NFL Week 11 odds: Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots
When divisional realignment occurred following the 2001 regular season, the seasonal matchups between the Colts and Patriots looked to become extinct. However, thanks to the teams’ dominance over the past decade, Sunday’s contest is the 13th overall meeting between the franchises since 2003. Of course, the previous matchups were usually Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady. For the first time, it will be Andrew Luck vs. Brady.
The Patriots are riding a three-game winning streak into the matchup with the Colts, and their three losses have been by a total of just four points (20-18 versus Arizona, 31-30 at Baltimore and 24-23 at Seattle). Brady once again leads the league’s top offense and has 18 touchdown passes to just three interceptions on the season. The rushing attack ranks fifth in the NFL with an average of 146.0 yards per game.
New England’s 430.3 yards per game average is almost 25 yards more than its nearest competitor, and its 33.2 scoring average is three points more than any other team. Defensively, the Patriots have been effective against the run (ninth in the league), and the pass defense ranks 29th in yards allowed. New England’s 23 takeaways are five more than any other AFC team, and the Patriots’ seven giveaways are the fewest in the NFL.
Reggie Wayne and Luck have connected downfield in ways that Wayne and Manning didn’t in their last years together. Wayne already has more receptions on throws more than 10 yards downfield this season than he did any of the previous four seasons. Luck’s average pass has traveled a league-high 10.3 yards downfield this season, but his short passing has been key. Luck has completed at least 69 percent of his throws within 10 yards of the line in each of his last four games after completing less than 60 percent of those throws in four of his first five games.
The Patriots are explosive offensively, so Indianapolis would be smart to limit New England’s possessions with an effective running attack. New England has been inconsistent defending the run. The Colts have improved rushing the football, gaining 138 yards against the Jaguars last week and averaging 109.4 yards for the season. Look for Colts offensive coordinator/interim head coach Bruce Arians to try to keep Brady on the sideline with interior runs by Donald Brown and Vick Ballard, and by stretching the edges with jet sweeps or a reverse with rookie wide receiver T.Y. Hilton.
Over the last 3 seasons, the Patriots are 17-0 in the 2nd half of the regular season. They haven’t lost since Week 17 of the 2009 season vs, the Texans.
WAGERWEB.COM ODDS: Patriots -9.5 (53)
COLTS NOTES: QB Andrew Luck has 4 300-yard passing games, tied with Peyton Manning (1998) for most by rookie all-time. Has highest winning pct. (.667) through Week 10 by rookie QB who was No. 1 overall pick in SB era (min. 3 starts). Luck’s 2,631 passing yards are most through 9 games among rookie QBs in NFL history. Leads AFC QBs in rush yards (159) & rush TDs (5) … RB Donald Brown had rush TD in last game vs. NE … WR Reggie Wayne (931) needs 69 receiving yards to reach 1,000 for 8th time. Wayne (12,639) needs 83 rec. yards to surpass HOFer Art Monk for 15th-most in NFL annals. In past 2, WR Donnie Avery has 9 catches for 173 yards (19.2 avg.), incl. 2 receptions of 40 yards (48, 44) … LB Dwight Freeney has 10 career sacks vs. Jax. LB Robert Mathis has 6 sacks in 5 games in ’12. LB Jerry Hughes has 3 sacks in past 3 road games … CB Darius Butler had 2 INTs, incl. 11-yard INT-return TD & FR last week. Was selected in 2nd round of ’09 NFL Draft by Patriots & spent 2 seasons with NE (2009-10).
PATRIOTS NOTES: Average NFL-best in points per game (33.2) & yards per game (430.3). Since 2000 (incl. postseason), Patriots are 7-2 at home vs. Colts … Incl. postseason, QB Tom Brady has 9-4 career record vs. Colts w/ 24 TDs & 96.4 rating. Has thrown TD pass in 41 consecutive games, 3rd-longest streak in NFL history. Brady (18) needs 2 TD passes to reach 20 for 10th time in career. In past 4 in Nov., Brady is 4-0 & has 10 TDs vs. 0 INTs & 114.4 rating … RB Stevan Ridley ranks 3rd in AFC with 814 rush yards. In past 2, Ridley is averaging 112.5 rush yards per game. RB Danny Woodhead had rush TD & TD catch last week. WR Wes Welker had 11 catches for 110 yards in last game vs. Ind. Has 6 catches in 7 consecutive games …TE Rob Gronkowski has 5 TD catches in past 3. Had 2 TD rec. in last game vs. Colts … Rookie DE Chandler Jones leads AFC rookies with 6 sacks … DT Vince Wilfork had sack & FF last week … DB Tavon Wilson has 3 INTs, most among AFC rookies … DB Devin McCourty posted 3rd INT of season last week.
WAGERWEB.COM TRENDS: Colts are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game. Colts are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall. Colts are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. AFC. Patriots are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after scoring more than 30 points in their previous game. Patriots are 1-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. Patriots are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games.