Chiefs vs Colts NFL Week 3 Picks, Prediction

Chiefs vs Colts NFL Week 3 Picks, Prediction article feature image

Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Mahomes (left) and Matt Ryan.

  • The Chiefs are favored today against the Colts.
  • Patrick Mahomes has been on fire, while Matt Ryan has struggled in his first two games with Indianapolis.
  • Anthony Dabbundo previews the game and makes his pick below.

Chiefs vs. Colts Odds

Sunday, Sept. 25
1 p.m. ET
Chiefs Odds
-109o / -112u
Colts Odds
-109o / -112u
Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Two weeks ago, Chiefs at Colts would have been viewed as a marquee matchup among two of the better teams in the AFC and a potential playoff preview.

Kansas City has lived up to its preseason expectations with a blowout win against Arizona in Week 1 and backed it up with a home victory against the Chargers in Week 2. Kansas City is 2-0 and in command of the division and is now a solid favorite on the road in Indianapolis on Sunday.

The Colts, meanwhile, have been one of the worst teams in the NFL through two weeks. Indianapolis tied Houston in Week 1 because of a missed field goal in overtime and red-zone failures. They responded to that tie with a 24-0 shutout defeat to the Jaguars. The Colts now have now gone eight years without a Week 1 victory and win in Jacksonville.

The NFL is quite an overreaction league on a week-to-week basis. Following an embarrassing loss last week, no one wants to bet the Colts against one of the best teams in the NFL. With that being said, the market is overreacting to the Colts performance against the Jaguars and the value lies with them in betting this game on Sunday.

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Chiefs vs. Colts Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Chiefs and Colts match up statistically:

Chiefs vs. Colts DVOA Breakdown
Overall DVOA318
Pass DVOA329
Rush DVOA212
Overall DVOA3114
Pass DVOA3122
Rush DVOA246

The biggest concern with the Colts through two weeks is the offensive line. Matt Ryan came to Indianapolis and was supposed to benefit from excellent protection and a great running game. Through two games, the Colts rank 30th in pass block win rate. The offense struggled to run the ball at all against Jacksonville and actually had the lowest rushing success rate in the entire NFL in Week 2. The result was a lot of passing downs, on which Ryan was under constant duress.

The Colts receivers also got no separation across the board, forcing Ryan into plenty of tight window throw situations. That should be improved on Sunday when Michael Pittman Jr. and Alex Pierce return to the lineup. Pittman graded out excellently last year and had a clear established connection with Ryan in Week 1.

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As bad as the Colts offense was on Sunday in Jacksonville, it did produce more than 500 yards against the Texans with a healthy receiving corps in Week 1. The Colts will still be an above-average offense if they get average offensive line play.

Given the amount of investment there, it's fair to assume the offensive line will improve going forward. It was a problem early last season, when the Colts started 0-3, and improved as the season progressed.

Another matchup trend you'll hear is how Patrick Mahomes shredded Gus Bradley's defense in Las Vegas last season. That is absolutely true, but the sample is just two games. Now that Tyreek Hill is gone, the Chiefs are simply not as vertical, either.

That trend doesn't even hold up to Bradley's days with the Chargers. When he was the defensive coordinator, the Chargers held Mahomes under 200 yards twice. Mahomes is really good in general, and two outlier games against Bradley defenses does not mean he will have an incredible game on Sunday.

Patrick Mahomes has played Gus Bradley defenses about like he has everyone. He has a 108.5 rating against Bradley and a 106.5 against the league.

The Chargers held Mahomes under 200 yards twice but the Raiders gave up 40+ points twice.

— Nate Atkins (@NateAtkins_) September 24, 2022

Mahomes didn't finish Thursday's Week 2 game against the Chargers, but it was not his best performance overall. There were two dropped interceptions and two more called back for penalties that didn't impact the play much at all. Mahomes is excellent and will command an elite offense yet again, but I think it's fair to say the lacking explosiveness to offset the occasional reckless decision making could be a bit of an issue in 2022.

Betting Picks

The lookahead line for this game was Kansas City -3 or -3.5, depending on which book you looked at. The line opened at Chiefs -6.5 and despite an overwhelming majority of the public betting Kansas City, the line has been met with consistent resistance any time bookmakers moved the Chiefs up. It briefly hit seven and was hit down. Then it dropped from 6.5 to 5.5 once it was announced that Pittman and Pierce would be back for Indianapolis.

The trends on winless teams in Week 3 are super strong. Teams that are winless  in Week 3 and are an underdog of less than a touchdown have covered the spread 61% of the time since 2005. As bad as Indianapolis looked in the first two weeks of the season, the Colts were still a clear division favorite just two weeks ago. A bad red zone showing in Houston and another shocking display in Jacksonville shouldn't override your priors on the Colts as much as the market has.

For example, here's a shocking trend: Since 2015, the Colts are 1-13-1 against the spread vs. the Jaguars and 57-42-3 (57.6%) against everyone else. The week after playing the Jaguars, the Colts cover the spread 72.7% of the time in the last 20 years. Simply put, divisional matchups are weird.

 From a buy-low, sell-high perspective, this is a classic Colts spot. Even though the matchup isn't that good for the Colts secondary to slow down Mahomes, it should be a heavy dose of Jonathan Taylor and an improved Colts offense with its weapons back.

Hold your nose and bet the Colts at +5 or better at home.

FanDuel Quickslip: Colts +5.5 | Bet to +5

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