Most online sportsbook experts will say that the NFL preseason really has no bearing on the regular season. But Indianapolis Colts’ rookie quarterback Andrew Luck has changed that notion and has improved the Colts’ Super Bowl futures odds with his strong preseason play. Luck’s first pass in an NFL preseason game went for a 64-yard touchdown. Since then, he has been knocked down, pressured and put in some pretty dangerous situations. But he has survived them all and has single-handedly helped to make the Colts a better team for 2012 than anyone ever expected. There are even whispers of a wild card playoff berth inIndianapolis, but no one is saying those whispers out loud just yet.
The football betting world just cannot figure out the Chicago Bears. The passing duo of quarterback Jay Cutler and wide receiver Brandon Marshall looks great, but the rest of theChicago offense seems to be struggling. Running back Matt Forte got paid and now he seems ready to compete. But even Forte seems to be struggling with what the offensive line is giving him. Cutler looks to be in the best shape of his career and he has been hittingMarshall downfield in practice and in games. But the rest of theChicago offense still needs work, and that will be evident in this game.
The Colts cleaned house on offense in the off-season, but much of the defense remained intact. Considering how bad the Colts’ defense played last year, the betting sites were wondering why more was not done to change up the defense. But as the preseason wore on, the Colts showed that it has the defense it needs to back up its rookie quarterback. The Colts have been aggressive and getting good pressure on the opposing quarterback since moving Dwight Freeney to the outside of the line. It is a look that every NFL team, including the Bears, will need to get used to.
Will Chicagolinebacker Brian Urlacher play this game or not? From what the football betting sites are hearing, it looks like Urlacher could be out of this game and that is bad for the Bears.Chicago already looks weak on defense and no Urlacher in the middle of the field will open up passing and running lanes that the rest of the defense will have problems covering for.
The Bottom Line
The Colts will not always run across situations like the one it will experience in week one where the opposition is missing key pieces of its defense and is having trouble producing on offense. But while the Bears are still trying to figure its team out, the Colts will be more than happy to start the season off with a 1-0 record.
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Pick: Indianapolis Colts