Our first Saturday NFL contest of the season is on tap with the New England Patriots (9-4, 6-0 away) battling the Indianapolis Colts (7-6, 3-4 home) in a pivotal AFC divisional matchup. New England has won seven in a row, and the Colts are winners in three of their last four.
Saturday’s kickoff is scheduled for an 8:15 p.m. EST kickoff inside Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. Indianapolis is a 2.5-point favorite in the showdown, and the over-under total is at 45.0 points.
What to Know – New England Patriots
If the Patriots win Saturday night, with a little help from some other teams, New England will lock in their spot in the playoffs. Head coach Bill Belichick is 16-6 against the Colts, including eight-straight victories over their opponent.
New England averages 26.9 points behind an offense that generates 362.2 yards of total offense per game. Defensively, the Patriots have one of the strongest units in pro football, holding opponents to 15.4 points and 327.1 yards of offense.
Blustery conditions arose in the Patriots’ last contest nearly two weeks ago in Buffalo. The Patriots pulled out a 14-10 victory while only passing the ball three times.
Damien Harris, who won’t be suiting up Saturday night, carried the ball ten times for 111 yards and a touchdown. Rookie Rhamonde Stevenson added a career-high 24 carries for 78 yards.
The Patriots are 9-4 against the spread this season with a 7-0 mark ATS over their last seven. New England is 5-1 ATS in their last six games against the Colts.
What to Know – Indianapolis Colts
The Colts can’t clinch a playoff bid with a win Saturday night, but their chances greatly improve with a victory. Indianapolis rebounded after a 1-4 start to position themselves in the sixth spot in the AFC playoff chase with four weeks to go.
Indianapolis ranks at the top of the league, scoring 28.5 points per game behind 380.4 yards of total offense. The Colts’ defense surrenders 21.8 points and 356.5 yards of offense to opposing players.
The Colts blanked the Houston Texans in Week 13, taking a 31-0 road victory into the bye week. Indianapolis forced a pair of turnovers and held the Texans to 141 yards of total offense.
Jonathan Taylor continued his historic season, carrying the ball 32 times for 143 yards and two touchdowns. Michael Pittman hauled in six passes for 77 yards and took two carries for 33 yards in the blowout victory.
This year, Indianapolis sports an 8-5 record ATS but just a 3-4 mark ATS at home. The Colts are 7-3 ATS over their last ten games.
The Pick is In
Saturday’s contest is another prime-time showdown in this series that has given NFL fans plenty of memories. This one will be no different with two evenly matched teams and two great coaches. New England hasn’t lost a game on the road yet this year, and it won’t start Saturday night.
Betting Pick: New England Patriots ML