Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:30 PM EST odds are subject to change.
Indianapolis +4 -105 over L.A. Chargers
8:15 PM EST. Indy has to be more than a little shaken after losing their seventh game in eight starts in historic fashion last Saturday, blowing a 33-0 halftime lead for the biggest choke job in NFL history. That put Colt interim HC (and questionable hire) Jeff Saturday in the record books, along with being outscored 72-9 after halftime over his last two games (nice adjustments, Jeff Saturday). Colt retread QB Matt Ryan has completed 85 of 136 passes for 827 yds. (207 yards per game) with a 4-4 TD-interception ratio in the last four weeks, taking 13 sacks (at least three in each game) and hasn’t had a QBR of better than 54.4 in that run, which is part of the reason he is to be replaced in the lineup this week by Nick Foles, who will become Indy's third different starting QB this season.
By contrast, Justin Herbert has thrown for 4019 yards on 68% completions, 21 TDs with nine picks to go along with his 91.5 rating for the season. The market has three choices tonight, lay off, bet the Colts or bet the Chargers. The first choice ain’t happening. The second choice is too difficult to make because it will be influenced by the media, X’s and O’s, wins and losses, starting QB’s, recency bias and of course one of our favorites, the ol’ “must win” angle. You know that angle, as the Bucs were in a must win spot last night in Arizona and looked the 31st best team in the league against a third string QB.
While Indianapolis is on the brink of elimination, the Chargers have recorded victories over Miami and Tennessee the last two weeks and are maneuvered into the sixth slot in the playoff pecking order in the East. Now hear this -- the Chargers got some help in the form of losses for the Jets, Patriots and Raiders in Week 16, and now need only to defeat the Colts here to reach the playoffs.
You think we want to bet Nick Foles over Justin Herbert? We don’t, just like we didn’t want to bet Trace McSorley over the GOAT. Nick Foles won a Super Bowl and then got paid but let’s not forget that he subsequently lost his job to convenience store clerk Gardner Minshew. He’s barely been heard from since and now he and the team that just committed the biggest choke job in NFL history are expected to keep pace with Justin Herbert and the team that “must win” to lock up a playoff spot? We couldn’t care less. You see, this is a prime time affair, at home, on Christmas weekend. That's about as big as it gets for a host that’s out of it and playing with nothing to lose. The Colts are pros too with an embarrassment to erase and the Chargers’ defense is in no shape to trust.
The Colts are not going to lie down. They’ll fight like heck, just like Arizona did last night and numerous others that did everything they possibly could to prevent a team from clinching a playoff spot on their watch in their barn. More importantly, oddsmakers did not post a bad number here, they rarely do so be careful if you were thinking of betting the Bolts here because you’ll be going with the worst of it. Bolts or Colts? Colts taking more points at home than they should be is the play.
Indianapolis +4 -105 (Risking 2.10 units - To Win: 2.00)