San Diego Chargers vs. Indianapolis Colts Monday Night: NFL Picks

Jason Lake

Monday, October 14, 2013 11:37 AM GMT

Bettors have been pounding the OVER on the Week 6 NFL odds for Monday night’s matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Diego Chargers. Should we follow suit with our NFL picks?

Jason’s record on his final NFL picks for 2013, up to October 12 inclusive:

13-13-1 ATS

1-1 ML (+0.71 units)

3-4 Totals

You definitely can’t blame people for betting the OVER when they bet on football. Offense is on the rise in general, and as we went to press following the completion of Sunday’s early afternoon games, the OVER was profitable across the board at 46-40 (53.5 percent) on the 2013 season. Can’t argue with that.

We could be in for another high-scoring affair on Monday Night Football. The Indianapolis Colts (UNDER 3-2) have the No. 4-ranked offense in the league in terms of efficiency according to Football Outsiders, and they’re about the play the San Diego Chargers (OVER 3-2), who have the worst defense in the NFL after five games. No wonder NFL bettors have been loading up on the OVER since the get-go, driving the total from 47.5 points to the full 50.

Review our early breakdown of the Colts vs. Chargers Opening Odds

Luck is for Winners 

Remember all that talk about the Colts regressing to the mean in 2013? Hasn’t happened yet. Indianapolis has won four of its first five games, covering the last three in a row, including last week’s 34-28 upset victory over the Seattle Seahawks (–3 away). Sophomore QB Andrew Luck (62.2 percent completions, 6.8 yards per carry, 94.1 passer rating) has made the kind of progress you’d hope for in a first-overall draft pick; his passing DYAR ranks No. 7 overall, up from No. 19 last year, and Luck is second in rushing DYAR behind Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles. 

So why hasn’t the OVER been profitable for Indy? Blame the opponents. The three Colts games that went UNDER were against the Oakland Raiders, the San Francisco 49ers and the Jacksonville Jaguars, who scored a combined 27 points among them. And this was against an Indianapolis defense that only ranks No. 17 in efficiency. C’mon, man.

How have we decided to bet the spread Monday night?

Protect Yourself at All Times 

The Chargers should manage a little better than that. We’ve got beautiful weather conditions in store for Qualcomm Stadium, where both of San Diego’s games have gone OVER this year. The lowest combined score was the 51 points in Week 4, when the Chargers beat the Dallas Cowboys 30-21 (OVER 47). They’ve got the No. 3 ranked offense in the league – yes, even better than Indy’s thus far.

It’s been talked about a lot already, both in the lamestream media and in NFL betting circles, but in case you’ve missed it: Philip Rivers is a good quarterback. Even when the Chargers struggled last year, Rivers was connecting on his passes (64.1 percent) and keeping his turnover rate low (2.8 percent). The difference this year: protection. Rivers was sacked 49 times in 2012 for a league-worst 311 yards. The Chargers have allowed just eight sacks this year after five games, and Rivers has never looked better, posting a career-high 73.7 percent on completions and a 110.6 passer rating. 

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Loan Me a Fifty 

Is it still okay to take the OVER with the total this high? Sure. Anything below 51 points is a reasonable play in today’s NFL; the Chargers went OVER 51 in their Week 2 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. However, it sure would have been nice to grab that total earlier in the week. That’s why the sharps have been scooping up the OVER right out of the gate the past couple of seasons. It’s the preferred play of the NFL betting public, but they normally don’t get to the ticket window until the weekend rolls around. 

With all this in mind, I’m going to go ahead with the OVER as my final selection for Monday night (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). Looks like a handful of 49.5-point totals are available, as well. A little competition is a good thing.

NFL Pick: Take OVER 49.5 (–109) at SBOBET