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Denver Broncos vs. Indianapolis Colts Point Spread - Pick

Denver Broncos (4-9 SU, 3-9-1 ATS) vs. Indianapolis Colts (3-10 SU, 6-7 ATS)
Week 15 NFL
Date/Time: Thursday Night Football, December 14, 2017 at 8:25PM EST
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
TV: NBC

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: DEN -2/IND +2
Over/Under Total: 41

On Thursday Night Football, the Denver Broncos come to Lucas Oil Stadium to take on the Indianapolis Colts in week 15 action. Obviously, those who schedule these games were hoping for a more-marquee matchup, as these two division basement-dwellers have combined for a mere 7 total wins this season. Denver was able to break a bad run on Sunday with a resounding 23-0 win over the Jets at home. The win broke a wretched 8-game losing streak and at least indicated the Broncos haven't packed it in yet, despite being at their lowest point in years. For the Colts, the problems continued on Sunday with a 13-7 overtime loss to the Bills on the road. After tying the game late in the fourth quarter, they couldn't get it done in the extra period, losing their fourth straight and seventh game in their last 8 tries. Who can get the win and cover on Thursday Night Football?

Denver needed the win on Sunday, if for no other reason than do boost their confidence after losing 8 in a row. After a respectable 3-1 start, the bottom fell out completely. First, it was an ineffective offense that led to a lot of problems, but the defense started following suit and before you knew it, the Broncos started looking like one of the worst teams in the league, quite a fall for a team that won it all a few short years ago. Going into their win over the Jets on Sunday, they lost 35-9 to a Dolphins team that hadn't done much right in recent weeks. It's been a rough road, with such bad results as losing at home to the Giants, being shut out by the Chargers, and dropping games to sideways teams like the Raiders and Bengals.

It looks like the Broncos are back with Trevor Siemian behind center and he wasn't bad on Sunday. He was able to get a big game out of Demaryius Thomas, who had 93 yards and a touchdown. They really haven't been able to get big games from multiple ball-catchers this season, while the ground-game has grown stale at times. It offered some promise early, but CJ Anderson has slowed down in recent weeks and no one else has been able to step up. It doesn't help that they have been working with a line that has been hit with injuries and hasn't done well in repelling the opposing pass-rush. All told, they average a little over 17 points a game.

It's hard to call out the defense, even as they have seen their form slip precipitously in recent weeks. A shutout win on Sunday was the first time they looked like the Denver defense in a while. They made some big plays, something they haven't done much of lately, with Darian Stewart getting a pick, with sacks from Von Miller, Brandon Marshall, and Shelby Harris. DE Adam Gotsis recovered a fumble. They were making contributions to the overall team effort. They held the Jets to just 100 total yards and only 6 first downs. Sure, the Jets' offense isn't a good one, but where has this version of the Denver defense been in recent weeks?

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With the Colts, injuries are the first thing one would cite when trying to explain their condition. Sure, they have a lot of other football-related issues that have contributed. But at any given time this season, half of their starters were either on IR or missing games. That includes a quarterback they rely on for a lot in Andrew Luck, as they were not prepared to make a run without him this season. His absence has been big, but any chance they had at making something out of 2017 was dashed with so many other injuries across all levels of play. In their last five games (all losses), four of them were one-score games. They have been scrappy in spots. Sunday was their third overtime game this season and the second time they lost in extra-time.

For the spot he has been put in, Colts' quarterback Jacoby Brissett hasn't been that bad, all things considered. First, he has operated behind a line that is solidly substandard and it's a minor miracle that he's still in one piece with how little protection he gets. He has a good receiver in TY Hilton, but not much else. Frank Gore can still provide production and Jack Doyle can make plays at tight end, but it's a pretty bare cast of playmakers. Gore was big with 130 yards on Sunday, but no one else really stepped up, other than Jack Doyle who caught the late game-tying TD. Granted, they were playing in blizzard conditions. They have some heart and spunk, but they are one of the worst offenses in the league from a bottom-line standpoint with an average of just over 16 points a game.

The IR looks more like the Indy defense than the actual starting lineup they are now trotting out there. They weren't bad on Sunday, allowing just a TD in regulation on the road to the Bills, but a long TD run by LeSean McCoy in OT sealed the win for the Bills. All in all, it's been a very poor group. The pass-rush this season has been negligible at best, while opposing pass-rushes have feasted on the Colts' offense. Somehow, they've managed to give the Colts a plus-one in turnover ratio. But when looking for a big clutch play late, this group has been deficient more often than not.

The Colts look to get it done this week at home after back-to-back road games. They have only played truly badly at home once this season, with their other home games either being wins or painfully-close losses. Even so, it's hard to really get behind them right now, as they haven't covered the spread in over a month. But then you look at Denver and even though they were pretty good on Sunday, they are hardly a bankable proposition even in a spot like this. If one wanted to take Denver's win over the Jets to heart, a stance on them makes sense on certain levels. I still see the Colts being tough in this spot and getting the cover.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Indianapolis Colts plus 2 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Thursday Night Football Broncos vs. Colts game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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