Betting against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1 has been a great way to turn a profit over the past 13 seasons. The Colts own a money-bleeding 1-11-1 ATS mark over those seasons.
They host the Seattle Seahawks, ranked as the fifth most efficient team in the NFL last season. Even with the first-round playoff exit, the analytic football darlings Football Outsiders thought they had a good season.
With Carson Wentz recovering from offseason ankle surgery, can the Colts cover a small 3-point home dogs? Can he break an 0-4 goose egg head-to-head against Russell Wilson?
Why Seattle will cover the spread
There was some speculation that Russell Wilson would get traded this offseason. Instead, the Seahawks hired an offensive coordinator to his liking, and it appears Wilson is all in.
The Seahawks hired Shane Waldron to run the offense. He has ties to Sean McVay, which should bring more play-action passing to the Seahawks offense. Last year, the Colts’ defense finished 8th in pass defense. However, they will be without their best cornerback in Xavier Rhodes, who is battling a calf injury.
Why Indianapolis will cover the spread
It’s officially Wentz time in Indy. He will make his debut on Sunday and is looking to bounce back after a horrendous 2020 campaign. No matter how you look at it, Wentz was a bottom-five quarterback last season. He finished 28th in QBR, dead last in DVOA, and 33rd out of 35 quarterbacks in yards per attempt.
Head coach Frank Reich will look to capture Wentz’s 2017 magic, where he finished 1st in QBR. The Colts’ offense was solid with Phillip Rivers under center. According to Football Outsiders, they finished 12th in offensive efficiency, and with Wentz’s athletic ability, there is potential to have a top ten offense this season. Keeping Wentz upright could be a problem right out of the gate, as the Colts are missing starting left tackle, Eric Fisher.
Seahawks Colts Betting Pick
Until Wentz can prove he is a top fifteen quarterback again, there is no way I can back the Colts. The spread is only 2.5, and the Seahawks are the healthier team heading in. I am taking the road favorite.
Seattle Indianapolis Props
Nyheim Hines Anytime TD +240
Nyheim Hines just cashed in on a three-year, $18.6 million contract extension, making him a Top 10 paid running back in the NFL. That proves he will be a large part of the offense this year.
He is terrific at catching the ball out of the backfield. With Wentz getting familiar with a new offense, he will be relying on his running backs in the passing game. Hines at +240 is excellent value. The Seahawks finished 21st in passing touchdowns allowed to running backs last season.
Michael Pittman OVER 49.5 Receiving Yards
Even with my lack of trust in Wentz, this number is far too low. Michael Pittman will be the number one wide receiver on the Colts’ depth chart come kickoff on Sunday.
The Seahawks’ pass defense was atrocious last year. They gave up the third-most passing yards to wide receivers last season and did not address that issue this offseason.
Longshot: D.K Metcalf First Touchdown +750
Betting on the first touchdown is more like playing the lottery, but Metcalf at +750 is worth a look. Metcalf had ten touchdowns last season and is Wilson’s favorite target. He will be targeted early and often in this game.
Colts Seahawks Betting Trends
Colts are 1-11-1 ATS in their last 13 games played in Week 1.
Colts lost 7 straight SU as underdogs
Seattle failed to cover last 5 times as road chalk last season. Colts have lost 5 straight ATS as home dogs.