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Broncos vs. Colts player props: Can Ryan carry Indy with Taylor out?

Indianapolis quarterback Matt Ryan should be tasked with a heavy workload against the Broncos with star rusher Jonathan Taylor ruled out for Week 5.

Denver Broncos QB Russell Wilson should connect on another deep shot Thursday night. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos QB Russell Wilson should connect on another deep shot Thursday night. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)Read moreJeff Bottari / Getty Images

We won’t see the full complement of skill-position stars available for Thursday’s contest between the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t value on the over.

With star rusher Jonathan Taylor (ankle) sidelined, there’s still plenty of value in the passing game for visiting Indianapolis, starting with the team’s veteran quarterback. Here are three of our favorite prop bets at BetMGM ahead of Thursday’s clash:

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Matt Ryan over 33.5 passing attempts (-110)

How in the world is this prop so low? The Colts have asked a lot of Ryan in his first four games in Indy, and I don’t expect that to change with Taylor ruled out for Thursday’s contest.

That should mean a sizable workload for Ryan, who already ranks ninth in pass attempts (154) in his first year with the team. The former MVP attempted 50 passes in Week 1 – tied for his 11th-most in 226 career starts – and has attempted exactly 37 passes in each of his last two games.

Both of those came with Taylor active, which obviously won’t be the case on Thursday. I don’t have much faith in this Colts rushing attack without him, so don’t be surprised to see Ryan sling it 40-plus times, especially if Indianapolis’ anemic offense is facing an early deficit.

» READ MORE: Will Eagles finish regular season undefeated? One sportsbook weighs in on possibility

Russell Wilson longest pass completion over 36.5 yards (-110)

It feels like we’re betting this prop every time Wilson finds himself in a prime-time spot. There’s a reason for that: it usually cashes.

The Broncos passer has struggled mightily in his first four games in a new uniform, but his trademark deep ball has followed him from his days in Seattle. He’s already uncorked two passes of 55-plus yards this season, tied for the second-most by any quarterback this season, and he’s completed a pass of at least 34 yards in all four games this season.

In fact, over the last three seasons, Wilson has completed a pass of at least 37 yards in 22 of 34 games – which doesn’t include four games with a completion of between 33 and 36 yards. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t connect on at least one deep shot on Thursday.

Alec Pierce over 35.5 receiving yards (-115)

I liked this prop even before the official news that Taylor wouldn’t be suiting up on Thursday. I absolutely love it now.

Pierce got off to a rough start this season, finishing with zero catches on two targets in his NFL debut. He’s clearly become a featured part of this offense now after consecutive weeks with at least 60 receiving yards – highlighted by his four-catch, 80-yard effort a week ago.

Clearly, we’re expecting a pass-heavy approach from the Colts (see: Ryan prop), and I’d expect the emerging rookie to play a big role in that. Pierce is also a live bet to go over 2.5 catches, but with the over juiced to -175, I’d rather pay the cheap price on his modest yardage total.

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.