Indianapolis Colts vs. Buffalo Bills Prediction: Is the Line Too High?

Two of the AFC's elite teams, the Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts, square off on Sunday. How should we bet this matchup? Mike Spector has you covered.
Mike Spector
Tue, November 16, 6:16 PM EST

Indianapolis Colts vs. Buffalo Bills Prediction: Is the Line Too High?

The Week 11 matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills is a rematch of last year’s Wild Card playoff game that the Bills won 27-24. This year’s game’s biggest difference is that Carson Wentz is quarterbacking the Colts instead of Philip Rivers. Will Wentz put the Colts over .500 for the first time this season, or will Buffalo strengthen its case as the AFC’s best team?

Indianapolis Colts vs. Buffalo Bills Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

Date: Sunday, November 21

Game Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

Where to Watch: CBS

Click Here For Complete Colts vs. Bills Odds

Indianapolis Colts vs. Buffalo Bills Game Injury Report

INDIANAPOLIS

Questionable: CB Isaiah Rodgers

OUT: CB Xavier Rhodes, S Khari Willis, DT Tyquan Lewis, S Julian Blackmon, WR Parris Campbell

BUFFALO

Questionable: LB Tremaine Edmunds, DT Star Lotulelei, DT Justin Zimmer

OUT: G Jon Feliciano


Indianapolis Colts vs. Buffalo Bills Prediction

After starting the season 0-3, Colts head coach Frank Reich should be commended for keeping his team together and rolling off five wins in seven games to claw back to .500. However, Indianapolis primarily has the schedule to thank for their recent success, as the five wins in that span came against teams that are a combined 12-34. Meanwhile, their two losses in the last seven games are against the division-leading Titans and Ravens. Thus, it will take the Colts’ best effort to secure their biggest win of the season at Buffalo.

While most penciled the Bills in for an easy road win against the Jets last week, the game seemed of extra importance to head coach Sean McDermott after they were embarrassed in a 9-6 loss to the Jaguars the week prior. After running the ball just 14 times for 72 yards against Jacksonville, McDermott preached the team would get back to a more balanced and physical approach. That certainly seemed the case last week against New York, as the team ran the ball 24 times for 139 yards -- an average of 5.8 yards per carry. The most impressive part was that four players chipped in with rushing touchdowns, which makes Buffalo’s already scary offense look even more versatile.

This game is a fascinating matchup of strength vs. strength, as Indianapolis’ potent running game meets Buffalo’s immovable rush defense. Colts running back Jonathan Taylor became the first player since LaDanian Tomlinson in 2006 with 100 or more scrimmage yards and a rushing touchdown in seven consecutive games. And for the avid fantasy footballers out there, Jonathan Taylor has scored 55.8 more PPR fantasy points and averaged 2.5 more points per week than any other running back over the past seven weeks. When taking into account all positions in football, Taylor’s weekly 25.6 point average is the league’s best and is 1.4 points higher than Josh Allen’s.

However, Buffalo’s defense will be Taylor’s toughest test yet. The Bills have allowed just two teams (Chiefs and Titans) to rush for more than 100 yards this season and are the league’s third-best rush defense allowing 83.9 yards per game. Even without defensive tackle Star Lotulelei and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds last week, Buffalo held the Jets to just 70 yards rushing and 3.2 yards per carry. If those two defenders are back healthy this week, it will go a long way in limiting Indianapolis’ sixth-leading rushing attack.

Buffalo’s resurgent running game took a lot of pressure off Josh Allen last week, as he enjoyed a comfortable 21-for-28 passing day. Allen was efficient with his 21 completions, amassing 366 yards on an average of 13.1 yards each. Stefon Diggs erupted for his first 100-yard game of the season, and Gabriel Davis added 105 yards receiving. As a result, the Bills had two receivers over 100 yards for the first time in a game this year. Buffalo will use that momentum to exploit a thin Colts secondary that ranks 20th in the league in pass defense.

2021 NFL Against the Spread Records


Indianapolis Colts vs. Buffalo Bills Pick

As you can see above, the Bills are 5-3-1 ATS in 2021, but perhaps more importantly, they're 3-1-1 ATS in their last five games against the Colts -- and the home team has covered the spread in five of their previous six meetings. In addition, Buffalo is 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 home games and has dominated in November, going 10-2-1 ATS in their last 13 November games. As long as Buffalo is not caught looking ahead to a Thanksgiving night showdown with New Orleans next week, their physicality should allow them to cover this number.

Mike Spector
MikeSpector01
Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest
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