Chargers vs Colts Picks: Odds, Best Bets for Monday Night Football
- Week 16 closes with Chargers vs Colts on Monday Night Football.
- We have five picks for the game, including two on which side to bet.
- Check out our favorite Chargers vs Colts picks below.
Chargers vs Colts Picks
Brandon Anderson: Last week, the Colts led 33-0 at halftime and looked set to grab their most convincing win of the season before everything went wrong. Indianapolis melted down and nearly lost in regulation before succumbing in overtime, giving the Vikings the greatest comeback in NFL history. It turns out that was also the end for Matt Ryan, who has been benched for Nick Foles.
That benching pushed this line a couple points in the Chargers’ direction, but should it have? Foles has barely taken first-team snaps all season, but are we sure he’s not the best quarterback on the roster? Foles is 29-27 lifetime, a Super Bowl champion and still only 33 years old. As bad as Ryan and Sam Ehlinger looked for Indianapolis, maybe we should’ve upgraded the Colts with a competent Foles at the helm.
Oh, right, since it’s the Chargers, that answer continues to be just about anything and everything. Los Angeles still has injuries up and down both sides of the ball, and this team continues to play bad football on first downs on both sides of the ball, burying itself early. That’s the exact wrong formula against a Colts team that isn’t really great at anything but is good at limiting big plays and taking what’s there in front of them.
The Colts defense has been pretty solid all season. They’ll force the Chargers into long drives and put Justin Herbert into a spot where he has to repeatedly play hero on late downs, and as great as he is, that’s just not a good path to victory. The Chargers can’t run the ball, and the offense has been maddeningly inconsistent.
I don’t see any reason the Chargers will go on the road and win this one easily. Los Angeles has only eight wins all year, and five of them are by three or fewer points. The Chargers have only covered this five-point spread once all year. This is just not a team that puts opponents away.
We’ve seen the Colts at their lowest moments several times this year, getting shutout in Jacksonville in a revenge game, firing their coach for a high school coach and now responding to the biggest collapse in NFL history. And each time the Colts hit a nadir, they responded by winning the following week — over the Chiefs after Jacksonville and against the Raiders in Jeff Saturday’s debut.
This is a prideful Colts team, and I think they show up with something to prove after that embarrassing Vikings second half. I like the Colts to cover and win outright on Monday night. Foles is 6-9 SU as an underdog of 4.5 or more including the postseason, giving bettors a 60% ROI on the moneyline.
Besides, it’s Christmas weekend! Who better to put your money on than ol’ St. Nick? Gimme the Colts and the moneyline.
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Ricky Henne: Even though they’re 8-6 and can clinch a playoff berth with a win, nothing has come easy for the Chargers this season. Nothing, that is, except when it comes to Austin Ekeler finding the end zone.
The running back’s 14 touchdowns are tied for the most in the league, with nine coming on the ground and five through the air. Ekeler’s a flat-out beast in the red zone. He’s tied for the league lead with 13 touchdowns inside the 20, while his 51 total touches are most in the NFL.
Ekeler’s been money in the bank all year long, and now he squares off against a Colts defense that’s a sieve inside the 20. Indianapolis gives up a touchdown 67.5% of the time the opposition enters the red zone, which is the third-most in the league.
Ekeler was snubbed of a Pro Bowl selection earlier this week, and I expect him to prove why that was highway robbery by adding to his NFL high TD tally. Odds on an anytime touchdown vary greatly as of this writing. While some sportsbooks have it as high as -200, Caesars is offering it at -120. That’s ridiculous value.
Gobble this bet up ASAP if it’s still available by the time you’re reading this. Otherwise, I’d bet it up to -125. Use our Anytime Touchdown Scorer tracker to make sure you get the best number available.
Ekeler has cleared 4.5 receptions in 10 of 14 games this season en route to becoming a PPR cheat code for fantasy managers. Heck, he’s cleared 5.5 receptions in nine games this season. He’s cleared 6.5 receptions in eight games, and 7.5 receptions six times.
So, why is his prop just 4.5 receptions against the Colts tonight?
Well, frankly I have no idea.
The Colts are allowing 5.6 receptions per game to opposing running backs, and those running backs weren’t the best pass-catching running back in the NFL.
That’s about all the detail I need on why to bet this one. On paper, it seems like a slam dunk to bet, even with the juice. I’d bet it to -150.
Billy Ward: Operating as a significant run-funnel defense, the Chargers have faced the sixth-lowest opposing pass attempts per game this season. They rank 25th in DVOA against the run, and the Colts should look to exploit that even without Jonathan Taylor.
It’s also a tough matchup in the trenches for the Colts, who rank 26th in adjusted sack rate allowed. If Foles is forced to take a few sacks, those drop backs won’t count toward his passing attempt total.
Additionally, this one has a reasonably close spread, with the Colts as just 4.5-point home underdogs. As long as it stays close throughout most of the contest, Foles won’t be forced to air it out to chase points.
I’d take the 33.5 line down to -120, while avoiding 32.5 or below.