The Indianapolis Colts are playing out the schedule and looking ahead to next season. At 3-9, they sit in the basement of the AFC South and no mathematical scenario can salvage this disappointing campaign. They continue to be one of the league’s lowest-scoring teams which is just one of their issues. They also happen to have given up the most points to date. They have dropped 6 of their last 7 games and have been held to 17 points or less in their last three. The road has been most cruel to Indy as they are just 1-5 away from home. They have a 6-6 ATS record and have covered in 3 of their last 5 while Over backers have cashed in the past 4 straight Colts games.
The Buffalo Bills are coming off a loss to the Patriots which puts them a game out of a wild-card spot. They are 6-6 but they’ve gone just 1-4 both SU and ATS in their last 5 outings. The status of starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor is uncertain after he suffered a knee injury that forced him out of last week’s game. The bookmakers haven’t released a line on this one yet as they wait for more information on Taylor’s injury. This is definitely a case where the starting quarterback greatly affects the line. This isn’t a mathematical do-or-die game for the Bills but a loss would severely hamper their postseason chances.
Colts at Bills
Spread: Off the board (Taylor injury)
Total: Off the board (Taylor injury)
Generally speaking, Jacoby Brissett has done a pretty good job in filling in for Andrew Luck but he had one of his worst outings of the year last week. Granted, it was against a very strong Jacksonville defense. Still, he has now thrown for under 200 yards in 2 straight games and the offense seems to be getting worse when they are in the red zone. His most productive receiver was TY Hilton who caught just 3 of 6 passes for 51 yards. Most of those yards came on a 40-yard touchdown pass. Moncrief and Rogers combined for 9 catches on 14 passes for 72 yards. With the exception of the Hilton touchdown pass, Brissett couldn’t connect for anything over 15 yards on a single play.
Frank Gore led the ground attack with 13 carries for 61 yards while Marlon Mack saw 6 carries with which he picked up 46 yards with 25 of those yards gained on a single play. As bad as their offensive production was, their defense was its usual soft self. They allowed Blake Bortles to throw for over 300 yards and a pair of scores and, like the offense, they were unable to make big plays having registered just a single sack and no interceptions.
Indy’s rushing game accounts for just 99 yards per game and 3.7 yards per carry which gives them one of their few edges. Buffalo really struggles against the run. The Bills gave up 191 rushing yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns to the Pats last week so Gore and company might be able to exploit this weakness. Brissett and the passing game will be facing a Buffalo pass defense that allows 240 yards per game and 7 yards per completion so he’s in a good spot to bounce back from a couple bad games.
R. Melvin (Hand) is out while D. Daniels (Hamstring), H. Ridgeway (Shoulder), and R. Kelly (Concussion) are listed as questionable.
The outlook for the Bills will be heavily influenced by who they put under center. Obviously, Taylor is the superior quarterback and gives them their best chance at getting the win. Peterman didn’t exactly light it up when he came in to relieve Taylor last week. He connected on 6 of 15 passes for 50 yards although it should be stated that Taylor’s didn’t do much either before he was knocked out.
LeSean McCoy was once again the Bills’ most effective weapon. He ran for 93 yards on 15 carries while reeling in 2 of 5 targets for 9 yards. He can rack up the yards with the best of them but he has not seen the end zone too many times over the past several weeks. Buffalo has allowed the 9th most passing yards against and the 8th most rushing yards against at a rate of 4.3 yards per carry. We can likely look forward to seeing balanced attacks out of both teams seeing that neither team is poised to run away with it.
T. Taylor (Knee), T. Cadet (Concussion), C. Anderson (Arm), C. Glenn (Foot), M. Tolbert (Hamstring), J. Miller (Ankle), K. Benjamin (Knee), N. O’Leary (Back), C. McDermott (Chest), T. White (Concussion), and S. Lawson (Ankle) are listed as day-to-day.
Colts at Bills Betting Lines
With the uncertainty surrounding Buffalo’s quarterback, it is hard to project a line although Buffalo should open as a favorite in the 3-5 range if Taylor gets the start. The game might be a Pick ‘Em to Buffalo -3 if it’s Peterman. Obviously, the total is also hanging in the balance although something around the 41-43 mark seems to feel like it would be in the ballpark.
My Pick: Bills Moneyline (Off)
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