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Colts vs Chargers Odds, Prediction: Monday Night Football Betting Preview

Colts vs Chargers Odds, Prediction: Monday Night Football Betting Preview article feature image
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Wesley Hitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Nick Foles.

  • The Indianapolis Colts meet the Los Angeles Chargers tonight on Monday Night Football.
  • The Colts are starting Nick Foles for the first time tonight, and are 3.5-point underdogs despite being at home.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown and betting pick for tonight's game between the Colts and Chargers.

Colts vs Chargers Odds

Monday, Dec. 26
8:15 p.m. ET
ESPN
Chargers Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-110
44.5
-198
Colts Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-100
44.5
+166
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

The Colts are on to their third starting quarterback of the season on Monday night, as Nick Foles is set to make his first start of the season as a replacement for the ineffective Matt Ryan — and we’re set for our Chargers vs Colts pick for Monday Night Football.

As we examine Chargers vs Colts odds, we see Indianapolis in the midst of a lost season with head coach Frank Reich and offensive coordinator Marcus Brady already fired and its playoff hopes officially dashed. The Colts tried benching Matt Ryan for Sam Ehlinger before going back to Ryan in the middle of the season after two poor games from Ehlinger. Now they’ll give the veteran Foles a shot.

Indianapolis has also made history in consecutive weeks, and not in a good way. The Colts first allowed the Cowboys to run up a 33-0 fourth quarter on them, the largest fourth-quarter blowout in league history. They followed that up after the bye week with the largest collapse in NFL history after they tossed away a 33-0 lead over Minnesota in overtime.

The Colts play host to the surging Chargers, who are in the midst of a playoff chase themselves and have won three of four games entering Monday.

We’ve hit the bottom of the market on the Colts, but is it the time to buy low on Monday? Here’s our Chargers vs Colts pick for Monday Night Football.

Colts vs Chargers Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Chargers and Colts match up statistically:

Chargers vs. Colts DVOA Breakdown
Offense
Defense
Edge
Overall DVOA 24 11
Pass DVOA 23 14
Rush DVOA 27 13
Offense
Defense
Edge
Overall DVOA 32 17
Pass DVOA 32 13
Rush DVOA 31 25

Indianapolis’ defense has been one of the best in the league at taking away explosive plays this year, and that’s a major key as an underdog. In a season where favorites are struggling to get enough explosive plays and possessions to generate scoring margins, the Colts have actually profiled well as an underdog against good teams.

The Colts covered as 3.5-point underdogs in Minnesota just last week. They beat Kansas City outright at home after being a five-point underdog. The Colts took Philadelphia to the wire as a touchdown home underdog and probably should have won that game if not for a missed field goal. When Jeff Saturday was hired, the Colts were +5.5 in Las Vegas and won that game, too.

As bad as they have been relative to expectations, the Colts are 5-2 against the spread this season as an underdog of at least 3.5 points. They’re also 2-0 at home as one.


Bet Indianapolis vs Los Angeles at FanDuel


The market moved two points toward the Chargers with the announcement that Foles would take over for Ryan under center. How much of a gap is there really between the two quarterbacks? Ryan’s arm has looked shot for the large part of the last month, and that has made it difficult for Indianapolis to push the ball down the field. Throw in the inability to run the football and the offense has struggled to consistently move the ball.

Foles isn’t likely to be good in this game, but his arm is likely to be more fresh. Foles can throw the deep go-balls to the perimeter that Ryan hasn’t. Given the Colts receiver room is headlined by two good man-beaters and jump ball threats with Michael Pittman and Alec Pierce, Indianapolis could hit just enough explosive plays to keep this game close and down to the wire.

The Chargers offense pushes the limits of pass-happiness in the modern NFL, too. They’re not going to be able to run the ball at all against this excellent Colts defensive front. The Colts rank in the top 10 in rushing success rate allowed, and the Chargers are the most pass-happy team on early downs in the NFL.

That puts a ton of pressure on Justin Herbert. And while I think Herbert is a top five quarterback in the NFL, his offense isn’t all that efficient. The Chargers are in the bottom six in the NFL in early down success rate and early down efficiency. It consistently forces Herbert to bail them out in the late downs. As much as he is able to carry them, that’s a dangerous way to live as a road favorite of more than a field goal against a competent defense.

Betting Picks

Putting your faith in Foles when he’s made one NFL start in the last two seasons isn’t the most tantalizing Monday Night Football bet. Foles does get the benefit of a somewhat improved Indianapolis offensive line in recent weeks, though. Their performances have trended up, and the Chargers aren’t the kind of defense that will bring a ton of pressure and overwhelm this bad offensive line.

Foles did manage a respectable 7.1 yards per attempt in his lone start in Chicago last season. Given how poor Ryan had been, it’s hard to make the case Foles is truly two points worse. You also won’t get a lower market spot than the Colts in this game, given that Los Angeles is laying only two fewer points than Philadelphia did in this spot a month ago.

I wouldn’t bet the Colts below +4 because there’s no more value in the number. But the Chargers’ offensive early-down issues make it really hard for them to blow teams out, and the defense’s conservative nature makes them vulnerable to back door covers as well. The Colts offense can’t get much worse than it’s been and maybe, just maybe, they’ll even be able to run on the undersized Chargers front.

I like the Colts at +4 or better, but the line has moved to +3.5 across the board. Follow our live NFL odds page to see if the line moves back up, or find an alt line to play.

Pick: Colts +4 | Bet to Colts +4

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