The Indianapolis Colts will open Week 1 at home against the Detroit Lions. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:25 EST at Lucas Oil Stadium and will be televised locally on FOX. Oddsmakers have the Colts as a 3.5-point favorite with the total set at 51 points.

Lions vs Colts Vegas Betting Preview

Detroit finished up the 2015 season with a disappointing record of 7-9. This came on the heels of a 11-5 campaign that had them in the playoffs the previous year. The inability to win close games plagued the Lions from the start of the season. Now they go into 2016 as a real Wild Card in the NFC. The big question everyone is asking, is how do they replace the retired Calvin Johnson.

It was an equally disappointing season for the Colts in 2015. Coming off an AFC Championship Game appearance in 2014, Indy failed to make the playoffs at 8-8. It didn’t help that Andrew Luck was 100% and only played in 7 games. Most are assuming the Colts will return to form in 2016, but the AFC South is greatly improved across the board.

Free Game Pick & Spread Predictions: Lions +3.5

While I think Luck is going to bounce back and have a big year, the roster around him is a lot worse than people think. I think it has the Colts overrated going into the season and the value here is with the Lions.

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Detroit was a few bad breaks away from being a 10-win team last year. Had it not been for the loss of Megatron, their would be a lot more hype around this team. Don’t get me wrong, Johnson is a big loss, but the Lions have the talent to overcome it. Golden Tate has 189 catches over the last 2 years. They also added in Marvin Jones, Anquan Boldin and Andre Roberts.

I  was also a big fan of what the Lions did up front on the offensive line. They used their first round pick on tackle Taylor Decker and he’s going to start right away on the blind side. They got two solid guards and should get better play out of the right tackle spot. This not only helps Stafford, but should improve their last ranked rushing attack.

While the offensive line is a strength for Detroit, it’s a major weakness for the Colts. As good as Luck is, he’s going to have zero time to throw the ball. The problem is, he’s going to have to throw a lot, cause the running game doesn’t figure to be very good.

I think a lot of people think the Colts can just outscore the Lions in this one for the cover. I actually think they are going to struggle to keep pace with what their defense is going to allow. Indy’s defense is going to be atrocious this year, especially early.

Star corner Vontae Davis won’t be back until at least October. Their next two best corners, Patrick Robinson and Darius Butler are both questionable. Starting linebacker Sio Moore , safety Chris Geathers and defensive tackle Arthur Jones are all out. Kendal Langord is also questionable

I wouldn’t be shocked at all if the Lions won this game outright. I also think if they lose, there’s a great chance it’s by a field goal or less.