The stakes are high for both teams as the Indianapolis Colts prepare to face off against the New England Patriots. The Colts need to string together wins if they want to keep pace in the AFC and fight for a playoff berth, while the Patriots need to win to keep Bill Belichick employed.
A deep dive into the teams’ recent performances, player statistics, and the corresponding betting lines gives us insight into the keys to victory for each team and how bettors can leverage this knowledge.
Keys to the Game for the Colts:
The Colts ended their losing streak last week with defense, spearheaded by cornerback Kenny Moore II, converting turnovers into crucial points. Despite a modest ground game against the Panthers, Indianapolis boasts the NFL’s 10th-ranked rushing offense, with the duo of Zack Moss and Jonathan Taylor offering a formidable one-two punch. Getting Taylor going would be a big boost for the Colts and could even be a deciding factor in the outcome, but the Patriots know that and are unlikely to give him favorable looks.
Keys to the Game for the Patriots:
New England showed some life as they nearly overcame a deficit to beat Washington last week. The Patriots’ defense was instrumental in their win over the Colts last season, and replicating that performance would surely result in a win. Rhamondre Stevenson’s versatile playmaking could give New England the offensive spark it needs. At the same time, the defense’s capacity to generate pressure could stifle Indianapolis’s offense or force Gardner Minshew into making mistakes.
Prop Bets to Watch:
- Rhamondre Stevenson over 47.5 rushing yards: Stevenson is coming off his best game this season, and with the Colts missing Grover Stewart, he should exceed his rushing yard line. In the three games that Stewart has missed, the Colts are giving up nearly 150 yards rushing per game.
- Gardner Minshew over 1.5 passing touchdowns: The Patriots’ secondary is missing top guys and will now be without the demoted J.C. Jackson. In his last four games, Minshew has thrown at least one touchdown, and with the Patriots likely to focus on taking away Taylor and Moss, it’s a solid bet that he will throw multiple touchdowns in this one.
Game Lines and Predictions:
As of this writing, DraftKings Sportsbook lists the Colts as favorites with a -2 spread. With the Patriots in disarray, seemingly on and off of the field, we like to the Colts to cover the spread.
However, we wouldn’t expect this to be a high-scoring affair. We like the betting the under with the total points line at 43. These international games have been a struggle for most teams, and there are too many key pieces missing on both sidelines to expect a huge point output from either team.