Monday Night Football heads down to the Big Easy as the Indianapolis Colts face the New Orleans Saints in a clash of two teams trending in opposite directions.
Having lost three straight and five of six games, the 6-7 Colts need a win or tie to hold on to their faint playoff hopes. In the last two weeks, the Indianapolis defense has been highly porous, as the Colts have given up 69 points.
While the Saints fell last week in a last-second heartbreaker to San Francisco, they still enter Monday’s game having won nine of their last 11 games. With a playoff berth already clinched, the NFC West champions can earn a first-round bye by winning the final three games of the regular season and Green Bay losing once.
FanDuel and DraftKings have the host Saints as 9.5-point favorites for the game that kicks off at 8:15 pm ET. Over at William Hill, New Orleans is a 9-point favorite.
Action on the Saints
Football bettors over at FanDuel are solidly behind the Saints on Monday night. On points spread bets, 70 percent are willing to lay the points, and those wagers represent 81 percent of the money.
Even though the Saints moneyline odds sit at -390 on FanDuel, that hasn’t kept bettors away on that action. FanDuel has written 62 percent of its moneyline bets on New Orleans, with 61 percent of the money wagered on the hosts.
The Colts moneyline odds are +320 at FanDuel.
While many bettors expect a shootout, understandable because of the recent woes of the Colts defense and the prolific nature of Drew Brees and the Saints attack, there appears to be some sharp action for a lower-scoring affair.
The points total at FanDuel is 47.5, the highest of any sportsbook listed on oddsFire. At BetMGM, the total is just 45.5. DraftKings and most other books have it 46.5.
At FanDuel, 87 percent of the total bettors are on the over. But those wagers represent just 55 percent of the money.
Injuries a Concern for Both Teams
Both teams come into Monday night’s game at less than 100 percent healthy.
For the Saints, they lost two big pieces to their defensive line for the season when starting defensive end Marcus Davenport and starting defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins suffered likely season-ending injuries in last week’s game against the 49ers.
However, coach Sean Payton told reporters Thursday that he thinks the team’s depth up front can compensate for the losses.
One of the things this year that we felt was beneficial was our depth at the defensive line position, carrying eight each game and getting into a rotation,” Payton said. “So that when you lose two starters, the depth helps you, but the next week you aren’t at eight again. We have a couple of guys that we will be training this week to get ready. Those other players are stepping in and will have to step up.”
Meanwhile, the Colts are feeling pain on both sides of the ball. On defense, an ankle injury will force starting cornerback Kenny Moore to sit out. They may also be without Pierre Desir, their other starting corner, because of a groin injury. He’s currently listed as questionable.
On offense, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton will be a game-time decision, as he’s trying to recover from a calf injury he suffered during a non-contact practice drill back in late October. He played sparingly in just one game since.
In the five games Hilton’s missed this season, the Colts are 1-4.