NFL Free Pick: IND/SD

The San Diego Chargers didn’t secure a playoff spot until Week 17 of the NFL Season, but they’ll host the surging Indianapolis Colts in the second of two NFL Playoff games Saturday.

Will we give our free pick nod to Peyton Manning and the red hot Colts, or the home underdog Chargers?

Our team of writers and handicappers break down the matchup and hand out a Free NFL Pick for the NFL Playoffs.

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Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Colts -2 point spread favorite. The over/under for this game has been set at 51 total points.

Key Trend: The Chargers are 11-4 against the spread in their last 15 games at home and 4-1 against the number in their last five games when playing Indianapolis. The over has also covered in five of the Colts’ last seven games on the road.

Key Stat: The Chargers are averaging 27.4 points per game and limiting opponents to 102.6 rushing yards per game. The Colts meanwhile, are only averaging 79.6 rushing yards per game and allowing 122.7 rushing yards per game.

Game Outlook: Does this seem like a trap by oddsmakers or what? The Colts look like a lock, which is exactly why we’re going the other way after looking at the matchup closer. Indianapolis is banged up on defense, with starters Bob Sanders and Gary Brackett listed as questionable. If they can’t go, the Colts are going to have a tough time stopping a Chargers’ offense that’s averaging 27.4 points a game and is essentially playing with house money right now. No team in the history of the NFL ever made the playoffs down by three games in the standings with only three games remaining on the schedule. San Diego essentially shouldn’t be here, and the Chargers have always been a dangerous team at home. LaDainian Tomlinson is coming off a great game and if Sanders can’t play, he’ll have plenty of running lanes to help keep the ball moving. The key for San Diego will be to contain Manning, which seems impossible to do at the moment. He’s saved his best for the end of the season and he’s been incredibly tough to beat. But San Diego can win in a shootout, seeing as how Philip Rivers and the Chargers’ offense is averaging 241.1 passing yards per game. This is going to be a better game than most think, and we’re ready to call the upset with our free pick being the Chargers. For the rest of our NFL Free Pick, see below.

Our Free NFL Pick for the NFL Playoff Wild Card matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers is

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS +2

TheSpread.com Projected Final Score

San Diego Chargers 34

Indianapolis Colts 31

We also predict that this game will GO OVER THE TOTAL (51 Sports Interaction.com) SET BY ODDSMAKERS

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Posted: 1/3/09 11:00AM ET

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