The AFC East-leading Patriots (9-4) head to Indianapolis to face the second-place Colts (7-6) in a matchup that can have an effect on the AFC playoff race.
- Moneyline: New England (+115) | Indianapolis (-138)
- Unfold: New England +2.5 (-110) | Indianapolis -2.5 (-110)
- Whole: 45.5 -Over (-110) | Beneath (-110)
- Recreation Data: Dec. 18, 2021 | 8:20 p.m. ET | NFL Community
Whereas the Patriots might lead the AFC East, the Colts are favored Saturday true. Now, it’s true that the house staff normally “will get” three factors. So if taking part in on a impartial subject, Vegas thinks New England might squeak this one out.
The Patriots are coming off a bye on and driving a seven-game win streak after beating the rival Payments in a sport the place Mac Jones threw simply three passes. The Colts have gained 4 of their final 5, three of which had been the Jets, Jaguars and Texans.
Offensively, each groups are high ten in factors per sport. The Colts have common 28.5, whereas the Patriots common 26.9. Throughout their previous three contests, although, Indianapolis has erupted for a median of 34.4 factors per sport in comparison with New England’s 25.
Defensively, New England permits an NFL-best 15.4 factors per sport this 12 months and solely 7.7 per sport throughout the previous three video games. Indianapolis’s protection can be excellent, averaging 17.7 factors allowed throughout the previous three and 21.8 factors on the season.
It looks like this might be a detailed sport.
Indianapolis has thrived behind sophomore celebrity working again Jonathan Taylor. Taylor leads the league with 1,348 dashing yards and 16 dashing touchdowns. That’s 300 extra yards than the subsequent in line, Joe Mixon, and 350 extra yards than Dalvin Prepare dinner. In different phrases, it isn’t even shut. However will Invoice Belichick discover a approach to shut down the Colts’s high weapon? Invoice Enright explored that risk right here.
Taylor’s dashing+receiving yards prop is 117.5, which says to me they’re assured he nonetheless has a robust sport. New England has surrendered the Eleventh-most dashing yards (1,297) and the fourth-most receiving yards (704) to working backs this 12 months.
Vast receivers Michael Pittman, Jr. and TY Hilton should decide up the slack if Taylor will get shut down. That might be troublesome, as New England is permitting solely 212 passing yards per sport to quarterbacks and solely a 55.8% catch fee to vast receivers.
New England’s working again duo of Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson has been robust, however the Colts’ run protection is high ten within the league. Indianapolis has allowed just one,053 dashing yards and 474 receiving yards to working backs.
New England’s go catchers can even have a troublesome time as Indianapolis is permitting solely 244 passing yards per sport to opposing quarterbacks, and Jones has solely handed for greater than that whole in 5 video games this season.
New England is 9-4 In opposition to The Unfold (ATS), whereas Indianapolis is 8-5. New England’s video games have hit the over six of 13 instances, whereas eight of 13 Colts video games hit the over.
So, how are the betting analysts at Sport Illustrated betting this sport? I requested them for his or her favourite picks for Saturday’s tilt.
Table of Contents
SI Betting and Fantasy’s Jen Piacenti:
I get it. Indianapolis has been scoring lots of factors. However do you actually assume coming off a bye that New England will let Carson Wentz and Jonathan Taylor go on a scoring spree? No method. Taylor is a stud and can nonetheless have a very good sport, however I don’t see this one erupting for over 46 factors. It baffles me that Vegas has the Colts because the favorites right here, however possibly they know one thing we don’t. All I can say is: I’m taking the staff with the higher file who can be getting the factors. It simply is smart. I by no means thought there can be a time Invoice Belichick wasn’t given sufficient credit score, however it looks like it’s right here. Give me the Pats and the factors.
BEST BETS: Patriots +2.5 (-110), Beneath 45.5 (-110)
SI Betting’s Matt Ehalt:
To cite the legendary Ray Parker Jr.: “I ain’t afraid of no ghost.” I am not shopping for that the Patriots are going to decelerate Jonathan Taylor to the purpose that it is a large disappointment. Do I count on him to have a ceiling sport? No. However do I believe he can get you 20-25 fantasy factors? Sure. Let’s keep in mind that Taylor nonetheless tallied 19.7 PPR factors towards the Buccaneers, whose rush protection is much superior to New England’s. I am taking the over on his dashing prop and never trying again. I additionally am backing the Colts right here in a must-win sport. I am unsure New England will dictate thIS sport the way in which it desires, and I am simply not offered on the concept that the Patriots are an ideal staff. Let’s take the Colts to win and canopy.
BEST BETS: Jonathan Taylor over 93.5 dashing yards (-118), Colts moneyline (-138), Colts -2.5 (-110)
SI Fantasy’s Craig Ellenport:
I could make a case for both of those groups, however here is the path I will go: Pretty much as good because the Patriots’ protection has been in current weeks, stopping Jonathan Taylor will probably be a problem. I am not about to name Invoice Belichick fortunate, however do not forget that he confronted the Titans with out Derrick Henry and the Browns with out Nick Chubb (D’Ernest Johnson put up 157 scrimmage yards in Chubb’s place towards New England). The Patriots have not confronted an elite RB in additional than a month. On high of that, this sport is just extra necessary to the Colts. Belichick will not be one to get caught trying forward, however his sport subsequent week towards the Payments is much extra necessary. So far as props go, I will look to the Colts’ No. 2 offensive weapon. If the Patriots strive too laborious to neutralize Taylor, then I can see Michael Pittman Jr. coming in with an anytime landing.
BEST BETS: Colts -2.5 (-110) Michael Pittman Jr. Anytime TD (+165)
MMQB’S Gary Gramling:
That quantity is fairly good—I had it at Colts –1 on a impartial subject, so –2.5 in Indy is just about proper. In mild of that, I’ll play the overall in a sport that I believe stays inside a possession a technique or one other, with neither staff asking its quarterback to do something wild. We all know the Colts need to force-feed Jonathan Taylor and maintain issues cautious with Carson Wentz, particularly towards a Invoice Belichick protection. However I additionally don’t count on New England to open it up with Mac Jones (and that’s based mostly on greater than the 46/3 run-pass ratio we noticed final day out). Working the ball towards this Indianapolis protection is a problem, however it’s not an ideal matchup for the Patriots’ passing sport both. The Colts’ secondary is sweet early within the down, they usually fare properly towards play-action due to their energy at linebacker. Offenses which have given them bother this 12 months are inclined to make the most of slow-developing, bootleg-heavy play-action ideas, and whereas Jones might be succesful it’s not what he does greatest. Turnovers can all the time throw issues out of whack, however I believe each these groups are comfy taking issues into the fourth quarter sitting within the teenagers.
BEST BET: UNDER 45.5 (-110)
SI Betting’s Frank Taddeo:
Hunter Henry has exceeded this betting projection in seven video games and faces an Indianapolis protection that has given up the fifth-most fantasy factors to opposing tight ends this season. A deeper dive reveals that 11 opposing tight ends have surpassed 25.5 receiving yards towards the Colts via 13 video games. That quantity will develop to 12 after Saturday’s sport.
BEST BET: Hunter Henry over 25.5 Receiving yards
SI Video’s Doug Vazquez:
By now, the final sport plan put collectively by Invoice Belichick and Josh McDaniels is stuff of legend. I don’t count on the same script when the Pats play within the cozy dome confines in Indianapolis on Saturday night time. Heading into the playoffs and with a first-round bye hanging within the steadiness, Mac Jones must get that arm some extra reps as we enter the house stretch. Previous to the Wind Bowl a pair weeks in the past in Buffalo, Kendrick Bourne emerged as an enormous brilliant spot on this New England offense. With a really favorable value of +220, I like Mac’s probability of discovering KB for a landing.
BEST BET: Kendrick Bourne Anytime TD (+220)
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