The Indianapolis Colts are trying to keep pace with the Tennessee Titans in the AFC South. The most recent NFL betting lines have them as 6.5 point favorites against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 17.
Can the Colts get their fourth win in a row this week against the Raiders? Let’s look at their scoring potential in this game.
Las Vegas at Indianapolis
- Date: Sunday, Jan. 2
- Time: 1:00 P.M. EST on FOX
- Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN
- Participants: Las Vegas Raiders at Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts Roster
The biggest news of Week 17 is that Carson Wentz has gone on the Reserve/COVID-19 list and will not play against the Raiders. Rookie quarterback Sam Ehlinger gets his first snaps in the NFL this Sunday.
Ehlinger went 21-31 for 288 yards and three interceptions in limited preseason action. If the Colts go to air against Las Vegas, Michael Pittman Jr. will play a key role. Pittman is the Colts’ top receiver with 116 targets, 76 catches for 971 yards, and five TDs.
Zach Pascal is next with 36 catches for 369 yards and three TDs, but Jonathan Taylor also has 36 catches for 336 yards and two TDs out of the backfield.
It will be Jonathan Taylor on the ground that gets Indianapolis in the end zone. Taylor has become an MVP candidate with 1,626 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns.
Indianapolis Colts Scoring
With 19 total touchdowns, Jonathan Taylor has scored more than a quarter of the Colts’ points. So even though the Colts have a rookie quarterback this week, I believe the game plan will be the same: get the ball into Taylor’s hands.
Taylor will likely get more touches against the Raiders. In the last three games, the running back has averaged 29.3 carries. The Colts know Taylor can handle the load.
The Raiders are 19th in the NFL against the run. Even if the Las Vegas defense keys on Taylor, he has proven that he can pick up yards against stacked boxes.
Sam Ehlinger could be the wild card in this offense in Week 17. The Raiders don’t have any film to review on him outside of the preseason, which could favor Indianapolis.
The Raiders are last for red-zone defense, allowing opposing teams to score touchdowns at a 78.9% rate.
The key to the Indianapolis Colts’ offense is its ability to wear down a defense. The Colts convert 42.25% of their third downs, which is tenth in the NFL. On the other side of the ball, the Raiders allow opposing teams to convert 41.79% of their third downs, which is the ninth-worst rate in the league. If the Raiders can’t get the Colts off the field, Indianapolis can control the clock and limit the Raiders’ offensive possessions.
The Colts will clinch a playoff spot with a home win in Week 17. Their 5th-ranked scoring offense (28 points per game) matches up well against the Las Vegas 26th-ranked defense in points allowed.
Raiders vs. Colts (-6.5)
This Sunday, the Raiders will face their third backup quarterback in a row. But this time, they will get tested by the NFL’s top running back, Jonathan Taylor.
The Colts can stick to the same game plan to win in Week 17 regardless of who the quarterback is. I believe they should win if they can rely on Ehlinger to manage the game without turning the ball over.
Week 17 Prediction
I believe the Colts will still score a lot of points in this game because of their rushing attack, making them an excellent selection for this week’s King of the Weekend promo.
Do you believe the Colts can still put up points, or do you think the Raiders can stop their running game and force Sam Ehlinger to make some mistakes? Sign up for BetMGM’s King of the Weekend promo and pick the six teams that you think will score the most points this week for your chance at $50,000.
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