Indianapolis Colts vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Predictions: Will Jonathan Taylor Continue Feasting?

Can the defending champs slow down Jonathan Taylor and the red-hot Indianapolis Colts? Betting expert Mike Spector takes a look.
Mike Spector
Tue, November 23, 5:40 PM EST

Indianapolis Colts vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Predictions: Will Jonathan Taylor Continue Feasting?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers improved to 5-0 at home this season with another convincing win on Monday Night Football against the Giants. They now head to Indianapolis to face a Colts team that has won five of their last six games and is over .500 at 6-5 for the first time this season. Will the Buccaneers' success carry over to this road contest, or will the Colts continue their hot play against the defending Super Bowl champions?

Click here for complete Colts vs. Buccaneers Betting Odds

Indianapolis Colts vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Injury Report

TAMPA BAY

QUESTIONABLE: G Ali Marpet, DT Vita Vea, WR Antonio Brown

OUT: G Nick Leverett, S Andrew Adams, CB Richard Sherman

INDIANAPOLIS

QUESTIONABLE: G Quentin Nelson

OUT: PK Rodrigo Blankenship, S Khari Willis, WR Parris Campbell, DT Tyquan Lewis

Indianapolis Colts vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Line Movement

Indianapolis Colts vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Prediction

Tom Brady and the Buccaneers ended a mini two-game losing streak with a 30-10 victory over the Giants. The win helped Brady avoid his first three-game losing streak since 2002. He now has 288 consecutive starts without losing three straight games, the longest streak in NFL history. A big reason for Tampa Bay's success last week was the stellar play of their offensive line. Brady dropped back 47 times against New York and was contacted just three times without taking a single sack. He now has thrown for 20 touchdowns in his first five home games, which is tied for the most in a quarterback's first five home games in NFL history. However, while the Buccaneers are undefeated at home, they are just 2-3 on the road and hope to avoid a three-game road losing streak this week.

While there are many reasons for the Colts' turnaround from a 1-4 start to a 6-5 record, there is no more significant reason for their success than running back Jonathan Taylor. Taylor's historic performance last week helped the Colts snap Buffalo's three-game home winning streak. He had 32 carries for 185 yards and finished with 203 scrimmage yards. However, Taylor's five total touchdowns were most impressive, as he became the 18th NFL player in history to score five touchdowns in a game. Buffalo's defense had allowed four rushing touchdowns by opposing running backs in their first nine games (tied for the fourth-fewest). However, Taylor matched that number in four quarters. And from a fantasy football viewpoint, Taylor became the eighth player since the merger to total 50+ non-PPR fantasy points with his performance against the Bills.

The biggest question surrounding this game is whether or not Tampa Bay's success at home will finally translate on the road. One thing that will help the Buccaneers' case is the presence of tight end Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski had missed five of the team's previous six games, but he was a big part of their offensive success last week. He was on the field for 45 plays yesterday, and Tampa Bay averaged 6.2 yards per play and 7.7 yards per pass attempt with him out there. Conversely, in the 31 plays that Gronkowski was on the sideline, the team averaged 4.0 yards per play and just 5.1 yards per pass attempt.

Though wide receiver Antonio Brown missed his fourth straight game, having Gronkowski back helped Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, who each had six catches last week.

Tampa Bay's lack of a pass rush should help Indianapolis' chances of offensive success. Entering last week, Tampa Bay had a 25% QB pressure with a 4-man pass rush (19th in NFL). In addition, Tampa Bay's 51% pass rush win rate through the first seven weeks of the season ranked sixth in the league. However, since Week 8, their 35% pass rush win rate ranks 22nd.

The Buccaneers have the best run defense in the league, allowing just 78.4 yards per game on the ground. However, the Colts look like they can run on anyone at the moment. Buffalo had allowed 83.9 rush YPG in the first 10 games (third in NFL) before Taylor ran wild. In addition, Carson Wentz is getting better as the season goes on, as his QBR is the eighth-highest in the league since Week 4. In addition, Wentz entered last week with six games of at least two passing touchdowns and no interceptions, which was tied for the most in the league.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Prediction

The over is 28-13 in Tampa Bay's last 41 road games and has cashed in 11 of Indianapolis' previous 12 games against teams with a winning record. Between Gronkowski's presence opening up the middle of the field for the Buccaneers and with Taylor running wild each week, there should be plenty of points scored in this one.

  • PICK: OVER 51.5 (-110)
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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