Everyone loves the New England Patriots. The reigning Super Bowl champions are the preferred sharp NFL pick for Sunday night's game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Second verse, same as the first. The New England Patriots (4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS) were the fashionable NFL pick last week when they opened as 7.5-point road favorites against the Dallas Cowboys. Final score: New England 30, Dallas 6, with the Pats moving up to –8 at the close. This is starting to look like 2007 all over again.
Will the beatings continue? The sharps think so; they've once again loaded up on the Patriots for this week's very special episode of Sunday Night Football (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC). And once again, New England has opened as a 7.5-point road chalk on our NFL odds board, with the Indianapolis Colts (3-2 SU, 1-4 ATS) supplying the opposition. That price was still available at press time, but after 100 percent of early bettors pounded the Pats, other locations have the spread at –9.5 (+105). Not that big of a move, really – about 14 cents worth, according to Wizard of Odds.
If you don't want to wait until Sunday night to do your cherry-picking, there's always Thursday Night Football (8:25 p.m. ET, CBS/NLFN). This week's matchup is a battle between first and worst in the NFC South, as the Atlanta Falcons (5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS) visit the New Orleans Saints (1-4 SU, 2-3 ATS). Atlanta opened as a 3-point favorite and was immediately pounced upon by 94 percent of early bettors. Some locations have already moved the Falcons to –3.5, so get in now if you're getting in.
There's one other sharp stampede for Week 6, and go figure, it's for the Cincinnati Bengals (5-0 SU, 4-0-1 ATS). They did what the Saints failed to do two weeks ago against Dallas: Knock the game-winning field goal off the left upright and in, beating the Seattle Seahawks (+3 away) 27-24 in overtime. Well done by the Bengals, but take note: That's two come-from-ahead overtime losses for the Seahawks. They've got issues. Cincinnati was pulling in 97-percent consensus as a pick 'em for Sunday's road game (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS) against the Buffalo Bills, who improved to 3-2 SU and ATS with a 14-13 win over the Tennessee Titans (–1 at home).
As for the other two undefeated teams, there isn't enough data yet to produce a consensus report for the Green Bay Packers (5-0 SU and ATS) in their home game against the San Diego Chargers, but we did have 61 percent of early bettors willing to take the Denver Broncos (5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS) as 5-point road faves versus the Cleveland Browns (2-3 SU, 3-2 ATS). That spread has since moved to Denver –4, though, so perhaps it's actually the Browns who are getting the sharp treatment. We'll talk about this again before Sunday's kick-off (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS) as the expanded consensus figures come in.