The first week of the 2019-20 NFL season delivers a potential playoff preview already. As the Indianapolis Colts head west to visit the Los Angeles Chargers, the Week 1 sports betting odds show uncertainty about how Indianapolis will perform with its new signal-caller.
The Chargers are a formidable foe for Indianapolis regardless of whom the Colts have under center. Indianapolis has a lot of talent on the roster in other positions as well, prompting oddsmakers to peg this as a close game.
Colts Week 1 odds game preview: What a difference a month makes
Experts might have forecasted this game very differently a month ago. At that time there was still a chance Chargers running back Melvin Gordon would decide to end his holdout.
More importantly for Colts fans, there was no public inkling Andrew Luck was about to retire then. Gordon is now seeking a trade, and Luck will be enjoying his retirement come Sunday.
Stepping into those roles are Jacoby Brissett and Austin Ekeler. Ekeler presents a more known quantity for bettors than Brissett.
Ekeler toted the rock 106 times for 554 yards and three touchdowns last season. He isn’t as feared as a receiver out of the backfield as Gordon, however.
Brissett hasn’t started a game since 2017 and didn’t get as many snaps with the first team in preseason action as preferred. He did throw for over 3,000 yards in 16 games in 2017, however.
The Chargers have won four of the last six meetings between these teams, although Indianapolis won the last game in 2016. Chargers home games have split as evenly as possible for the Colts, with Indianapolis winning five of the last 10 road games against the Chargers.
Both teams could get an early edge on a potential AFC wild-card spot by winning this game. While both squads figure to be contenders in their respective divisions, especially if Brissett and Ekeler perform well, one of these teams having a head-to-head victory over the other could be a deciding factor in which team makes the playoffs.
Because these teams are similarly talented and both face a question mark on offense, Indiana sportsbooks predict a close game.
Breaking down the Colts Week 1 odds vs. the Chargers
When the Colts take the field at Dignity Health Sports Park at 1:05 p.m. local time on Sunday, they will do so as a 6.5-point underdog.
While sports betting apps aren’t live yet, retail sportsbooks in Indiana are. Books operated by Indiana casinos like the FanDuel Sportsbook at the Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City are in consensus on that line.
FanDuel Sportsbook has the moneyline on the Colts upsetting the spread at +240. The over/under on the game currently rests at 44.5.
Besides the straight bets, there are some interesting alternate lines and parlays at FanDuel. For example, a bet on Indianapolis winning by at least 14 points carries a line of +1000.
The best parlay bet on the Colts is to take them to win and over on the total. That pays out +500 right now.
Other Indiana sportsbooks like Ameristar in East Chicago offer lines on other games, as well. Action on the Chicago Bears and Cincinnati Bengals can be had.
FanDuel has Chicago as a three-point favorite to start off the NFL season with a win at home against Green Bay. The Bengals are a 9.5-point dog at Seattle with a moneyline of +350 at FanDuel as well.
Indiana sportsbooks are approaching Indianapolis’ first game of the season with an expectation for the team to contend. If Brissett performs well, future sports betting lines could favor the Colts in similar games.