NFL picks and predictions, Raiders vs. Colts: Indianapolis heavy favorites

Andy Lyons

With the two franchises seemingly trending in opposite directions, experts around the league are picking the Colts to make easy work of the Raiders.

The Oakland Raiders and Indianapolis Colts, who face off this Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium, are shoving out into the 2013 NFL season with very different expectations.

Just a year removed from a two-win campaign, the Colts shocked the league in 2012 by going 11-5 and reaching the playoffs. A significant amount of that improvement can be credited to the arrival of Andrew Luck, who showed maturity beyond his years as a rookie quarterback. Expecting a repeat performance of last year's win total may be a bit much to ask of this team, but they're certainly bona fide playoff contenders heading into the season.

The Raiders, on the other hand, face a long list of issues coming off of their 4-12 record in 2012. Tops on that list of problems is their quarterback dilemma -- with less than a week until kickoff, they've yet to officially announce a starter. Rumors indicate Terrelle Pryor will get the nod over Matt Flynn, but the fact that coach Dennis Allen is taking this long to decide is not a good sign that he has confidence in either man.

The disparity between the two teams' situations are obvious when looking at experts' picks from around the country. Of the four ESPN analysts that have submitted picks, every one has taken the Colts. The guys over at CBS Sports are in agreement, with all eight of their experts making Indy the unanimous favorites.

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