MNF - Colts at Chargers
October 13, 2013
By Kevin Rogers
The AFC South is pretty much in Indianapolis' control six weeks into the season. The Colts own a 4-1 record heading into Monday's contest at San Diego, while the other three teams in the AFC South own a .500 record or worse. One of the bigger storylines heading into this game is the Monday night debut of Andrew Luck, who led the Colts to another comeback victory last Sunday.
Indianapolis eclipsed the 27-point mark for the third straight week in a 34-28 triumph to hand Seattle its first loss of the season. The Colts overcame an early 12-0 deficit, which included two touchdown passes from Luck to T.Y. Hilton. The Seahawks were held to four field goals, but did rush for 218 yards in the defeat. Indianapolis improved to 5-0 ATS since last season as a home underdog, cashing as three-point 'dogs against Seattle, while hitting the 'over' for just the second time this season.
The Chargers have alternated wins and losses in each of the first five weeks of the season after last Sunday's 27-17 defeat at Oakland. San Diego closed as 5 ½-point favorites in the ultimate chase game with an 11:35 PM EST kickoff, but the Bolts fell behind the Raiders, 17-0 at halftime. The Chargers rushed for just 36 yards in the defeat, while Philip Rivers threw for 411 yards, the third time he has eclipsed the 400-yard passing mark this season.
Chuck Pagano's club has dominated away from Lucas Oil Stadium with two blowout victories over the 49ers and Jaguars. In the pair of routs, the Colts outscored San Francisco and Jacksonville by a combined 64-10, while cashing the 'under' each time. Indianapolis owns a perfect 3-0 SU/ATS record since last season in the road favorite role, but does include two resounding victories over Jacksonville.
San Diego has put together a 3-0-1 ATS ledger as an underdog in Mike McCoy's debut season, while blowing two second half leads in losses to Houston and Tennessee. In the last home contest back in Week 4, the Chargers rallied from a 21-10 deficit to beat the Cowboys, 30-21 as one-point 'dogs. However, San Diego's defense ranks near the bottom of the league by allowing over 400 yards a game, while giving up 117 yards a game on the ground. The Colts enter Monday's contest averaging 142 yards rushing, which ranks fourth in the league.
These two teams are meeting for the first time since 2010, when the Chargers whipped the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium, 36-14 as two-point road underdogs. Rivers threw for just 185 yards, but the San Diego defense intercepted Peyton Manning four times, while limiting the Colts' offense to just 24 yards rushing. Since 2005, the Chargers have won five of the past six matchups with the Colts, while the underdog has cashed each of the last six times.
Even though Luck hasn't played on a Monday night in his pro career, the Colts have dominated on this day. Since 2005, Indianapolis has cashed seven of eight times on Monday night, while winning six times straight-up. The Chargers own a 7-5 SU/ATS record on Monday night since 2006, which includes the opening week loss to Houston in which San Diego squandered a 28-7 lead in a three-point defeat.
This game opened up as a pick-em, but the Colts currently sit between a 1 ½ and 2-point road favorite depending on the book. The total is hovering between 49 ½ and 50, as the contest kicks off at 8:30 PM and can be seen nationally on ESPN.
-- Favorites went 10-2 SU and 6-6 ATS, as Green Bay, Cincinnati, Seattle, and Denver all won but didn't cover as 'chalk.' The Broncos never came close to cashing as 26-point favorites against the winless Jaguars, as Jacksonville trailed by two points with five minutes left in the third quarter before Denver blew it open. The Seahawks had to overcome a fumble return for a touchdown at the end of the first half by the Titans in a 20-13 home victory as 12 ½-point favorites.
-- The 'over' went 7-4-1, as the lone 'push' came in the Carolina/Minnesota contest that closed at 45. The Patriots and Saints were set to finish 'under' the total, but Tom Brady's late touchdown pass eclipsed the 'over' of 51 in a 30-27 triumph. Denver (6-0) and Minnesota (4-0-1) are the only two teams in the league not to compile an 'under' this season, while Oakland owns a league-high five 'unders' in six games.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.
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