Las Vegas Raiders vs Indianapolis Colts: Wentz Available for Colts After COVID Positive

By | January 2, 2022

The first NFL Sunday of 2022 is a crucial one for several teams around the league. With so much still to be decided with playoff positions and playoff seeding, there are several pivotal games on today’s schedule. From Las Vegas to Los Angeles, from Minneapolis to Miami, today will be a nervy day for a lot of NFL teams and fans.

Among the teams with something to play for today are the Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, and San Francisco 49ers. While the Colts and Niners are both in a positive position entering Week 17 and won’t be done for if they lose today, the Ravens and Vikings are in desperation mode.

Along with being in the thick of the NFL playoff race, that quartet also has another thing in common. In the leadup to Week 17, each team has had a cloud hanging over them at quarterback.

Unfortunately for the other three teams, the Colts are the only team that has received positive news on that front.

Las Vegas Raiders vs Indianapolis Colts Matchup: Wentz Activated, Set to Start Against Raiders

With an increase in COVID concerns throughout December, the NFL recently elected to adjust its COVID policies.

That change in policy could very well end up helping the Indianapolis Colts lock up a playoff berth this afternoon.

Colts QB Carson Wentz, who is unvaccinated, tested positive for COVID on Tuesday. That untimely news put his status for today’s game against the Raiders in doubt. Were Wentz unable to go, Frank Reich would have had to turn to rookie Sam Ehlinger. Ehlinger has seen the field in three games this season. But the sixth-round pick out of Texas has yet to throw a pass in a regular-season game.

Fortunately, Reich will not have to turn to Ehlinger. Wentz cleared the COVID protocols yesterday and will be in action this afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Under the previous protocols, Wentz, who is unvaccinated, would have missed today’s game. But under the new protocols, which require five days of isolation instead of ten, the timeline lines up for Wentz to be able to play.

With Wentz good to go, here’s how the Raiders-Colts odds shake out.

Las Vegas Raiders vs Indianapolis Colts Betting Odds

  • Spread: Las Vegas Raiders +8 (-110), Indianapolis Colts -8 (-110)
  • Total: OVER 45.5 (-110), UNDER 45.5 (-110)
  • Moneyline: Las Vegas Raiders +325, Indianapolis Colts -400

Odds are from BetMGM.

How should you approach the Raiders-Colts matchup with the Wentz news in mind?

Even if Wentz wasn’t coming off of the COVID list, the Colts have an NFL MVP candidate in the backfield that has racked up 88 carries in the past three games. The Raiders are 19th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game and tied for 23rd in rushing touchdowns allowed.

In other words, Jonathan Taylor was going to be a prominent part of the gameplan with or without Wentz. So, if you were going to hammer Taylor props, don’t deviate from that plan even with Wentz active.

After dropping to 6-7 in Week 14, the Raiders have won back-to-back games over the Browns and Broncos, two fellow playoff hopefuls, to rejuvenate their postseason hopes. But fortune was on their side in both games, as they didn’t have to face either team’s starting quarterback.

For the season, the Raiders are 25th in the NFL in opponent passer rating (98.9) and last in interceptions (five). While Wentz props should be avoided–this is good advice for any week, not just this week, given how stressful the Carson Wentz experience can be–this does bode well for Michael Pittman Jr. props.

Michael Pittman Jr. Receiving Props vs Las Vegas Raiders

  • Receptions: OVER 4.5 (-130), UNDER 4.5 (+100)
  • Receiving Yards: OVER 55.5 (-115), UNDER 55.5 (-115)
  • Anytime Touchdown Scorer: +145

On the season, Pittman has 76 catches (on 116 targets) for 971 yards and five touchdowns. The Colts’ second-leading receiver, Zach Pascal, has 36 catches (on 65 targets) for 369 yards and three touchdowns. Pittman has nine games with five or more catches and ten games with 56 or more yards.

Even if Wentz doesn’t throw the ball much today, Pittman, who had eight catches for 82 yards in the Colts’ Week 16 win over the Arizona Cardinals, should get enough opportunities to give his props a lot of value.

The post Las Vegas Raiders vs Indianapolis Colts: Wentz Available for Colts After COVID Positive first appeared on Betting News.

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