Two teams that many experts expected much better starts from will square off Sunday afternoon in Week 7. It’s a marquee quarterback match-up as Andrew Luck and his struggling Indianapolis Colts will host Drew Brees and his awful New Orleans Saints. For the Colts, many had them pegged as potential Super Bowl contenders, but through the first few weeks, they look very far from that level. Last week, they hung with the Pats for a bit, but were never truly in that game. Clearly there’s an echelon they cannot reach, but this still remains a solid team and a legitimate playoff threat.
For New Orleans, it’s been yet another tough season mostly due to their defense. Even though they beat the Falcons last week, dark days lie ahead for the Saints. This team enters Week 7 with a 2-4 record and already trails the Panthers and Falcons by a wide margin. They’re already playing for pride it seems like, and you have to wonder how that has impacted an aging Drew Brees. It’s a battle of two teams who should be a lot better, and a match-up between a pair of struggling quarterbacks. Who snaps out first? Read on below to find out with the pick for this game and a detailed breakdown.
Saints vs. Colts Betting Odds:
New Orleans Saints +4.5 (-115)
@ Indianapolis Colts -4.5 (-105)
Over 52 (-110)
Under 52 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Saints vs. Colts Pick:
Andrew Luck likely isn’t 100% but that shouldn’t really matter against this New Orleans Saints defense. He showed some promise against a tough Patriots team, and should be able to post some big numbers for the hometown fans on Sunday vs. the Saints. New Orleans enters Week 7 ranking 31st against the pass in yards per attempt, and they currently have far too many holes to pose a legitimate threat to Andrew Luck. The Colts are blessed with an array of talented outlets for Luck from the pocket, so look for any of those big-name talents to bust out and have a big outing on Sunday. Even on the ground look for Indy to enjoy a fair bit of success. The Saints are awful in this area as well, ranking 30th against the rush, conceding almost 5 yards per carry! They’ve also surrendered five 100-yard rushers in their past six games. Frank Gore should feast and add to the Saints’ defensive woes.
On the other side of the ball, the Saints offense hasn’t been very Saints-like. Similar to Luck and the Colts, it hasn’t been as explosive as years past. While much of that can be attributed to losing star tight end Jimmy Graham, Brees hasn’t been all that great in some of his outings either. His protection has been fine for the most part – he’s just deteriorating as an NFL quarterback, and the Saints don’t really have a contingency plan in place. With all that said, he’ll need to be great on Sunday if his Saints want to stand a chance. The Colts are very competent at stopping the run and forcing teams to beat them only using the pass. Indy gives up just 3.87 yards per carry to opposing rushers, so Brees will need to ensure he’s on point in the passing game. It might be too tall an order for the Saints struggling QB and offense.
The Colts are great value here in Week 7. The spread is oddly low, especially if you assume home-field is worth about 3 points in Indianapolis. The Saints aren’t a playoff team, whereas the Colts will likely trend upwards for the remainder of the season and find a way in there. New Orleans has additional rest, yes, but they’re coming off an emotionally draining victory against their main rivals from Atlanta. A letdown can be expected vs. the Colts. Luck is also great coming off of defeats, 13-3 against the spread, and always plays much better at home. There has been some ridiculous reactionary line movements for this game, and truth be told, they’ve left me baffled. This spread is too low, and look for the Colts to prove that in dominant fashion on Sunday.
PICK = Colts -4.5 (-105)