Sunday Night, Monday Night and Thursday Night Football have been nothing but a plethora of points—and commercials—this year with the Over a surreal 24-7 into Week 11. So, is it time to bet the Over again?
New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts (-3, 53½, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), (Monday 01:30) Sunday (NBC, 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT): This high-profile game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis between Andrew Luck and the Colts (6-3 SU, 7-2 ATS) and Tom Brady and the Patriots (7-2 SU, 5-4 ATS) can’t help but be a pass-fest and even though the weather outside may be frightful, the Indianapolis has a retractable dome and can fight the forecasted rain and 41° F weather Sunday in Naptown by simply choosing to close the roof.
The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook’s 2014 NFL Games of the Year had this one lined at Pick over the summer, while the Advanced Line (Early Odds) released last week opened the Colts as 1½-point Favorites—it was immediately bet up to 2½—so there has obviously been a small perception change in favor of Indianapolis and at least one big bettor banging the Horseshoes.
The NFL Odds were still hovering between 2½ (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook Sky Book, SIA) and 3 (Pinnacle, Station Casinos, Coral) on Tuesday afternoon, with the Total Points set at 57½ or 58. The Colts Total Team Points is 30 (Stan James) while the Patriots Total Team Points is set at 27 (BetVictor). The Money Line (Winner) odds have host Indianapolis as -145 Favorites and the visiting Patriots as +131 Underdogs (Pinnacle). And, needless to say, this will be very good game to try to hit some Anytime TD Scorer prop bets as guys like TE’s Rob Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen almost have to score at least one touchdown in a game like this, right?
New England Patriots
The Patriots are on a nice little roll, having won 5 straight and knocking off the likes of the mighty AFC champion Broncos and scoring 43, 37, 27, 51 and 43 points along the way before being given a refreshing Bye week by That Big Patriot In The Sky (And I’m not talking about Sam “Bam” Cunningham, man) last weekend. Or maybe it’s the schedule-makers determines the Bye week and not some deity. Anyway, backing a team that’s averaged over 40 ppg and taking the Over in that same game in separate bets seems like a pretty logical and potentially profitable thing to do in this particular primetime football fiesta.
Patriots QB Brady (214 completions, 2, 392 yards, 22 TDs) has been his usual resourceful self and with a much-improved defense, New England should find a way to be in the AFC Championship game although these Colts and the defending champion Broncos will probably have something to say about that. QB Brady (60-42-1 ATS Away) has done a nice job using RB Shane Vereen in both the Patriots’ Passing (31 receptions, 246 yards, 3 TDs) and Rushing (69 rushes, 310 yards, TD) attacks while WRs Julian Edelman (54 receptions, 556 yards, 2 TDs, 10.3 ypc) and Brandon LaFell (36 receptions, 514 yards, 5 TDs) and reliable, old TE Rob Gronkowski (49 receptions, 663 yards, 8 TDs, 13.5 ypc) have all had nice seasons so far.
The Patriots (4-1 SU L5 vs. Colts) come in relatively healthy with LBs Jerod Mayo (knee) and James Morris, DL Michael Buchanan (undisclosed) and RBs Stevan Ridley (knee) and Tyler Gaffney (knee) on the I-R while OL Cameron Fleming (finger) is listed as Questionable for Sunday’s game which may have a lot to say about who ultimately ends up getting homefield advantage in the playoffs in the AFC.
Indianapolis and QB Luck (250 completions, 3,085 yards, 26 TDs) have turned into The Passing Team in the NFL (ranked #1, 337.4 ypg) and although the Patriots defense is much improved this season (#13 Scoring Defense, 22.0 ppg), New England will be hard-pressed to stop the offensive juggernaut that this Colts team has evolved into, especially here at Home and in such an important situation for the hosts, who are surprisingly tied with the Chiefs and the Browns with the second-best record in the AFC (6-3) behind these Patriots and the Broncos who will both begin the week at 7-2.
With Luck (16-6-1 ATS Favorite), Indianapolis is set at the QB position for years to come, and his performance this year truly justifies the organization’s decision to let go of legend Peyton Manning to make way for the big, goofy kid from Stanford. The Colts (6-1 SU L7) have built an offense around Luck and have given him multiple threats at each skill position—and they have all strutted their stuff statistically. Like New England’s Vereen, Indianapolis RB Ahmad Bradshaw has been used effectively both as a rusher (83 rushes, 421 yards, 2 TDs) and a receiver (34 receptions, 293 yards, 6 TDs) and the acquisition of RB Trent Richardson (108 rushes, 391 yards, 2 TDs) last year is looking better every game. WRs Reggie Wayne (42 receptions, 50 yards, 2 TDs) and TY Hilton (56 receptions, 937 yards, 3 TDs, 16.7 ypc) do a great job helping the Colts move the ball downfield while the numbers reveal that talented TEs Dwayne Allen (26 receptions, 374 yards, 7 TDs) and Coby Fleener (22 receptions, 295 yards, 4 TDs) are usually the ones Luck goes to in clutch time in the Red Zone. So, Mr. Luck has a pretty nice choir and this group has just started singing together sister. Can I get an amen?
Indianapolis C Khaled Holmes (ankle), LB Erik Walden (hip), LB Josh McNary (ankle) and DT Arthur Jones (ankle) are all listed as Questionable while the Colts have some decent guys still on the I-R, including LB Robert Mathis (Achilles), G Donald Thomas (quadricep) and T Xavier Nixon (knee).
Best Betting Approaches
With primetime Overs ripping it up at a 77.4% clip (24-7 ATS) into this Week 11, it seems best to just keep it simple, not overanalyze, and just plug the Over in as an automatic bet here. One can see how a Browns-Bengals TNF affair could go Under the posted Total, but the names Luck and Brady sound like they’re worth about 30 points apiece, especially in a significant primetime affair and playing in an athlete-friendly environment. And this is that. The Over is also 6-0 in the L6 Patriots games (55, 60, 59, 52, 74 and 64 total points), a perfect 5-0 the L5 these two teams have played, 4-2 in the Patriots L6 on the Road and 5-2 L7 Patriots Road games in Indianapolis. The playing surface and temperature could be perfect if the dome is closed and both teams come in well rested off their lone Open Dates on the schedule. So, everything points toward the Over here, including the compass.
Although New England is just 4-10-1 ATS L15 on the Road overall, it seems that maybe the more significant series trend is the one in which the Patriots are 16-3 ATS L19 against the Colts in Indianapolis, which makes taking New England and the 3 points where you can find it all the more more appetizing. You know Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (145-109-5 ATS) will have a trick or two up his hoodie-sweatshirt sleeves and New England is 4-1 SU L5 against the Colts, so, why not take a great team (the Patriots) with a great QB a decent defense against a team they have owned here and the 3 points as your NFL Pick when you think they could win the game outright in the first place? It makes sense.