NFL Divisional Round Colts vs. Chiefs, Odds & Prediction

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Ricky Dimon

NFL · 3 years ago

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

The Kansas City Chiefs may have home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs, but it is the Indianapolis Colts who head into divisional-round action with a 10-1 record in their last 11 games. That’s right; the Colts, who once found themselves at 1-5, won nine of their last 10 regular-season contests and then went on the road to hammer the division rival Houston Texans 21-7 during wild-card weekend. But this will be Indianapolis’ toughest test since a Week 5 trip to New England, which resulted in a 38-24 Thursday night setback. Kansas City is 12-4 overall and 7-1 at home. Let’s dive into the Colts vs. Chiefs Odds & Prediction.

Lucky and good

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has the good fortune of playing behind perhaps the most fundamentally sound offensive line in football. His team led the entire NFL in the regular season with a mere 18 sacks surrendered. By comparison, Carolina and Baltimore tied for a solid sixth in that department and gave up almost double Indy’s number (32).

Unsurprisingly, Luck did not get taken down a single time throughout the Colts’ 14-point blasting of Houston—which, ironically, allowed a league-worst 62 sacks in 16 games and watched Deshaun Watson get victimized three more times this past Saturday. With basically all day to sling around his trusty sidearm, captain Luck has been outstanding while orchestrating Indianapolis’ impressive turnaround. The former Stanford standout has 25 touchdown passes compared to just eight interceptions dating back to the start of Indianapolis’ hot stretch. He has thrown multiple TDs an amazing 14 times this season, including in round one of the playoffs (two).

A little faster in the playoffs

Opposite the grizzled veteran Luck will be MVP candidate Patrick Mahomes, who is in his first full season as a starter. The regular season was no problem for Mahomes, who racked up 5,097 passing yards, 272 rushing yards, and 52 total touchdowns during the regular season. Will the playoffs also be child’s play for the former Texas Tech star?

“Everything is a little faster in the playoffs,” head coach Andy Reid noted. “That’s how things go. At the same time, he’s got to be himself and continue to play and lead like he’s been doing. I don’t think he’ll have a problem with that; I think he understands that. He’s wired the right way to handle all of it.”

Factors that cannot be overlooked are the respective opposing defenses. Luck is going up against a Kansas City unit that is second-to-last in the NFL overall, 24th in points allowed, and second-to-last against the pass. The Colts’ defense is considerably better; 11th overall, 10th in scoring, and 16th against the pass.

Trends

Indianapolis is 4-1 ATS in its last five overall, 4-1 ATS in its last five on the road, 7-0 ATS in its last seven against opponents with winning records, 6-2-1 ATS in its last nine against the AFC, and 7-1 ATS in its last eight trips to Kansas City. The Chiefs are 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven overall, 1-4 ATS in their last five at home, 0-3-1 ATS in their last four against opponents with winning records, 1-9 ATS in their last 10 playoff games, and 4-11 ATS in the last 15 meetings between the two teams. It is also worth noting that the road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five head-to-head matchups.

The over is 9-2 in the Colts’ last 11 after rushing for more than 150 yards in their previous outing. It is also 5-1 in the Chiefs’ last six overall, 4-1-1 in their last six against the AFC, and 4-0 in their last four against opponents with winning records.

Prediction

The Chiefs will win—perhaps with some late-game heroics from Mahomes or on the steadfast foot of kicker Harrison Butker—but the Indianapolis Colts could pull this upset win off.

Do you want Pickswise FREE Colts-Chiefs Expert Final Pick? CLICK HERE

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