Chiefs vs Colts Week 3 Picks and Predictions: Mahomes Picks Apart Indy's Scheme

Patrick Mahomes has had huge success against defensive coordinator Gus Bradley in the past. With Bradley now DC for Indianapolis, we're betting on the Chiefs' offense to light up the scoreboard on Sunday. Read more in our Colts vs. Chiefs betting picks.

Last Updated: Sep 25, 2022 8:29 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs NFL
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The Kansas City Chiefs took care of business last week with a 27-24 win over the Los Angeles Chargers, and now set their sights on an Indianapolis Colts team that has yet to win in 2022.

The Colts have had a horrendous start to the season, first tying in Week 1 with the Houston Texans and then following that up by being on the receiving end of a 24-0 beatdown courtesy of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Needless to say, starting off a playoff-hopeful season with those performances against two lowly franchises is less than ideal.

Can the Colts bounce back in a big way from the confines of Lucas Oil Stadium in their first home game of the season, or will Andy Reid have a bag of tricks up his sleeve on a long week of preparation following the Chiefs' Thursday night triumph?

Find out in our NFL picks and predictions for Chiefs vs. Colts on Sunday, September 25.

Chiefs vs Colts best odds

Chiefs vs Colts picks and predictions

Needless to say, public perception of these two AFC teams could not be farther apart. Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are riding high following their win over Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday Night Football and will have a long week of preparation heading into Week 3 (a spot that has notoriously favored Andy Reid over the years).

On the flip side of the coin, the Colts are winless through the first two weeks after failing to get the job done against the likes of the Texans and Jaguars. Open discourse regarding the Colts' newest quarterback pivot to Matt Ryan has already reached a point where it is being deemed a failure.

Despite all of this, the Colts are just 5.5 point underdogs for this week's matchup, a number that likely immediately has public bettors salivating to back the Chiefs.

So what gives?

For one, the circumstances surrounding the Colts' Week 2 loss should be considered. They were without their top two wideouts, Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce, with the former being one of this year's premier breakout candidates and the latter boasting a skillset that helps spread defenses thin.

Things are trending upwards in that regard, with Pierce being a full go and with Pittman's status getting better by the day. And not to make too many excuses for Indianapolis, but playing in Jacksonville has been a tough task for the Colts. In fact, they have lost eight straight now in Jacksonville, which is likely partly due to the fact that they are an indoor team located in the Midwest that has to travel to hot and humid Florida for divisional games.

To that point, the Colts will play their first home game of the season on Sunday in an environment they are obviously much more comfortable in.

However, the problem may lie elsewhere this week for the Colts, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. With the departure of former defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus (now head coach of the Bears) and the hiring of Gus Bradley (former defensive coordinator of the Raiders), there has been a massive philosophical and structural shift in Indianapolis on defense.

Eberflus was a big proponent of two-high safety shells that left the middle of the field open, the same scheme that defenses employed extremely heavily last year against Mahomes and caused the Chiefs offense to struggle.

Bradley, on the other hand, leans stubbornly heavily on single-high safety and Cover-3 looks. For those that don't remember, it was those looks and Bradley's undying commitment to them that contributed to two of Mahomes' best regular season performances last year:

Result Completions Attempts Cmp. % YDS TD INT RTG
@ LV 11/14 W 41-14 35 50 70.0 406 5 0 127.6
vs LV 12/12 W 48-9 20 24 83.3 258  2  0 139.2

Maybe a cleaner bill of health and a more favorable environment will help Matt Ryan and company put more points on the board and keep this somewhat competitive, but one thing we do know is that based on Gus Bradley's track record, the Chiefs should have no issue getting theirs.

My best bet: Chiefs team total Over 27.5 (-120 at DraftKings)

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Chiefs vs Colts betting preview

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Spread analysis Over/Under analysis Trend to know Game info Injuries Weather

Spread analysis

The question here becomes whether or not the Colts can keep within a reasonable pace of the expected Chiefs' output in order to play within the 5.5 spread.

Or maybe the question is as simple (and grim) as "Can the Colts keep it to a 12-point game late and get a garbage time touchdown to make it a five-point game?". And to that point, the answer is likely yes.

Frank Reich took over as head coach of the Colts in 2018 and during that time, has only lost at home by six or more points seven times in 33 games. He has also been particularly great at rallying the troops coming off of large losses. Since 2019, the Colts have gone 3-1 with a +52 point differential while averaging 33.3 points of offense in games following a loss of two touchdowns or more.

There is also the possibility that the Colts will catch the Chiefs with their attention divided, as the Chiefs have a Super Bowl rematch against the Buccaneers in Week 4. There's enough here to believe that the Colts will keep the game within a respectable margin.

Over/Under analysis

Given the case that has been laid out thus far, you'd be hard-pressed not to go with the Over.

Mahomes has had no issue cutting up Gus Bradley's single-high Cover-3 looks in the past, and this Sunday should be no different. When looking at how the Colts have performed coming off of two-touchdown losses, Frank Reich's track record speaks for itself (33.3 points scored on average).

A high-scoring affair should be in play on Sunday in Indy. 

Chiefs vs Colts betting trend to know

The Colts have lost by six or more points at home just seven times in 33 games under Frank Reich. Find more NFL betting trends for Chiefs vs. Colts.

Chiefs vs Colts game info

Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Date: Sunday, September 25, 2022
Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. ET
TV: CBS

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