Indy comes in to Foxboro off their biggest win in the Luck era. The Colts handled the Broncos fairly easily last week. As I wrote last week the health of Peyton Manning would be the story and that panned out. Manning was playing injured towards the end of the season and his numbers showed it. Based on that, the perception of the Colts is still below where I think this team is.
On the other side Tom Brady is being praised as the Tom Brady of old. Just 3 months ago Belichick received the question “Should the QB position be evaluated?” The question was funny at the time but the sentiment around it led to a +3 New England line at home to Cincinnati that week. What would that line be this week? Tom Brady was very good last week going 33-50 for 367 and 3 TD's. But the Patriot defense allowed 31 points and looked easy to throw on….something I totally expected. The Patriots rank 22nd in my defensive passing rankings. They are also 15th in defensive yards per pass. The Patriots did have the largest scoring margin in the league this season at 9.7. That is actually a low number to lead the league as last season Seattle was 11.6 and finished second to the Broncos at 12.9. That is one indicator that the top teams are not as dominant this season as they were last year.
Recent trends show taking the team that played in the wild card game over the team who had the first round bye has been profitable. Since 1997 17 teams have played in the wild card game and faced one of the top two seeds in the Championship games. Of those 9 have won outright. 11 of 17 have won ATS.
Tom Brady is the best QB in the league ATS during the regular season but in the playoffs the lines are certainly inflated in New England games. Brady is 0-5 in the playoffs when favored by 6-7 points. Oddly he is 5-0 SU in those contests.
Teams that had 400 total yards of offense the previous week are 9-21 in the Championship game.
Based on what I am looking at the game should be about New England -4. We are getting good value and a key number at +7 which is still available at a couple square books.