Free NFL Picks: Eagles vs. Colts to Go 'Over' 53 Monday Night

Kevin Stott

Thursday, September 11, 2014 3:16 PM GMT

Thursday, Sep. 11, 2014 3:16 PM GMT

The Indianapolis Colts host the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football as the NFL’s Week 2 wraps up in Naptown. Find out where our capper believes the best value lies for our NFL Picks.

Indianapolis’s Lucas Oil Stadium is the site of this interconference matchup between the visiting Philadelphia Eagles (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) and the Indianapolis Colts (0-1 SU, 1-0 ATS) and young QB Andrew Luck as Monday Night Football provides us with what looks to possibly be a pretty high-scoring shootout (ESPN, 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT) to end Week 2 in the NFL.

Both teams were involved in high-scoring affairs—both 'overs'—in their NFL season openers last week with Philadelphia (10-7 SU, 8-9 ATS LY) rallying from a 17-0 halftime deficit to beat the Jaguars, 34-17 (O49) while Indianapolis lost to former QB Peyton Manning and the defending AFC champion Denver Broncos in the Sunday Night Football season opener in the Mile High City, 31-24, (O53). So, these both Totals actually just trickled over the number, each by a slim 2 points.

 

Oddsmakers have Colts 3-point Favorites over Eagles; Total at 53
Indianapolis (16/1 to win Super Bowl, Westgate LV SuperBook) are field-goal (-3) favorites over Philadelphia (25/1) in this last game on the schedule in Week 2 of the NFL with the total set at 53 (now 53½ in most places)—the highest number on the NFL odds this week—and rightfully so as these teams can both really put up the points with the Colts (9/1 to win AFC, Westgate) passing like it’s 1999 and the Eagles (13/1 to win NFC) apparently alternating halves of playing both offense and defense (to conserve on energy?).

In their opener against the Broncos, Indianapolis (4/7 to Win AFC South, Westgate) rushed just 14 times and attempted 53 passes while Philadelphia (11/10 To win NFC East) attempted 45 passes and ran the ball 32 times—obviously a much more balanced attack on offense. So, when you know a team may be a little one-dimensional and almost have to throw the ball because of an anemic ground game—Luck was 35/53 for 370 yards and 2 TDs against Denver—it means their average yards per play will (likely) be more than normal in the long run and that the clock will be stopping more. It also means there will be more interceptions also, as Luck proved with his 2 against the Broncos.

 

Eagles and Colts Both Rallied in the Second Halves of Their Openers
Philadelphia and QB Nick Foles (322 passing yards, 2 TDs) rallied the Eagles back from a 17-0 halftime deficit in the City of Brotherly Love on Sunday, after Foles was responsible for 3 first half TOs after having a total of just 4 all of last season. The always dangerous Jeremy Maclin (4 receptions, 97 yards, TD) had a long 68-yard TD catch to give Philadelphia (-7 vs. Redskins next week, Westgate early Week 3 odds) its first lead and when Anytime TD Scorer markets open up later this week, make sure you take a look at the odds on Jeremy Maclin. In a game where there should be a boatload of scoring, the little speedster and University of Missouri product should definitely get at least one for the road team against a somewhat suspect Horseshoes defense which is still without suspended star Robert Mathis. And, the Colts (-6½ at Jaguars next week, Westgate) outscored the Broncos, 17-7, and rewarded their backers (+7½ to +8½) with the close 4th quarter cover. So that’s a combined 51-7 total points in the two teams second halves in Week 1—proof they can both score if they have to and a good sign for any prospective 'over' players.

 

What Do Some of the Trends Point To in This Tussle in the Hoosier State?
A number of the trends in this Colts-Eagles series point toward the Colts and the 'over', but, like many inter-conference games this season between teams who seldom play each other, the trends are from 1996 to 2010—2010 being the last time these two actually played. The Colts are an impressive 5-0 ATS in their L5 against Philadelphia and all five of those games went 'over' the total, averaging 54½ points per game. So, the oddsmakers’ 53½ is spot on here.  But, as mentioned, those games (1996, 1999, 2002, 2006 and 2010) are ancient history here in the Internet Age where news and facts now have a shelf-life of about 11 seconds and quickly dropping. Ain’t nobody got no time for no statistics from 2010 now brother...our hovercraft and new Robot Wife are awaiting.

In those five previous meetings between the Colts and Eagles, there were a guady total of 20 TOs, and although these teams have changed much through the years, Luck had two picks against the Broncos and Foles three TOs in the first half alone, so, there will be turnovers in Naptown. Which means points off TOs. Which means will there be a defensive TD? A prop bet (Yes +125, bet365) is worth a glance in this game which is the perfect storm for a pick-6, a fumble recovery for a TD or a defensive score by any other means. And Luck will probably put it in the air 50+ more times in front of the raucous Lucas Oil Stadium crowd in the home opener and head coach Chuck Pagano and Indianapolis brass has assembled a nice little collection of receivers for Mr. Luck, including veteran WR Reggie Wayne (9 reception, 98 yards), the electric TY Hilton (5 receptions, 41 yards)—another good candidate for an Anytime TD Scorer bet—WR Hakeem Nicks (5 receptions, 36 yards, TD) and underrated TE Dwayne Allen (4 receptions, 64 yards, 16.0 ypc, TD), another fabulous choice (Dwayne Allen) for an Anytime TD Scorer wager in a game like this on MNF. The TE position is often a little undervalued and extremely overlooked in this ‘Anytime TD Scorer’ marketplace, but both Allen and Coby Fleener and the Eagles Zach Ertz (3 receptions, 77 yards, 25.7 ypc, TD) are favorite targets of Luck and Foles and names worth remembering.

 

How are These Teams Playing Recently and What’s the Best Approach?
The Eagles (Total Points 25 -110, Sky Bet) have actually been winning football games of late, going 8-2 SU L10 and 5-1 SU L6 on the Road, but when you play in the not-so-rugged NFC East, beating the Redskins, the Cowboys and the Giants of the world should be expected if you’re as talented as the Eagles are and have a heady coach like Chip Kelly. And what puts Philadelphia over the top on offense is the dynamic and fearsome 1-2 RB combination of  LeSean McCoy (21 rushes, 74 yards) and Darren Sproles (11 rushes, 78 yards). Sproles presence alone makes me afraid of taking the Colts here (both on the M/L and laying the points) and although several trends support the homeboys, including a 6-1 ATS mark over the L7 at Home, a 4-1 SU record in their L5 against Philadelphia and a sweet 13-2 SU mark in their L15 in Indianapolis, the Eagles simply scare me too much in this spot.

But the Total is where the small edge seems to possibly lie for our NFL picks here, with so many guys who can and will score from both teams, two solid kickers—the Colts Adam Vinatieri, (1/1 FG, 3/3 XPs, 6 points vs. Denver) and the Eagles Cody Parkey (2/2 FG, 4/4 XP, 10 points vs. Jacksonville)—who combined haven’t missed an attempt at a single point yet in this fledgling NFL season...also good for this and those (past) Opening Day overs. Also,the 'over' is an impressive 9-4 over Indianapolis' L13 games (76.9%) and with the national TV audience reality, it being the Colts home opener, Philadelphia’s rugged McCoy-Sproles Dynamic Rushing Duo and quirky QBs like Luck and Foles—who make mistakes—as well as receivers like Macklin, Ertz, Eagles teammates Riley Cooper, Jordan Matthews, Brent Celek and the Colts’ Wayne, Hilton, Nicks, Allen, Fleener and RBs Ahmad Bradshaw and Trent Richardson hoping to contribute in any way they can, this game should end up with both teams around the 30-point mark, with someone winning by about a predicted  34-27 score. And it will probably be because of a late mistake by an opponent. Or, just another week in the NFL.

Free NFL Pick: Eagles-Colts 'Over' 53 at Pinnacle

NFL Player Prop Pick: Jeremy Maclin Anytime TD Scorer  (Eagles)

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