The Indianapolis Colts are hoping star QB Andrew Luck can play here on Sunday night against Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in this Week 6 AFC showdown.
Odds Overview New England Patriots vs. Indianapolis Colts
The defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots (4-0 SU, 3-0-1 ATS) and veteran QB Tom Brady (101-79-5 ATS as Favorite) face the Indianapolis Colts (3-2 SU, 1-4 ATS) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Sunday night in this sparkly NBC primetime Week 6 AFC showdown from the Hoosier State. Oddsmakers have made the Patriots 7½- (Pinnacle) to 8-point favorites here with the Total in this game at 55 (Pinnacle) almost everywhere while on the Money Line, visitors and favorite New England are is priced at -420 with host Indianapolis at +350 on the takeback (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook). The New England Patriots Team Total Points for this game is 32½ (-120, Bet365) while the Indianapolis Colts Team Total Points has been set at 24 (-120, BetVictor). 1st Half Total markets as well as other Props bets for this Week 6 game from Naptown will be released later in the week, as always. The Advanced Line from the Westgate SuperBook here in Las Vegas out last week had the undefeated Patriots open up as 5-point favorites, while the NFL Games of the Year—released in late Spring—actually had the Colts as 2½-point favorites, so we’re looking at over a 10-point swing in perception—Colts -2½ to Patriots -8—for a high-profile football game which still has six days in the betting marketplace.
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots (149 PF-76 PA) have scored the most points in the AFC (149), despite playing one less game than many of the conference’s members (4 vs. 5), and even with an injured Andrew Luck—who will probably play here this weekend in such a crucial game—New England would be the favorites by this point in this Regular Season the way this team has plated. Behind Head Coach Bill Belichick (154-113-6 ATS), the defending Super Bowl champions Patriots and QB Tom Brady (64-44-1 ATS on Road) really look like they’re on a mission and seem to already have the inside track to the Home-field for the AFC Playoffs despite two other unbeaten teams in the conference (Cincinnati, Denver). The Defense has been surprisingly good (again) this season, so far for New England (+350 to win Super Bowl, Paddy Power) and the Offense is probably the best (again) in the NFL with Brady having phenomenal and dependable receiving targets like WRs Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, new-signee Reggie Wayne (Colts) and TE Rob Gronkowski as well as solid RBs like LeGarrette Blount and Dion Lewis to hand the ball to. Watch Lewis, as he is the type of player which will put an already great team over the top. On the Injury front, Patriots DL Jon Bostic, OL Ryan Wendell (Illness), DL Trey Flowers (Knee), LB Dont’a Hightower (Ribs), T Nate Solder (Elbow) and WR Aaron Dobson (Undisclosed) are all listed as Questionable for Sunday while WR Brian Tyms is Out Indefinitely. OL Bryan Stork (Concussion), WR Brandon LaFell (Foot), WR Brandon Gibson (Knee), LB Dane Fletcher (Knee), DT Chris Jones (Calf), DB Darryl Roberts (Wrist) and FB James Develin (Shin) are all on the New England Injured-Reserve List.
The big question for the Indianapolis Colts (99 PF-113 PA, W3) here will be the availability of superstar QB Andrew Luck, and the news out of Colts camp on Monday was that Luck was a full participant in the team’s practice, good news for Indianapolis and sports fans alike after seeing Luck sit out 2 weeks with a bad Right Shoulder, so, expect Luck to be able to start and play here in one of the marquee games on the 2015/16 NFL Regular Season schedule. Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano (26-20-1 ATS) reportedly said that Luck “looked good,” so with the game still 4 days away now, we can probably assume the Colts starting QB will be ready for this one, especially with the Colts sitting with a precarious 3-2 record. On Thursday Night Football in Week 5 in Houston, Indianapolis escaped with a 27-20 victory over their AFC South rival Texans at NRG Stadium as backup QB Matt Hasselbeck (18/29, 213 yards, 2 TDs) and former Texans WR Andre Johnson (6 receptions, 77 yards, 2 TDs) haunted his old teammates in his old stomping grounds. Besides the Injury to Luck, the Colts (18/1 to win Super Bowl, bet365) also have their share of Injury concerns with RB Tyler Varga (Concussion), LB Jerrell Freeman (Groin) and LB Björn Werner (Hamstring) all listed as Questionable. CB Jalil Brown (Neck), CB D’Joun Smith (Knee), DT Arthur Jones (Ankle) and CB Tevin Mitchel (Shoulder) are all stuck on the Colts Injured-Reserve List. Here, expect Luck to run a fairly conservative, albeit pass-heavy game plan with RB Frank Gore, TE Dwayne Allen and TE Coby Fleener and WR Phillip Dorsett, WR TY Hilton and WR Johnson to all be a big part of the Offensive mix for the Colts here at Home at Lucas Oil Stadium. And if Luck seems like he is suffering physically or simply can’t go, make way for backup Matt Hasselbeck again. (He’s better than 75% of the NFL’s backup QBs.)
Series Trends & Realistic Game Expectations
The last time these two played was that famous Deflategate AFC Championship Game in New England last season, where the Patriots corralled the Colts, 45-7, easily covering the 7-point spread at Home at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. The Patriots are 3-0 ATS the L3 overall in this series and New England is also 3-0 ATS the L3 meetings here in Indianapolis, dating back to the days when Peyton Manning was still Colts QB. As we looked at in our Sportsbook Review handicap of the Total in this high-profile game on Sunday night,the Over is 8-2-1 over the L11 meetings in this series and the Patriots have won the L6 meetings going 4-2 ATS in those 6 contests. The Patriots Defense has been impressive so far this season, holding opponents to an impressive 21, 32, 17 and 6 points in their four games to date with 19 of the Bills’ 32 points in Week 3 coming in the 4th Quarter with Tyrod Taylor and Buffalo desperately trying to rally back from a 37-13 deficit at Ralph Wilson Stadium. New England’s D currently ranks #8 in Points Allowed (19 ppg), and if the Patriots continue to do what they have done in their first four games—get out to a double-digit lead at Halftime and then sort of just chill in the 2nd Half, backing New England in the 1st Half may be a wise Prop bet. The Patriots have led by double digits in all four of their games so far (11,11, 17, 10)—14-3 Steelers, 24-13 Bills, 20-3 Jaguars, 13-3 Cowboys—at Halftime, covering the 1st Half Point Spread in all four and allowing just 22 total points in the 1st Half. Look for steady New England and Brady to win this one by double digits, in a workmanlike, Deflategate-revenge-angry effort on the Road against an overrated Colts team with a beat-up QB (Luck) and a once-beloved Head Coach (Pagano) who knows he probably won’t be in Indianapolis next season. Can you say 3-3?
PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: New England Patriots 31 Indianapolis Colts 20
NFL WEEK 6 PICKS: Patriots -7½ (Pinnacle), Patriots First Half