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For the last three weeks we have seen something in Peyton Manning that none of us are accustomed to – losing games.

And, he’s the reason.

Sunday’s 38-35 overtime loss to the Cowboys – on the Colts’ home field as a 5½-point favorite – was their third straight setback and dropped the Colts to 6-6 in their division, one game behind the Jaguars.

This is something definitely new. We are used to praising Manning for all his excellence, but now we’re starting to see a completely different version, one that has some people questioning whether he’s hit the road block of age that so many greats before him have met.

For the second consecutive week, Manning threw four interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. Over his last three games, Manning has thrown 11 interceptions and has taken last year’s AFC representative in the Super Bowl on the brink of missing the playoffs.

Over the course of his career, where 12 wins a year is the norm, Manning has been at the forefront of that success, receiving much of accolades. However, during this stretch we’re starting to realize that Manning has always had pretty good allies making him look excellent.

The season began to go south for the Colts when Joseph Addai and Dallas Clark were injured, taking away his bread and butter, the short underneath passes. It’s apparent that those two players can’t be just merely replaced.

This Thursday, the Colts have a critical game with the Titans. Tennessee is playing some of the worst football in the league right now, but a team that loves to jump on the bandwagon of Manning interceptions like everyone else.

For football bettors, the Colts have always been a public favorite. After three straight losses, the Colts are bound to be a team that bettors start picking on. Maybe not this week against those lowly Titans, but the seed has been planted.

There’s nothing like seeing a team you bet on for two straight weeks have its quarterback throw two interceptions for touchdowns. It’s a lasting image that has a permanent affect on who to side with in their games for the remainder of the year.

Overall, the public did poorly once again at the betting windows with Week 13. The combination of the Colts, Chargers and Saints not covering were major contributors to the sports books’ successful day.

Need re-charging: What in the heck is going on with San Diego? It’s like the Chargers have been reading all their press clippings and have bags packed for the Super Bowl. They forgot to show up against the Raiders.

The Chargers have been everyone’s “Watch out for them” team, or the “I’ll tell who the best in the AFC is” team, but they showed that they still are that team that lost at Seattle and St. Louis from earlier this year.

The Chargers closed as a 13-point favorite against their hated rival, but it was clear early on that they would have no chance at covering for their supporters.

Public winners: The best games of the day for the public were the Falcons and Packers. Even though some sharp money came in on the 49ers, taking 10 points all the way to 8½, the public had the Packers weighted pretty heavily in ticket counts.

Had the Colts or Chargers not gone down, it would have been a pretty good day for Joe Public because of the parlay combinations.

The Falcons have been rewarding their supporters because of their consistent play weekly. They were only laying a field goal at Tampa Bay last week. For most of the regular small bettors, Atlanta is a team they like.

The Falcons play good all around football. In their 28-24 gripping win against the Buccaneers, we saw every facet of their arsenal on display with their defense, special teams and star offensive players making plays.

Atlanta definitely has the look of a Super Bowl team.


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