Bet of the Day – Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans, Dec. 9, 2010

Indianapolis Colts (-3) at Tennessee Titans (+3), Over/Under 45

Yesterday’s bet, Heat at Jazz, was a loser.  Tonight is the first of two meetings between the Colts and Titans.  Both teams are at a season low; Tennessee has lost 5 straight and Indianapolis has lost 3.

The Colts (6-6) are still missing several key pieces.  Tonight is a must win.  They average 5.7 yards per play (YPP) and 14.5 yards per point scored (YPPT) on offense.  On defense, they allow 5.6 YPP and 14.2 YPPT.  The Colts aren’t very efficient on defense; they give up too many rushing yards.  Peyton Manning hasn’t been very good in recent weeks.  He averages 6.95 yards per attempt (YPA) with 24 TDs and 15 INTs for a 89.4 QB rating.  The Colts defense is suspect.  But expect a big effort from Manning and the Colts tonight.

The Titans (5-7) have little hope for a playoff spot.  They need to win out and get some help.  To do that they have to beat the Colts twice.  Tennessee averages 5.4 YPP and 13.3 YPPT on offense.  On defense, they allow 5.3 YPP and 18.5 YPPT.  Kerry Collins will likely get the start.  Collins averages 5.81 YPA for 5 TDs and 5 INTs with a 68.8 QB rating.  The Titans can’t stop the run.  Lucky for them, the Colts can’t run the ball.

The Sagarin Ratings have the Colts 21.85 and the Titans 19.72.  With the 1.85 home advantage, the fair line is Indianapolis -0.28.

My NFL model has Indianapolis 28 and Tennessee 25.3 for 53.3 total points.  Indianapolis moves ball better but Tennessee is more efficient at converting points.  Tennessee is also more efficient on defense, but the Colts allow fewer yards.  The key variance contributors are each team’s passing yards allowed.  The Titans will need to hold the Colts well below their passing yardage average to win the game.

Tonight I am taking the Colts -3.  Here’s why.  Indianapolis hasn’t been great lately but they have played a tough recent schedule.  They continue to score points and their games have been close.  4 of Tennessee’s 5 straight losses were by more than a touchdown against mediocre opponents.  Peyton Manning will bounce back.  Tennessee is vulnerable to both the run and pass.  Tonight is a must win for the Colts.  Bet the Indianapolis Colts -3.

Follow me on Twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck!

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