The 'Over'whelming Colts
by Joshua Fairbanks - 11/08/2006
Sunday night I sat down, like most NFL fans did, and watched another classic battle between Manning and Brady. Once again, everyone seemed to side with Brady and the Patriots. Don't get me wrong, though, there were still a few true believers that did think Peyton was going to get it done all along. Last year the Colts dominated in Foxboro beating the Pats 40-21. Since Brady has won the big ones, however, he always seems to be given the benefit of the doubt. This is where the beauty of Indianapolis comes into play. It just appears that the oddsmakers cannot figure out the Colts, and a smart bettor can really exploit this problem that the sports books are having.
Last week the Colts came into Denver as an underdog. At first, I was hesitant to criticize the line since they installed the Colts as a three-point dog, but come on people, we all know that Peyton Manning cannot be stopped by any defense. So I'm curious how someone could conclude that the Denver Broncos were actually going to slow down the Colts. Indy came into this game with an unbeaten record and I could not have been happier when I saw the line. Sports books need to stop comparing the Colts against a defense and think about the other teams' offensive capabilities. Lately, it has become increasingly clear to me that the Colts are coming into every game ready for a shootout. Since Quarterback Jake Plummer has not shown anything special this year, I found it easy to choose Indy in this match-up. After watching the game, however, I was impressed with Denver's play and I think that their close loss to Indianapolis was nothing but a positive for the team. Still, it's just tough to doubt the Colts.
Even though Indy has lost more than three times the games they have won in New England, you need to take a closer look. Who has come out on top in their most recent match-ups? The Colts have with their 40-21 beating last year at Foxboro and again on Sunday night. The line had my mouth watering like one of Pavlov's Dogs. Last time I checked, an undefeated team isn't favored to lose too often, but that is the very reason why many people tend to leave that kind of bet alone. Bettors become confused about the line and often think that sports books know something that regular bettors are missing. Don't be fooled by these petty attempts to push bets aside. Last year I rode the Colts 'money line' for thirteen weeks until I was finally bucked. It may not be a bad idea to hop on the same train this year. None of Indy's next couple of opponents have a winning record, excluding Jacksonville, making it very easy, in my opinion, to side with the Colts. The downside, of course, is that there will likely be some heavy juice.
If you are not satisfied with believing that Peyton Manning can win with a bad defense, I urge you to consider that the Colts and their opponents have done very well recently with covering the 'total'. I know that the game against New England was shy one point of the posted number, but the fact is that the two teams missed a total of three field goals. If just one of them had been good, then the over was easily in hand. During both the Denver and Washington games against the Colts, the number was over by 25 and 11 points, respectively. Again, this is where sports books are still under the assumption that Indianapolis can be stopped by a good defense.
The Colts have an amazing offensive line this year that is giving Peyton Manning all of the time he needs to rip apart the opposing defenses. It has become clear that the only way to slow this team down is to blitz, however this can lead to bad things for the opposition as well. When teams blitz, it leaves wide receivers Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison in single coverage. No matter how a defense decides to play the Colts, they will not succeed. In last Sundays' game against New England, the Colts found their individual 'over/under' at a very small 23. That was the line I chose to play, and hope some of you other bettors also saw this line. In six-of-eight games Indianapolis has been involved in, they have covered their team over easily. Also, consider their opponents' individual lines as well when thinking about this trend.
Since the Colts tend to find themselves on and off the field in just a few minutes, Indianapolis' opponents get a lot of field time. Week ten finds the Buffalo Bills visiting the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. The Bills have been able to score in the upper teens six out of their eight games this season and I'm betting that the Bills over is going to fall right around the Bills average this season. After the Colts put up their regular four or five touchdowns this Sunday, be wary of the Bills chance to put up a few of their own. The Bills know that field goals will not do the job this weekend and as a result, Buffalo will have to be much more aggressive. I would think that the strongest play in this week's game is the total, which should easily surpass 45.