Lions vs. Colts Prediction
Can the banged-up Indianapolis Colts find a way to hold off the Detroit Lions when the two meet on Sunday at 4:25PM ET?
According to the oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Colts are a slight favorite in this game, as Indy is getting odds of -3.5 points against the Lions. The over/under total for the contest is listed at 51.5 points. These two last met in 2012 when Indianapolis picked up a 35-33 win. The Colts have covered in three of their last four against the Lions.
Despite a number of injuries in the 2015 season, the Colts still managed to go 8-8 and contend for a playoff spot. Andrew Luck was limited to only seven games and threw for just 1,881 yards with 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions when he did play. He is expected to be healthy coming into this season and should push for closer to 5,000 yards like he did in 2014. Luck has a set of solid receivers to work with, led by T.Y. Hilton, who had over 1,000 yards last season despite not having Luck most of the time. The Colts need to improve on defense this year, as they ranked 26th in the NFL last year and gave up 379 yards per game. That could be tough in Week 1, as they have injuries to cornerbacks Darius Butler and Vontae Davis, among others.
The Lions went 7-9 last season but finished 6-2 over their last 8 games. The offseason saw a lot of changes, as the team hired a new GM in Bob Quinn from the Patriots. They also saw receiver Calvin Johnson retire somewhat surprisingly. Johnson caught 88 passes for 1,214 yards and 9 touchdowns in 2015. Now the focus is on Matthew Stafford, who threw for 4,262 yards and 32 touchdowns in 2015. He must spread the ball around to Detroit’s collection of receivers. The key for the Lions this season will be improving their league-worst run game from a year ago. They had just 1,335 yards on the ground as a team. Defensively, Detroit was an average team in 2015, giving up 349.6 yards and 25 points per game. Still, they have a solid defensive front that is led by Ezekiel Ansah, who had 14.5 sacks a year ago.
A lot of focus is being made on the injuries to the Colts and what that can mean for the Detroit offense on Sunday. However, the Colts should be fired up to be healthy on offense and can move the ball on this Detroit defense. Luck will be eager to be back on the field and look for big plays downfield. The Lions aren’t known for being a franchise that can win consistently on the road, so don’t look for that to change over a couple of injuries to the Colts.
NFL WEEK 1 PREDICTION: INDIANAPOLIS COLTS -3.5