The preseason dominance of the San Francisco 49ers swings the other way and does a complete 180 in the results column when the games being played count in the standings. The Colts have won four in a row from the 49ers during the regular season, including a 26-23 home-field decision in Week Five of the 2017 season when Indy kicker Adam Vinatieri booted his fourth field goal of the game, a 51-yard effort in the fourth quarter to snap a 23-23 tie.
Colts-49ers regular-season games tend to be closer when the teams meet at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The last two, both Colts victories, were decided by a combined total of seven points. The three regular-season home wins posted by the Colts over the 49ers since moving to Indianapolis were fashioned by a grand total of eight points, or 2.6 points per game. In their last two wins at San Francisco, the average margin of victory for the Colts was 22.5 points per game.
Almost Super – The Colts and 49ers couldn’t meet in the Super Bowl the first four years it was held because they were both NFL teams. But the first year of the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, when the Colts beat the Dallas Cowboys 16-13 to win Super Bowl V, it very nearly happened. The 49ers came up one game short of going to the big game, losing 17-10 to Dallas in the NFC Championship Game. Think a 49ers-Colts Super Bowl LIII matchup could be in the making? MyBookie will give you +16000 odds on that outcome actually happening.
Brady’s Caddies – Two of the guys who used to carry a clipboard on the sideline in New England as backup quarterback behind Tom Brady with the Patriots will most likely be in action in this game. Jimmy Garappolo, acquired in a trade with the Patriots last season, went 5-0 as the 49ers starter and is looked upon as the savior of the franchise. Coupled with his two wins for the Patriots while pinch-hitting for a suspended Brady in 2016 and Garappolo is 7-0 in his career as an NFL starter.
Bovada lists Garappolo in a group with two other QBs – DeShaun Watson of the Houston Texans and Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints – as their co-fourth choice in future book wagering on the NFL MVP Award, all three of them posted with odds of +1500. Garappolo is Bovada’s co-sixth betting choice with Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers at +1400 to finish as the NFL’s leader in passing yardage for the 2018 season. At +4000, Grappolo is Bovada’s co-14th choice to lead the NFL in touchdown passes.
On the opposite side of the field, former Patriots QB Jacoby Brissett will await the determination on the health of Andrew Luck to find out how much he will play this season. He was the starter last season with Luck out all year due to a shoulder injury, and Brissett was the winning QB against the 49ers. The Colts turned down trade offers for Brissett during the offseason. MyBookie is even offering odds on Brissett to lead the NFL in passing yardage. You can play Brissett at +8000.
Luck Be Ready? – This is the million-dollar question in Indianapolis, and it’s also a cause for consternation in the online sportsbook empire. If Luck is healthy, the Colts are a much different team and he is a Pro Bowl calibre QB. Bovada has Luck at +4000 to lead the NFL in TD passes this season. They’ve also got Luck at +6600 to lead the NFL in passing yardage and +1800 to throw the most interceptions. He’s +3300 to win the MVP.
Betway is offering odds of +600 on Luck being named the NFL’s comeback player of the year in 2018. With 4240 yards passing and 31 TD passes in 2016, all of those wagers would be some pretty sweet odds to get on a healthy Luck. So you’ve got to ask yourself a question – do you feel lucky? Well, do you?
T.Y. Was A Winner – Just two years ago, Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton was the NFL leader in pass receiving yardage, getting on the other end of balls that accounted for 1448 yards. Yet with the odds you can get on him to lead the league in 2018, you’d think he’d gone lame. Bovada has Hilton pegged as their ninth choice to earn this honor at +2200. MyBookie puts Hilton’s chances of topping the receiving yardage ledger at +1600, but also has him as their ninth choice.
Betway has Hilton as their co-ninth choice at +1800. Betway also offers odds on Hilton being the NFL’s MVP at a whopping +25000. Hilton is another player counting on a healthy Luck. Without Luck throwing to him last season, Hilton’s receptions dropped from 91 to 57, and his yardage fell off from that league-league 1448 to 966 yards, though Hilton’s per-catch average of 16.9 yards was his best since he posted 17.2 yards per reception as a rookie in 2012.
Adam Instep – He’s 45, and has played in five Super Bowls. He still has the leg strength to pump field goals through the posts from beyond 50 yards, but does Vinatieri play for a good enough team to have a shot at leading the NFL in kicking points? Betway doesn’t think so. They’ve put the odds on Vinatieri being the top scorer among NFL kickers in 2018 at +6600, which leaves the veteran placekicker as the co-17th choice in the betting.
Robbie Gould, kicker for the 49ers, who was third in the NFL last season with 145 points, is given much better odds at +1600.
Rookie Longshots – Both the Colts and 49ers have players listed in MyBookie’s NFL rookie of year future books, but neither looks to be a contender. San Francisco tight end Dante Pettis is given odds of +8000 to be the NFL offensive rookie of the year. That leaves him as the 23rd betting choice. Colts linebacker Darius Leonard is +2800 to win NFL defensive rookie of the year honors. He’s the 15th betting choice for that award.