San Francisco 49ers vs. Indianapolis Colts
Date and Time: Saturday, August 25, 2018, 4:30 p.m. ET
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Opening NFL Odds: Colts -1, 43.5
49ers vs. Colts TV Coverage: Local TV
The 49ers have won a game and lost a game in the closing moments the first two weeks of the exhibition season. They ousted the Dallas Cowboys in the late stages to score the 24-21 win but failed to cover the 3.5 point closing spread in the process. Then against Houston, they ended up pushing as 3 point dogs after allowing the Texans to score the go ahead touchdown with just 27 seconds left to secure the 16-13 triumph.
Even with Garoppolo sidelined for a bulk of the first two games, Kyle Shanahan’s offensive process has still stood tall. The Niners have accumulated more yards than any other team per game ( 421.5 ) with a bulk of it coming via the pass of which they’ve averaged over 330 yards per game ( No. 2 ). Should Jerick McKinnon prove to be the ultra-back upper management believes it signed in the offseason, San Francisco’s offense is going to be a tough beast to tame.
After upsetting the Seahawks in front of the 12th Man in their preseason opener, the Colts took to their home field confident for a MNF bout with the Ravens. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to carry the momentum from that win over into Week 2. The team routinely killed itself with penalties and turnovers en route to just coming up short in the 20-19 final. They did however cover the closing NFL odds as 2 point underdogs.
Indianapolis has put forth one of the more cringe worthy stat lines across the board offensively. Some of that has to do with Andrew Luck seeing limited action, but a ton of it likely has to do with new head coach Frank Reich not wanting to show opposing defensive coordinators much of how he plans to run the Colts offensive attack; very understandable.
Player to Watch
Nyheim Hines – The rookie is falling out of favor with the Colts coaching staff due to his butterfingers. After coughing up the pigskin for the fourth time through two games on Monday night, one can only wonder if the teams plans to utilize the speedster have been thrown on the backburner. Indianapolis doesn’t have much in the way of afterburner speed, but Hines is the owner of a 4.38 forty time and was expected to pump new life into the offense and special teams. If the kid can’t show the coaching staff he can get the job done, he’s going to lose his shot at stardom. It goes without saying that this dress rehearsal is huge for the youngster!
49ers vs. Colts Free Picks
The 49ers partook in a shootout with the Vikings in Shanahan’s first dress rehearsal as head coach last season. Though they ended up falling by a 32-31 final count, they covered as 4.5 point dogs and likely would’ve won had the defense not allowed Minnesota to rack up all 32 of its points in the second half. Through the first 30 minutes, the Niners led 14-0. This year’s defense looks to be in much better shape, so it would be quite the shock if Indianapolis was able to do that kind of damage offensively with it still likely not opening up the playbook.
I like what I’ve seen from Nick Mullens who is currently battling CJ Beathard for the backup job. With the former Iowa Hawkeye battling a sprained foot, this could be his opportunity to take a stranglehold of the job. With that, I’ll roll the dice and look for the Niners to hand the vanilla Colts a second straight defeat on their home turf.
NFL ATS Pick: San Francisco + at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: 49ers 30 – Colts 16