Indianapolis Colts at San Diego Chargers Spread Pick
Opening Line: Indianapolis -1
Indianapolis roared back from a 12-point deficit to upend previously unbeaten Seattle 34-28 last Sunday. San Diego played a terrible first half en route to a 27-17 loss at Oakland last week.
The Colts win was the ninth time in QB Andrew Luck's brief career that they have come back from a fourth-quarter deficit. Luck should do well against a defense that has allowed 10 TD passes (25th in NFL) and 289 yards per game through the air. Luck has shown real improvement in his second year and has taken some sacks rather than throw the ball up for grabs, cutting down on interceptions (only 2). WR Reggie Wayne remains the top target but WR T.Y. Hilton showed how explosive he can be with a big game last week (5-140-2). The Chargers have shown vulnerability to the deep ball. OLB Jarret Johnson has four sacks but no other defender has more than one. Look for him to get extra attention from Indy. RB Trent Richardson is slowly becoming integrated into the game plan and faces a defense yielding an ungodly 4.9 yards per carry.
San Diego QB Philip Rivers has played very well this season but threw in a stinker last week (3 TOs). The whole offense was sluggish from the start but put up yardage in the second half when they were way behind. The Chargers have tried to commit to the run but RB Ryan Mathews suffered a concussion last week (check status). RBs Danny Woodhead and Ronnie Brown aren't going to scare a defense on the ground but both are productive pass catchers. Injuries have taken out the top two wideouts for the year but TE Antonio Gates has had a rebirth. The Colts must control Gates or else the Chargers will be able to sustain drives. OLB Robert Mathis leads the NFL with 9.5 sacks and look for him to get good pressure on Rivers from the outside. Indy is allowing an average of only 15 points per game and holding opponents to a 32.3% conversion rate on third down.
ATS Game Pick
San Diego has allowed an average of 26 points per game and has allowed 20+ points in every contest. This is against opponents with a cumulative record of 11-14. The Chargers are also maddeningly inconsistent, especially on offense. Indianapolis has proven many times they are never out of a game and Luck is elevating his play on an almost weekly basis. Their defense is also playing better than expected and we look for the Colts to move to 5-1 with a good road victory.
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