Bet 5.5 Units on Giants ATS Over Colts for MNF Picks

Jason Lake

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 6:43 PM UTC

Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014 6:43 PM UTC

They didn’t get the job done in Week 8, but that hasn’t stopped the Indianapolis Colts from being the hottest ticket on the Week 9 NFL odds board. They’re laying three points on the road to the New York Giants.

Jason’s record after Week 8: 24-33 ATS, 9-12-1 Totals

Profit: minus-29.93 units

It’s pretty quiet out there in the NFL betting market. We’re not seeing a lot of big early bets coming in for Week 9, but there’s one team attracting far more money than anyone else: the Indianapolis Colts. Out expanded consensus reports show the Colts (5-3 SU, 6-2 ATS) pulling in over 90 percent of the action in their Monday Night Football matchup with the New York Giants (3-4 SU and ATS), who are getting three points with positive vig at the New Meadowlands. The average bet size on Indianapolis is $129. That’s nearly three times as big as any other team on NFL odds board, and over four times the average $28 bet on the Giants.

If we follow the basic tenets of sports betting, all this early money means the sharps like Indianapolis this Monday (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). Then again, everybody likes the Colts. They’re the top team on the public money charts, blessed with a budding superstar named Andrew Luck at quarterback. But they’re also coming off a 51-34 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers (+5 at home), and their next game is against a Giants team that took Week 8 off.

Indy Engine No. 3
Before that loss to Pittsburgh, it looked like the Colts were one of the very best teams in the NFL. That still might be the case. As ugly as Sunday’s game was, Luck nearly pulled off yet another ridiculous comeback, bringing the Colts to within eight points before falling on his derrière and giving up a safety. It wasn’t his best day by any means, but proper blame goes to the defense, which folded up like a cheap suitcase after shutting out the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 7.

Even with that loss, Indianapolis still has the third-highest rating at Pro Football Reference with a plus-9.6 SRS (plus-9.2 offense, plus-0.5 defense). The Giants, on the other hand, are about as average as an NFL team can get at minus-0.2 SRS (plus-0.1 offense, minus-0.3 defense). Squash those two ratings together, take out 2.5 points for home-field advantage, and you get a rough estimate of New York +7.5 for a point spread. No wonder people want to bet on Indy.

You Say Good Bye
Not that you should be using SRS or Elo ratings as the basis of your handicapping. One of the things they miss in this case is the fact that New York is coming off a bye week. This should be a betting advantage for Big Blue supporters. Should be, but while the Giants have won each of their last six games after taking the extra week off, they split the cash at 3-3 ATS along the way. Tom Coughlin has a personal record of 4-5-1 ATS in this situation as New York’s head coach.

You might find Coughlin’s record listed at 5-6 ATS elsewhere. That’s partly because of the 2005 game against the Dallas Cowboys that ended in a push – or not, depending on which NFL odds were used. Also, some databases might be including a faux bye week in 2010, when the Giants got an extra day of rest before beating the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football. Either way, it would make us feel better about our NFL picks if New York had a better post-bye history. We’re still going with the Giants, though, and we’re even willing to up the bet size given the angles in our favor.

The Five Stars
Injuries/Suspensions/Travel/Rest: NYG
Defense/Special Teams: IND
Coaching: NYG
Market Bias: NYG
Betting Line Value: NYG

Verdict: 3-star pick on NYG

Free NFL Pick: Bet 5.5 units on the Giants +3 (+115) at Matchbook

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