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Winless Colts Somehow Pegged As Football Betting Favorites

Despite the fact that the Indianapolis Colts finished 2015 with an 8-8 record, many online football betting websites had the Colts pegged as the favorite in the AFC South. It seemed like a rational prediction, considering Indianapolis had gone 11-5 in the previous 3 seasons before 2015. With that in mind, many fans considered that 2015’s 8-8 record was a fluke and that Indy would be able to bounce back this year. However, 2 weeks into the season it seems that prognosis was incorrect and the Colts continue to struggle. As things stand now Indianapolis has yet to win a game in the 2016 season. In Week 3 the Colts will try to get their first win against San Diego; what do the online NFL betting odds have to say about Indianapolis in this contest?

Week 3 – Sunday the 25th of September

Chargers +2 ½ (-110) 51 (-110) +120
Colts -2 ½ (-110) 51 (-110) -140

Even though the Colts are winless, they are still coming into this matchup as the favorite, by the slightest of margins. And even then, the odds are predicting an extremely close matchup with a 2 ½ point spread. Both teams rank in the top half of the league for points per game, so a 51 point total is not a bad prediction for this contest. But I still can’t get over the fact that the online football betting odds are pegging the Colts as the favorite in this game, especially when considering how good Phillip Rivers has been this year.

Although it’s still early in the season, Rivers is currently sitting on a 120.3 passer rating. River’s has never finished a season with a rating that high, but nonetheless it still demonstrates the quarterback is playing at a high level. River’s stats got a nice boost in Week 2 when San Diego faced the Jacksonville Jaguars. In fact, the majority of his 120.3 passer rating comes from that game. Against the Jags the 34-year old Rivers completed 17/24 passes for 220 yards, 4 scores, 0 picks, and a 138.9 passer rating. In the Chargers debut Rivers wasn’t nearly as sharp, but still played well. Week 1 the Chargers squared off against the Chiefs and succumbed to Kansas City 33-27. The game was a nail-biter and actually ended up going into overtime. In OT the Chiefs received the ball, marched down the field and won the game. Rivers would finish with a 97.3 passer rating after completing 25/36 passes for 243 yards, 1 touchdown, and 0 interceptions. Entering Sunday’s game Rivers has 5 touchdowns to his name for the season. While he may not be the only quarterback in the league to have that many, he’s one of only three quarterbacks to have more than 5 touchdowns and 0 interceptions (Rivers is joined by Drew Brees and Carson Palmer).

Andrew Luck could have been in that club. Unfortunately for Luck, he threw an interception in the Colts Week 2 loss against the Broncos. Against Denver Luck has a poor showing completing only 21/40 passes for a mere 197 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. But Luck deserves the benefit of the doubt in that contest. The Colts ran 61 plays on offense, 40 of which were passing plays. Balance is essential in the NFL, and it doesn’t matter if you have Joe Montana under center. If your offense is one-dimensional the defense will have the advantage and your quarterback will certainly struggle. In Week 1 Indy once again ran a passing play 70% of the time and still lost, albeit Luck had a much better day. Balance will be the key to victory for the Colts this Sunday. Indianapolis may have the 22nd worse rushing offense in the league, but it is essential that they stick to the running game and help it improve so that it can, in return, help open up lanes in the passing game. Indianapolis may have the online football betting odds on their side, but that won’t be enough to beat the Chargers’ high-geared offense.