The Indianapolis Colts are coming off their most dominant win of the season, only to find themselves at the significant disadvantage against the San Francisco 49ers for their Week 7 Sunday Night Football showdown at Levi’s Stadium. The Niners expect Jimmy Garoppolo back for this pivotal primetime showdown, but it’s yet to be confirmed by head coach Kyle Shanahan. The uncertainty surrounding the Niners raises the question whether the Colts deserve more respect than they’re getting from the oddsmakers.
As things currently stand, the Colts are catching anywhere between 4 to 4.5 points on the NFL odds board, up by a half-a-point from an opening 3.5 points. At the same time, the total is trading as high as 44.5 points after opening on 43.5 points with many top-rated online sportsbooks.
Indianapolis Colts vs. San Francisco 49ers
Sunday, October 24, 2021 – 8:20 PM EDT at Levi’s Stadium
San Francisco Looks To Get Back On Track
Is Jimmy Garoppolo returning to the line up in Week 7? That’s the million dollar question. Reports are favorable for the starter’s return this week, and that has had an impact on the NFL betting odds and lines for this game. However, the Niners haven’t confirmed Garoppolo as the starter.
San Francisco went into the 2021 NFL season with a 24-9 record (including playoffs) with Garoppolo as the starter and 5-23 straight up in all other games under Shanahan without him as the starter.
This season, the Niners are 2-3 SU overall and 2-2 SU with Garoppolo as the starter. Trey Lance stepped in for an injured Garoppolo in the second half of Week 4’s contest with the Seattle Seahawks. The Niners lost 28-21 after fritting away a first-half lead. In Week 5, Trey Lance got his first NFL start against the Arizona Cardinals, and while he played well enough, the Niners lost 17-10 to their division rivals who are enjoying a banner start to the season.
Last season. San Francisco’s season was derailed by a slew of injuries across the roster. The start to 2021 is ominous with the Niners dealing with several key injuries already. Tight end George Kittle remains side-lined with a calf injury, Raheem Mostert is on I-R, and running back Jeff Wilson Jr. is out with knee injury until November. Elsewhere, Jamycai Hasty is questionable with an ankle injury, linebacker Marcel Harris is also questionable with a thumb injury, and rookie quarterback Trey Lance is likely out with a knee injury.
Good news for the Niners is the fact that Garoppolo featured in practice this week, albeit in limited form. The most Shanahan has said is that Jimmy G. will be the starter if he’s healthy and cleared to start. In the meanwhile, Trey Lance was notably absent as he continues to deal with a sprained knee which he sustained during San Francisco’s last outing before their Week 6 bye. It doesn’t look like Lance will be available this weekend, meaning Nate Sudfield is likely to be the backup.
Indianapolis Colts Looks To Build its First Winning Streak
The Colts have won two of their last three games to improve to a 2-4 record on the season. In many cases, winning two out of three would be considered a positive sign. That’s not the case here as the quality of wins are in serious question. The
Colts beat the Dolphins 27-17 in Week 4 and the Houston Texans 31-3 in Week 6. Combined, these two teams have a 2-10 record on the season.
Carson Wentz and the Colts were elated to get their first lopsided victory of the season, but it hasn’t transcended the NFL betting markets for good reason. Against quality teams, the Colts have struggled. They opened the season with a 28-16 loss to the Seahawks followed by back-to-back losses to the Los Angeles Rams (27-24) and Tennessee Titans (25-16). A 31-25 loss to the Baltimore Ravens is book-ended by their lone two victories on the season.
Carson Wentz has dealt with his fair share of injuries since training camp got underway – from foot surgery to ankle sprains and other ailments, the veteran starter has had a rough go of it with his new team. However, he’s started in every game this season, and the jury is out on his performance despite his injury concerns.
NFL Predictions and Picks
No matter where one stands on the Jimmy Garoppolo debate, the Niners are better with him than without him. That’s a fact. So, everything about this game hinges on Jimmy G. being available on Sunday. The way the market pitches this Sunday Night Football showdown, it does seem like the Niners’ starter will be suiting up for this game, and that adds value to the Niners’ odds.
The Colts have taken a step back this season. The reunion between Wentz and Frank Reich isn’t living up to expectations. It’s a bit disappointing, honestly. Some of it is down to Wentz’ injuries, while some of it is down to fit, amongst other things. Perhaps, things will turnaround for Wentz and the Colts, but the signs aren’t there to hang one’s hat on. Keep in mind, Philip Rivers enjoyed a stint with the Colts and led them to an 11-5 record and the first round of the playoffs last season.
All told, there are many uncertainties surrounding this matchup, but the Niners are the better team if they have Garoppolo in the starting line-up. Assuming he starts, the NFL pick here is the Niners at -4.
NFL Picks: Niners -4 (-110) with Bet365