Baltimore Ravens vs. Indianapolis Colts
Date and Time: Monday, August 20, 2018, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Opening NFL Odds: Colts -1.5, 41.5
Ravens vs. Colts TV Coverage: ESPN
Joe Flacco has been hearing and reading a bunch of demeaning headlines the last couple seasons with the Ravens failing to qualify for the playoffs. It look like he had enough of it last week after putting forth his best showing in quite some time in completing 5 of 7 passes for 71 yards and a score against a Rams defense he had off base throughout his short stay in the game.
The same went for both Robert Griffin III and rookie Lamar Jackson with the duo combining for over 200 yards passing and a touchdown. Most impressive was the Ravens defense which brought pressure all night long against the Rams quarterbacks, batted down a number of passes at the line of scrimmage and registered four sacks. Through two weeks, the team looks determined to end its postseason drought.
The Colts won Frank Reich’s debut as head coach after it went in front of the 12th Man in Seattle and beat the Seahawks 19-17 in a pick-em game per the closing NFL preseason betting lines. Though the offense only combined for 265 total yards and the defense held Seattle to a grand total of 195 yards, the main story was that Andrew Luck was back on the playing field.
That’s huge for an Indianapolis franchise that’s struggled immensely without their former Pro Bowl shot caller lining up under center for a bulk of the last two seasons. He ended up completing 6 of 9 passes for 64 yards, and didn’t throw a pass longer than 10 yards. Offensive Coordinator Nick Sirianni had him getting rid of the ball quickly throughout his playing time, and that’s likely to be the case again here in this one against what looks to be a pretty darn good Baltimore stop unit.
With the Ravens simply shutting the door on the Rams passing game last week in allowing a total of 49 yards, you wouldn’t think this would be the week Indianapolis would look to challenge its wide receiver corps. But with rookie wide receiver Deon Cain going down with a season-ending injury after impressing all throughout training camp, Reich needs to find a capable pass catcher to line up alongside T.Y Hilton. This is an extremely green wide receiver corps as it is, so something is going to have to be done to see what the roster actually has. Might as well test the waters against the best of the best!
Ravens vs. Colts Free Picks
After embarrassing the NFC favorite Rams last week, it comes as hardly a shock to see the betting market enamored with the Ravens once again this week. They hammered Baltimore to my surprise last week, and they’re doing so once again at an insane 86 percent clip. Talk about overreacting! The Colts are now down to -1 with only 14 percent of the action, and that’s something I simply won’t be able to let go come the Monday night kickoff.
The public is always quick to jump to conclusions, so the Ravens are now the coolest thing going since sliced bread. Not so fast my friend! Indy’s got a pretty darn good quarterback rotation of its own to counter that of Baltimore’s. Remember, Jacoby Brissett was the team’s starter for most of last season, and he’s likely to get even more burn in this one. I liked what I saw from both Brad Kaaya and Phillip Walker as well. Even though the Ravens have rattled off 10 straight preseason wins, I’m going to fade them in this Monday night spot and suggest you do as well.
NFL ATS Pick: Indianapolis - at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: Colts 21 – Ravens 18