Packers vs Colts Preview & Free Pick [November 22nd 2020]

Green Bay (7-2) at Indianapolis (6-3)
When: Sunday, November 22nd, 2020
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium,
Indianapolis, IN
Time: 4:25 ET | TV: FOX
Opening Odds: Indianapolis -2.5/52

The best game of the week takes place late Sunday afternoon from Indianapolis, as the Colts host the Green Bay Packers at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts sit atop the AFC South standings and are coming off extra rest after handling the Tennessee Titans on the road last Thursday, 34-17. The defense ranks high in almost every category and will be up for the challenge from Aaron Rodgers and company on Sunday. Indianapolis has one of the best front sevens in the league led by defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. But the offense is starting to click after a sluggish start. Quarterback Philip Rivers leads a balanced attack that has great success when he doesn’t turn the ball over. Indianapolis is 4-0 in games in which he does not throw an interception, and 2-3 when he does. The Packers played down to their competition last week in a lackluster 24-20 win at home over the Jacksonville Jaguars, which beat Indianapolis in Week 1. Green Bay remains atop the NFC North despite defensive struggles that start with an inability to force turnovers. The Packers enter play Sunday tied for 30th in the league with 0.8 takeaways per game. The Packers are hopeful to get starting cornerback Kevin King (quad) back from a quad injury after he missed the past five games.

This is the first meeting between the teams in four years. The Colts have won the last two encounters and were about a 7-point underdog in both. Indy will actually be slight favorites this time around and have already had success against the NFC North, beating Minnesota, Chicago and Detroit. While the Packers are 6-3 ATS in their last nine games overall, they’ve covered just twice in their previous nine head-to-head meetings with the Colts. The total for this one is set at 51.5 and the Colts have converted the over in four of their previous five games.

The big question for Green Bay is the health of start wide receiver Davante Adams. His status has been upgraded to probable but Adams is dealing with an ankle injury. Adams comes into Week 11 with 61 catches for 741 yards and nine touchdowns on the season. The Packers avoided great embarrassment in Week 10, as they staved off the Jaguars. The Packers were double-digit favorites in that game but had a hard time pulling away from the Jags. Rodgers went 24-of-34 for 325 yards and a couple of touchdowns with an interception. Marquez Valdes-Scantling caught four of those for 149 receiving yards and a touchdown. The Packers are third in the NFL in scoring offense with 30.8 points per game and sixth in total offense with 395.8. Green Bay activated wide receiver Allen Lazard from injured reserve this week following a recovery from core-muscle surgery. The Packers will host Chicago next Sunday night.

The Colts’ defense allows the fourth-fewest points in the league at 19.7 and linebacker Darius Leonard is a big reason why. He has 60 tackles (40 solo) and a forced fumble. Indianapolis’ defense did a good job of containing the Titans’ attack as a whole. The Colts didn’t slow down Derrick Henry, who rushed for 103 yards on 19 carries. The Colts’ defense is among the best in the NFL, ranking fourth overall both against the pass and run in terms of DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average). They are also fourth with 11 interceptions and opponents are completing just 62.24 percent of their passes against them. Tight end Jack Doyle remains in concussion protocol, while Kenny Moore (ribs) did not practice Wednesday. Defensive end Kemoko Turay (ankle) and safety Julian Blackmon (pelvis/knee) were limited participants early in the week. The Colts will host Tennessee next Sunday.

Rodgers struggled when he played a good defense in Tampa Bay last month and I think Indy can give him similar problems. The Colts play very well against the NFC, going 9-2-1 ATS in their last 12 and have already beaten the rest of the NFC North.

Pick: Colts -1.5
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