Our 3 Favorite Colts vs. Saints Betting Picks: Over/Under & Prop Bets for MNF
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Zach Pascal
- Our experts reveal how they're betting Monday Night Football between the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints.
- Matthew Freedman makes his pick on the over/under while Sean Koerner and Sean Zerillo's highlight their favorite prop bets.
Colts at Saints Betting Picks
- Odds: Saints -9
- Over/Under: 47.5
- Kickoff: 8:15 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: ESPN
Odds as of Monday afternoon and via DraftKings, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
It’s our second-to-last opportunity to bet on Monday Night Football before the regular season ends. Luckily, our experts are here to guide you through the top picks.
Find how they’re betting the Colts-Saints over/under, as well as three key prop bets.
Matthew Freedman: Over 47.5
If last week’s 94-point Saints-49ers game didn’t drive the point home, nothing will: Never fade the Superdome.
With Drew Brees, the Saints at home are 66-46-2 (15.5% ROI) to the over. They don’t call it the Coors Field of Fantasy Football for nothing.
I bet the over at 45.5 but like it to 48.
Freedman is 506-383-21 (56.9%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.
Sean Koerner: Ted Ginn Under 29.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
I have Ginn projected for 2.2 catches and 31.6 receiving yards tonight, so you may be wondering how on Earth I could be on the under for this prop.
The reasons are purely math related.
I simulated tonight’s game 10,000 times, and sure enough, Ginn averaged 31.6 yards, but his median was 25 yards. Therefore, 50% of the time he went over 25 and 50% of the time he went under 25 yards. (And 1.7% of the time he ended with 25 exactly.)
When it comes to player prop betting, we really need to focus on the median projection, so I would say his “true” player prop is closer to 25.5 yards tonight. And how much is that four-yard gap worth? Roughly 6.7%, as I have him going under 29.5 yards 56.7% of the time, which means I would bet this prop down to -130.
Why is the average so much higher than his median?
We need to think about the distribution of yards in general and realize that they’re not a normal distribution. The floor for Ginn is zero yards — or maybe even slightly negative — but the upper bound is much higher as he’s capable of putting up a 100-yard games (2.5% of the time), which can really inflate the average of the sample size. He could easily end up grabbing two deep balls and finish with 74 yards tonight and I wouldn’t be shocked.
I treat sports betting as a long-term investment and simply know that over the long run, betting on him to go under tonight’s number will be more profitable if we continue to make sound, mathematically-driven bets such as this one.
Tre’Quan Smith’s return in Week 10 has had a damper on Ginn’s opportunity as both wide receivers are very similar in their role. Both run a route on about 75% of passing plays. When Smith was out, the Saints did not have another WR who could step up in Smith’s role, so Ginn saw a larger target share.
Here’s the breakdown of Ginn’s numbers when Smith has been in/out of the lineup:
- Ginn with Smith out (six games): 32.5 average; 35.5 median
- Ginn with Smith in (seven games): 29.0 average; 14.0 median
Tonight’s matchup favors the under even further. The Colts play a softer zone defense that’s more prone to targets over the middle that should enhance Michael Thomas’, Jared Cook’s and Alvin Kamara’s outlooks. The Saints being pretty large favorites at home lowers the chances of too many deep shots to Ginn against a defense that attempts to take away such threats.
These are all factors that I’ve already factored into my projection for Ginn, but it’s the lowered median expectation for him tonight that I’m betting on. Give me the under 29.5 receiving yards.
Koerner is 228-158-8 (59.1%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.
Sean Zerillo: Marcus Johnson Under 3 Receptions; Under 37 Receiving Yards
Johnson, a third-year receiver out of Texas, has had three useful games for the Colts:
- Week 11: 4-4-38
- Week 13: 4-6-55
- Week 14: 3-7-105
Those all came with T.Y. Hilton out of the lineup.
Johnson’s offensive snap count in those three weeks: 63, 57, 56
When Hilton played 25 snaps in Week 12, Johnson’s snap count came down to 42, but fellow receiver Parris Campbell was also inactive for that game.
Hilton got in a couple of limited practices this week, and all reports are that he’s trending toward playing. And Campbell will be available on Monday after playing 31 snaps last week.
Even if Hilton is on a pitch count, Johnson’s playing time should take a bit of a hit with Hilton and Zach Pascal primarily lining up in two-receiver sets. I’m looking to fade Johnson’s usage as a result. We’re projecting him for 2.5 catches and 31 receiving yards, so I played the under on each prop.
Zerillo is 228-158-8 (59.1%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.