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Are the Colts a sure bet against the Dolphins?

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Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

At one point (probably rock bottom), I stopped betting on sports. It’s not that there isn’t a high when you prognosticate and wind up being correct. It’s that frankly, the financial reward tends to be so small that the money never mattered anyway. I realized that the fruit isn’t worth the mental labor.

If I was going to get something substantive out of it, I either need to be betting big money on a single outcome (ill-advised), or try my luck betting on the outcome of several games at once to compound my earnings (called a parlay and also ill-advised).

If you’ve been reading my writing or watching my ugly mug talk about football going on two years now, you see me “beat the same drum” every week. In an effort to offer something different, and acknowledging that there are Colts fans that like to bet on sports, I decided to pen an article discussing betting odds specifically for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.


The numbers.

Colts (-300) vs. Dolphins (+400)

Line: Colts -7.5 (I’ve also seen Colts -8.0)

O/U (over/under): 51

Injuries are a factor in this game, one that strongly favors the Colts. The Miami offense is ranked 28th in the NFL and they average 19.9 points a game. WR Jakeem Grant, also the Miami PR/KR, is out. This leaves WRs Danny Amendola and Devante Parker as possible special teams returners, both are sporting a questionable designation. This could increase the potential for special teams turnovers and for big field position swings on big punts by Uncle Rigo.

With Miami’s receiving corps in shambles, expect to see a heavy workload for Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore. Note that the Colts are currently 13th in the league against the run.

Consider that as of Saturday morning, Miami LG Ted Larsen and RT Ja’Wuan James are listed as questionable, creating more opportunities for the Colts pass rush after posting 5 sacks against Tennessee. Throw in a hobbled Ryan Tannehill or Brock Osweiler and I fully expect the Colts to have a defensive outing similar to last week, perhaps with an even higher ceiling.

TLDR: This should be a well below average offensive game for Miami.

Miami’s defense is ranked 24th in the NFL, as they give up 25.6 points per game. Last week, the Colts offense scored 38 points on what was supposed to be an elite defense. The offense is largely healthy, with the exception of C Ryan Kelly, going into this game. The Colts scored 34 points in a loss earlier in the year against a similar Jets defense (strictly in terms of ranking/points allowed).

Miami DT David Godchaux is questionable, which would kind of invalidate a potential offensive weakness for the Colts offense with Kelly out, right? Colts WR T.Y. Hilton is coming off a 9 catch (on 9 targets), 155 yard and 2 TD game against what was supposed to be an elite defense. Miami FS TJ McDonald is questionable, meaning rookie FS Minkah Fitzpatrick could see increased playing time.

Luck absues young cornerbacks/safeties and I’d look for Hilton to have another big game — or play decoy so Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron can feast instead. Either way.

The Colts currently rank 10th in the league in total offense and 5th in the league in scoring offense. With healthy skill players and an offensive line that hasn’t given up a sack in 5 games, I expect the Colts to have an above average game this week on offense with the potential for long passing plays. Also, consider the Colts have outscored opposing teams 53-19 in the first half of the last two games against “better defenses.”

The Colts defense is ranked 17th in total defense and 18th in points allowed, and it’s hard to say whether or not this Colts defense is better than the numbers or the offenses they’ve played this year are awful (Miami included). This might be the healthiest the Colts defense has been all year.

TL:DR I expect the Colts to have an above average offensive and defensive game.

My bet(s)?

First, take the Colts to win (straight up).

Second, take the Colts to cover the spread. Right now, it’s -7.5 or -8.0 (Colts will win by double digits, almost certainly).

Third, I’d also take the over, which is at 51. I expect a lopsided affair and that by the late 3rd/early 4th quarter, the Colts will try to run the game clock out with a big lead. I expect something like 35-17 as a final score. The only consideration I have towards taking the over is special teams play, and while I think there’s potential here for the Colts to get a gimme touchdown on a punt return (like last week), there isn’t a track record of big special teams plays this year, so to expect one is foolish. That said, I can totally see a couple of possessions for the Colts with a short field.

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