The Las Vegas Raiders (7-8) are in a tough position after beating the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium last week. They go on the road to play a desperate Indianapolis Colts (8-7) who are coming off a loss to the Atlanta Falcons (29-10) at a 3-point dog. Since week five, the Colts have not lost a game when favored but have not won as an underdog. The tricky part comes when bettors try to decide whether the Raiders will be able to get up for the Colts after such a massive win. Our NFL scores and odds sheet show Indianapolis as a 3.5-point favorite after opening -3. The total is 43.5 after opening 44. Let’s start our Raiders vs. Colts odds preview, starting with Las Vegas.
Pierce Gets Las Vegas Closer To The Postseason
Before we get crazy about the Raiders making the postseason, we must clarify the headline by saying they are close but are still staring at a difficult road with four teams to climb over. One of those teams is the Indianapolis Colts, but before Antonio Pierce took over from Josh McDaniels, any serious talk about the Raiders in the postseason would be saved for only the most optimistic.
Pierce is just 4-3 since taking over but with massive division wins against the Chargers and Chiefs that record feels like 7-0 to an organization has has been to the playoffs just twice since their Super Bowl season in 2002. We’re not suggesting that Pierce should be among the favorites to cash an NFL Coach of the Year odds ticket, but if he gets Vegas into the postseason, he will likely be offered something more valuable, and that’s a full-time head coaching job in Vegas.
A win this week will go a long way to making that a reality because he will need to get his team up after last week’s signature win. Running back Josh Jacobs is listed as questionable after missing last week’s game with a quad injury. In his place, Zamir White ran for 122 yards on 22 carries.
Colts Control Their Destiny
It would have been an easier path for the Indianapolis Colts if they just beat the Atlanta Falcons last week, but with a win this week and then against the Houston Texans they will be in the postseason. To do that, they can’t afford to miss as many tackles as they did last week (23).
Former UNLV quarterback and Colts head coach shouldered the blame for his teams’ performance. The injury report shows that the Colts may get three key players back. Michael Pittman Jr (concussion), Braden Smith (Knee), and Zach Moss (forearm) are all progressing enough that they could play against Vegas. We put the finishing touches on our Raiders vs. Colts preview with our official selection.
Bettors Hooked With Vegas Win
Bettors have backed the Las Vegas Raiders for most of the week, with 72% of the money coming in on Vegas, along with 53% of the total tickets. That has not budged the number which tells us that the books are more than happy taking Vegas money and we can understand why.
A well-known Vegas handicapper told me he wasn’t happy with the excessive celebrations after victories because the team hadn’t accomplished anything. We countered by pointing out that the only teams who do that are 7-8 teams who aren’t used to winning. We would be stunned if the Raiders matched the intensity that the Colts will surely bring, but that’s not the bet we’re looking to.
Seven of the Raiders’ last 10 games have gone under the total, and putting up 20 points last week doesn’t move us to go against that trend any more than it did when they threw up 63 against the Chargers. Our NFL score prediction has this game in the high 30’s or very low 40’s. Take the under 43.5, but get on this game now before the number falls further.