The New Orleans Saints will look to get back into the race for one of the NFC’s top two playoff seeds against a team with its postseason hopes on life support.
The Saints (10-3) played one of their worst games of the season on defense in Week 14’s home loss to the San Francisco 49ers but have an opportunity to recalibrate in their final home game of the season, welcoming a battered and bruised Indianapolis Colts (6-7) team that must close a two-game gap with the Tennessee Titans to avoid elimination.
Here’s a closer look at the matchup and each team’s playoff implications along with background, stats and advice on which side is worth backing for Monday Night Football in Week 16.
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Colts vs. Saints Game Details
Date: Monday, December 16
Time: 7:15 p.m. CT
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome (New Orleans)
Spread: Saints -9
*All odds are courtesy of OddsShark.
There hasn’t been much movement since the Saints opened the week as 8.5-point favorites with most popular books locked on the Colts as 9-point underdogs, according to VegasInsider.com. Bettors also seem convinced the Saints will be able to thrive in their final home game with 69 percent of public bets taking them to win, according to ActionNetwork.com.
It would be easy to favor a high-scoring matchup after the Saints and 49ers put up a combined 94 points in their Week 14 showdown at Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and bettors are buying the trend with 86 percent of public bets taking the over. Considering the Saints’ pride in defense and desire to get back to good, smart money might be on the under against a disjointed Colts offense.
- Total has gone OVER in 4 of Indianapolis’ last 6 games
- Indianapolis is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games
- New Orleans is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games
- New Orleans is 15-5 SU in its last 20 home games
- Total has gone OVER in 4 of New Orleans’ last 5 home games vs. Indianapolis
- Indianapolis is 2-7 ATS in its last 9 games against New Orleans
*All trends are courtesy of OddsShark.
Analysis & Picks
There were plenty of excuses to make for the Colts when they began their season without their franchise quarterback, as Andrew Luck famously announced his retirement before the start of the regular season in a move that shocked the league. Nobody was left feeling sorry for them, though, after they rocketed off to a 5-2 start and seemed bound for a repeat playoff appearance at the season’s midway point.
Not so much with only three games left to play.
Injuries have ravaged the Colts’ roster with Parris Campbell, Adam Vinatieri and Eric Ebron among the biggest talents on the team’s injured reserve list, but the possible return of star wideout T.Y. Hilton should offer a slight boost for quarterback Jacoby Brissett on Monday as he attempts to will his team past one of the AFC’s very best.
Once a top-notch defense, the Saints need to buckle down against a Colts offense that ranks near the bottom of the league after a stretch of rough performances. New Orleans has allowed opposing passers to toss for at least 300 yards in three of their last four games, combing for 14 touchdowns during that span. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo made it look easy at times during the Niners’ 48-46 win last week, throwing for 349 yards and four touchdowns.
One of Monday night’s most important matchups will be the Saints’ linebackers against Colts leading rusher Marlon Mack, who has rushed for a touchdown in each of his last two games but was mostly contained last week after returning from an injury. Just because Mack only got 38 yards on 13 carries last time out, though, doesn’t mean the dynamic rusher can’t bust loose with his team’s season on the line.
A win for the Saints would mean pulling even again with the Niners (11-3) and Seattle Seahawks (11-3), who took over the No. 1 seed after Sunday’s win, looking to contend with whichever of them wins the NFC West and the two-seeded Green Bay Packers (11-3). Meanwhile, the Colts must win out just to have a chance, hoping they get some help and see the Titans (8-6) lose their final two games to fall into a wild-card tiebreaker.
Pick: Saints -9
Over-under: Under 47.5
Prediction: Saints 30, Colts 13