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Arizona Cardinals vs. Indianapolis Colts Point Spread - Pick

Arizona Cardinals (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. Indianapolis Colts (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)
Week 2 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, September 17, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
TV: Fox

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: ARI -7.5/IND +7.5
Over/Under Total: 44.5

The Arizona Cardinals come to Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday for a week 2 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. Neither team can be too happy about the way the season started. In week one, Arizona came up short to Detroit, 35-23, in what was a bad day for both sides of the ball. Indianapolis, meanwhile, went down hard to the LA Rams, 46-9. Granted, Andrew Luck was still being held back as he recovers from shoulder surgery, but to get slaughtered so decisively by a Rams team that could barely score last season is a demoralizing way to start the season.

After a few seasons of 8-8 mediocrity, the Colts were looking to get things on the right track this season. At the end of the day, you need health to cooperate. With Luck, their center Ryan Kelly, and top corner Vontae Davis out, they didn't even get to game one healthy enough to really compete. A bunch of other guys are on IR or already missing time and at some point, they'll need health to cooperate. As Luck has missed time recently with injuries, we see the Colts are not one of those teams that can shine without their star QB. They're going to need him in there and after seeing Scott Tolzien and Jacoby Brissett's performances on Sunday, you wonder if they'll expedite his return. But word is he might not be ready until October. It might be too late by then if week one is any indication.

Indy backup QB Scott Tolzien reaffirmed the importance in having a highly-competent backup. He threw two picks on 128 yards passing in a game where he personally had a lot on the line. Making the two picks really costly was that they were both returned for touchdowns. Jacoby Brissett came in briefly and was 2-for-3, but he just joined the team and probably hasn't digested the playbook yet. Still in the backfield is erstwhile Frank Gore, aided by rookie Marlon Mack. TY Hilton wasn't very good on Sunday and Donte Moncrief caught one ball, though it was for 50 yards. It's just that at points a few years ago, the offense looked electric under Luck and right now, it bears little resemblance to that group, despite a lot of the same personnel. The line is a big part of that, as they couldn't spring the run-game nor could they contain the opposing pass-rush.

The Indy front office tried to focus on the defense in the offseason. But if allowing 46 points to the Rams, a pitiful offense just last season, is any indication, there is still a lot of work to do. Last season, LA quarterback Jared Goff was 0-7 as a starter. Against the Colts, he won by 37 points and threw for over 300 yards. If looking for the silver lining, they kept Todd Gurley in-check on the ground and the Rams gained only 63 yards on 30 carries. Gurley did have success aerially, as did rookie Copper Kupp and new Rams receivers Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods. Maybe the defense had an off-night, but there are a lot of players already injured. Still, two Tolzien picks were returned for TDs and several Rams' drives ended and they had to go for field goals. They might be better than that game made them look.

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The Cardinals are also hoping they are better than they looked on Sunday. On one hand, a lot went wrong with some untimely penalties and four turnovers. Carson Palmer looked shaky with three picks, one of which was returned for a Detroit touchdown. And with 7 of the Cardinals' 23 points coming on a pick-six, the offense wasn't in prime shape.

Arizona got off to a promising-looking 10-0 lead. Late in the third quarter, they were still up 17-9. The Lions exploded and put up 26 straight points. Arizona added a late garbage TD to make it look respectable, but it was getting ugly out there late on Sunday for the Cardinals. In the third quarter, Arizona's finest offensive weapon David Johnson was knocked out of the game. Until then, he caught 6 balls but only gained 23 yards on the ground. News came in on Monday that a dislocated wrist will keep him out for extended time. Larry Fitzgerald was decent, but John Brown was quiet. All in all, it was a pretty flat performance and the maligned line was ineffective in opening up the run-game. Making it worse is news that they lost left tackle DJ Humphries for at least a few weeks. Filling the void of Johnson seems to be a task that will hard to pull off.

The Arizona defense looked pretty good for almost three quarters. They had the Detroit run-game grounded and had forced a couple turnovers. Detroit wasn't able to get much going, but then all that stopped and Detroit was marching up and down the field. Some of those losses in the secondary looked to have hurt. Up-front, Chandler Jones is a good pass-rusher and the LB corps still look to be strong. But with a depreciated line that lost some manpower and an incomplete looking secondary that is a bit thin outside of S Tyrann Mathieu and CB Patrick Peterson, this could be an uphill battle for the 2017 Cardinals' defense.

These are two teams that were on the right track and are looking for a way to get back there. It's going to be hard for an Indy team without Andrew Luck. The whole formula for success is contingent upon him being in there. Arizona, however, seems to have lost their way and injuries already have them all in knots. Key guys are getting old and personnel issues that seemed easy to overcome have turned out to be more difficult. At the same time, Indy seems all sideways to start the season. At the same time, laying a big number on Arizona as road favorites is just something that is too hard to do even in this spot. We're taking Indy

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Indianapolis Colts plus 7.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Cardinals vs. Colts game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 100% sign-up bonus!

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