Looking for a game with playoff implications? Look no further than this Week 17 matchup between the Indianapolis Colts (9-6) and the Las Vegas Raiders (8-7).
Both teams are still very much in playoff contention. The Colts are currently positioned as the AFC’s sixth seed and the Raiders are on the cusp of the final Wild Card spot, though tiebreakers have them 10th in the AFC currently.
The Colts come into this one having won their last three games (and six of their last seven), while the Raiders have won their last two contests.
Each squad, like nearly every team in the NFL at this point, is facing availability concerns. The Colts are hoping quarterback Carson Wentz can clear COVID protocols before Sunday, while the Raiders added star tight end Darren Waller to their COVID list on Wednesday and will be hoping to avoid a late-week spread.
Those two unknowns are going to factor into our decision-making this week as the line has fluctuated with the Wentz news, so let’s dig in and see how those factors will affect this matchup in our NFL pick of the day series.
Please note that all NFL gameday odds are current as of 10:00 a.m. ET on Thursday, December 30.
Raiders vs Colts Prediction
Each team has a lot to play for this weekend, so neither team will be lacking motivation.
The Colts are technically still alive for the AFC South crown, and the Raiders, though currently 10th in the AFC, have a chance to move into a Wild Card spot if they win and get some help on Sunday.
Derek Carr has helped lead the way to two close wins over the last two weeks, and he’ll likely have to do it again this weekend without his security blanket in Darren Waller. Hunter Renfrow has been doing a great job providing Carr with an outlet while Waller has been out, but the Raiders have had a tough time scoring points without him.
Sportsbook Play of the Day
Before placing your next bet on the Raiders vs Colts Week 17 matchup, you should know that Caesars Sportsbook is one of the best around. Take advantage of Caesars’ outstanding welcome bonus, which matches your first bet up to $1,001 (win or lose) when you use our promo code .
Additionally, users who wager a total of $100 on NBA games will earn a FREE NBA jersey!
Read Chris Wassel’s Caesars Sportsbook review for more insight and get your welcome bonus below, or continue reading our Raiders vs Colts bet picks.
On the other side, the Colts are one of the hottest teams in the NFL and they’ve mostly been doing it on the back of their running game and defense.
Jonathan Taylor leads the NFL in rushing yards, while Darius Leonard has been doing an impeccable job leading the Colts defense on their recent run. Leonard missed last week’s game, but should be back this weekend.
Carson Wentz is an important question mark for Indianapolis, but he’s not as important as you may think. Whether it’s Wentz or Sam Ehlinger under center for the Colts this weekend, I think Taylor and their defense will be able to hold off Carr and the Raiders.
Prediction: Colts 20, Raiders 17
Raiders vs Colts Best Bets
Best Bet: Raiders +6.5 (-110) at FOX Bet
Wager: 1 Unit
The Raiders have been a bit mercurial as drama has followed them this year, but they’re a decent team and present a tough challenge for the Colts. Especially if Indianapolis has to play with its backup quarterback.
With or without Wentz, the Colts will need to rely upon Jonathan Taylor this week as the Raiders pass defense is much better than their rushing defense. Taylor can and will do damage on the ground against Las Vegas.
The big wild card is what the Raiders can do against a good Colts defense that leads the league in takeaways. Carr has played well this season, he’s thrown for over 4,300 yards to date, and he should be able to keep things close.
While I think the Colts will be able to take this one at home, I don’t think they’ll be able to run away with it, especially if Wentz sits.
Best Bet: Colts Moneyline (-300) at FOX Bet
Wager: 1 Unit
Carson Wentz is important to the Colts. Don’t get me wrong.
But he’s also only thrown for an average of 146.7 yards per game during the Colts three-game win streak. I’d be willing to bet Sam Ehlinger can do that too. Jonathan Taylor and the defense are the engine that makes this team run.
Taylor has rushed for over 100 yards in three straight games and the Indianapolis defense hasn’t allowed more than 17 points in any of those contests.
If Taylor and the Colts defense are able to hold serve, that should be enough to pull this one out at home.
Best Bet: Under 44.5 Total Points (-110) at FOX Bet
Wager: 1 Unit
The Colts are surprisingly the fifth-highest scoring team in the NFL with an average of 28 points scored per game. The Raiders come in 17th at 21.1 points per game.
On the flip side of the ball, the Colts have allowed the 11th-fewest points per game at 21.1 (weird coincidence!), while the Raiders rank in the bottom third of the league at 25.8 points allowed per game.
Those averages go out the window a bit if the Colts are missing their starting quarterback and I also don’t want to ignore the recent trends here. The Raiders haven’t scored more than 17 points in any of their last four games and the Colts similarly have not allowed more than 17 points during their recent three-game win streak.
I think this game will be close, but I also think points will be hard to come by.
Nick Raducanu’s 2021 NFL Team Vs Team Betting Record: 22-8, +16 Units
Thanks for reading our Colts vs Raiders Predictions! For more NFL betting tips, check out our NFL Week 17 Best Bets.