Indianapolis Colts (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS) vs. San Diego Chargers (2-3 SU, 3-1-1 ATS)
NFL Week 6
Date and Time: MNF, October 14th, 2013, 8:40 pm EST
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, Calif.
TV: ESPN/DirecTV 206
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Ind. -1.5/SD +1.5
Over/Under Total: 50
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The Indianapolis Colts will take their 4-1 record back
out to the West Coast this weekend for a matchup in primetime with the San
Diego Chargers in Qualcomm Stadium on Monday Night Football.
Two weeks ago the Colts and their former Stanford star quarterback Andrew Luck came out West and hung a huge upset on the 49ers up the coast, so the Colts are California dreaming for another win to try and run their winning streak to four straight. Last weekend the Colts gave the Seahawks their first loss of the season, 34-28, so you can bet that Luck and the Colts wont be considered underdogs for much longer.
The Chargers continued their decade-long roller coaster ride under quarterback Philip Rivers, as Rivers threw three picks and the Chargers lost two fumbles in an embarrassing, 27-17 loss late last Sunday night following the Oakland As playoff game. San Diego has alternated losses and wins all season long so theyve been hard to get a gasp on this year under new coach Mike McCoy, but home-cooking is always a recipe for success in the NFL and the Bolts are hoping a little bit of the home-underdog magic that worked last week for lots of NFL teams works again this week for them.
The Bolts are a home dawg this week because most sportsbooks opened the Monday Night tilt with the Colts as minus -1 point favorites. Most of the early money came in on the Colts too, moving the number up to minus -2 or -2.5 at most of the sportsbooks currently.
The over/under total opened at 49 and has also seen a good amount of line movement, shooting up to 50, 50.5 or even 51 depending on where you wager and how much juice you want to pay.
If five weeks is a large enough sample, then the Colts are no longer a finesse-style passing team like they were with Peyton Manning and in large part last year in Lucks rookie season. With running backs Trent Richardson and Donald Brown Indy is actually 4th in the NFL in rushing (142 ypg) thus far, and Luck and the passing game is only 24th at 220 yards a game, but balance has been the key to the Colts. Against a Chargers defense thats below league average so far (117 ypg rushing 24th), it could be a long night with a lot of carries for Richardson and Brown on Monday.
The key to the Chargers on offense is simple, you have to protect for Rivers and keep him away from obvious catch-up situations where he forgets what color jerseys his team is wearing. Nobody loses it as fast as Rivers (maybe Jay Cutler), so if the Colts can pressure Rivers and get to him early it might be all Luck and the offense need to stay in front. However, the Colts defense is 30th versus the run this season (129 ypg), so if there ever was a game for underachieving Ryan Mathews to finally step up, this week in primetime is the week.
San Diego won the last two meetings in the series with the Colts, which includes the, 23-17, overtime thriller in the 2009 AFC Divisional Playoffs. All told, the underdog has owned this series (7-0 ATS since 2004) and the Colts are just 1-6 ATS over that same time fspan.
The under is a solid betting trend play and a play that would be opposite of its current line movement. In four of the last six meetings (4-1-1) the under has cashed including three straight unders in games played at Qualcomm.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting the Chargers.