It's the AFC Championship Game and we will see the Indianapolis Colts travel to Gillette Stadium to take on the New England Patriots. The game has a start time of 6:40 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on CBS. Current Vegas betting odds have the Patriots listed as 6.5 point favorites, while the total is set at 54.
Analysis: Heading into the playoffs the Colts finished the year at 11-5 overall, but they were 6-0 vs their Division and 5-5 vs the rest of the NFL, while beating just 2 teams all year that are in the playoffs. They started off this playoff season with a sound 26-10 over the Cincinnati Bengals in the Wildcard round and then followed that up with an equally sound 24-13 win over the Broncos in Denver. The Colts are 19-6-1 ATS in their last 26 vs. the AFC and 6-17-2 ATS in their last 55 games after allowing less than 15 points in their previous game. Indianapolis has been a very good offensive team this year, ranking 3rd in total yards, 1st in passing, 22nd in rushing and 6th in scoring (28.6 ppg). The defense for the Colts has been decent, ranking 11th in yards allowed, 12th vs the pass, 18th vs the run and 19th in points allowed (23.1 ppg).
The New England Patriots have gained the top seed in the playoffs on the AFC side. For the year they have gone 12-4 overall, which includes a 7-1 mark at home. Last week they go a monkey off their back with a thrilling 35-31 win over the Baltimore Ravens to advance to the AFC Title game. New England is 8-1 ATS in their last 9 home games vs. a team with a winning road record and 12-5 ATS in their last 17 home games, but just 3-11 ATS in their last 14 playoff games. The Patriots have been a very solid offensive team this year, ranking 11th in total yards, 9th in passing, 17th in rushing and 4th in scoring (29.2 ppg). The defense for the Patriots has been solid as well, ranking 13th in yards allowed, 17th vs the pass, 9th vs the run and 8th in points allowed (19.6 ppg).
Pick: I am going with the Patriot in this one. last week they struggled vs the Ravens, but they always struggle vs them and now they will be taking on a Indianapolis team that they have destroyed in their last 3 meetings with wins of 35, 21 and 22 points in the 3 meetings. The Colts had big wins in Denver and home vs the Bengals in the playoffs, but still I don't feel all that impressed with those two wins as they took on "Big Game Choker" Andy Dalton and a very hobbled and beat up Peyton Manning. Now they face a healthy Patriot offense that has averaged 33.2 ppg at home this year. Not good news for a Indy team that gas allowed 26.7 ppg on the road. An underrated part of this Pats team has been their defense and While they did struggle last week vs the Ravens, they still allowed 18.3 ppg at home for the year. Let's also note that the Colts are a domed team and this game will be played in some bad weather, which just gives the Pats another edge. New England has outscored their opponents by 14.9 ppg at home and I expect them to win this one by at least 2 TDs as well.
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