The surging Indianapolis Colts will try to move closer to a postseason bid when they take on the reeling Arizona Cardinals in a key 2021 NFL Christmas Day matchup. The Colts (8-6) have been on a roll, winning two in a row and five of six, including last week’s 27-17 win over the New England Patriots, a team Indianapolis had not beaten since 2009. The Cardinals (10-4), who lead the NFC West by a tiebreaker over the Los Angeles Rams, have dropped two consecutive games and four of their past seven following a 7-0 start to the season. This will be the first meeting between the teams since 2017, when the Cardinals defeated the Colts 16-13 in overtime at Indianapolis.
Kickoff from State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., is set for 8:15 p.m. ET. Arizona is a 2.5-point favorite in the latest Cardinals vs. Colts odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is 48.5. Before you make any Colts vs. Cardinals bets, make sure to check out the NFL predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s proven computer model.
The model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, is up over $7,000 for $100 players on top-rated NFL picks since its inception six-plus years ago. The model enters Week 16 of the 2021 season on an incredible 133-96 run on top-rated NFL picks that dates back to the 2017 season.
The model also ranked in the top 10 on NFLPickWatch four of the past five years on straight-up NFL picks and beat more than 94 percent of CBS Sports Football Pick’em players four times during that span. Anyone who has followed it is way up.
Now, the model has simulated Colts vs. Cardinals 10,000 times and just revealed its NFL expert picks and predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see its picks. Here are several NFL odds and betting trends for Colts vs. Cardinals:
- Colts vs. Cardinals spread: Cardinals -2.5
- Colts vs. Cardinals over-under: 48.5 points
- Colts vs. Cardinals money line: Indianapolis +115, Arizona -135
- IND: Colts are 4-0 against the spread in their last four games as road underdogs
- ARI: Cardinals are 9-5 against the spread this season
Why the Cardinals can cover
Wide receiver A.J. Green had 64 receiving yards last week and has 50 or more receiving yards in three of his past four home games. He also has a touchdown catch in four of his five career games against Indianapolis. For the season, Green has 46 receptions for 718 yards (15.6 average) and three touchdowns, and has had 13 explosive plays of 20 or more yards and 32 first-down conversions. He has two 100-plus yard receiving games this season, including seven catches for 102 yards (14.6 average) against the Los Angeles Rams on Dec. 13.
Since acquiring tight end Zach Ertz in a trade with Philadelphia, the veteran has made a big impact on the offense and enters the game as the Cardinals’ fifth-leading receiver and top tight end. He has 34 catches for 395 yards (11.6 average) and three touchdowns with five explosive plays and 21 first-down conversions. He had six catches for 74 yards last week at Detroit and is looking for his fourth home game in a row with four or more receptions. He is looking for his third game in a row against the Colts with 70 or more receiving yards.
Why the Colts can cover
MVP candidate Jonathan Taylor is proving he is the best running back in the NFL. Taylor leads the league in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns with 1,518 yards and 17 TDs this season. He is also a beast to bring down and is averaging 3.7 yards post contact per rush this season, third-most among NFL running backs with 100 or more rushes. Taylor also lays waste to the right side of the field, averaging 6.2 yards per rush to the right, which is second among qualified NFL backs.
Defensively, linebacker Darius Leonard is coming off a solid week that saw him record an interception, force a fumble and register a tackle for loss. He has a forced fumble and pass breakup in two of his past three games and is the only player in the NFL with three or more forced fumbles (six) and three or more interceptions (three) this season. He is also the only player since 2000 with 15 or more forced fumbles (15) and 10 or more interceptions (10) in his first four seasons in the league.
How to make Colts vs. Cardinals picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning under the total, projecting the teams to combine for 48 points. It also says one side of the spread cashes in well over 50 percent of simulations.
So who wins Cardinals vs. Colts during the NFL Christmas Day 2021 schedule? And which side cashes in well over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Cardinals vs. Colts spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that returned over $7,000 on its NFL picks over the last six seasons, and find out.