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Indianapolis Colts vs. New Orleans Saints Point Spread - Pick

Indianapolis Colts (6-7 SU, 6-5-2 ATS) vs. New Orleans Saints (10-3 SU, 8-5 ATS)
Week 15 NFL
Date/Time: Monday Night Football, December 16, 2019 at 8:15PM EST
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
TV: ESPN

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: IND +8.5/NO -8.5
Over/Under Total: 45.5

The Indianapolis Colts come to the Superdome to face the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football. This is a big MNF matchup for the Saints, who have numerous playoff ramifications abound. They will also be looking to atone for a gut-wrenching defeat last week to the 49ers, 48-46. Again at home, they look to get back to the business of winning in what seems like a doable spot, against a sideways Colts team. On Sunday, Indy lost their third game in a row, blowing multiple leads in a 38-35 loss to the Bucs. Against their second straight NFC South team in a row, they look for better this week.

The last three games might tell the story of the Colts. A tough team that made a real go of it this season amidst difficult conditions and untold personnel issues, reality just came crashing down. And it couldn't have been at a worse time. At 6-4 a few weeks ago, the Colts were angling for some big things. First, they fell to two division teams, before blowing it against Tampa last week. Three separate times in the game, they built a two-score lead. Tampa had four turnovers, the Colts had numerous big plays, and still couldn't get it done at the end of the day. A team that earlier in the season was getting the most of what it has almost had to be creative to find a way to not get the W in that game. And that doesn't bode well for a team that has now covered just twice in the past seven weeks.

Jacoby Brissett threw two TD passes on Sunday, but his inability to deliver late was disconcerting and him going only 19 for 39 throwing told the story. A lot of errant passes fell to the ground late. Getting Marlon Mack back was big, but he is still going to need time to get back into the swing of things. Some big pass plays to Marcus Johnson and Zach Pascal were most of their offense on the day. It's enough to lose Andrew Luck to retirement, but not having the bulk of their expected aerial attack in there really hurts. Already without Eric Ebron and Devin Funchess, they are seeing TY Hilton miss a lot of time and you quickly realize when watching this group that the offense is a shadow of what they were expecting it to be, with almost every piece they were relying on in the skill-positions out of action for a variety of reasons.

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Some swelling point totals allowed have this Indy defense now a major point of concern. Able to hold on earlier in the season, the combination of injuries and a lack of support on the other side of the ball have made them a bit less of a problem for opponents. In their last two games, they have allowed a total of 69 points. They have seen their defense wane at the worst possible point. You have to wonder if having to pick up the slack for most of the season has started to take its toll. Even a run-defense that was pretty good has started to wane. The secondary, an Achilles heel for this team for much of the season, was torched by Jameis Winston on Sunday to the tune of 456 yards.

It's hard to figure what to do with the Saints loss on Sunday. On one hand, losing to a really good Frisco team and coming out on the wrong side of a massive shootout is a forgivable offense. Then again, as a team looking for big things this season, it wasn't a meaningless loss. The Saints know they have to get back to the business of winning in this top-heavy conference, as any slip up could deposit them into the wild card round.

After putting up 46 points against a good San Francisco defense, it's hard to take the Saints' offense to task, though missing that late 2 point conversion ended up costing them big. This group showed tremendous moxie on Sunday, marching down the field to get the go-ahead TD with under a minute left. Drew Brees had 349 yards with 5 touchdowns, connecting twice with Jared Cook (questionable), and once each with Michael Thomas, Tre'quan Smith, and TE Josh Hill. Latavius Murray had some nice runs, but Alvin Kamara was relatively quiet on a big offensive day and hasn't been the difference-maker some expected to see this season, a bit muted since he has returned from an injury.

We have seen some good things from the New Orleans defense this season. When Brees was out, this side of the ball helped band together to keep the team winning. A little resistance would have gone a long way on Sunday, as they were lit up by the Niners, especially late. There was nothing they did particularly well on Sunday, other than a pick from Craig Robertson and some sporadic pass-rush. They were lit up aerially and weren't appreciably better against the Niners' ground-game. That was against San Fran and at home against a pedestrian Indy offense, they could see better results. Still, even at home, the New Orleans defense has been struggling, giving up a combined 105 points in their last three at the Superdome.

I think it would have been better for the Colts if the Saints had just beaten the Niners. Looking to get back in the win-column, the Saints will be gunning hard at home. Things are as urgent as ever for the Colts, but what did heightened urgency do for them the last several weeks? I don't think they have enough offense to take full advantage of a Saints' defense. And whatever defensive issues the Colts showed last week don't figure to get much better this week. I like the Saints at home this week.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the New Orleans Saints minus 8.5 points. Did you know... that you could be wagering on the Colts-Saints MNF game at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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