Chiefs vs. Colts Wildcard Betting Line Preview, Picks, Score Prediction
The Kansas City Chiefs will make their first playoff appearance since 2011 on Saturday afternoon when they kick off wild card weekend in Indianapolis to battle the Colts. Indianapolis enters the second season red hot having won and covered its L/3 games and will be looking to advance to the divisional round for the first time in the Luck era.
KC CHIEFS – INDY COLTS PLAYOFF GAME LINE:
OPEN: COLTS -2.5 | CURRENT: Pick’em | O/U: 46
1. Why the KC CHIEFS will cover the spread: Before the Chiefs suffered a number of crucial injuries on the defensive side of the ball, head coach Andy Reid’s squad was the talk of the NFL after going undefeated into its Week 10 bye. While it was rough navigating through its final seven games (2-5, 3-4 ATS), the Chiefs still played the Broncos tough in losing a pair of games by 27-17 and 35-28 final tallies. Not many teams lost by an average of just 8.5 PPG this season.
With Jamaal Charles in the backfield and Alex Smith being a sound game manager, KC possesses the balanced attack that can take advantage of a Colts defense that gave up an average of 358.4 YPG (#20) and 4.5 YPC (#25).
2. Why the COLTS will cover the spread: The Colts have three things going for them heading into this one. The first, experience – they’ve been here. They know what it takes to advance after Luck and company watched the Ravens do it to them in the wild card round a year ago en route to securing the 24-9 home win and cover. Second, momentum – the Colts are red hot and playing some of their best ball of the season in rolling off decisive wins and covers each of the L/3 weeks; they’re also 6-2 SU & 5-2 ATS at home. Finally, they know what it takes to beat this Chiefs outfit after ousting them in Arrowhead 23-7 as TD underdogs in Week 16.
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3. Total Talk: The 30 combined points a couple weeks back finished well below the 46.5-point closing number. That saw the ‘under’ cash for the second straight time with the Colts also beating the Chiefs 20-13 in 2012. Kansas City played to low scorers in nine of their 16 regular season games, but the O/U went 4-4 in its eight roadies. Since getting destroyed at home by the Rams in a game that just went ‘over’ the closing number, the Colts played to three straight “under’s” at home with a combined average point total of 34.6 PPG.
4. Betting Trends for Chiefs/Colts: So the Colts just went into Arrowhead and dominated the AFC West runner ups on the way to pulling out the 16-point win as decided underdogs. And now I only have to lay less than a field goal with a rabid Indianapolis fan base rooting #ChuckStrong on? Where do I sign up?! Don’t do it peeps! I got a feeling Coach Reid was doing a little bit of sandbagging towards the end of the season and hardly showed his full hand in that Week 16 skirmish knowing full well a potential playoff match-up with the Colts was certainly a possibility.
KC sports the much better overall defense and it has the ground attack to back it up. Those are two parameters that I look for first and foremost when pegging a team as having a realistic shot of making a deep run in the second season. The Chiefs going a $$$-making 7-1 ATS their L/8 on the road and Indy gaining a fall sense of security vs. patsies two of the L/3 weeks only helps bolster this train of thought.
Kansas City 24 – Indianapolis 20