The New England Patriots (9-4) have the NFL's longest active winning streak of seven games into Week 15's matchup with the Indianapolis Colts (7-6). We break it down with our Patriots-Colts NFL picks.
The Patriots surged to the top of the AFC East standings with seven straight wins. They also come off of a Week 14 bye after topping the Buffalo Bills by a 14-10 count on Monday Night Football in Week 13. New England is tied with the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs for the No. 1 seed in the AFC coming into the week.
The Colts are second to the Titans in the AFC South after winning four of their last five games. Their easiest path to the playoffs is via the AFC Wild Card, where they enter Week 15 second behind the division leaders, coming off of a Week 14 bye of their own. They easily beat the division-rival Houston Texans 31-0 in Week 13 in a cupcake matchup that does nothing to prepare the Colts or bettors for this week.
Here are my NFL picks and predictions for the Week 15 matchup between the Patriots and Colts (odds via DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a one-to-five-star scale).
Patriots vs. Colts Week 15 Game Info
Date/Time: Saturday, Dec. 18, 8:20 p.m. ETTV: NFL NetworkLocation: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, INWeather: Indoors
Patriots vs. Colts Odds Analysis
Most top sportsbooks have this line steady at 2.5 points in favor of the host Colts but shop around for the best price. DraftKings and FanDuel are offering reduced vig on the Patriots at -105, while other books have the standard -110 odds on both sides. The spread has grown by as much as a point toward the Colts despite 65% of bets and 61% of the money being on the Pats. Lighter vig on the visitors is the books trying to get more pro-Patriots action, despite the bulk of the money already flowing in the direction of the more popular team.
The sharps and public are also aligned on the total. Seventy-one percent of slips and 60% of the cash are on the Over. It has caused the line to increase slightly from an opener of 44 to as high as 45.5 at FanDuel, for our preferred number.
Patriots vs. Colts Picks
Patriots +2.5 (-105 via DraftKings) ???Under 45.5 (-110 via FanDuel) ????
Patriots vs. Colts Predictions
Patriots +2.5 (-105)
This 100% feels like a sucker play. The division leader on a seven-game winning streak that's 6-0 on the road is getting 2.5 points against a wild-card hopeful with a 3-4 home record?
If we weren't also following the money, I'd be more concerned. It's widely believed in betting circles that home-field advantage is worth 1.5-2 points on the betting line, so this should really be much closer to a coin flip.
This will be the Patriots' first time in a dome since beating the Atlanta Falcons 25-0 in Week 11. It'll be a stark contrast from their Week 13 contest with the Bills in which rookie QB Mac Jones threw just three times. The shutout of the Falcons accentuates the play of a defense that has held opponents to 10.4 points per game over the win streak. New England has soared to No. 1 in the NFL by weighted defensive DVOA.
Jones was coming off one of his best games of the season prior to Week 13, having completed 23 of 32 attempts for 310 yards and two touchdowns against the Titans. A properly-balanced attack in the weather-less conditions of Lucas Oil Stadium can catch the Colts by surprise this week.
The +125 for the Patriots' moneyline at DraftKings is a solid play for the outright upset; however, we should take the points while they're offered. Act quickly with the line likely shift by Saturday as money continues to come in on New England.
Under 45.5 (-110)
The half-point hook is a friend of Under bettors in this spot so be sure to shop around.
New England and Indianapolis rank second and eighth, respectively, in the NFL by run-play percentage for the season. They're first and third, respectively, over their last three games. Both defenses are in the top six of the league by rush DVOA, but that's unlikely to fully deter both head coaches from the strength of their respective offense.
Even with Patriots running back Damien Harris (hamstring) ruled out, head coach Bill Belichick will again lean on his backfield as Jones goes against a Colts defense with a league-high 29 takeaways. The slower pace and steady running of the clock is another friend to those betting the Under. Rookie running back Rhamondre Stevenson will be capable of leading the charge in his first start since Week 10.
Unlike with the Patriots pick, we can wait a little longer for the Under play with the bulk of the betting action on the Over.
Patriots-Colts picks made 12/15/2021 at 6 p.m. ET.