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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 7:00 PM

There’s been way too much jabbering in the media this week about the potential soap opera involving Peyton Manning’s return to Indianapolis for Sunday Night’s Broncos/Colts game. Yes, he only won one Super Bowl. No, it’s not because he’s a choker. Yes, Indianapolis did the right thing in taking Andrew Luck because it solves 10 years of quarterback concerns instead of just two or three. Does anybody care about the game?

WE DO!

What’s going to happen when the recently overpriced Denver Broncos have to play on the road against an opponent that’s very similar to the Dallas Cowboys squad that just missed beating them?

*Indy and Dallas both have productive offenses that can exploit Denver’s soft defense

*Indy and Dallas both sit back and hope for turnovers defensively

*Indy and Dallas will both hurt you if you make those turnovers

*Indy and Dallas both play in front loud crowds in good scoring conditions

That suggests a possible replay of the 51-48 thriller that the Broncos played down in Big D. Though, the Colts generally do a better job of running the clock when they have the ball than Dallas does. Knock it down to 41-38 and it’s still a high scoring thriller. Knock it down to 31-28 and it still goes Over the current Vegas total!

Before theorizing any more, let’s check our key indicator stats…

 

Won-Lost Records (opponents so far)

Denver: 6-0 (Baltimore, at NYG, Oakland, Philly, at Dallas, Jax)

Indianapolis: 4-2 (Oakland, Miami, at SF, at Jax, Seattle, at SD)

Denver is playing like a Super Bowl team, though it’s possible they’ve been gifted a very easy early schedule given the woes of the NFC Central. Half of their wins have come against that division. Indianapolis is playing like a Wildcard contender at least. And, it’s very impressive indeed that they took out both San Francisco and Seattle from the NFC. Last Monday’s game at San Diego was in a horrible sandwich spot, meaning they were probably looking ahead to this chance at Peyton and the Broncos.

 

Yards-Per Play to Date

Denver: 6.7 on offense, 6.1 on defense

Indianapolis: 5.6 on offense, 5.4 on defense

You always want to be on the right side of net zero. Both of these teams are. It’s interesting that Denver is only at +0.6, which is lower than you’d expect for an undefeated team. Manning is great at making the most of his yards because he knows how to finish near the end zone. Indianapolis can’t settle for field goals if they want to spring the upset here.

 

Turnover Differential

Denver: even

Indianapolis: +5

Definitely some concerns for Denver there. The defense hasn’t been very good at forcing turnovers even though most opponents are playing catchup the whole game. Indianapolis is already playing the percentage game well, against a tougher schedule.

 

Market Performance

Denver: 3-2-1 ATS

Indianapolis: 3-3 ATS

The Broncos started like a house afire…but the line caught up to and may have flown past reality given the last two pointspreads. Denver was laying too many points at Dallas and last week vs. Jacksonville. The Colts were 3-2 ATS until the very flat spot at San Diego last week.

 

Current Line: Denver by 6.5, total 57

 

The market is saying, with that number, that Denver is about 9 points better on a neutral field, and would be about -12.5 if the game were being played on their home field. It’s tough to justify THAT based on the numbers we’ve seen today…and on Denver’s form the past two weeks. But, it’s much easier to swallow if you look at what Denver was doing to the likes of Baltimore, the NY Giants, and Philadelphia in earlier action. Denver at its best will win this game by double digits. Can Indy prevent them from playing their best? This is a great test for BOTH teams, and a possible playoff preview at least in terms of the team matchup given how the AFC is playing out so far this season.

JIM HURLEY had this game circled before the season started because he knew it would be the highest bet football game in Las Vegas in the first two months of the 2013 campaign. He’s very confident of his opinion in this game each and every one of you will watch. You can purchase the full Sunday slate right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155.

Back with you tomorrow to crunch the numbers in the Minnesota Vikings/NY Giants game on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. We’ll talk about the World Series midweek…then move back to big game football previews on Thursday. Make sure you’re with us EVERY DAY so you know what’s really happening in the world of sports. And, link up with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK for the biggest game of the year so far in professional football!

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