Indianapolis Colts vs. Miami Dolphins Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Indianapolis Colts (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. Miami Dolphins (0-1 SU, 0-1
ATS), 8:30 p.m. EST, Monday Night Football, September 21, 2009, LandShark Stadium,
Miami, Fla., TV: ESPN

by Badger of

Point Spread: Colts -3/Dolphins +3
Over/Under: 42

Bet this game at a sportsbook that accepts Visa/Mastercard with a high rate of acceptance even for U.S. players: Sportsinteraction.

Quarterback Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts travel to the
Sunshine State of Florida to take on Chad Pennington and the Miami
Dolphins in LandShark Stadium in week two of Monday Night Football on

Lets hope both teams figure out a way to jumpstart the offense, as
the two combined for only 21 points in their week one action.

Peyton Manning threw for over 300 yards in his season opener last week, but
it didnt translate to points on the scoreboard, as the Colts barely
squeaked out a grinder over the Jacksonville Jaguars, 14-12. The
Colts lost a fumble, threw an interception and struggled for only 71
yards rushing (2.2 yard ave.) against the Jags, facets of the offense
that will need to change if they hope to beat Miami on the road this

The Dolphins were held to just 259 yards of total offense in a 19-7
loss to the Atlanta Falcons in their opener last weekend. The Fins
lost three fumbles, threw an interception and looked stuck in neutral
all game and nearly were shutout if not for a late 4th-quarter
touchdown to make the game look closer than it actually was on the

Oddsmakers are figuring that the Colts offense is most likely to
rebound, as they opened the point spread in the primetime game with
Indy as 3-point favorites on the road. The over/under total opened at
43 and has dropped a point to its current number of 42 at most
offshore sportsbooks on the Web.

As mentioned, Manning and the Colts must get something more from
their running game on Sunday, but that could be difficult against the
Dolphin run defense. The Fins held Atlantas Michael Turner to just
65 yards last Sunday, and were 10th in the league last season at
stopping the run.

The Colts passing game will also be shorthanded with the loss of starting receiver Anthony Gonzalez. Gonzalez, who was expected to
replace Marvin Harrison as the Colts weapon opposite Reggie Wayne,
twisted his knee in the Jags game and is out indefinitely. Rookie
Austin Collie (BYU) will likely see an increased role in his absence.

Miamis offense will have one advantage on their side Monday since the
Colts best defender, safety Bob Sanders, is still out following
knee surgery. The Colts certainly didnt look like they were missing him
last Sunday, as they held the Jags to just 114 yards passing in the victory.

But Sanders absence could show up in the running game, as the
Dolphins will likely use the Wildcat formation to try and spring
Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams loose and get the Dolphins offense
back in sync.

These two teams havent met in the regular season since 2006, a 27-22
victory by Indianapolis at home in the old RCA Dome. Miami covered
the point spread in that game though, going into the game as 9-point
underdogs. Going back 10 games and into the 1999 season, the Dolphins
enjoy a slight 6-4 SU edge in the series, as well as a 7-3 ATS record
in that same span.

Speaking of underdogs, they are a strong play in this game if you follow betting trends for your plays. In the last nine head-to-head
meetings the underdog is an ATM for bettors, going 8-1 ATS.
Coincidentally, the road team is 7-2 ATS during those same nine games.

The over/under trends in this head-to-head series are all pointing
toward the under in this game. Both teams came in under the total in
their openers last weekend. But the under is 4-0 in the Dolphins last
four games as an underdog, and 6-1 in their last seven games overall.
On the other side, the under is 6-1 in the last seven games the Colts
have played against the AFC and 6-2 in the Colts last eight games

All of this flies in the face of recent history though, as the over
is actually 4-1 in the last five head-to-head meetings.

One other huge betting trend to note, the Colts enjoy the spotlight
of Monday Night, to the tune of a 5-1 ATS record in their last six
appearances in primetime.

Badgers Pick: Im having a hard time with this game because my head
tells me Indy, while my gut tells me Miami. Either way, I expect the
turf team (Indy) to have a hard time on grass, so Im leaning toward
a small wager on the underdog Dolphins. The Phins should be pumped up for their home opener. Getting points is nice too. Take Miami plus the 3 points