The Colts and Patriots square off in a key AFC battle next Sunday night in Indianapolis on NBC.
And oddsmakers have made the home team a slight favorite.
Several Nevada sports books have installed Indianapolis as a 2.5-point favorite over New England, according to multiple line-monitoring websites.
The Patriots have had a well-deserved reputation as dangerous underdogs in Bill Belichick’s tenure as head coach. Since the franchise’s first Super Bowl-winning season of 2001, the Patriots are 32-23 straight-up as underdogs (.582), according to Spreadapedia data.
The Colts, meanwhile, are a decent 13-10 outright as favorites since Chuck Pagano became coach in 2012 (.565).
The Patriots have won the last four meetings between the clubs, including a 43-22 rout of Indianapolis in the divisional round in January. The Colts’ last win vs. New England came on November 15, 2009, when Indianapolis pulled out a 35-34 victory after the Patriots’ failed fourth-down gamble in their own territory late in the game. The Colts haven’t been favored vs. New England since.
With a win Sunday, the Colts (6-3) earn the head-to-head tiebreaker vs. the Patriots (7-2). A New England victory, on the other hand, would strengthen the Patriots’ position in the race for the No. 1 seed in the AFC. New England already has a valuable win vs. Denver (7-2) to its credit, and knocking off Indianapolis would be another major asset.