Bet Dogs to Cover with Eagles vs. Colts ATS Picks

Jason Lake

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 2:02 PM GMT

The Indianapolis Colts are still getting the lion’s share of the football betting action for their upcoming Monday Night Football appearance against the Philadelphia Eagles. Should we climb aboard the Luck Train this week?

Jason’s Record After Week 1: 1-4 ATS, 0-1 Totals

Profit: minus-6.6 units

As you can see by the numbers, not the most auspicious debut for us here at the ranch. But Week 1 of the NFL betting season still went largely as planned. It took a pair of preposterous matador covers to spoil things, and go figure, the two teams who burned us will face each other Monday night (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). Should be a barnburner of a game, too. It’s the Indianapolis Colts hosting the Philadelphia Eagles, and as we go to press, the Colts are 3-point favorites with a total of 53.5 points and rising.

People sure do love their Colts. After picking up roughly two-thirds of bettors in our early ATS consensus reports, Indianapolis continued to draw at a 65-percent clip on Tuesday. But that support is about as tepid as 65 percent can get. The football lines for this matchup have barely moved since the open, and if you look at the moneyline figures on the NFL odds, the Eagles are getting 62 percent support as +135 road dogs, down from +145 the day before. Very interesting indeed.

 

Super Computer
Interesting, but not unusual. We see split action like this all the time when the NFL spreads are dancing around the magic number three, with the underdog typically drawing the majority of the moneyline business. The upshot: Monday night should be a close game. So close that the computer projections at numberFire have it dead even at 26.2 points apiece. TeamRankings has it 27.6 to 24.9 for Indianapolis.

These kind of projections are useful, but they only have marginal value from a football betting perspective – they’re already baked into the early NFL lines that come out of Vegas. In this case, however, we might want to lean on them a bit more heavily. Indianapolis and Philadelphia have almost no history between them, having played each other seven times since the Colts moved from Baltimore 30 years ago. Last time they met was 2010, well before the arrival of head coaches Chuck Pagano and Chip Kelly.

 

Wanted: Two 300-Pounders
Monday night might be a compelling matchup, but it’s more because we’re wondering which of these two teams will self-destruct. In our opening odds report, we focussed on the important injuries both sides suffered in Week 1. Tuesday’s newswires have Eagles RT Allen Barbre (high ankle sprain) likely to miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery. Meanwhile, LG Evan Mathis, arguably the best guard in the NFL, is expected to miss 4-8 weeks with a Grade 3 MCL sprain. Philadelphia is reportedly down to six healthy offensive linemen; free agents Eric Winston and Wade Smith were supposed to meet with the Eagles on Tuesday.

As for the Colts, we’re still waiting for an update on starting center Khaled Holmes (ankle). There might be bigger problems for Indy on defense, though, after linebackers Cam Johnson (elbow) and Jerrell Freeman (hamstring) had to leave the Week 1 game against the Denver Broncos. The Colts are already in rough shape at linebacker with Robert Mathis adding a season-ending Achilles injury to his four-game suspension for PEDs.

Philly looked like the better team on paper going into 2014, and Kelly is one of the better head coaches in the NFL. We’ll stick with the underdogs here for our NFL picks, but sweet baby corn, one more ridonkulous Andrew Luck comeback, and we might have to switch from Fresca to Jim Beam.

 

The Five Stars
Injuries/Suspensions/Travel/Rest: IND

Defense/Special Teams: EVEN

Coaching: PHI

Market Bias: PHI

Betting Line Value: PHI

Verdict: 2-star pick on PHI

Free NFL Pick: Put 3.5 units on the Eagles +3 (+102) at Pinnacle

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