AFC Championship: Pick Patriots -7 as Home Favorite Over Colts

Jeff Grant

Monday, January 12, 2015 4:54 PM GMT

NFL oddsmakers have played a high betting total on the AFC Championship Game, which provides a major edge for New England over Indianapolis Sunday.

A Significant Win
Andrew Luck has thrown for more yards than any player in history in his first five playoff games, which is significant to consider when looking over the NFL playoff odds lines, as he led Indianapolis to a 24-13 victory over Denver as 9.5-point road underdogs Sunday. The Colts possessed the No. 1 passing attack in the league during the regular season, while Luck has accumulated 1,703 passing yards during his postseason career.

It’s important to point out that the former Stanford star completed 23 of 39 passes for 303 yards and two touchdowns with an interception in a 42-20 setback to New England as three-point home favorites on Nov. 16 this season.

Since the start of the 2012 campaign, the franchise is 1-3 SUATS as road underdogs of 3.5 to 7 points, with the OVER going 3-1 in that situation.

 

Game Plan
New England will certainly put together a new game plan after advancing past Baltimore last Saturday, as it dropped back to pass on 87.1 percent of its offensive plays in earning a 35-31 come-from-behind victory as seven-point home favorites in the divisional round.

The Patriots have out-gained the Colts by a significant 480-88 margin on the ground in the last two meetings in this AFC rivalry, which can’t be ignored when making your NFL playoff picks, as quarterback Tom Brady has plenty of options to hand the ball off to in the backfield. LeGarrette Blount was nearly unstoppable in last year’s 43-22 postseason victory in this series as 7.5-point favorites at Gillette Stadium—hitting pay dirt four times and rushing for 166 yards on 24 carries.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the team is 10-0 SU and 9-1 ATS at home with a betting total of 49.5 or higher.

 

Protecting the Football
During the Luck era, the Colts are 24-4 when finishing with an even or positive turnover margin, while they’ve compiled a 9-11 mark when losing that all-important statistical category. Indianapolis will find it difficult to play mistake-free football in Foxborough, as New England entered the postseason tied for the top mark in this category when playing at home.

 

Changing Of the Guard?
With Luck moving past Manning, NFL experts may reference a changing of the guard at the quarterback position, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen against Brady in 2015.

The future Hall of Fame inductee has put together seven game-winning drives in his postseason career, while he also has a healthy Rob Gronkowski to target in play-action situations Sunday.

 

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Patriots as their AFC title pick, as they’ve gone 8-1 ATS in their last nine home games versus a team with a winning road record.

Free NFL Pick:  New England Patriots -7 at Bookmaker