Two of the highest flying offenses in the NFL will be on display on Thursday night at Lambeau Field, as the Green Bay Packers meet the Indianapolis Colts in NFL preseason betting action.
For the Colts, seeing QB Peyton Manning playing for a full half is going to be a welcome change. They have really only had a significant amount of offensive production (and a lack of offensive blunders) with No. 18 on the field, as is usually the case in the preseason. However, it is the defense for the Colts that has really slipped in their exhibitions and HC Jim Caldwell cannot be pleased about it. The unit is allowing 35.5 points per game, the dead last ranking in the NFL. Teams are averaging 351.0 yards per game as well, 28th in the league. Part of the problem for Indy’s ‘D’ is the fact that the offense is continually turning the ball over. Manning and QBs Curtis Painter and Tom Brandstater have thrown a total of five picks in just two games. The ‘O’ has also had to punt the ball 13 times already in the preseason. There have only been two forced turnovers in as many games, and the secondary has yet to record an INT.
The Packers are going to look to further exploit that defense with a powerful first team offense which ranked amongst the best in the NFL last season. QB Aaron Rodgers has arguably been the best looking quarterback in the NFL this preseason, going 20-of-24 for 275 yards with three TDs and no picks. Rodgers is one of just a handful of signal callers with more than two scores on the preseason and is the only one with a substantial number of passes to be completing over 80% of them. His rushing game has helped out a ton as well. RB Brandon Jackson is coming off of a great game in which he ran for 80 yards. He, Quinn Porter, Kregg Lumpkin, and John Kuhn have combined to run the ball 50 times for 225 yards in just two games, which doesn’t even include the efforts of starting RB Ryan Grant. Just as was the case last year all season long, the Packers have been an opportunistic team. They have picked off four passes in two games and will likely add to that total this week once Manning leaves the game.
Though this is a lot of points to be laying in a preseason game, we like Green Bay’s chances in this one. The Packers are a deep team that can go beyond just the first string, unlike the Colts. Indy is going to find itself in deep trouble once Manning and the starters leave the field, and we aren’t so sure that the first team for the Colts is that much better than the first team of Green Bay. We look for Rodgers and the offense to prove that they are worthy of standing next to the Colts, particularly at home, and the second unit should put the game out of reach in the second half.
NFL Picks Selection: Green Bay Packers -3.5