There’s a gigantic 57.5-point total on the NFL odds board for Sunday between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts. People are betting the OVER anyway. Should you do the same?
Jason’s record after Week 10: 28-39 ATS, 11-16-1 Totals
Profit: minus-37.63 units
The New England Patriots have the OVER at 7-2 this year. So do the Indianapolis Colts. The last five games between these two teams have all gone way OVER their posted totals. As you might suspect, people are adding the OVER to their Week 11 NFL picks for our next very special episode of Sunday Night Football. Our consensus reports show 99 percent of bettors on the OVER when the total was 56.5 points, up from 55 at the open. We’re still seeing 68 percent consensus as we go to press with the total at 57.5.
Spoiler alert: We’re recommending the OVER, too. There was a time when we would pretty much auto-bet the UNDER anytime the NFL odds cranked out totals of 55 or higher. We don’t do that anymore. In case you haven’t heard, scoring is up in the NFL. The OVER is 78-69 (53.06 percent) through Week 10 of the regular season. And as far as Sunday’s matchup goes (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC), this isn’t the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins we’re talking about here, either.
It Ain’t Rocket Surgery
Generally speaking, when you’re looking to bet on NFL totals, you want to look at teams that have a significant imbalance between offense and defense. If you get two defense-heavy teams like the Bills and Dolphins, you often get a low-scoring game, like Thursday’s 22-9 Dolphins victory (UNDER 40.5). But if you flip the script and put two offensive-minded teams on the same field, you often get high-scoring games.
This is what the Patriots and Colts usually deliver. New England’s offense has been among the best in the NFL ever since Tom Brady took over at quarterback. The defense, on the other hand, hasn’t had a particularly strong year since the undefeated 2007 (regular) season. That was also the last year the Colts had a really good defense. But with Andrew Luck now proving capable of filling Peyton Manning’s cleats, the Indianapolis offense once again leads the league in scoring.
The advanced stats bear this imbalance out. Indianapolis goes into Week 11 rated No. 7 overall (No. 8 offense, No. 18 defense, No. 5 special teams) in DVOA, one spot ahead of New England (No. 9 offense, No. 22 defense, No. 3 special teams). The two teams are also tied for third place overall in SRS; split that into offense and defense, and the Colts (plus-8.9 OSRS, plus-0.4 DSRS) and Patriots (plus-8.7 OSRS, plus-0.5 DSRS) come out virtually identical – just ignore the rounding when you compare those numbers.
What About Bob?
Sunday night’s game takes place indoors at The Luke, so there’s no need to worry about adverse weather conditions. There aren’t any major injuries on offense, either – although both teams could use a little linebacker help with Robert Mathis missing for the Colts and Jerod Mayo for the Patriots. We should be able to bet the OVER with confidence this week.
Provided you aren’t scared away by that massive total. To help assuage your fears, here’s how the last five meetings (regular season and playoffs) between these teams went down:
Jan. 11, 2014: Indianapolis 22, New England 43 (OVER 51)
Nov. 18, 2012: Indianapolis 24, New England 59 (OVER 54.5)
Dec. 4, 2011: Indianapolis 24, New England 31 (OVER 48.5)
Nov. 21, 2010: Indianapolis 28, New England 31 (OVER 49.5)
Nov. 15, 2009: New England 34, Indianapolis 35 (OVER 48)
How’s that for consistency? Only one of these five games produced a combined final score that was lower than Sunday’s total, and that was in 2011 when they “only” reached 55 points. We’re willing to bet on another touchdown-fest occurring this week.
Free NFL Pick: Bet one unit on OVER 57 at The Greek
Check Out Our Complete Patriots vs. Colts Coverage
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