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Red-Hot Colts Gallop into AFC Divisional Round vs the Chiefs

Indianapolis vs Kansas City Betting Odds

The Indianapolis Colts look to carry their momentum into Arrowhead Stadium as they collide with the No. 1-seeded Kansas City Chiefs. This is a rematch from their 2014 wild-card game in which the Colts mounted a comeback from 28 points down to earn a 45-44 victory at Lucas Oil Stadium. This week, though, it is Kansas City that is a 5-point favorite with the total opening at 57 points.

Shark Bites
  • Indianapolis is 10-1 SU and 7-3-1 ATS in its last 11 games.
  • Kansas City is 7-1 SU and 4-4 ATS in its last eight home games.
  • Kansas City has surrendered the second-most passing yards per game in the league this season (273.4).

Colts vs Chiefs Game Center

Colts look to continue their hot play

Indianapolis has turned the impossible into possible after starting the season 1-5 SU and is now competing in an AFC divisional-round game after finishing the regular season on a 9-1 streak. Last week, the Colts went into NRG Stadium and knocked off Houston 21-7 for their fifth win in a row and 10th in their last 11 games. Since running back Marlon Mack became healthy in Week 6, the Colts are 10-2 SU and are averaging 28 points per game, compared to 23.6 ppg in the five weeks prior.

Indianapolis has a true two-pronged attack with the aforementioned Mack, who averaged 75.7 rushing yards per game this season, excluding the wild-card game, which is the sixth-most in the league, and quarterback Andrew Luck. The 29-year-old signal-caller averaged 287 yards per game, the sixth-most in the NFL, once again excluding the wild-card game, while throwing for 39 touchdowns to rank second.

But it’s not just all offense all the time, as the Colts defense deserves some love as well. It is giving up 20.6 points per game this season, the ninth-best mark in the league, and since the Colts got onto their winning ways they’ve limited foes to just 15.55 points per game. Notably, they give up the eighth-fewest rushing yards per game at 101.8, while holding opposing quarterbacks to 236.6 passing yards per game, which is the 15th-fewest.

Can the Chiefs Defense Slow Down the Colts?

Kansas City put together a fantastic season, earning the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a 12-4 record, including 7-1 at Arrowhead Stadium. The success can be attributed to the fantastic play of quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The 23-year-old threw for the second-most yards this season at 5,097 and had the most passing TDs at 50, 11 more than second-place Andrew Luck. The Chiefs pounded teams this year, racking up an average of 35.3 points per game, the highest in the NFL.

Their run attack was just average as they rumbled for 115.9 yards per game, the 15th-most in the league, but they lost starting running back Kareem Hunt midway through the season after a video emerged of him involved in an assault. They have needed to score a lot of points, though, as defensively they give up the ninth-most points per game at 26, and they surrender the second-most passing yards per game at 273.4.

Lastly, Kansas City averaged a league-worst 8.6 penalties per game and those ill-advised infractions could be the difference maker in this game.

Weather, and how will it affect the game

The Chiefs and Colts may be playing in some harsh weather come kickoff as temperatures are expected to be in the low single digits and perhaps even below zero with snow in the forecast. This may favor Kansas City, a team used to playing outdoors all season as Arrowhead Stadium is open to the elements, while the Indianapolis Colts’ Lucas Oil Stadium is a dome that has consistent conditions.

That being said, Colts running back Marlon Mack has been on an absolute tear recently, rushing for an average of 105.8 yards with four touchdowns over his last five games, including racking up 148 yards and a TD last week vs Houston. As well, KC ranked 27th in opponent rushing yards per game this season at 132.1, while Indianapolis ranked eighth at 101.8.

Is an OVER in store for this game?

Two top-10 offenses collide in this AFC divisional-round game and Bovada has the total opening at 57 points. Kansas City was actually a strong UNDER play at Arrowhead Stadium this season with five of its eight games there going UNDER, though it played against some lackluster offenses in Oakland, Baltimore, Arizona, Jacksonville and Denver. Similarly, the total has gone UNDER in six of Indianapolis’ last eight games, but once again poor offensive opponents have helped the total go UNDER, notably, Jacksonville, Miami and Tennessee.

With two strong offenses colliding, I think those UNDERs should be thrown out the door. When the Colts played good offensive teams like New England, the total went OVER, and the same can be said for the Chiefs as they went OVER in five of their last six games.

My take on Indianapolis vs Kansas City

I like the Colts +5. Kansas City’s secondary was picked on frequently this season as it allowed the second-most passing yards per game, but the Chiefs did finish in a tie for most sacks per game at 3.2. However, Indianapolis gives up the fewest sacks per game and threw for the sixth-most passing yards per game; if Andrew Luck has time to scan the defense, he will pick them apart.

Additionally, Kansas City is 1-10 SU in its last 11 playoff games dating back to 1994, with its only win coming against the Texans in the 2015 wild-card game. Luck has been there and done that, while this is Mahomes’ first playoff game and he may have some jitters.

I think the Colts are just riding high and will be a tough team to stop. Not sure if they’ll win, but I think they can keep it close.