The Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) vs. Indianapolis Colts (4-5-1) at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday started as a game I wanted nothing to do with and has turned into my favorite bet of Week 11.
Philadelphia just had its undefeated season end after losing to the Washington Commanders 32-21 on Monday Night Football in Week 10. But, the Eagles should be angry, and “vs. the Colts” is a get-right spot for Philly, right?
Indianapolis pulled off a semi-miracle upsetting the Las Vegas Raiders 25-20 on the road in new head coach Jeff Saturday’s first game. Former coach Frank Reich was fired mid-week and Colts owner Jim Irsay plucked Saturday off of ESPN randomly to coach Indy.
The Colts played their asses off for their new coach but that win was about the Raiders and their dumpster-fire of a situation more than anything Indianapolis did. Surely, the Colts will come back down to earth vs. this juggernaut Eagles team.
Not so fast though. The fact of the matter is there are better arguments for Indy winning back-to-back games and Philly losing a second straight than the Eagles covering in Week 11. I’ll discuss those angles below.
Betting Details (DraftKings)
- Moneyline (ML): Eagles (-300), COLTS (+250)
- Against the spread (ATS): Eagles -7 (-105), COLTS +7 (-115)
- Total (O/U) — 45.5 — O: -110, U: -110
Indy is the ‘sharp’ side
According to VSIN, a slight majority of the cash at DraftKings is on the Colts plus the points whereas roughly two-thirds of the bets placed are on the Eagles ATS at the time of publishing.
This is referred to as a Pros Vs. Joe’s game because the public is all over Philadelphia but big-money bettors are backing Indianapolis. Since sharps wager a lot more dough than your average Joe, it’s wise to follow the money when it’s counter to the public.
Philly can’t stop the run
We know the Colts wanna feed RB Jonathan Taylor and keep QB Matt Ryan from having to drop back 30+ times. Taylor was the NFL’s rushing leader in 2021 but has regressed significantly this season based on various factors such as injuries and weaker offensive line play.
However, he looked good last week. Taylor rushed for 147 yards on 22 carries including a 66-yard scamper to paydirt vs. the Raiders. If Taylor gets going, the Colts can beat anyone. And there’s a good chance Taylor gets going against this poor Philly rush defense.
The Eagles’ defense is dead-last in rushing success rate allowed and has the second-worst expected points added per play. They’ve given up at least 4.8 yards per rush in six of nine games this season.
Philadelphia signed defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Linval Joseph to beef up the run defense. It could work. But, Suh and Joseph were free agents until Week 11 for a reason. They could be washed too.
Either way, Philly’s weak run defense won’t significantly improve with these signings and Indy will have success running the ball.
More importantly, this is a …
Look-ahead spot for the Eagles
There could be a sigh of relief or less pressure on Philadelphia now that its perfect season is over. The longer a team goes undefeated, the more pressure builds.
Now that Philly has lost one, the Eagles might be focused on getting ready for the playoffs. It’s a short week and they are banged up. WRs A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith have been limited in practice this week and TE Dallas Goedert was sent to IR.
While the Eagles are still in a dog-fight to win the NFC East, they are firmly in playoff position. Also, I could see Philadelphia looking past Indy. The Eagles’ next three games are vs. the Green Bay Packers and Tennesee Titans in Philly and at the New York Giants.
Furthermore, there’s been …
Too much line movement from the preseason opener
When oddsmakers first dropped a betting line for Eagles-Colts, Indy was a 3-point home favorite. Granted, a lot has changed since but people were high on Philadelphia entering the season and Indianapolis isn’t quite as bad as the market thinks.
Football Outsiders picked the Eagles to go to the Super Bowl preseason and the Warren Sharps of the world loved their roster. But, Philly is overrated.
If you don’t have a sick defense or don’t have a quarterback who can make all the throws, you aren’t a Super Bowl team. The Eagles cannot stop the run and Jalen Hurts needs to develop as a passer.
The Colts have been disappointing but it’s not a completely lost season. At the time, hiring Saturday seemed like a tank move by Indy’s front office.
But, Saturday reinstituted Ryan as the starter once taking the job and he looked good last week. Also, the Colts upset the Kansas City Chiefs and the Broncos in Denver this season so they aren’t chumps.
Finally, the backdoor cover is wide open because Philadelphia doesn’t play complete games. The Eagles play with their food and are 2-6-1 ATS in the second half. The Colts are an NFL-best 8-2 ATS in the second half.
BET: Colts +7 (-115) at DraftKings Sportsbook and ‘sprinkle’ on Indy’s ML (+250)
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