The Colts host the Chiefs in a Wild Card matchup in Indy that has the potential to be a fantastic start to the 2013-2014 NFL Playoffs. Both teams come in at 11-5 and the Colts are favored by just -1.5 points with a posted total of 53.5 at 5 dimes sportsbook.
Bettors at 5dimes.com are favoring the Colts with 59% of the action and over the total is getting slightly more action than the under, with 54%.
For much of the year, we were very high on the Chiefs and heck, why not. They started the year 9-0 and put up some pretty spectacular numbers, not losing until they ran into Peyton Manning and the Broncos on the road in week 11. But the way they ended their season is cause for coNCern, dropping 5 of their last 7 Games. Perhaps cliNChing a playoff spot so early had something to do with their effort down the stretch. But that stretch run had us go back and take a look at the Chiefs 9-0 start.
9-0 was a great start, but perhaps not as great as we initially thought. During that 9 Game win streak, they faced just one playoff team, the Eagles, and that was at a time when the Eagles were still stumbling and bumbling and trying to find their way. Their wins came against Dallas, Jax, NYG, Tenn, Oak, Hou, Clev and Buffalo. Hardly impressive. Over the course of their last 7 Games, they beat the Redskins and Raiders while losing to the playoff teams they faced, the Broncos, Chargers and Colts, playing San Diego and Denver twice.
What was really disappointing with the Chiefs down the stretch was their inability to beat the Colts at home in a big spot. Now they have to go on the road and beat the Colts in their own building and really can only blame themselves for the position they are in.
We weren’t all that high on the Colts for much of the year, largely due to their losing to the Rams 38-8, the Cards 40-11 and barely getting by the Texans and Titans. Those weren’t the types of Games that NFL contenders are known for. Yet, in going through the Colts Schedule again Game by Game, one thing stands out. They stepped up to the plate and beat 4 playoff teams, beating the 49ers, Seahawks, Broncos and these Chiefs. Those first 3 we mentioned aren’t just any playoff teams. They are legitimate Super Bowl contenders.
It’s also worth noting that during the Chiefs 9-0 run their defense was giving up an average of 12 points per Game. No wonder we were so high on them. But down the stretch that defense GAve up an average of 27 points per Game.
The bottom line for us in this Game is that the Colts have proved they belong here. They have beaten quality playoff teams both at home and on the road and have shown they can handle a big spot. The Chefs simply haven’t done the same and in fact, have fallen flat on their face when given the opportunity. With that in mind, and the line being so low that we are simply being asked to pick a straight up winner, we’ll side with the home team Colts in this first Wild Card Game. Colts +2.5