Kansas City Chiefs (5) at Indianapolis Colts (4)
Time: Saturday Jan 4th @ 1:35 PM Pacific
Weather: 31° F and Partly Cloudy
Radio: Westwood One (Kevin Kugler, James Lofton, Hub Arkush)
TV: NBC (Dan Hicks, Mike Mayock)
Total: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Spread: Colts -2.5
State Your Case: Kansas City Chiefs
Matchup: I know this seems like cheating, but I think Andy Reid vs. Chuck Pagano is the biggest mismatch on the field. All you have to do is take a look at their week 16 matchup. Andy Reid is a great coach and had no reason to show anything. They easily scored on their opening drive, which was enough for Reid. I would even argue that, much like Chuck Daly did in a 1992 scrimmage preparing the Dream Team for the Olympics, he threw the game. There is no motivation quite like getting beat on your home turf.
Situation: I’m going to keep it simple: the Chiefs are a team built to win on the road, all they did during the regular season is go 6-2 SU(7-1 ATS). This combined with their semi-bye week, Andy Reid 13-2 SU coming off a bye, leads me to think this is a good spot for the Chiefs.
Stats: I know its cliché city but in the playoffs you need to run the ball, play defense and win the special teams battle. Kansas City can run the ball (2nd in Rush Off. DVOA), play a little defense (14th in WDef DVOA) and win in the kicking/return games (1st in S.T. DVOA). To compound that Indy is poor at stopping the run (22nd in Rush Def. DVOA), sub par on offense (20th in WOff DVOA), and below average (22nd in S.T. DVOA). *For more on DVOA check out the Football Outsiders
Donkey Trend: Anyone who cites this gem clearly just wants to hear his own voice. The Chiefs are 3-11 ATS against the colts since 1990. Wow! Really? What great insight; last I checked Peyton and company are all retired or in Denver.
Sharp Trend: To win on the road you need a confident leader who has played in big games and knows how to win. Alex Smith has done all of that taking the 49ers a kick away from the Super Bowl. No matter how you feel about him you have to admit he is confident and he has a very skilled team around him. Oh, and he is 30-9-1 SU in last 40 starts.
State Your Case: Indianapolis Colts
Matchup: Andrew Luck vs The World. When Luck was drafted the Colts were coming of a 2 win season, since then he’s lead them to back to back 11 win seasons and playoff appearances. The comparisons to John Elway are appropriate both are Stanford grads, both are extremely clutch and both have a very toothy smile (Elway smile vs Luck smile). Elway and Luck also both lost their first playoff game, however when Elway returned in 1986 he went 2-1 including the come from behind victory against the Cleveland Browns in the AFC title game simply known as ‘The Drive‘.
Situation: Colts have won their last 3 outscoring opponents 78-20. When was the last time the Chiefs played a meaningful game? They’ve been locked into the 5 seed for a while, and went 2-5 after starting 9-0. Colts have quality wins against SF, KC, DEN & SEA, Chiefs best win and only against a playoff team came week 3 against the Michael Vick led Eagles.
Stats: Nerds may want to get out their TI-83 graphing calculator and try to over think this one, but the most important stat is Andrew Luck 13-3 at home as a starter in the National Football League.
Donkey Trend: Colts are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in January. The pre-butt fumble Mark Sanchez led Jets 17-16 win over the Colts in 2010 has no bearing on this game.
Sharp Trend: Colts are 5-1 ATS at home in their past six games.
Ryan’s Pick: Chiefs +2.5 (if you can buy it to -3 -120 do it).
Ryan’s Score: Chiefs 24 – Colts 21.
Ryan’s Bonus: Over Longest TD 44.5.
Sean’s Pick: Colts Moneyline.
Sean’s Score: Colts 23 – Chiefs 21.
Sean’s Bonus: Kansas City Chiefs 1H Colts Win Game +650.