Free NFL Picks: Eagles vs. Colts Monday Night Football

Jason Lake

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 3:31 PM GMT

It took a pair of matador covers for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Indianapolis Colts to beat the NFL betting lines in Week 1. Those shenanigans can only work for one of these teams when they meet in Week 2.

In case you needed another reminder of why you should never bet the farm on one single football game, we’ve got two teams for ya: the Philadelphia Eagles and the Indianapolis Colts. They both took a bite out of our football betting bankroll this past Sunday. The Eagles looked like sitting ducks against the Jasksonville Jaguars (+10 away), and the Denver Broncos (–8 at home) were ready to put the boots to Indianapolis, but unfortunately for us, NFL games don’t end after 30 minutes.

Before the dust had a chance to clear on Sunday, the Colts opened as 2.5-point home favorites (–135) on NFL odds for their Monday Night Football matchup with the Eagles. Our early consensus reports show overwhelming 98 percent support for Indianapolis, enough to move the spread all the way to –3 (–115) as we go to press. It’s a deluge~!

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Press Your Luck
Actually, it’s more of a light mist. There’s almost no difference between the two aforementioned NFL lines; according to the fair prices at Wizard of Odds, buying a half-point from –3 to –2.5 should cost you 21.4 cents. That almost matches the 20-cent difference in vigorish you see above. And that 98 percent consensus is based on a very small sample size of early bettors.

Small, yes, but almost entirely on the Colts for Monday night’s game (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). While Indianapolis lost its Week 1 game 31-24, that loss came against the mighty Broncos, who had gone up 24-0 with under two minutes remaining in the first half. Bettors are clearly impressed with QB Andrew Luck (35-for-53, 370 yards, two TDs, two INTs) and his ability to rally against Denver’s revitalized Orange Crush defense. He is Andrew Luck, after all.

Not quite as much love out there for Eagles QB Nick Foles (27-of-45, 322 yards, two TDs, one INT, two lost fumbles) and his comeback performance against the Jaguars, who were up 17-0 at the half. Luck wasn’t very good in his opening 28 minutes against Denver, but Foles was much worse. And we’d be remiss in our duties if we didn’t point out that it was the Eagles defense that scored the final TD in their 34-17 victory. Great for your fantasy team, perhaps, but not so great for our college fund.

 

Become One with the Turf
There might be more rough seas ahead for both these quarterbacks. The Colts had to play Week 1 without center Khaled Holmes, who’s listed as week-to-week with an ankle injury. Instead, it was waiver-wire pick-up A.Q. Shipley who lined up Sunday night against Broncos NT Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton. Shipley has been cut by four teams, including the Colts, since he was taken in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Denver sacked Luck three times and held the Colts to 54 yards rushing on 14 carries.

Things look worse for Foles. After getting to play behind a completely intact offensive line last year, Foles saw both LG Evan Mathis (sprained MCL) and RT Allen Barbre (high ankle sprain) leave Sunday’s game. Combine that with RT Lane Johnson’s four-game suspension to start the 2014 season, and Foles is going to be spending a lot of time in the ice bath this month. Jacksonville sacked him five times while forcing all those turnovers.

Football Outsiders projected the Eagles (No. 9) to finish ahead of the Colts (No. 13) on this year’s DVOA charts, so it’s tempting to just auto-bet Philly as a 2.5-point favorite at home, given that 2.5 points is de rigueur for home advantage these days. But those holes on the offensive line change things considerably. Watch for injury updates throughout the week; we’ll also have ATS and total NFL picks for this game as we get closer to Monday’s kick-off.