Andrew Luck is on the fast track to greatness but he will get a close-up view of what it looks like when Tom Brady and the New England Patriots visit the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night. Luck leads the league in passing yards and has guided the AFC South-leading Colts to six wins in seven games, but he faces a hotter team in the Patriots, who have ripped off five consecutive victories to move to the top of the AFC East. Luck is 0-2 versus New England, including a playoff loss last season.
Luck described two-time Super Bowl MVP Brady as a “master of his craft,” but the Patriots quarterback was equally effusive in his praise of the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2012. “Their offense is doing a great job this year,” Brady said of Luck and the Colts. “They score a lot of points, especially at home, and he’s kind of the ringleader.” With each team coming off a bye, it figures to be an offensive slugfest with Indianapolis rolling up a league-best 32.2 points per game and New England ranked third at 31.2.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, FOX.
LINE HISTORY: The Colts opened at -2.5, but quickly moved to -3 where it has sat all week long. The total has done the same thing as the spread, opening at 57 then jumping to 57.5
INJURY REPORT: Patriots – OL Cameron Fleming (Ques-Finger) Colts – DT Arthur Jones (Out-Ankle), LB Erik Walden (Ques-Hip)
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Patriots (-4.75) + Colts (-5.5) + home field (-3.0) = Colts -3.75
WHAT BOOKS SAY: “Great matchup here and we thought for sure we’d see great two way action on this game, but that hasn’t been the case at all. Roughly 65% of the action is on the Patriots at +2.5, as well as on the ML at +120. Again, that comes as a surprise to us because the Colts have attracted serious support all season. Now, that support has jumped shipped and backed the road dog Patriots. What isn’t a surprise is that 70% of the money is on the over. With over’s hitting at an alarming rate on these late Sunday night and Monday night games, we knew we’d see over money in this game. Currently we’re dealing 58 which is the highest total we’ve posted so far this NFL Season.” – Peter Childs of Sportsbook.ag
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “Revenge looms large for Andrew Luck and the Colts, who were bounced from the NFL playoffs last year by Tom Brady and the Patriots. Luck has been a solid moneymaker in his NFL career, going 28-15-1 ATS, including 15-5-1 ATS at home. But Brady has been equally outstanding as an underdog as evidenced with a 32-15-1 ATS mark throughout his NFL career. Feeling here is who ever has the ball last wins the game.” – Covers Expert Marc Lawrence
ABOUT THE PATRIOTS (7-2 SU, 5-4 ATS, 7-2 O/U): New England has rebounded from a 41-14 drubbing at Kansas City in Week 4 with a vengeance, rolling up an average of 40.2 points during its winning streak that was capped with a dominating 43-21 victory over Peyton Manning and Denver prior to the bye. Brady has 18 touchdowns versus one interception during that span and his favorite target has been tight end Rob Gronkowski, who has 36 catches, three 100-yard games and five of his eight scoring receptions during the winning streak. The Patriots are still trying to cobble together a running game following a season-ending knee injury to Stevan Ridley, but the addition of Brandon Browner opposite star cornerback Darrelle Revis helped them limit Chicago and Denver to seven first-half points in the past two games.
ABOUT THE COLTS (6-3 SU, 7-2 ATS, 7-2 O/U): Luck bounced back from a 51-34 defeat in Pittsburgh with a superb effort against the New York Giants, throwing for 354 yards and four touchdowns – his eighth 300-yard game of the season and seventh in a row. Luck has gone over 300 yards in both his career matchups against New England, but he’s also been intercepted seven times – including four picks in a 43-22 postseason setback in January. T.Y. Hilton has gone over 100 yards receiving in four of his last six games and needs 63 yards to reach 1,000 for the second straight season while Ahmad Bradshaw and Trent Richardson have provided a 1-2 punch at running back with a combined 812 yards rushing and 55 catches. Indy’s defense struggled in its last two, allowing nearly 900 yards through the air.
*Colts are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a bye week.
*Patriots are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 road games.
*Over is 9-2 in Colts last 11 games overall.
*Over is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings.
COVERS CONSENSUS: As of Saturday evening, 58 percent of bettors were supporting the Pats.