New England Patriots (4-0) at Indianapolis Colts (3-2)
Normally, I love fading huge line movements, I can fade a heavy public lean in the process, as huge line movements are typically because of week-to-week overreactions. This game had one of those line movements, as the Colts have gone from being 5 point underdogs to 9.5 point underdogs in a week and the public is still all over New England. Nothing really happened in the past week that should have caused that. The Colts are coming off of arguably their best game of the season, as they were able to go into Houston and win with a backup quarterback, had 10 days off, and were able to get guys healthy.
Aside from defensive end Arthur Jones, who they haven’t had all season, they’re at full strength right now, after missing guys like cornerback Andrew Luck, cornerback Greg Toler, and cornerback Darius Butler with injury to start the season, while cornerback Vontae Davis and safety Mike Adams have also dealt with injuries. The Patriots, meanwhile, had a great win in Dallas, but that shouldn’t have been a surprise considering they were huge favorites off of a bye and they also lost left tackle Nate Solder for the season and will be without cornerback Tarell Brown in this one.
However, I really have no interest is going against New England in this one. This isn’t as talented of a team as they had last season, particularly in the secondary, but their pass rush is better and they still could be the best team in the NFL. After winning 13 of their last 14 meaningful games to end last season, they are 4-0, ranking 1st in rate of moving the chains differential, to start this season. They’ve also had no problem with Andrew Luck and Chuck Pagano, beating the Colts 4 straight times since those two showed up in Indianapolis in 2012, by an average of 29.00 points per game, though it’s worth noting that the Patriots have only been to Indianapolis once over those 4 games and the Colts are 18-9 ATS at home over that time period.
The Patriots are also in a good spot, as they are 9.5 point favorites over the Jets in New England in the early line for next week. Teams are 75-34 ATS since 2012 as 6+ point favorites before being 6+ point favorites since 2012. The Colts also have a game in which they will probably be 6 point favorites on deck, as the Saints come to town next week, and 6+ point underdogs are 69-57 ATS before being 6+ point favorites over that same time period. That’s not as strong as the trend favoring the Patriots though, as favorites tend to do better than underdogs when they have manageable games on deck. It’s worth noting, but I still am taking the Patriots. It’s a no confidence pick though, as the Patriots are a heavily backed large road favorite in a place where it’s tough to win.
New England Patriots 34 Indianapolis Colts 24
Pick against the spread: New England -9.5