Detroit Lions at Indianapolis Colts NFL Week 1 Expert Pick

Posted by Peter Boysen on September 10, 2016 in

This Sunday features four contests between the AFC South and NFC North teams, finishing with the Lions’ visit to Indianapolis. The Lions fell off a lot of people’s radar last year when they opened 1-7, but then they finished the season 6-2, which would have been 7-1 if Detroit had remembered how to defend against the Hail Mary in their home loss to Green Bay. If tailback Ameer Abdullah can live up to his billing, the Lions have a real shot to run all over the Colts on Sunday. Read this preview before locking in your NFL betting for the week.

Detroit at Indianapolis NFL Week 1

When: Sunday, September 11, 2016, 4:25pm ET
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
Radio: Detroit Lions Radio Network / Indianapolis Colts Radio Network
Live Stream: FOX Sports Go
NCAAF Odds: Indianapolis (-3), O/U Total 51

Why should you bet on the Lions?

Quarterback Matthew Stafford does have the tendency to throw picks at just the wrong time, but the Colts do not have anything approaching an elite defense. Also, despite investment in such rookies as center Ryan Kelly, the Colts’ offensive line still needs more additions to hold off the pass rush. Ziggy Ansah, the talented Detroit defensive end, should find ways to chase Andrew Luck around a lot in this game. When pressure hits Luck, he tends to throw the ball to the wrong people, which can turn the game momentum in a hurry.

Why should you put your money on Indianapolis?

Andrew Luck was questionable this week in practice because of a shoulder injury, and he had only limited reps in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but the team reports no limits on him going into Sunday’s game. His accuracy in the preseason showed that he has put that awful kidney laceration behind him and is ready to return to the field and lead a talented offense. With Phillip Dorsett, T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief going out for passes, he has plenty of potent targets. Tailback Frank Gore has to produce so that teams simply can’t pin their ears back and sell out on the pass rush.

Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction

I like Luck to a better job managing the game than Stafford, mostly because Luck has three big options down the field while Stafford basically has Golden Tate. I’m predicting a 31-23 Indy victory.