Instead of betting the Washington Commanders (3-4) to upset the Indianapolis Colts (3-3-1) on the road in Week 8, you should just take Colts head coach Frank Reich to be the next NFL coach fired.
The Matt Ryan experience has been put on hold — likely for good — after Reich committed an act of defiance earlier this week by benching Ryan for backup QB Sam Ehlinger.
Colts owner Jim Irsay compared Ryan to iconic Indianapolis quarterback, Peyton Manning. Yet Reich benched Ryan because he’s washed. Everyone sees it except Irsay, apparently.
Ryan’s back-breaking mistakes last week against the Tennessee Titans probably cost the Colts the division. Indy lost to Tennessee 19-10 thanks in part two Ryan interceptions including a pick-six in the 2nd quarter.
Washington did last week what Indy is doing this week when the Commanders started backup QB Taylor Heinicke. Granted, Washington’s starter, Carson Wentz, was sent to the IR last week and not benched.
But, the Commies looked like a different team with Heinicke back under center. Washington upset the Green Bay Packers 23-21 as 4.5-point home underdogs in Week 7 in a game worse than the final score indicates.
The Commanders gained 132 more total yards than the Packers, possessed the ball for 13 minutes longer, had six more first downs, and held the Packers to 0-for-6 on third down.
Let’s fade the overreactions to Heinicke’s performance and the benching of weak-ass Matt Ryan. Bet the Colts who the market is inaccurately saying is the worse team on a neutral field.
Betting Details (DraftKings)
- Moneyline (ML): Commanders (+120), Colts (-140)
- Against the spread (ATS): Commanders +3 (-115), COLTS -3 (-105)
- Total (O/U) — 40 — O: -105, U: -115
Frank Reich’s last stand
If Reich is fired during or at the end of this season then the people of Indianapolis should riot. Every Tom, Dick, and Jerry with a football platform calls the NFL a “quarterback-drive” league, right?
How could Reich be on the chopping block if he’s nine games above-.500 in his 5th year as the Colts coach with his 5th different starting QBs? “Life ain’t fair” but firing Reich would be malfeasance.
Furthermore, this has been a profitable spot for Indianapolis in the Reich era. Since 2018 (Reich’s first season as the Colts’ coach), Indy is 17-10-1 ATS following a loss with a +4.3 ATS margin.
Indianapolis has several vets that have played for Reich for years. The Colts will respond positively to their coach making a QB switch. Because if the Colts lose at home Sunday, Reich is a goner.
The Colts are the better team
That headline sounds simple. But, by making Commanders-Colts a 3-point spread, the market is saying these are even teams on a neutral field. And they are not.
Indianapolis was a slight favorite to win the AFC South preseason and Washington was projected to finish 3rd in the NFC East. Ehlinger is an upgrade from Ryan who’s a statue in Indy’s backfield.
Look at how some of the other QB statues in the NFL are performing. Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Jared Goff, Andy Dalton, and the formerly mobile Russell Wilson have all sucked this season.
Ehlinger’s mobility adds another dynamic Reich can gameplan with and use to catch Washington’s defense off-guard.
Fading ‘recency bias’
This price is the result of an overreaction to the Commanders’ upset win vs. an overrated Packers team and the Colts hitting rock bottom. But, Washington had extra prep for Green Bay and Tennessee is a better version of Indianapolis.
More than 70% of the action at DraftKings Sportsbook is on the Commanders, per VSIN. The “contrarian angle” is the most tried and true in sports betting. I’ll happily side with the sportsbooks rooting for the Colts in this battle of backup QBs.
Profiting off the AFC South
It sounds like I’m mad at Indianapolis but I’ve won money betting on its last three games:
What I’m getting at is I’m in the zone handicapping this division and Indianapolis as a team. Let’s ride this momentum, zig where the market is zagging, and …
BET: Colts -3 (-105) at DraftKings Sportsbooks, down to -4
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