Monday Night Football Betting: Can Nick Foles Help the Colts Cover Against the Chargers?

A weather-filled Week 16 concludes in a controlled environment when the Los Angeles Chargers travel to play the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football.

The Colts are turning the offense over to Nick Foles and are 4.0-point underdogs in a game with a 45.5-point total.

How does our model see this one playing out?

All NFL odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook, and they -- as well as our game and player projections -- may change after this article is published.

Breaking Down the Matchup

The Chargers, despite their talent on offense, rank 20th in adjusted Net Expected Points (NEP) per play, according to our model. That's got a lot to do with their health.

In games through Week 13, they never really had Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, their star receiver duo, healthy at the same time. Their Offensive NEP per play through Week 13 was 0.06 with an offensive success rate of 44.1%. Those ranked them 19th and 22nd, respectively, through Week 13.

In the past two games with Justin Herbert throwing to Allen, Williams, and Austin Ekeler, their rates are up to 0.11 and 45.5%.

Defensively, the Chargers are just 19th overall, due to very lopsided units. Their pass defense ranks 11th; their rush defense is 32nd.

For the Colts, well, their defense is 12th overall (16th against the pass and 10th against the rush). But their offense is 31st overall and is now turning it over to Foles, who has had just 35 pass attempts since the 2020 season.

Foles started in Week 16 last year while with the Chicago Bears and went 24 of 35 for 250 yards and a touchdown in a 25-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

Against a top-12 pass defense and the league's worst rush defense, the Colts should burn the clock by running as much as they can, even without Jonathan Taylor healthy.

Standard Bets

Our model prefers the over (45.5) most of all and rates that as a two-star opportunity (i.e. a two-unit wager). The projected point total here is 26.2 to 23.0 in favor of the Chargers. That tallies up to 49.2 points.

The angle of having the Colts rely on the run is putting their spread (+4.0) and moneyline (+172) into one-star territory, as well, according to numberFire's algorithm. They're just one-unit recommendations, and the over itself is the preferred play by the algorithm.

Prop Bets

Comparing our player projections to the NFL player prop bet lines, here are a few props that stand out.

Keenan Allen Under 60.5 Receiving Yards (-110) - Allen is projected for 57.6 yards against a team that is allowing the seventh-lowest catch rate over expectation (-2.2%) to receivers and the seventh-lowest yards per route run rate to wideouts (1.45) as well. Mathematically speaking, his under odds should be closer to -130, given his projection.

Deon Jackson Over 31.5 Rushing Yards (-110) - Jackson is projected for 40.9 rushing yards against a defense that allows an astounding 1.50 yards over expectation per carry to running backs, according to NextGenStats' model. That is easily the worst rate in football. His over odds should be around -135.