Dec 18, 2021, 11:38 am ET in NFL
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Expert Top Pick of the Day: New England Patriots vs. Indianapolis Colts

The New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts will play the season’s first Saturday matchup in the NFL at Lucas Oil Stadium. This will be a high-stakes AFC matchup with the Colts looking to move to the top of their division and slow down the red-hot Patriots.

It’s time for the NFL’s Saturday schedule to begin this season, with New England traveling to Indianapolis to face the Colts. This is a critical matchup for both teams as the Patriots look to extend their seven-game win streak and keep some distance between themselves and Buffalo. The Bills have lost two in a row but are still only two games behind the lead in the AFC East Division. 

Both teams are coming off a bye week, which is probably part of the reason why they haven’t been affected by the recent upsurge in COVID-19 cases throughout the league.

Several games had to be rescheduled this weekend, including the second game that was to be played on Saturday between the Browns and Raiders. The Colts need this game and can’t afford to take a loss with the playoff picture being very congested in the conference.

New England Patriots vs. Indianapolis Colts Schedule

  • Date: Saturday, December 18th
  • Time: 7:20 PM CST
  • Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
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Patriots look to extend their winning streak on the road

The New England Patriots are coming into Indianapolis as one of the two teams in the league that have a perfect record on the road, at 6-0. Sitting atop the AFC along with the Chiefs and Titans with a 9-4 record, the Patriots need to just keep on winning so they can secure one of the top two playoff seeds.

The AFC playoff race is closer than it’s been in several years, with thirteen teams still in the picture as we start Week 15. 

Rookie of the Year candidate Mac Jones has been leading this team like a veteran, with 2,869 yards passing and a 70% completion rate. He’s been solid for this team all season. The defense of the Patriots is what should get them through this game.

They are only giving up 195.5 yards per game through the air this season, which is good enough for third in the league. Their rushing defense gives up 114 yards per game, which is what they’ll have to focus on against the Colts, who have the NFL’s top running back in Jonathan Taylor.

Colts Rushing Attack is Key

The Indianapolis Colts sit right in the middle of the crowded AFC playoff picture at 7-6, two games behind the division-leading Tennessee Titans. Needless to say, they need to win to keep pace and remain in the playoff contention. They will be heavily dependent on the league’s leading rusher, Jonathan Taylor, who is averaging 103.7 yards rushing per game and 5.6 yards per carry. 

QB Carson Wentz has been pretty solid all season long and has been protecting the ball much better than in the past. He currently has 22 touchdowns and only five interceptions but has also been sacked 22 times this season. As long as the Colts can sustain their rushing attack and control the clock, they have a good shot at coming out of this game with a win.

New England Patriot vs. Indianapolis Colts Odds comparison

New England is undefeated on the road this season and is also 7-0 against the spread in their last seven games and 5-1 against the spread in their previous six games against the Colts.

The Colts’ total has gone over in five of their last seven games. They are 7-3 against the spread over the previous ten games, as well. They’ve also been hot as of late, going 4-1 straight up in their last five games.

  • DraftKings has the Colts at -140 on a spread of -2.5, and the game total is 45.5. 
  • FanDuel has the Colts at -138 on a spread of -2.5, and the total is 45.5. 
  • Caesars has the Colts at -140 on a spread of -2.5, and the total is 45.

Godds Pick or Prediction of the Game

This will be a very competitive and close game, with both teams needing a win to guarantee a place in the playoffs. Indianapolis needs to establish their run game if they hope to walk away with the game, which they will against this Patriots defense.

  • Godds Pick/Prediction: Colts will win, and the total stays under.