The Indianapolis Colts look to build on their first win, but with a date against the high-flying Baltimore Ravens, books aren’t expecting the Colts to gain their second win on primetime Monday Night Football. The Colts are catching a touchdown on the NFL odds board.
|Game: Indianapolis Colts (1-3) at Baltimore Ravens (3-1)
Location: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
Date: Monday, Oct. 11, 2021
Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
|Indianapolis Colts||+7 -110||+260||46 -110o|
|Baltimore Ravens||-7 -110||-320||4u -110o|
Lamar Jackson has a 1-0 record against the Colts. He also has a 1-0 record against the Philadelphia Eagles, having beaten Carson Wentz during his time in the City of Brotherly Love.
Next game: vs. Houston Texans
Wentz and the Colts finally cracked the win column last weekend, beating the Miami Dolphins 27-17 to come through as the closing +2½ -point road underdogs in the upset win.
As great as a win is for Frank Reich’s side, getting it against the weakest opponent they’ve faced so far is hardly a ringing endorsement or a sign of a turnaround. Fact is, the Colts boast a lowly 1-3 record and have their backs against the wall to salvage their season.
The Colts are mired in a three-game road trek, and their last destination is probably the toughest with a date against the stout Ravens, who are riding a three-game winning streak. In all four contests, the Colts were pegged as the underdogs across multiple online sports betting platforms, but this week, they’re facing their biggest point spread as the +7 road dogs.
Defensive end Kwity Paye (hamstring) is out while running back Jordan Wilkins (illness), and center Ryan Kelly (groin) are questionable. Separately, running back Nyheim Hines (shoulder) and quarterback Wentz (ankle) are probable.
Next game: vs. Los Angeles Chargers
The Baltimore Ravens are coming off a solid 23-7 win over the Denver Broncos, coming through as the surprising 1-point road underdogs in a convincing fashion. It was their most comprehensive victory to date after flying by the seat of their pants with narrow wins over the Chiefs (36-35) and the Lions (19-17).
Teddy Bridgewater’s concussion tipped the balance in favor of the Ravens overwhelmingly because after the veteran signal-caller was escorted off the field, the Broncos didn’t score a single point. It was all Ravens, on both sides of the ball.
No matter, history doesn’t remember who did or didn’t play. It records which teams won and lost. The Ravens got a win. That’s all that will matter as they improve to a 3-1 record and into the top spot in the AFC North, level with the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns.
Safety Gene Stone (thing), tackle Alejandro Villanueva (knee), wide receiver Miles Boykin (hamstring), wide receiver Rashad Bateman (groin), tackle Ronnie Stanley (ankle), and safety Deshon Elliot are questionable.
Betting on the Game
On paper, this is a clash between a 3-1 and 1-3 team, outfits headed in different directions. The Ravens will be keen to keep the momentum going, and according to the NFL betting lines and odds, they should do just that.
And yet, the public is backing the Colts. The public is grabbing the Colts at +7 and, at the same time, it has bet the total up from an opening 45½ points to 46 points. These are interesting line movements and somewhat head-scratching ones as well.
If these trends were motivated by the brief speculation about Lamar Jackson’s fitness, it would now appear that they were premature knee-jerk reactions because the Ravens quarterback quelled any doubts this week about his status. He participated in practice and assured the media he was 101% fit.
The question marks about Wentz though are sound, however. He’s suffered one injury after another since August, and he’s playing with both ankles sprained right now. Considering the quarterback matchup, therefore, the balance tips in favor of Jackson indeed
As Wentz deals with several injuries, it’s hard to imagine the Colts can cover such a hefty point spread or put up enough points to drive the game total above 46.
Conversely, the Ravens can put up points in a hurry. However, John Harbaugh’s side tends to play up or down to its opponents. So, for example, against the high-flying Raiders and Chiefs offense, the Ravens went toe-to-toe and combined for more than 50 points. Alternatively, against less pass-happy outfits such as the Lions and Broncos, the Ravens indulged in low-scoring affairs that came under 40 points.
Reich is likely to lean on the run game as much as possible in this matchup if only to give Wentz some reprieve in the passing game. That strategy was on display against Miami. Whether it’s as successful here is another matter entirely because it would require beating the Ravens at their own game and doing it under the lights on primetime NFL football, no less.
Whichever way one slices it, the Ravens have to be the NFL pick against the spread, surely. So, expect this to be a dominant performance by the Ravens, but one that will come under the total.