed by PointsBet (+160). BetRivers, Unibet, and Caesars all are offering +155, while FanDuel lags behind at +134.

There is a similar yardage fluctuation for Colts running back Jonathan Taylor. He can be grabbed as low as 58.5 yards at DraftKings and BetMGM (both at -115), while FanDuel (-114) and WynnBET (-120/-110) are offering him at 62.5 yards. His receiving yards window is smaller, with the best play for over 15.5 yards at BetRivers (-112) and over 16.5 yards at DraftKings and BetMGM (-110).

For those interested in playing Taylor’s combined rushing and receiving yards, DraftKings is offering 79.5 yards at -115 in both directions, while BetRivers and Unibet have a -113/-115 split at 80.5 yards and Caesars has a -120/-110 split at that number.

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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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