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Survivor: Backing the Colts

Chris Liss

Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.

Last week, I got by with the Packers, though it was closer than I would have liked. While the Saints game was even worse, the only major favorite that went down was the Colts, so it's likely your pools haven't significantly thinned out from last week to this one. There's a good chance that won't be the case a week from now, however.

Week 5 has no double-digit favorites, its biggest favorite, the Colts, are playing against an undefeated team, the next biggest, the Saints, are unimpressive and playing on the road, and the Ravens draw Denver which just went into Tennessee and won last week. Other choices include the 1-2 Cowboys against the Titans, the Bengals at home against the Bucs and the Chargers in Oakland.

Here's how the current pick distribution and money lines break down:

Team Opponent % Picked Vegas ML* Vegas Odds
Colts Chiefs 35.1% 310 75.6%
Bengals Bucs 18.1% 267.5 72.8%
Ravens Broncos 14.7% 290 74.4%
Saints Cardinals 9.3% 267.5 72.8%
Chargers Raiders 8.8% 250 71.4%
Cowboys Titans 5.0% 275 73.3%
Other N/A 9% N/A N/A
*average of the two money lines

My Picks

1. Indianapolis Colts

The Colts don't make sense as an equity play unless you boost their odds to about 80 percent, which I'm willing to do. The Chiefs have a big homefield advantage at Arrowhead, but the going will be a lot tougher at Indy. I also like the Colts coming off a loss to play with more focus. The one major concern is Kansas City's special teams and big-play weapons, but barring two game-changing scores, I don't think it'll be enough to bridge the gap. I give Indy an 81 percent chance to win this game.

2. Dallas Cowboys

Only five percent of the field is on Dallas - probably because of what happened in Week 2, but the Cowboys played a strong game in Houston and are still desperate for a win at 1-2. The Titans aren't a doormat by any means, but the Cowboys are stronger on both sides of the ball and playing at home. I give the Cowboys a 74 percent chance to win this game.

3. Baltimore Ravens

Denver's not the ideal team to pick against - they throw the ball all over the field, but Baltimore has been the hardest team in the league to throw against to date (5.2 YPA allowed), and the Broncos are averaging 2.2 yards per carry as a team. It's likely to be tough sledding in Baltimore. I give the Ravens a 75 percent chance to win this game, but rank them just below Dallas due to the pick distribution.

4. Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals and Bucs are a bit mysterious to me, but Cincy's at home, coming off a tough division loss and likely to be focused. The Bucs are off to a decent start, but the drubbing at home against Pittsburgh showed they've still got a long way to go. I give the Bengals a 72 percent chance to win this game.

Notable Omissions

New Orleans Saints

The Saints barely escaped at home against Carolina last week. There's no way I'm taking them on the road no matter how bad Arizona looks.

San Diego Chargers

The Chargers looked good last week, but I'm not backing them against a non-doormat division rival on the road.