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Game to bet on now
New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts (+7.5)
Call this one the Revenge Bowl. In New England, everyone is still uber-ticked at the Colts for telling the teacher about alleged underinflated footballs and the Patriots are now primed to get even during recess. New England is 4-0, kicking butt and taking names, while Indianapolis has quarterback issues. Add in the fact that the Patriots treat the Colts like the hired help, and it’s surprising that the 7.5 number isn’t higher.
Scorched-earth was the name of the game in 2007 in the wake of SpyGate, and so it will be eight years later. Expect a few Gronk end zone spikes, Brady fired up on the sidelines and a certain steely-eyed hoodie on the sidelines sneaking an occasional look at the Colt owners box with each score.
Game to wait on
Atlanta at New Orleans (+3)
The Falcons are one of four undefeated teams, but are there cracks in the foundation? A mediocre Washington team had Atlanta by the scruff of the neck several times on Sunday before losing on a overtime pick-6, and now there are a few questions about the Falcons’ staying power – at least when wide out Julio Jones is not at 100 percent.
Heavy money is coming in on Atlanta in this one and could move the line, even though books will certainly be reluctant to give the Saints another half-point at home. Might be a good idea to hold off on this one until the line settles and Atlanta gets a better idea of how Jones’s ailing right hamstring feels closer to gametime.
Total to watch
Carolina at Seattle (O/U: 42)
The offense appears to be straightened out in Carolina, where the Panthers have scored progressively more points (20, 24, 27, 37) in each game. But over players need to be careful here, because the Panthers have not moved the ball on anyone of note (Tampa Bay, New Orleans, Houston and Jacksonville are a combined 5-15).
Few teams are able to run the ball against Seattle’s No. 5-ranked defense, and if the Seahawks make the Panther offense one-dimensional, eclipsing 37 points on the road will be a mere pipedream.