This season has been mayhem. It seems no bet is safe, as Week 10 brought us huge upsets with the Dolphins beating the Ravens on Thursday night, Washington toppling the Buccaneers on Sunday, and then the 49ers schooled the Rams on Monday night.
For our sake, let’s hope the good version of Josh Allen and the Bills show up to make things easy. Following a mind-boggling 9-6 loss to the Jaguars in Week 9, Buffalo throttled the Mike White-led Jets 45-17 in Week 10.
Despite a significant lead in point differential over the entire NFL, the Bills are just 6-3. In a complete reversal from the 2020 season, this team has thrived due to the strength of its defense, as showcased by the five forced turnovers against the Jets last week.
Meanwhile, Carson Wentz and the Colts (5-5) are coming into Week 11 after a victory against the same Jaguars squad that just beat the Bills two weeks ago. By using the transitive property, we can assume this means that the Colts beat the Bills here, right?
In all seriousness, the Colts look okay here. To date, Indianapolis has five wins against bad teams and five losses against good teams. Wentz is as about as exciting Eli Manning’s quips on Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli, though, Jonathan Taylor looks to be the real deal.
However, if the Josh Allen to Stefon Diggs connection continues clicking, I expect Buffalo to win this game and continue its push to bring home the first championship in franchise history.
All NFL gameday odds are current as of Friday, November 19 at 12:00 p.m. ET.
Colts vs Bills Prediction
There it is. Stefon Diggs finally had his long-awaited breakout game and dominated the Jets’ secondary on Sunday, putting up 162 yards and a score on eight catches.
Surely Bills OC Brian Daboll had to expect the league to game-plan specifically to shut down Diggs after his monstrous performance in 2020. With that being the case for the majority of this season, we have seen Emmanuel Sanders, Cole Beasley, and Dawson Knox take on larger roles in the offense.
Knox’s emergence should ultimately be beneficial to give Allen a big red zone target, however, this offense is at its best when Diggs is the featured alpha receiver. With Beasley playing through a rib injury, Diggs is a solid bet to see 10+ passes thrown his way once again against a beatable Indianapolis secondary.
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For the Colts, their path to success is creating a gap between the tackles and Jonathan Taylor blowing through it and a second wave of defenders, as he seems to do on a weekly basis.
The issue with taking that approach against Buffalo is twofold. To start, the Bills are one of the best teams in the league at stopping the run. They don’t have a superstar presence on the defensive line, but they get the job done, allowing the third-fewest rushing yards per game (83.9) this season.
Game script is the other threat that could keep the Colts’ running game in check. There’s nothing that says they can’t run the ball when trailing, but the clock could become a factor in the second half.
Indy will likely be playing from behind. Thankfully for them, Michael Pittman Jr. has had quite the second-year breakout. His matchup against the star-studded Bills secondary will be one to watch.
I think the talent of Taylor and Pittman will be enough to get some points on the board against the best scoring defense in the league so far, but it simply won’t be enough.
Prediction: Bills 34, Colts 21
Colts vs Bills Best Bets
Best Bet: Bills -7 (-114) at TwinSpires
Wager: 1.5 Units
In their six victories this season, the Bills have won by an average of 26.3 points. I love it. They simply do not take their foot off the gas.
Buffalo’s injury report also isn’t too concerning. Tremaine Edmunds, the team’s leading tackler, could return from injury this weekend but hasn’t practiced this week, while defensive tackle Star Lotulelei still needs to clear COVID-19 protocols after missing last week’s game against the Jets.
Meanwhile, the Colts have a major injury concern in top cornerback Xavier Rhodes. Rhodes, who missed last week’s game with a calf injury and has been limited in practice this week, would be vital in the team’s effort to contain Stefon Diggs.
Bills head coach Sean McDermott must be pleased with his team’s performance last week, though Week 9’s loss to Jacksonville likely still looms in his mind.
Expect the Bills to come out firing again as they look to build confidence and keep up with the Titans in the race for the No. 1 seed in the AFC, making Buffalo our NFL pick of the day.
Best Bet: Over 49.5 Total Points (-112) at TwinSpires
Wager: 1 Unit
On offense, the Bills do their part every week to hit the over, averaging the second-most points per game (31.1) in the league this year. However, Bills’ games have only topped 50 total points in 4-of-9 weeks this year, likely due to their strong defense and schedule filled with inept offenses over the first half of the season.
Even if a Wentz-led offense isn’t sexy, the Colts rank eighth in the league in points per game (26.8) this year. Jonathan Taylor has played a central role in that and has made a legitimate argument for being the most talented running back in the league right now. It shows on tape and in the box score.
The Colts still do have a shot to make the playoffs with their 5-5 record and their best player could be forcing offensive coordinator Marcus Brady’s hand, as Taylor recorded 20+ carries for the first time this season last week.
In most cases, a run-heavy offense isn’t ideal for hitting an over, but Taylor is so dominant that it likely doesn’t matter. This should be a decently fast-paced game as well, with the Bills ranking in the top 5 in plays per game and the Colts checking in at 18th in the same category.
The Bills will do their part, and I feel confident that the Colts can put up points as well. I’d feel comfortable betting the over up to 52.