When Sunday morning dawned, the Indianapolis Colts had to feel pretty good about their chances in the NFL’s AFC South. They had tied the Tennessee Titans for the lead in the division, saw them look extremely vulnerable in back to back losses to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati and had a reeling Baltimore coming into their house for a home game.
Things can change in a hurry in November, however. After a Titans win over the Bears and Colts sluggish loss to the Ravens Sunday, the Colts are a game back again and need to look at the clash in Nashville on Thursday Night Football (8 p.m., FOX) as a must win to keep Indy’s realistic division hopes alive.
A Titans win will give them a two game divisional lead with only one head-to-head matchup between the two sides remaining. The Colts still have games against Green Bay, at Las Vegas and at Pittsburgh remaining on the back half of their schedule.
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The sports betting information
Tennessee is a three point favorite at the FOXBet.com Sportsbook and a minus-143 on the money line (a $143 bet is needed to win $100.) Meanwhile, Indianapolis is +120 on the money line (a $100 bet wins $120). The over-under on this game is 49 points.
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This is the first meeting of the season between the two division rivals with a Nov. 29 game in Indianapolis still looming on the horizon. The two split their season series last year with Tennessee’s 31-17 win on Dec. 1 one of the spark points on a run that lead the Titans to the AFC Championship game. Overall, the Colts lead the series, 34-17.
The main storylines to watch
Perhaps the best thing that emerged from Tennessee’s 24-17 win on Sunday over the Bears was the fact that the Titans defense, which has struggled against the Steelers and Bengals- forced two big turnovers and mustered enough of a rush to make an impact. They were especially successful against the run, where the Bears were held to just 2.8 yards per carry. Still, the Titans need more out of Ryan Tannehill, who was under 50 percent completion ratio (10 for 21) and only threw for 158 yards.
The Colts defense did a decent job in the first half against Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, but wore down in the second half as Baltimore churned out just enough to play keep away. Philip Rivers didn’t throw a touchdown pass, only posted a 62.1 quarterback rating and was victimized for a controversial interception by Marcus Peters that gave the Baltimore offense great field position in the second half. The Colts injury-riddled running back corps have not been giving that much in the way of support, either.
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