The Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Lions lost their preseason openers this past weekend. And while that type of thing hardly matters at this stage of the season, each team will be looking to earn their first tally in the win column when they meet this Saturday, Aug. 20 at 1 p.m. ET.
The Lions — a franchise trying desperately to establish a winning culture — will likely want this one more, even if the result is inconsequential. The Colts, on the other hand, will continue evaluating their roster and make cuts on the margins as they gear up for a potential playoff run this season.
Knowing what’s at stake for both teams, here’s a look at our Detroit vs Indianapolis best bets and predictions for preseason Week 2.
Lions vs Colts Odds
According to the NFL odds, the Lions are favored by 1.5 points in this matchup. Even though they’re the road team here, it’s not a huge surprise to see them favored since they’re likely to give their starters some more run than Indianapolis.
Lions vs Colts Implied Score
Lions 20.5, Colts 19
Even after a high-scoring opening week of preseason football, bookmakers expect this one to be more of a defensive battle.
Lions vs Colts Pick of the Day
Read more on this Lions vs Colts bet below.
Lions vs Colts Matchup
The Lions were relatively successful on offense in their Week 1 meeting with the Atlanta Falcons, though a pair of second-half turnovers — one of which came with a few minutes remaining in the fourth quarter — let the Falcons emerge with a win. Still, Detroit posted 23 points, including 17 in the first half.
The Colts also committed two turnovers in Week 1, though they still wound up losing to a Buffalo Bills team that threw three interceptions and lost two fumbles. Regardless of who takes the field, a clear point of emphasis for each team this week will be protecting the ball.
Lions vs Colts Prediction
Lions 24, Colts 17
I disagree with the oddsmakers and believe this will be more of an offensive showcase, if only slightly. There were some surprisingly high-scoring contests this past week, and I like that trend to continue.
The Lions saw instant success with Jared Goff at quarterback in Week 1. The 27-year-old led a successful drive on Detroit’s opening possession, completing three of four passes for 47 yards before D’Andre Swift capped it with a nine-yard touchdown run. David Blough also made a strong argument for the QB2 role, going 18-for-28 and throwing for 141 yards.
For Indianapolis, Matt Ryan struggled a bit in his first few possessions in a new uniform, completing 6-of-10 passes for 58 yards. The Colts mustered only a field goal from his four possessions under center, so I would expect offensive coordinator Marcus Brady to try to get a bit more out of him this week against a Lions defense that allowed 17 first-half points last week.
Ultimately, though, I see Detroit coming out on top here. Indy has some quality backups, but if they couldn’t win against a Bills team that committed five turnovers last week, I struggle to see how they’ll be able to defeat the Lions.
Lions vs Colts Bet Tips
It’s hard to put a ton of stock into preseason betting trends, but there are a few noteworthy numbers to pay attention to ahead of this contest.
- Dan Campbell is 0-4 as head coach of the Lions in preseason games.
- Frank Reich‘s Colts went 3-0 in preseason play last season and 1-3 the year before.
- The Over hit comfortably for both of these teams this week, with the average totals for their games coming in at 50.5 points.
Lions vs Colts Best Bets
Lions Moneyline (-125) at Caesars Sportsbook
Wins and losses may not matter all that much in preseason, but even still, the Lions have more of a reason to go out and try to take this one. Any momentum they can gather is positive, even if that is just picking up a preseason victory over a potential AFC contender.
Is Detroit’s 0-3 start in the 2021 preseason to blame for their struggles last year? Absolutely not. But going winless in August probably didn’t help to boost their collective morale, either.
It won’t be an overwhelming victory, but I agree with the bookmakers and believe the Lions will pick up their first win in Indianapolis, making this our NFL pick of the day.
Over 39.5 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
If last week’s slate is at all indicative of what’s to come this weekend, then we could be in for another streak of Overs. While many projections landed in the mid-to-upper 30s for last week’s totals, we saw as many as 59 points scored in some games, while several others came in at or around 50.
The Colts and Lions averaged 23.5 points of offense in Week 1, and they each allowed their opponent to score 27. I don’t doubt that each team will make defensive improvements going into Week 2, but 39.5 total points is still a pretty low bar to clear.