Monday Night Football Picks: Count on Visiting Colts to Upset Panthers

Joe Gavazzi

Monday, November 2, 2015 4:22 PM UTC

Monday, Nov. 2, 2015 4:22 PM UTC

Colts travel to Carolina for a Monday Night Football kick against the Panthers. Join in for an odds review and selection of an NFL pick that will help you crash the books tonight.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Carolina Panthers (-6-) 8:30 ET ESPN
The 3-4 SU division-leading Indianapolis Colts travel to Carolina for this MNF 8:30 ET kick against the Panthers as televised by ESPN. It is a battle of the underachieving Indy Colts, who enter off back to back losses and at 2-5 ATS following their 13-6 SU playoff season last year. The Panthers also made the playoffs last year, but at just 8-9 SU. Tonight, they enter at 5-1 ATS on a 6-game winning streak.   

The Colts present as the contrary side in this one following their dismal performance to start the 2015 season. They have been outgained against every opponent to date. QB Luck appears to be still hampered by a shoulder injury. In addition, while at the helm of the Colts, Luck is just 5-7 ATS as road dog.  But, as you all witnessed last night in the battle between “over the hill” Denver QB Manning and his adversary QB Rodgers, who is in his prime, these media-abused signal callers have the ability to bounce back. Just such is the case with QB Luck, who is 15-1 SU, 14-2 ATS during his tenure as QB of the Indianapolis Colts.  Many of the Colts’ issues can be traced to the defensive side of the ball.  They are allowing opponents to rush 30 times per game for 123 YPG. Entering the week of play, they are allowing 409 YPG (among the worst in the league). And, their 6.0 defensive yards per play is a full yard worse than that of Carolina. In last Sunday’s (27-1) home loss to New Orleans they were outrushed 36/183 to 13/75. Combined with a (-2) net TO margin, it was an almost certain New Orleans’ win. 

The Carolina Panthers have been a meal ticket for us this 2015 season. Combined with their strong regular season finish of last year, the Panthers have now won 10 consecutive, regular season games, following their 6-game losing streak in the middle of the 2014 season. QB Newton does indeed appear to be in his prime, although he is completing only 56% of his passes. He does, however, remain an integral part of a Panthers’ ground assault that rushes an average of 33 times per game (most in the league) for an NFL leading 145 RYPG. A closer inspection of the Panthers’ schedule finds that entering this week, their opponents had a combined 15-26 SU mark on the season. That includes lightweights, Jacksonville, Houston and Tampa Bay. But, you must give the Panthers their due, as they have found ways to win every game.  That was again true last Sunday night, when Carolina overcame 3 INTs by QB Newton to hold on for a (27-16) victory over the Eagles, when the Panthers ran the ball 33 times for 204 RYPG. Nonetheless, it is tough to overlook the fact that this 6-0 SU team may be due for regression, as they are outgaining foes for the year by a count of only 344-340 YPG.

Odds Overview
This one comes down to line value. Join me in putting the NFL odds in your favor with this underdog selection. With Indy 2-5 ATS for the season and Carolina undefeated and 5-1 ATS for the year, this line has been inflated by at least a TD from where it would have been opening week. We will side with the more desperate Colts at a value price with the upset not out of the realm of possibility. Take Indianapolis in my NFL pick in the Monday Night Football game tonight. 

Free NFL pick: Indianapolis Colts +6 at Pinnacle

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