Monday, November 2, 2015

Monday Night Football Preview: Colts @ Panthers

It's a bleak time for us. We can't afford food. We can't afford beer. I have a Blackberry so I can't even drive with Uber (dot com) to make some extra life-changing money. Here's how we've fared so far on weeknight games:

Monday Nights: 18-24
Thursday Nights: 12-14-2

We aren't going to make up 8 wins tonight, but we need some momentum for the second half of the season. That's the logic we're using, and it also applies perfectly to the Philadelphia Eagles. 

Through 7 games, the Colts are a meager 3-4 and have disappointed everyone who considered them a real contender. The Panthers, on the other hand, have blown past expectations and have started the season undefeated through 6 games. 

For tonight's matchup, I'm going to throw out some fun stats to brighten your Monday morning (and then follow it up with some related bets to ruin your Monday night).

Fun Stat #1: In first halves, the Colts have thrown for just 5.6 yards per attempt, 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, have a QB rating of just 69.2. They have just 1 first half rushing touchdown and 2 fumbles. In second halves, they've thrown for 7.3 yards per attempt and 10 touchdowns (and 5 interceptions). The rushing attack has also seen a little more success in the second half, but the jump isn't as significant because the Colts stink and are always playing from behind. 

Along the same lines, you would expect Carolina to have more rushing success in the second halves of their victories. They've certainly relied more on the run in second halves (106 attempts to 91 first-half attempts), but they've only scored 1 more touchdown in the second half than the first, and their yards per rush drop from 5.2 in the first half to 3.8 in the second. However, their passing attack improves from 4 touchdowns/5 interceptions/5.9 yards per attempt in the first half to 5 touchdowns/2 interceptions/8.3 yards per attempt in the second. 

The Colts' defense has 5 interceptions in first halves so far, compared to just 2 in the second half. The Panthers' D has 3 in the first half and 6 in the second, which is certainly helped by the fact that they are usually winning (and forcing the other team into obvious passing situations). 

Related Bet #1: First half under 23 (-115). The total for the game is 46 points, so this first half under feels like a steal. 

Fun Stat #2: There is an enormous gap between the payouts for First Score Of The Game:
  • Colts Safety (+5000) and Panthers Safety (+5000) aren't going to happen
  • Colts Field Goal (+400)
  • Panthers Field Goal (+325)
  • Colts Touchdown (+300)
  • Panthers Touchdown (+130)
Related Bet #2: How more obvious can it be? Vegas knows what's going to happen. Midas whale profit off it - Carolina TD +130, please and thank you. 

Fun Stat #3: The Panthers have allowed just 5 passing touchdowns and 6 rushing touchdowns through 6 games. Vegas expects Andrew Luck to throw 1 or 2 touchdowns, and they expect TY Hilton (and to a slightly lesser extent, Donte Moncrief) to have a big night. 

Frank Gore has all 3 rushing touchdown for Indianapolis this year. Moncrief (5) and Hilton (3) lead the team in receiving touchdowns, and Fleener/Johnson/Dorsett/Allen/Whalen have each caught one. 

Related Bet #3: Gore (+125), Hilton (+125), and Moncrief (+175) are the only bets I'd even consider making on this side. Few running backs have had a lot of success against Carolina, but they've given up touchdowns to Doug Martin, Marshawn Lynch, and Ryan Mathews the past 3 weeks. I wish Gore's prop paid more, but it's a decent bet. 

Teams have been able to have some balanced success against Carolina this year, and they got torched by Vincent Jackson (6'5", 230 pounds) and Jimmy Graham (6'7", 265 pounds). The Colts don't have a wide receiver who fits that mold, but Coby Fleener (+250, 6'6", 251 pounds) seems a likely target if coach Pagano saw the same Box Scores that I did. 

Fun Stat #4: The Colts, on the other hand, have allowed 12 passing touchdowns and 8 rushing touchdowns through 7 games. Vegas expects Cam Newtown to throw more than one touchdown, and they expect Jonathan Stewart and Greg Olsen to have a big night. 

Newton (4) and Stewart (2) have done most of the scoring on the ground, and Mike Tolbert has a touchdown too. Through the air, Ted Ginn (3) and Olsen (3) are the most frequent touchdown scorers. Tolbert, Corey Brown, and Holy Crap Jerrico Cotchery Is Still In The NFL have all also caught one touchdown. 

Related Bet #4: Stewart (-125) and Newton (+100) don't pay as much as you'd like, and you can say the same about Olsen (+110). Even Ted Ginn - who was going to be my Wild Card - pays just +150. I think we have to pick two of those four, but I'm having a tough time deciding so I'm just going to fire away with all four. 

Fun Stat #5: Look at the touchdown props for the Carolina players. Look at Andrew Luck -275 to throw an interception and just +110 to go over 2 touchdowns. Look at the Team Points lines for Indy (20) and Carolina (27). Vegas loves the Panthers tonight, and so do I. 

Related Bet #5: Panthers -7

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