Indianapolis Colts (12-5 SU, 11-6 ATS) vs. New England Patriots (12-4 SU, 8-8 ATS)
AFC Divisional Playoffs
Date and Time: Saturday, January 11, 8:15pm
Where: Gillette Stadium – Foxboro, MA
by Bob, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: IND +7/NE -7
Over/Under Total: 53.5
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The NFL season is winding down, and with each week, the field gets smaller
and smaller. We have another great matchup this week when the Indianapolis
Colts travel to Foxboro to take on the New England Patriots.
Coming into this season most people felt that the Patriots, even with all
the players lost on offense would still compete simply because of Tom Brady
and head coach, Bill Belichick. The Colts on the other hand were supposed
to take a step back from last seasons success that many deemed a fluke.
Well, now the Colts see themselves even better than the 2012 campaign, and
Andrew Luck is growing and improving week by week. The Patriots had the
first round bye with the number two overall seed in the AFC, while Indy
played last week in what was one of the most memorable playoff games in
NFL history. Trailing 38-10 in the 3rd quarter, the Colts defense stepped
up, and Andrew Luck played some great football down the stretch to pull
off the miracle 45-44 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. The Patriots enter
this game as a touchdown favorite and the total points are set at 53.5.
Will New England do what they do and keep winning, or will Andrew Luck take
the Colts to the next level?
The Colts are a great story for the casual football fan. Last season was their first season entering a new era with Andrew Luck at quarterback, meanwhile their coach, Chuck Pagano, is diagnosed with Leukemia, yet the Colts managed to make their way all the way to the AFC playoffs. This team has all the makings to be great in the next couple of years, but that isnt on their mindsthey want and think they can win NOW. The Colts come into this game with a regular season record of 11-5 just one game worse than the Patriots 12-4 finish, yet the Colts do not get half the love from the media that New England gets. On paper the Colts are an average team, nothing really stands out statistically at all. They rank 21st rushing and 17th passing on offense, while on the defensive side of the ball they are 13th against the pass which isnt too bad, and 26th against the run. Even though they are ranked right in the middle of the NFL in those categories, they are finding ways to win. Not only are they beating the bottom feeders like the Texans and the Jaguars, but have some pretty impressive wins too over Denver, San Francisco, and Seattleall who are still alive in the playoff hunt. This Colts team can flat out play. The key however to pull off this upset is that Andrew Luck cannot, and I repeat cannot throw costly picks. Kansas City had an extreme meltdown in the 2nd half of last weeks game allowing the Colts to come back. The Patriots will not do thattrust me.
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Speaking of the Pats, here we are again. New England is right back in the mix trying to get another Super Bowl victory, or at least an appearance. Before the season, many thought that the players lost would not have much effect on this team. I was of the minority that the Patriots would severely struggleI was wrong. They rolled right through the regular season and ended with a 12-4 record and the number two seed in the AFC only behind the Denver Broncos, a team that the Patriots beat. The Patriots will be up against it with the Colts. Even though the Patriots are the heavy favorite, in my opinion much of that is public perception for their success over the last decade. Can New England blow the brakes off of the Colts? Yes they can, but this game is no gimmie at all. The Patriots will need to get some offense going because I truly believe the Colts will be scoring. If the Patriots can get up in the high 20s to 30s, they I say they win and cover. If not, it could be a dog fight.
Bobs Pick to Cover the Point Spread: This game is very interesting to me and it will be the one I want to watch the most. How great would it be for the Colts to pull the upset and Denver to beat San Diego and us have a Colts/Broncos AFC Title game??? Peyton versus his old team. The young, new gunslinger in Indy trying to show up the old man whose place he took. That would make for a great AFC title game. But lets not get too ahead of ourselves, we are still talking about the Patriots here. The Colts will need to play a clean game, and also catch some breaks to get this win on the road. One thing I find truly amazing right now is that many of the bettors out there are going with the underdog. 65% of action right now is leaning on the Colts side. I typically fade the public, but in this case Im not. I like the Colts to go into Foxboro and fight to the bitter end. Will they win? I dont know, but in my opinion someone will escape with a three point victory. I like someone to win this game 27-24. PICK THE COLTS +7 and the UNDER on total points.