The Indianapolis Colts’ front office — like many of us — believed that pairing an excellent veteran quarterback (Matt Ryan) with explosive offensive weapons (Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman Jr.) would result in a lot of success. As of early November, the reality could not be any different.
The Colts have already made near-wholesale changes across the board. They’ve fired head coach Frank Reich, offensive coordinator Marcus Brady and benched starting quarterback Matt Ryan in favor of sophomore signal-caller Sam Ehlinger. As if things couldn’t get any worse, owner Jim Irsay hired interim head coach Jeff Saturday from outside the organization over two former head coaches already on staff.
Indianapolis is still in the division race though. The Tennessee Titans have just a two-game lead atop the AFC South. Both the Colts and Titans will be squaring off against AFC West opponents this weekend. Suffice it to say, there’s a lot on the line for Saturday during his NFL coaching debut.
Indianapolis strolls into Allegiant Stadium as an unsurprising underdog at Caesars Sportsbook. Oddsmakers currently favor the Raiders by 4.5 points and have set Sunday’s over/under total at 41.
Let’s take a closer look at the odds and trends:
Indianapolis Colts at Las Vegas Raiders
Time/TV: 4:05 p.m. Sunday, FOX
Point spread (from Caesars Sportsbook): Raiders -4.5
Money line: Raiders -225, Colts +185
Analysis: Fans are familiar with the faces on the Indianapolis sideline, but does anybody know what to expect from the Colts on Sunday? Saturday brings with him a new play-caller and his inexperience also brings with it some uncertainty.
It’s hard to imagine Indianapolis being any worse than it was last week against New England in the 26-3 loss though. Sam Ehlinger has yet to find his feet as the starting quarterback. The Colts haven’t found the end zone often throughout the last two games, but Las Vegas’ defense is significantly worse than the two he’s faced thus far (Commanders, Patriots).
The Raiders’ offense has a couple of lethal weapons surrounding Derek Carr with Josh Jacobs and Davante Adams. However, they’ve underperformed a lot this season, most notably in the 24-0 loss against the New Orleans Saints.
They’ll be facing the No. 5 total defense on Sunday, so there isn’t exactly a lot of hope around Sin City. The hosts get a huge break with Colts superstar linebacker Shaq Leonard being placed on IR earlier this week though. Surely an offense with this much talent on offense must begin to thrive under an offensive-minded head coach at some point, right? There’s no time like the present.
Las Vegas is at home and it’s desperate for a win to turn things around. There’s simply too much uncertainty around Indianapolis right now to put any stock into the Colts before seeing Saturday coach a single game. It could eventually all come together for the visitors, it’s just difficult to imagine everything falling into place in under a week.
Prediction: Raiders 23, Colts 13