Best Monday Night Football bets: Colts-Ravens

By VSiN Staff  (VSiN.com) 

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The Indianapolis Colts travel to Baltimore to play in another exciting Monday Night Football game.

Our team of experts at VSiN has the game covered from all angles, with a market report from South Point oddsmaker Chris Andrews, along with a pick on the game from VSiN's Adam Burke and Dave Tuley and a prop bet from Ben Brown of Pro Football Focus.

Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens (-7, 46.5)

Market report from Chris Andrews: No move off my openers of Baltimore -7 and 46, but the public is all over the Ravens. They’re laying the 7, sticking the Ravens in pointspread and money-line parlay and playing the obvious teaser down to -1. Teasers like this can be big headaches for sportsbooks. Baltimore -1 (or -1.5/-2 if the line goes up) will be the last leg of this week’s teasers, but then the first leg of next week’s teasers. When Week 6 lines are up, bettors will pair Baltimore with any new options that come up. We’ll be rooting for the Colts, needless to say.

Burke: The Ravens are definitely fortunate to have an extra day to rest and recover. An injury-riddled roster overcame adversity against the Chiefs, only to nearly lose to the Lions the next week. Then Baltimore had to play in the elevation in Denver. Getting an extra day off is quite a luxury this week, as the roster continues to get healthier.

The Ravens could very well cover the full-game number here, but Baltimore -4 in the first half is what I’m keyed in on for MNF. The Ravens have outscored the opposition by five points per game in the first half so far and the Colts have been outscored by nearly four points per game in the first half. Frank Reich doesn’t seem to be a great coach in Indy, but we all know that John Harbaugh is absolutely one of the NFL’s best.

The Colts got a nice road win over the Dolphins last week, but Miami isn’t very good and the offense is terrible. The Ravens are a huge step up for the Colts, who have kept games somewhat close against superior opponents, but struggled with the elusive Russell Wilson in Week 1 and even failed to stop Ryan Tannehill on the scramble in Week 3.

A rested, renewed Ravens team should get off to a hot start here with a strong game script and a roster that more closely resembles what was expected coming into the season. This is a showcase game for Lamar Jackson, who is gaining some MVP attention, and Harbaugh should put the focus on his best offensive player early.

Indianapolis has only scored 8.2 first-half points per game, while Baltimore has averaged over two touchdowns per game in the first half. The Ravens’ plan should be to play from in front and stay ahead, and I think they should be successful.

Pick: Baltimore 1H -4  

Tuley: The Monday nighter is actually the third time this week where I like the underdog plus the points but I’m also teasing the favorite. The Colts got off the schneid with their minor upset of the Dolphins in Week 4. It wasn’t the most impressive performance, but a repeat should have them keeping up with the Ravens, who are 3-1 but a narrow win over the Chiefs and a miracle win over the Lions from being 1-3. I just don’t see how the spread should be this high. I would make it a lot closer to a field goal, which again is why I believe this is decided by 3 or 4 points and can have us win our Colts + 7 bet plus wind up the winning with any live teasers we have to the Ravens -1.

Pick: Colts + 7, Ravens -1 in teasers

Brown: The Carson Wentz and Frank Reich reunion finally got its first win in Week 4, but still looks to be on the verge of disaster. Wentz ranks 19th in PFF passing grading and has only had one above-average game grade. The key to this particular player prop is Wentz’s aDot (average depth of target), which ranks 30th in the NFL and is the exact same as Ben Roethlisberger through four weeks. Wentz hasn’t opened up any part of the passing game and has only thrown 33.8% of his passes past the first down marker. 

The low aDot means one thing: more attempts and completions, especially when taking into account the assumed game script. The Colts should be down throughout this matchup, but the Ravens defense isn’t playing at the level most project: They sit 11th in our opponent-adjusted defensive grades and have the 16th best pass-rush grade. Wentz should have plenty of time for short check-down throws, which should allow him to easily go over 20.5 completions. He has gone over this prop in two of three games this season, with Monday night setting up for another sweat-free over.

Pick: Wentz Over 20.5 Completions (-102)

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Pro Football Blitz: As the season progresses, try to narrow the number of teams you focus on throughout the year and bet to those teams accordingly. This helps maximize your knowledge of certain teams to bet on.

Sunday Bet Prep: Don't force a play on the Monday Night game if you don't have a strong conviction. Live betting can be a better option

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