Saints Host Colts With Playoff Seeding Implications At Stake

New Orleans would become the fourth 11-3 team in the NFC with a win

Keith Allison, Flickr

Colts (6-7) at Saints (10-3)

NO -9, O/U 47, Monday 12/16, 8:15pm EST

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  • Coming off of a two-point loss to the San Francisco 49ers in a 48-46 shootout last week, the New Orleans Saints (10-3) will host the Indianapolis Colts (6-7) in the Week 15 edition of Monday Night Football.

  • The Saints are listed as nine-point favorites and the over/under is listed at 47 points. Indianapolis is on a three-game losing streak and has lost five out of six contests while covering just two games in that span (6-6-1 ATS overall). The Saints have gone 8-5 ATS but have gone 2-3 ATS in their last five contests.

  • The over has gone a combined 15-11 in the two teams’ games this year.

  • If the Colts win this contest, their longshot playoff odds will remain alive. Meanwhile, if the Saints win, they’ll be the fourth different NFC team to be 11-3, joining the Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers and the Niners. That’d create quite the riveting playoff situation with just a couple weeks to go in the regular season! 

Colts

While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one of the most pass-heavy teams in the NFL, the fact that Indy’s secondary allowed Jameis Winston to throw for 456 yards and four touchdowns last week probably doesn’t bode well for them heading into this matchup against future Hall of Famer Drew Brees and company. Offensively, running back Marlon Mack made his return from injury for the Colts in that contest and immediately assumed the workhorse role he had at the beginning of the year, receiving 13 of the 18 carries. Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines were essentially afterthoughts while Jonathan Williams was phased out completely. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who has leaned on wideout Zach Pascal and tight end Jack Doyle in recent weeks, could have T.Y. Hilton back, which could essentially transform their offense due to his game-breaking threat. The Saints have allowed 244.1 passing yards per game (20th in the NFL) and 108.0 rushing yards per contest (16th) and have been a league-average defense as a whole, allowing 22.8 points per game (16th). The Colts have a league-average offense and have scored 22.8 points per game (17th). 

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Saints

Indy has allowed 22.7 points per game to their opponents this season (15th), which is nearly identical to New Orleans. However, the Saints offense has averaged 26.5 points per game (9th), including 27.4 with Drew Brees under center. New Orleans has averaged 27.6 points per game at home this season, which ranks 6th in the NFL, but they’ve surprisingly given up 25.1 points per contest (23rd). The Saints have one of the most concentrated offenses in the NFL, with Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray and Jared Cook doing most of the heavy-lifting. However, due to Sean Payton’s ingenuity and creative play designs, opposing defenses have continued to be victimized.

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The Colts’ front seven has been solid against the run and they’ve allowed 99.7 rushing yards per game (9th). However, they’ve surrendered 245.4 passing yards per contest (21st). Since that was slightly skewed by Winston’s performance against them last week, it’s important to note that the Colts have been able to hold their own defensively all year. With the exception of Michael Thomas, who already has 121 catches for 1,424 yards and seven touchdowns, the Saints have operated at a tick below the production they’ve enjoyed in recent years. That could be enough to come out victorious in this matchup, though. 

Prediction

Per BetQL’s NFL Consensus Betting Dashboard as of Monday afternoon, 60% of total bets have been wagered on the Saints against the spread and 68% of the total money has also supported New Orleans. Further, as found on the BetQL app, 81% of BetQL users would bet on the Saints against the spread. 

BetQL’s NFL Model lists a five-star (max value) over/under bet in this matchup. Find out what its total point projection is! For every data-driven bet for this game, updated NFL spreads, and over under picks check out BetQL.