New England sits atop the AFC at 9-4, but they now have to travel to Indianapolis to take on a Colts team that ranks third in the NFL in points per game. Will the Colts fend off the top team in the AFC, or will the Patriots win their eighth game in a row?
This article will analyze this game from an NFL football odds standpoint and determine if the Colts can cover the spread as Week 15 favorites.
Both Teams Should Be Able To Run the Ball
Indianapolis ranks tenth in the NFL in rushing first downs allowed per game in 2021. However, the Colts’ run defense has not been as strong as of late. The Colts have allowed opponents to gain 5.4 yards per rushing attempt over their past three games, the third-worst mark in the NFL over that period.
Like the Colts, the Patriots’ run defense has also faltered as of late. New England has given up 136.3 yards per game on the ground over their past three contests, more than 24 other teams during that time.
Indianapolis loves to run the ball. The Colts average 29.5 rushing attempts per game, the fifth-highest mark in the league. New England has a run-heavy offense as well, ranking seventh in the NFL in rushing attempts per game. With both teams looking to stay run-heavy, I can’t see either running away with this game early.
New England Plays Excellent Late Game Defense
This game could be a low-scoring affair with both teams looking to run the ball and control the clock. That’s why I think this game could be close in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for Indianapolis, that’s when the Patriots are at their best. New England is allowing an average of 2.7 points in the fourth quarter this season, the fewest fourth-quarter points in the NFL.
This year, the Colts defense has been woeful in the fourth quarter, giving up 8.8 points on average and ranking 29th in the league.
Reviewing the NFL Football Odds for Patriots at Colts
It surprised me when I saw that the NFL betting odds have the Patriots as underdogs. New England hasn’t lost a game since Week 6. In addition, they haven’t lost in regulation by more than two points since Week 3.
The Colts run defense has shown some cracks as of late, and the Patriots are suffocating on defense late in games. So not only do I like the Patriots to cover the 2.5-point spread, but I also like them to win outright.
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