Monday Mood: Manning's true value 

January, 25, 2010
01/25/10
1:24
PM ET

For the past few weeks I've been trying to answer this question: How much is Peyton Manning worth in the point spread?

Because, by all statistical measures, especially the ones the sharpest sharps pay attention to, this Colts team is not dominant, spectacular or anywhere close to being in the same class as past Super Bowl combatants. Their running game stinks -- it averaged just 3.5 yards per carry this season. And their overall defense was just 18th. When they played the Ravens in the first round, wise guys thought they were getting a steal by betting Baltimore plus-4.5. And this week against the Jets -- another top-notch defense -- the pros again liked taking the points on the underdog, this time at plus-7.5 (more once the weekend came around).


To read just how much Vegas handicappers value Peyton Manning, plus why Super Bowl lines were on the moves even before the NFC's rep was determined, you must be an ESPN Insider.

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