MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL GAME:
Los Angeles Chargers at Indianapolis
Line: Chargers -4
Lets begin with this: We don't trust the Chargers as road favourites. This is a team with no rushing attack, badly coached, and a mediocre defense. They aren't suited to go on the road and lay -4.
So, our first reaction is to take the home dog plus the points. The Colts have been an interesting team since the coaching change (Jeff Saturday took over after Week 9). Since then, Indy has:
(1) upset the Raiders on the road,
(2) almost beat Philadelphia at home, losing by a point, but covering,
(3) lost by 7 at home on MNF to Pittsburgh,
(4) was ahead at Dallas and then gave up a whopping 33 points in the 4thQ,
(5) Blew the biggest lead in NFL history losing at Minnesota last week, but covering the spread.
It's tough to say how the Colts react coming off two stunning collapses in the previous two games. But what those efforts do show is the Colts have been a pretty good team early in games.
Let's stress that again – EARLY IN GAMES.
In fact, Indy had leads at one time in all five games, and the offense moved the ball well, especially in the first half. This plays into our pick, which is a team total in the first half.
We like the Colts team total OVER 9.5 in the 1H tonight, especially at home in a redux spot on MNF.
The Chargers' defense doesn't scare anybody and the Colts certainly have enough weapons to reach the 10-point mark.
QB Nick Foles is reportedly starting for Indy (in place of the inconsistent Matt Ryan), which adds to the uncertainty. He's been nowhere near the Super Bowl-winning QB of five seasons ago. Nonetheless, this is an audition opportunity, so the change could jump-start a team that probably needs something new to recover from the disappointment of the previous two games.
Even though they Colts are without RB Taylor, they still have run the ball well, and will face the #31 ranked defense against the run. So, that should take some pressure off Foles and the passing game.
To win and cash – all we need is 10 points, and we think Indy can reach that in their final meaningful game of the season. The Colts were eliminated from the playoffs last week, but playing on MNF is usually a motivator for home dogs. It's juiced high, but we still like it.
Indianapolis Team Total OVER 9.5 (-135)