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NFL Picks: Chargers vs. Colts Betting Odds and Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 11/28/2010

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Indianapolis Colts Quarterback Peyton Manning

When the Chargers and Colts play, it’s usually a massive game between truly elite franchises. this year, strangely, it is a showdown between two teams desperate for wins so that they can stay relevant in a playoff race that neither is dominating.

The Colts are tied for the lead in the AFC South at 6-4 with Jacksonville - a team they have lost to this year - and the way things are going would likely have to win the division to head to the playoffs. San Diego is a game out of the lead in the AFC West, but they have already lost to the team tied with them and the team ahead of them, so they are a long way from being in control of their fate.

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The difference right now, though, is how these two teams are playing. After a start even slower than is typical for Norv Turner in San Diego, the Chargers have piled up three straight wins in increasingly impressive fashion to return to viability. The Colts, on the other hand, have dropped two of their last three, and since the win only came against the Bengals it hardly counts. The Chargers are on the rise while the Colts are just trying to keep their heads above water.

You can’t talk about the season the Colts are having without talking about injuries. They have been hit so hard that it’s almost getting comical - as long as you aren’t a Colts fan. The list is long even if you just concentrate on big-name players - Anthony Gonzalez and Dallas Clark are out for the year, Bob Sanders is out until December, and Joseph Addai and Austin Collie are out of action this week. Without Gonzalez, Clark, or Collie, Peyton Manning is missing his three best targets. It’s no wonder he isn’t having his best year.

The defensive backfield has more holes than a fish net, too. San Diego isn’t totally healthy, either - Antonio Gates is likely out again, and several other receivers are missing as well. One positive change for the Chargers, though, is that Vincent Jackson’s suspension has ended and he will be returning to a team happy to have him.

Chargers vs. Colts Betting Odds and Line Movement

This game is going to be close, and the NFL odds and line movement reflect that. The game opened with the Colts favored by three points - just the standard home field advantage. Since then the line has shown little interest in moving from that point. Action has been split almost evenly between the two sides, with only a slight edge to Chargers.

Given that, any movement off of the key number of three would indicate either a dramatic change for one team or the other, or some serious money coming in late on one side. Neither seems particularly likely. The total doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, either - it opened at 51.5, and it hasn’t moved so far.

Chargers vs. Colts Betting Trends

November is a good month for both teams - the Chargers are 6-0 ATS in their last six in the month, while the Colts are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven.

Chargers are 4-1 ATS against teams with a winning record, and 21-6-3 ATS in their last 30 games as underdog.

Colts are 5-2 ATS in their last seven home games, 4-1-1 ATS in their last six overall, and 11-5-2 ATS in their last 18 games as favorite.

The Colts are just 3-7-1 ATS in their last 18 games as home favorites of three points or less.

San Diego is 1-4 ATS in their last five road games, and just 1-3-1 ATS in their last five games following games in which they scored 30 or more points.

The underdog is 7-0 ATS in the last seven meetings between these teams. San Diego has covered five of the last six games. The road team has covered five of seven. Four of the last five games have gone under.

Four of Indy’s last five home games have gone ‘under’. The ‘over’ is 24-11-3 in San Diego’s last 38 road games.

Chargers vs. Colts NFL Picks and Predictions

I don’t like anything I have seen from the Colts recently. They are still a dangerous team - and always will be as long as Peyton Manning is taking snaps - but they are missing so much talent, and the coaching isn’t what it should be. Therefore, they just can’t quite compete with elite teams right now.

Despite their woes and their stunning lack of effort early in every season, the Chargers are an elite team. Indianapolis rarely loses at home, but they are in for a war here, and I don’t think they have the soldiers to fight it. I’ll take the Chargers to cover, and to win outright on the moneyline.

I lean towards the ‘under’ on the total - these teams have a history of going ‘under’ against each other, and the ‘over’ just seems too inviting in this case - as if the books are daring you to take it.

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