Both Indianapolis and Law Vegas are coming off one-score wins over lesser opponents. Now, the pair of playoff hopefuls have a chance to put their stamp on a statement win with serious playoff implications. In the tale of two backfields, the Colts appear to have multiple running backs to deploy at any moment — while the Raiders are in desperate, wait-and-see mode on the health status of bellcow Josh Jacobs.
Free Picks: Indianapolis Colts vs Las Vegas Raiders
Can Philip Rivers find new results vs. Raiders with his new team?
As a longtime member of the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers in the AFC West, Philip Rivers has built up about 15 years worth of experience against the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders (that’s right, he’s been around so long that both of those teams have since relocated). The results have been mostly good for Rivers: 18-10 record, 47 touchdowns, 22 interceptions, 253.7 yards/game.
Recent results are more telling, though, and last year was a struggle for him during the final seaosn of his Chargers tenure: 0-2 record, two touchdowns, three interceptions, 243 yards/game. With his new team, Rivers is certainly hoping for a better result.
What he has in Indianapolis that wasn’t always present with the Chargers is an offensive line that excels at run blocking and a talented stable of running backs. Rookie Jonathan Taylor brings the power, Nyheim Hines adds shiftiness as a pass catcher and Jordan Wilkins fills in the gaps when the other two need a breather. If the Colts have their way, they’ll grind out a win on the ground.
Las Vegas wouldn’t mind a similar strategy with Josh Jacobs, who posted over 1,300 scrimmage yards as a rookie last season. But Jacobs’ status is in question after he missed last week with an ankle injury — and then missed Wednesday’s practice. His status later in the week will surely affect the betting odds.
Without Jacobs, the Raiders struggled in a narrow victory over the Jets. Really, they would’ve lost if not for an absurd blown coverage on a Hail Mary in the game’s final seconds. Their rushing “attack” was no attack at all, gaining just 72 yards on 25 carries.
The Colts — who are 3-point favorites (-106 at 888Sport) — covered their past four spreads as road favorites, and with big questions surrounding Jacobs’ health, we like their chances to keep that going.
- Indianapolis is 6-4 ATS in its past 10
- The OVER has cashed in six of the Colts’ past 10 games
- Las Vegas is 5-5 ATS in its past 10 games
- The OVER has cashed in six of the Raiders’ past 10 games
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The Chiefs will wait on some extremely important quarterback news all week, while the Bills are searching for a fourth straight road win when these teams meet on Sunday, Jan. 24 at 6:40 p.m. ET.
Jordan Horrobin is a freelance sports journalist based in Toronto, Ontario, who enjoys sports-related research and telling engaging stories. His work can also be found at Sportsnet, Forbes and elsewhere. Though he abandoned most of his team-specific fandoms in the interest of unbiased analysis, Jordan roots hard for his fantasy football/hockey teams (and he's a complete homer for all things Ohio University).