Last night reminded me why I recently decided to hardly ever bet on games involving the Indianapolis Colts.
Everyone and their dog was on the Colts -3 or more against the Titans. It seemed so obvious – Indy was in a must-win situation as its playoff hopes were slipping away, and Tennessee was in a shambles.
Colts bettors no doubt felt good about things after Indy built a 21-0 lead in the first half. Even a TD by the Titans late in the half gave the Colts a 14-point advantage at intermission.
In the second half, however, the Colts got a bit conservative. They kicked three field goals, failing to get into the end zone in the final 30 minutes. The last field goal put Indy up nine points with a few minutes to go.
Anyone who follows the Colts know what they do when they have a two-score lead late in regulation. They go into that soft prevent defence, allowing short completions that chew up the clock.
And sure enough, Indianapolis let Tennessee slowly move down the field. Several dumpoffs to the running back and a few short out patterns to receivers later, the Titans were in the red zone with 30 seconds to go.
Even on fourth and goal with four seconds left, we all knew what was coming. Kerry Collins threw a TD pass, the Titans kicked the extra point and lost by two.
Anyone who laid the points with the Colts ended up a loser. The big winners, as they often are, were Las Vegas and the sportsbooks.
It just goes to show once again that the obvious choice is so often the wrong one. By plugging your nose and taking the ugly team that no one wants to take, or simply not betting on a game when it looks too easy, you’ll come out ahead more often than not in the long run.
I didn’t bet the Titans last night, either. I laid off the game. But in my office pool, where you have to pick each game on the spread, I’m glad I took Tennessee.
Because we’ve seen the Colts do this before.