Chiefs vs Colts Week 3 Props: KC Passing Game Embraces Old Friend

Even amid struggles last year, the Chiefs' offense torched Gus Bradley's defense — then in Vegas. Now operating in Indy, our player prop picks for the Chiefs vs. Colts highlights a great matchup for Patrick Mahomes & Co.

Last Updated: Sep 24, 2022 2:46 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs NFL
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If the Indianapolis Colts are going to get their first win of the season in Week 3, they're going to need to muster offensive firepower we are yet to see.

Not only is the vaunted Kansas City Chiefs offense coming to Indy but they're coming into a fantastic matchup — one Mahomes has thrived in repeatedly. 

With such a juicy spot for Mahomes & Co., KC's offense takes focus in our Chiefs vs. Colts NFL prop picks — and check out our Chiefs vs. Colts picks for more. 

Chiefs vs Colts prop picks

Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Chiefs vs Colts Week 3 props

Just as Patrick Mahomes' struggles adjusting to an increase in cloud coverage across the NFL last season was spoken about ad nauseam, so too has been the success he had against Gus Bradley last year.

The former Seahawks DC and Jaguars head coach is the last vestige of a defensive era gone by. While two-high defenses have spread around the league, including in Seattle where the Godfather of the Cover-3, Pete Carroll, resides, Bradley has remained steadfast in his use of a single high safety.

Props for the conviction, Gus, but it's just asking to be sliced apart by Mahomes. The renaissance of two-high defenses has occurred in tandem with the passing boom, and rightfully so. Defenses simply have to force the hand of opposing offenses and make them work methodically and defend the backend with passing games more explosive than ever.

Bradley hasn't adjusted and it played a big part in his dismissal from Vegas, where he was last a DC. It was there that, over two games in four weeks last year, the new-look dink-and-dunk Chiefs offense rediscovered its DNA and tore Bradley's defense apart. In two Kansas City wins, 41-14 and then 48-9, Mahomes combined to go 55-for-74 with 664 yards and seven touchdowns.

That was a Chiefs offense — and Mahomes — searching for an identity amid its first real adversity of the era. Now, Kansas City appears to have rediscovered that identity, with it third in passing DVOA, first in EPA, and second in pass rate over expectation through two weeks.

It's a fantastic matchup for Mahomes and the Chiefs' offense, and any concerns around a blowout impacting this prop can be put to bed with the context of Mahomes finishing with 360 yards in the Week 1 blowout of Arizona.  

Patrick Mahomes Prop: Over 287.5 passing yards (-114)

If we're going to take Mahomes to go Over 287.5 passing yards, then it would make sense to think Travis Kelce can go Over his receiving yards total of 70.5. Even more so with the added context of the Colts' insufficient personnel and the way tight ends can exploit Bradley's defense. 

While Indy's coverage has changed from a two-high heavy defense to Bradley's Cover-3/single-high defense, its personnel at the second and third levels hasn't changed much at all. That personnel, including Bobby Okereke and the injured Shaquille Leonard, was exposed in tough tight end matchups last year.

The Colts allowed Zach Ertz to go for 8/54 on 13 targets, Mike Gesicki to go for 5/57/1, and Mark Andrews exploded for 11 catches, 147 yards, and two scores. All told, the Colts ended the season 31st in targets, 30th in catches, 26th in yards, and 28th in scores allowed to tight ends.

Equally poor against tight ends was Bradley's Raiders, who ended the season 28th in targets, 26th in catches, 25th in yards, and 30th in touchdowns against tight ends. And, wouldn't you know it, the nadir came against KC when Kelce saw 10 targets and hauled in eight passes for 119 yards.

That has been a theme of Bradley's career as a defensive coordinator, and a constant issue for Carroll's Cover-3 defense. The nature of that coverage allows for tight ends to be peppered underneath, with the shallow zones protecting over, as well as up the seam when the deep safety has to shade to one side or the other. 

While that will give Kelce some easy opportunities on Sunday, we don't need to depend on soft spots in coverage for this to cash. This is the league's best tight end with the league's best quarterback in an incredibly kind matchup. Kelce should go Over the total with ease. 

Travis Kelce Prop: Over 70.5 receiving yards (-117)

The Colts have an absence of talent behind Michael Pittman at receiver, but a rare bright spot through two weeks has been the play of fourth-year wideout Ashton Dulin.

Dulin made the most of a bit-part role in Week 1, turning just 16 routes into six targets, three catches, and 46 yards. In Week 2, with Pittman and underwhelming rookie Alec Pierce out, Dulin took on a greater role and turned 24 routes into seven targets, five catches, and 79 yards.

It's a small sample size, but the route participation to targets ratio suggests Dulin is getting open — a valued skill in any offense, but especially in a talent-poor offense such as Indy's.

Though Pittman and Pierce are trending toward playing in Week 3, Dulin's earned more snaps and could quite easily displace Pierce in two-receiver sets at times. Even if he doesn't, at just 18.5, it'll only take a catch or two for Dulin to go Over his yards total this week.

He's easily exceeded that total in both weeks so far, in considerably different roles, and is well positioned to do so again. The Colts have been, at best, mediocre, and at worst, really quite bad this year. In a game in which they're 5.5-point underdogs to the Chiefs and could quickly fall into quite the hole, Dulin and Indy's offense will have plenty of dropbacks. 

Ashton Dulin Prop: Over 18.5 receiving yards (-114)

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