By Charles Jay
The Indianapolis Colts are fortunate enough to be leading their division, but with a record of 3-4 they are clearly very lucky to be there. Oh you see, that was a pun, although what is going on around this camp and around the starting quarterback is anything but humorous. On Monday night the beleaguered Colts will lace ’em up to take on the Carolina Panthers in a game that will be televised by ESPN at 8:30 PM ET from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. After the opening kickoff, BetAnySports customers get a chance to continue plying their skills against the football betting odds, through the facilities of Live Betting Extra.
Of the league’s undefeated teams, Carolina (6-0 SU, 5-1 ATS) may have done so in the fashion that is, well, most quiet. But there is little question that the Panthers opened some eyes with their effort in Seattle a couple of weeks ago, as they staged a late fourth-quarter comeback with two 80-yard touchdown drives to beat the Seahawks. And Cam Newton continues to build his resume as a clutch performer. In fact, his fourth-quarter QB rating of 100.5 is much higher than it is in any other period.
The ability of these two secondaries may be an issue. The Panthers have been very good at minimizing the explosiveness of enemy passers, holding opponents to just 5.4 yards per attempt. Andrew Luck may have difficulty getting down the field in this one. But the Colts have been somewhat inviting, in the sense that they have surrendered two more yards per attempt and recorded only ten sacks.
In the reduced juice football betting odds established on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, the Panthers are laying points:
Carolina Panthers -5 (-105)
Indianapolis Colts +5 (-105)
Over 45.5 points -105
Under 45.5 points -105
It is somewhat distressing, especially if you are an NFL bettor who likes to get accurate information, that the league is investigating the injuries Luck has suffered from this season, because apparently one of them hasn’t been reported. The word that he has been playing with fractured ribs may be an explanation of sorts as to why he hasn’t been “himself,” but the way the Colts have handled his injuries, and the disclosure of them, leaves a lot to be desired. Coach Chuck Pagano, who is likely in his last season with the team, has been very coy in press conferences when it comes to talking about his quarterback.
Fundamentally, BetAnySports patrons know that the Colts are going to have to find a way to run the ball against Carolina, and if you just want to look at the numbers, the Panthers have yielded 4.3 yards a carry, which doesn’t necessarily make them rock-ribbed in that area. Frank Gore shook off a shaky start to become a more prominent part of this attack (446 yards, 4.65 ypc), so expect him to handle some heavy duty; that is, unless the Colts get way behind like they did last time out against the Saints, when they were down 20-0 before they could even catch a breath.
Some of the Panthers’ other metrics are kind of unusual, including the 36% conversion rate on third down. Might that improve against the Colts, who yield just 38.5%? When it comes to yards allowed per drive, Carolina is fifth best in the league, while Indy is second when it comes to the frequency with which they force opponents to punt the ball (almost 49%).
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