The Colts will enter the AFC Divisional Round as underdogs for the second straight week, opening as 5.5-point underdogs against the Chiefs, via Las Vegas SuperBook..
Indianapolis was a 1.5-point underdog against the Texans on Saturday, but controlled the action from the first quarter, holding Houston QB Deshaun Watson to 235 passing yards in a 21-7 victory. The win marked the Colts’ first playoff victory since 2014.
While stopping Watson and Co. was impressive, Indianapolis will face a whole different animal on Jan 12. Kansas City led the league in points per game in 2018, with second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes throwing for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns.
Kickoff from Arrowhead Stadium is slated for 4:35 p.m. ET.
On Saturday, the Kansas City Chiefs will attempt to accomplish a feat they’ve never pulled off in their long and illustrious history: Defeat the Indianapolis Colts in the postseason. They will get their chance at 4:35 p.m. ET at Arrowhead Stadium in the first game of the NFL divisional round schedule. The Chiefs are 0-4 versus Indy in the playoffs, with their last meeting in 2014 culminating in a stunning 45-44 loss as the Colts rallied from 28 points down in the second half. But the Chiefs have a new attitude, and the AFC’s top seed. Kansas City is a 5.5-point home favorite, while the over-under is at 56 in the latest Chiefs vs. Colts odds. Before you make any Chiefs vs. Colts picks and NFL playoff predictions, check out what the SportsLine Projection Model has to say.
The advanced computer model simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, and those who have followed it have seen massive returns. SportsLine’s proprietary computer model went 176-80 last season and beat over 95 percent of CBS Office Pool players in 2016 and ’17. It also performed better than 98 percent of experts tracked by NFLPickWatch.com during that span. Additionally, it went 48-34 on A-rated picks against the spread last season, and $100 bettors who followed it the past two seasons are up nearly $4,000.
The model has continued to nail its top-rated picks in 2018-19, entering the divisional round on a blistering 16-6 run. For the season, it is now 30-15 on all top-rated picks, extending its two-year run to a strong 78-49. It also went 170-84 on straight-up NFL picks during the regular season, ranking inside the top 10 on NFLPickWatch.com. Additionally, it hit all four NFL against-the-spread picks on Wild Card Weekend. Anyone who has followed it is way up.
Now the model has dialed in on Colts vs. Chiefs (stream live on fuboTV). We can tell you it’s leaning under, but it has also generated a strong point-spread pick that’s hitting nearly 60 percent of the time. You can only see that one over at SportsLine.
The model knows that Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw 50 touchdown passes this season, 11 more than No. 2 player on the list, Andrew Luck. He also rushed for nearly 300 yards and two more scores. His stellar scrambling abilities not only allow him to buy time for his receivers to break free, but also limit big losses. Mahomes has been sacked only 26 times.
Kansas City’s wideout corps is among the NFL’s best, and the unit includes perennial Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce. The six-year veteran notched 103 grabs for 1,336 yards and 10 touchdowns during the regular season. Five times, he eclipsed the 100-yard mark. Speedy receiver Tyreek Hill set a Chiefs single-season record with 1,479 yards. He also scored 12 times and averaged a remarkable 17 yards per catch.
But just because Kansas City has a prolific offense doesn’t mean it will cover the Chiefs vs. Colts spread on Saturday.
After a 2017 season lost to injury, Luck is back to his elite level. Finishing the regular season fifth in passing yardage and second in touchdown passes, he recorded seven 300-yard games and is exceptional keeping plays alive while avoiding big losses. Luck has been sacked only 18 times this season thanks to improved footwork and a quick release.
But the Colts don’t need a huge offensive performance to win. Indianapolis’ defense has been dominant since the halfway point of the season. Over the past eight games, the defense has allowed a meager 14 points per contest. Led by linebacker Darius Leonard’s team-leading 163 tackles and seven sacks, Indy’s front seven is capable of swarming any quarterback, including Houston’s Deshaun Watson, who was constantly hurried in throws and sacked three times last week.