AFC Championship: Patriots Want to Show Colts They Have a Defense Too

By Charles Jay

Everyone who was looking at the AFC championship game for the purposes of making a football betting pick at BetAnySports is aware of how much ability Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has. The former top choice in the NFL Draft threw 40 touchdown passes on the season, and he is generally considered to be one of the two or three best in the business when it comes to engineering late-game drives to bring his team back from the brink of defeat. That is a special quality not many quarterbacks have, and it means that the Colts are almost never “out” of a game.

Yet the New England Patriots have beaten this team by at least three touchdowns the last two times they played them. Certainly the Pats have done some of that with a very imposing running game, but they have also done pretty well with the defense. It is with that in mind that we will take a look at this game, as football betting action gets underway at 6:40 PM ET at Gillette Stadium, the Patriots’ home field. Of course, the action does not stop at kickoff, as customers of BetAnySports can keep things going with Live Betting Extra.

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New England currently has a record of 13-4 straight-up and 9-8 against the football pointspread. Indianapolis is 13-5 straight-up, having had to play in the wild-card round against Cincinnati. They also have the same 13-5 mark versus the number.

A key for the Colts in this game is getting something out of the ground attack. Ahmad Bradshaw was going to be their running back who could wear down an opposing defensive line, but he got hurt. Trent Richardson was part of a big trade last season, but he just hasn’t produced, and possibly never will. So Indianapolis has had to turn to Dan Herron, a journeyman who has done his best work catching passes out of the backfield, as Luck has connected with him 18 times in the two playoff games so far.

In the football betting odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, the Patriots are favored by almost a touchdown

New England Patriots -6.5
Indianapolis Colts +6.5

Over 54 points -110
Under 54 points -110

New England is known for its short passing attack, which gets the ball down the field with pinpoint precision. Tight end Rob Gronkowski is Tom Brady’s favorite target, but there is also room for little receivers like Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman. Interestingly enough, New England rushed for only 14 yards in last week’s game against Baltimore, without one handoff to a running back during the second half. We are sure that is going to change this week.

But let’s concentrate, for the benefit of BetAnySports customers, on the New England defense, which has been rather serviceable, if not dominant. The Patriots ranked eighth in the league in points allowed per drive, with 1.69. They have been greatly aided by favorable starting points, as opponents have begun their drives around the 25-yard line on average.

One of the keys for the Patriots in this game is whether Darelle Revis, who is considered one of the best cornerbacks in the business, can shut down the Colts’ big-play receiver, TY Hilton, who had 1345 yards in receptions in the regular season. If that happens, it could wind up taking a lot of pressure off the rest of the secondary, but New England still has to worry about some of the short-route passes of Luck, who can reach tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen with regularity. But remember that New England practically pioneered the concept of two tight ends as a focal point of the passing attack, so they are well-versed on how to deal with it. A big factor could be the Patriots’ pass rush, led by Chandler Jones, which registered 48 sacks. Luck is generally well-protected, but he is also prone to mistakes, as he tends to take chances.

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