2006 Season NFL Football Past Picks

January 21, 2007

This pick was released to clients on July 31, 2012 at 1:14AM ET.

21

New England at Indianapolis

Sunday 01/21 06:30 PM Eastern

3 units on New England +3 (-110) (risk 3 to return 5.73)  RESULT: win

2 units on Game Total UNDER 47.5 -110 (risk 2 to return 3.82)  RESULT: loss

4 units on New England +3 (-110) (risk 4 to return 7.64)  RESULT: loss

This line started at three and has been juiced up heavily as the money comes in on the Colts. As of this writing, you can get the Pats +3 for +105 and by game time we expect this line to be at +3.5. Even at +3 we like the Patriots quite a bit here. Is the public right? Is it Manning's year? Either way it should be a classic matchup, one of many in recent years between Indianapolis and New England. These teams have made the playoffs their home over the last several years, but with much different results. New England has builts a dynasty and has gone on to win three Superbowls while Indianapolis has yet to make an appearance in one. The QB match-up is a contemporary version of Joe Montana vs. Dan Marino. Brady has won three Superbowls, two Superbowl MVP'S, and has posted a 12-1 playoff record. Manning has made seven Pro Bowl appearances and has two MVP's but has yet to get to the big show. And based on the results when these two teams meet in meaningful playoff games, it would appear that Bill Belichick rents space in Manning's head. Manning has thrown just one TD pass and has been picked off five times in two playoff games vs. the Pats. He has not been executing in the playoffs this year either, as he has an identical resume coming in: one TD and five INTs. We mentioned last week that this New England team has allowed the fewest points of any under the Belichick regime. There is something about this team that allows the performance of the team to be greater than the sum of its parts, year after year. Call it the Belichick factor or the Brady presence or whatever. They just over-perform in the most important stats in the end: points scored, points allowed and wins/losses. New England during their great run has always ranked higher in points scored than they do in offensive yards per game. They have always ranked higher in defensive points allowed vs. yards allowed. This year is no exception. Their defense is ranked 5th in yards allowed but 2nd in points. The offense ranks 11th in yards but 7th in points. That is a +7 combined. This means that they manage more points out of fewer yards - a sign of great efficiency. This is one reason, we believe, that people that put heavy weight on yards underestimate this team. The last four years New England has been +52 combined on this makeshift stat on offense (comparing points scored ranking to points ranking). They were +27 on defense. The rest of the playoff teams in the league have averaged +1.75 on offense and +1.06 on defense. Why is New England this much more efficient? Bill Belichick. Let's look at an example. Last week New England faced a critical situation trailing in the game, facing a third down with four yards to go in San Diego territory. Belichick summons Kevin Faulk into the game. New England has a history of bringing in Faulk for these situations to pass block. What does Belichick do? He hands off to Faulk who runs easily for a huge first down. This is just one example of Belichick's mastery and preparedness that oftentimes goes unnoticed. It leads to more points. Many of these small things add up to produce a team that is consistently underestimated - a team that just wins games. There is not a 1,000 yard running back on this team nor is their a 1,000 yard receiver. Then there is Jabar Gaffney. He caught 11 balls all season so Belichick designs ways to get him the ball come playoffs. Gaffney catches 8 balls for 104 vs. the Jets and 10 for 103 against San Diego. What other team even has a shot at taking a nobody and killing you with him. That, along with limiting your biggest strength, is the Belichick factor. The high powered star studded offense of San Diego, with an extra week and home field advantage, wasn't enough to beat New England last week. Here again we get a high profile offense in Indianapolis favored over the Pats. But are the Colts really that high-powered? Indianapolis' offense really wasn't measurably better than New England's this year. New England scored 27.1 ppg on the road while Indianapolis scored 28.9 at home. And the Indianapolis offense has not done nearly that well in the playoffs. They have been held to 18 or less points in seven of their last eleven playoff games. Indianapolis beat the Pats at New England this year 27-20. But that wasn't a playoff game. And, they won by just 7 points despite having a +3 turnover advantage! Belichick is 10-1 ATS revenging a same season upset loss. New England is 11-1 ATS vs. teams that average 7.5+ yards per attempt since 1992, and 6-0 ATS vs teams that allow a 61%+ pass completion percentage. Can they slow down Indianapolis on turf? You bet! The Pats are 7-0 ATS on turf the last three years and they own a 10-1 ATS record at Indy since 1992. Tom Brady is 23-1 straight up on turf in his career and he has never lost a game in a dome (10-0). Some of the players may be different, but two things remain the same here: Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Give us points in any meaningful game with New England and we are on them as Belichick is 21-8-1 ATS as an underdog. New England comes out of this one with the money. As we recommended last week, take a long hard look at the money line here which would get you +145 for a Pats straight-up win. We don't expect a shootout here. Indianapolis is 17-5 UNDER vs. top-level teams outscoring opponents by 6+ over the past fifteen years. New England is 7-0 UNDER vs teams that score 24+ points per game over the past three seasons. New England is 15-5 UNDER in their last 20 playoff games and 10 of the last 14 home games for Indianapolis have gone UNDER. This should be a tight lower-scoring game that will come down to intangibles like coaching and "will." Take the better team (New England) with the best defense left in the playoffs and the UNDER.

NFL

 

Last 20.4 years

Wins Losses Units
2443 2157 +189.24

Premium Picks Available Now

Get FREE NFL PICKS
with detailed analysis