New England Patriots (+3) @ Indianapolis Colts Pick & Preview: This game is close, obviously, Vegas thinks so (hence giving the 8-0 Colts just 3 points at home) and I think so (hence I’m taking the Patriots and the field goal. Since the beginning, the public has liked New England in this one. Maybe Tom Brady’s the NFL darling, maybe people think the Colts are bound to lose one pretty soon, maybe those 57% are like me and they see a Colts team that is deflated by injuries, coming off a couple very close wins against solid football teams in San Francisco and Houston.
The bottom line is, both teams have had some tough games against opponents everyone expected them to beat easily. The Patriots struggled but won against Buffalo to start the season, and lost games against Denver and the New York Jets earlier in the Year. The Colts struggled a little but won at home against Jacksonville, in Miami, and then games against the 49ers and Texans. But both teams are winners – no doubt about that. Both can put up points in a hurry, and both are opportunistic on defense. They limit the big play and make few mistakes.
Picking a side is tough, no doubt, and the Patriots haven’t played well on the road, 0-2 in true road games (they had a ‘fake’ road game in England where Tampa Bay played as the home team). They lost @ Denver by 3 and @ New York against the Jets by 7. They failed to score 20 in either game, and while their defense played well, it was their offenses inability to get into the end-zone that lost them the game.
I don’t think they’ll have trouble scoring in Indy. And defensively, the Patriots are better than the Colts. The Patriots score more, give up fewer yards, gain more yards, and control the ball for longer stretches. The Patriots have been able to run the ball lately, something that should help them against a Colts defense struggling to stop opposing runners.