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Indianapolis Colts vs. Los Angeles Rams Point Spread - Pick

Indianapolis Colts (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Rams (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Week 1 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, September 10, 2017 at 4:05PM EST
Where: Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
TV: CBS

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Betting Odds: IND +3/LA -3
Over/Under Total: 44.5

The Indianapolis Colts take on the Los Angeles Rams at the LA Coliseum on Sunday in week one afternoon action. The Rams had a lot of problems last season, losing 11 of their last 12 games and seeing almost everything go wrong. They are now being led by the youngest head coach in NFL history, the 31-year old Sean McVay. Along with some good roster moves, maybe they can turn it around. The Colts are also looking forward to 2017 after two straight 8-8 seasons. They face a crossroads season and face a daunting cross-conference road game in week one. Who gets the 2017 season off to a good start on Sunday?

Offseason shoulder injury has hopefully put Andrew Luck on the right track in the long-term, but waiting until spring to go under the knife has forced him to sit out from preseason action. The whole preseason has been tough on a Colts team dealing with a lot of injuries—some of what would appear to be of a critical nature to key guys. It makes it hard in what is really a "put up or shut up" season for head coach Chuck Pagano. Look for a lot of QB Scott Tolzien in this one. A late move allowed them to get QB Jacoby Brissett, who could figure into the picture if Luck takes longer to return.

The Colts tried to make the line better in the offseason, but injuries to center Ryan Kelly and left guard Jake Mewhort are looming, especially with the left side being undefined. That doesn't bode well for Luck, Tolzien, or the run game. RB Frank Gore can still produce, but is getting long in the tooth. Aerially, T.Y. Hilton is a handful, as is a healthy Donte Moncrief. Tight end Jack Doyle turned into a real weapon. But TE Eric Swoope is injured and Phillip Dorsett was traded the weekend before the season. It's just not a terribly exciting situation right now for Indy.

The Colts return a defense that was ranked 30th last season. After losing a Pro Bowl-caliber safety in Mike Adams, the secondary has also been befallen by injuries to S Clayton Geathers, CB TJ Green, and what could be a really costly groin injury to CB Vontae Davis. That really puts pressure on rookies like Quincy Wilson and first-round pick Malik Hooker. The middle will need to be good and they did add John Simon, Barkevious Mingo, and Jabaal Sheard, who should all be helpful. The front isn't terribly exciting with a good DT Jonathan Hankins that was added to the mix that includes Henry Anderson, Al Woods, and Hassan Ridgeway.

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After whipping Kirk Cousins into shape and becoming one of the best aerial threats in the game, McVay hopes to do the same with Rams' second-year quarterback Jared Goff this season. They can't get much worse than what was a truly-dead 2016 offense that averaged a paltry 262 yards per game last season. RB Todd Gurley had an awful season and Goff didn't look like a future star. Some things were done to address that and maybe it will start with fresh leadership at the top.

Some key pieces were added to the offensive line, which should really help. First was a really good left tackle in Andrew Whitworth. Center John Sullivan was added to the mix and along with G Rodger Saffold and G Jamon Brown on the inside, they should be a lot better than they were last season. And hopefully, that gets third-year back Todd Gurley on the right track after he averaged a pitiful 3.1 yards per carry last season. McVay's zone-blocking schemes should open up more space for this offense to work. Two former Bills receivers in Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins offer some hope aerially, especially if second-year guys Pharoh Cooper and Tyler Higbee or rookies Josh Reynolds and Cooper Kupp can produce. The line needs to gel, Gurley needs to be better, and McVay has to find the right schemes and find a playmaker or two. But first and foremost, Goff has to take a major step forward this season for the Rams to have a shot.

The Rams' defense could really use a boost from the offense, having been hung out to dry for the entirety of 2016. Offering promise is new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who makes the switch to a 3-4. The holdout of Aaron Donald is troublesome and can't be overstated. Robert Quinn moves to OLB, while Connor Barwin was added to help the run-stop. At inside linebacker, Alec Ogletree and Mark Barron are contributors. Phillips will earn his money with a secondary that that lost a good safety in TJ McDonald. Useful Trumaine Johnson is the only cemented corner, with a lot being asked of Lamarcus Joyner and Cody Davis.

Growing pains are again likely for the Rams. But there are now coaches in place who have a track record of getting things on the right track. Whether they can address all these problem areas remain to be seen. And it doesn't hurt that they have great special teams, led by K Greg Zuerlein and P Johnny Hekker. That revamped O-line offers a lot of promise. With Indy, there are a lot of questions looming. To start the season so banged up is just bad break for a team in a crossroads season. The Colts could be good and getting points against a Rams team that might need time to get cooking is appetizing, but we see LA in a good position and a more-intact force to get the cover.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Los Angeles Rams minus 3 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Indy vs. LA 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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