Two NFL preseason games for Friday night and we’ve got a betting pick in both using a similar concept. It’s common knowledge that different teams have different goals in the NFL preseason. Some teams want to win, some want to evaluate talent while others just want to avoid injury. Tonight we’ve got a couple of great situations involving teams that have a proven track record of not really caring much about how they perform in preseason play:
GREEN BAY PACKERS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 5:00 PM PACIFIC
By now even the ‘squarest square’ knows about the Indianapolis Colts’ complete lack of interest in the NFL preseason. Not only do the Colts care very little about winning exhibition games they don’t even put up much of an effort to be competitive. The result is that betting against the Colts has been a veritable ATM machine during the past few preseason campaigns. Since Jim Caldwell took over as head coach, Indianapolis is 1-9 SU/2-8 against the spread. Even when he’s healthy, Peyton Manning sees little if any playing time in the preseason leaving the offensive reins to his less than impressive understudies.
Obviously the pointspread ‘marketplace’ is catching up to the Colts’ dismal preseason record but it’ll take a lot more than what we’re getting here to have any interest in taking the points with Indianapolis in the preseason. The line movement on this game was a bit surprising—the game opened at -9 or -9′ at most books and got bet up as high as -10. After the Colts’ signed Kerry Collins some money came in on the other side pushing the price as low as -7′ before settling at -8′. In our view, the Collins signing is insignificant for a couple of reasons—not only is he coming in to a complex offense with much to quickly assimilate he may not see any playing time here. He’s listed as the #3 quarterback on the rotation and that makes sense—he was signed as an ‘insurance policy’ for the regular season just in case Peyton Manning has to miss several games. It’s doubtful that the Colts will expose him to much risk for that reason and even if he does play its hard to think he’ll be overly effective in an unfamiliar offense.
That leaves a rotation of Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky playing most of the game. We’d rather back the Packers’ trio of Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn and Graham Harrell. Rodgers and the Packers’ starters are expected to play at least the first half and they could have the game out of reach by the time they exit. Rodgers has a tendency to ‘air it out’ in the preseason and the result from last year’s preseason meeting between the teams is instructive—the Packers beat the Colts 59-24.
At some point the ‘market’ will over-correct the price in Indianapolis Colts’ preseason games to keep us from playing against him, but it would take a change in coaching philosophy to give us any interest in playing on them. We cashed an easy ticket on the Redskins last week and we’ve got a more talented team working for us this week.
Bet Green Bay Packers -8′ over Indianapolis Colts
ST. LOUIS RAMS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 5:00 PM PACIFIC
Different teams, but the same concept. The public is all over the Indianapolis Colts’ pre season ‘tank job’ year after year but so far the Chiefs’ dismal preseason form under Todd Haley is still somewhat ‘under the radar’. If anything, the Chiefs have been even worse than the Colts during Haley’s tenure going 1-9 SU and 0-10 ATS. Despite this pointspread ‘collar’, the Chiefs are competitively priced in this matchup giving us good value going against them.
The Rams, meanwhile, have been a solid pointspread play under Steve Spagnuolo going 8-2 SU/7-3 ATS. They play hard in the preseason, and should make life difficult for the Chiefs. Reports indicate that they’re going to play their starters well into the second half, which is going to be a nightmare for a depth shy Chiefs team. Matt Cassel hasn’t seen much playing time this preseason and it wouldn’t surprise us to see him make a quick exit on Friday. The Chiefs are an ‘0-2 team coming home’ which is historically a strong preseason angle but that requires a team interested in winning their third exhibition game. We don’t see that here.
Bet St. Louis Rams -1′ over Kansas City Chiefs
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