Bet 'Over for Colts vs. Giants Monday Night Football Picks

Jason Lake

Friday, October 31, 2014 3:43 PM UTC

Friday, Oct. 31, 2014 3:43 PM UTC

Monday night’s game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Giants is one of just two this week with a total of at least 50 points on the NFL odds board. People are happily betting the OVER anyway.

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

Profit: minus-29.93 units

Some choices in life are easier than others. Growth, or security? Fish, or cut bait? Have another drink, or maintain what little shred of dignity you have left? These are the dilemmas that have charted the course of human history since time immemorial. But the choice seems pretty clear when it comes to betting the total this week’s Monday Night Football matchup (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) between the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Giants. We’re adding the OVER to our NFL picks on the total of 50.5 points, and we feel very good about our decision.

So do most of the people in the betting market. According to our consensus reports, 95 percent of bettors were on the OVER at the open, putting enough pressure on the total to bump it up to 51 points. It’s fallen back to 50.5 at most of our featured online sportsbooks; as we go to press, nearly 70 percent of bettors are still pounding the OVER with gusto. We’re getting it in now, lest that total climb any higher on the Week 9 NFL odds board.


Manning Up
Before we dissect this bad boy, a friendly reminder: Profit margins are very small when you bet on the NFL, and just because this is an “easy” choice doesn’t mean it’s a dead certainty that this game will go OVER the posted total. In fact, we’re estimating maybe a 53-percent chance of success, as we are for all the over/under bets we make. And we’re keeping our bet size small as a result – maybe even smaller than Kelly betting would suggest is optimal, but we’d rather not have to deal with the variance when it comes to NFL totals.

Having said all that, there are plenty of reasons in this particular matchup to stick with our default OVER bet. The Colts have the OVER at 6-2 halfway through the 2014 regular season. The Giants have the OVER at 4-3; they’re coming off a bye week, and the OVER is 5-3 in their last eight games in this situation. Sadly, these two teams hardly ever play each other, and they haven’t met since 2010, when Peyton Manning’s Colts beat Eli Manning’s Giants 38-14 (OVER 48).


Vig Newton
We’d obviously be delighted if Indianapolis and New York scored another 52 points between them on Monday night. However, we are dealing with the second-highest total on this week’s NFL odds board, and there’s not much room for error here. If our preferred sportsbook is one of the small handful publishing a total of 51 points, we’d better be getting a good price on the vig, otherwise we need to shop elsewhere for this total.

That’s because 51 points is one of the most common combined scores in the NFL. According to the fair prices at Wizard of Odds, we should be getting at least 8.6 cents in extra vig if we’re going to bet OVER 51. And again, because of the extra risk involved, we should either demand more vig to make battling variance worth our time, or we should place a smaller bet. Our bets are already small as it is.

Otherwise, the Colts (No. 8 offense, No. 21 defense on the DVOA charts) are built to cash in the OVER. The Giants (No. 18 offense, No. 16 defense) are fairly neutral, but their retooled West Coast offense shows promise, and Eli and Friends have had an extra week to prepare. Plus, it looks like clear skies over East Rutherford Monday night. Early November does have its charms.

Free NFL Pick: Bet one unit on OVER 50.5 (–110) at 5Dimes

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