NFL – Patriots can capitalise on a depleted Colts roster


NFL nut Kyle Brown (@Kyleianbrown) runs the rule over the Thursday night's NFL clash between Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots. 

Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots | Friday 5th October 2018, 01:20 | Sky Sports

This week’s edition of Thursday Night Football takes us to Foxborough where the 1-3 Indianapolis Colts will face the 2-2 New England Patriots.

The Patriots got themselves back on track last Sunday with a commanding 38-7 win over undefeated divisional rivals, the Miami Dolphins.

Brady was back to his usual self in the passing game – throwing 23/35 attempts for 274 yards and three touchdowns. Rookie running back Sony Michel put a pair of poor performances in previous weeks behind him, rushing over 100 yards with a score.

The offensive production is growing and following the win, I believe the Patriots will only continue to improve.

Indianapolis, on the other hand, suffered an overtime defeat to the winless Houston Texans, but it’s clear that Andrew Luck is starting to find his groove again following his long injury layoff.

Luck put up his season’s best numbers and looked sharp in the pocket. However, the Colts have yet to establish any sort of dangerous run game, and sit 29th in the league for rushing yards per-game. So long as their offence remains one dimensional, their ability to grind out a win and manage the clock effectively will be hindered.

Colts depleted

Worryingly for the Colts, they have a multitude of starters on both sides of the ball injured and unlikely to feature – 11 players didn’t practice on Tuesday.

The list contains, among others, star receiver T.Y Hilton, their unquestionable defensive MVP Darius Leonard and former Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri. The defence itself has played over 80 snaps in back-to-back games, so I won’t be surprised to see a lot more rotation in order to avoid burnout.

For the Patriots, no roster change is bigger than Julian Edelman returning after missing the 2017 season through injury, and the first four games of this year through suspension. Rob Gronkowski and Josh Gordon both remain questionable to feature, so Edelman may be thrown in at the deep end for his first game in over a year.

The betting angles

Following their crushing win over the Dolphins last week, I expect the Patriots to coast on their momentum and fire on all cylinders. In front of their home crowd, they should get off to an early lead and hold on to it for the remainder of the match.

Given that the Colts will be without their top wide receiver and tight end (and possibly kicker as well), I expect them to be sluggish on offense – so 6/5 (Bet365) for the Patriots to lead every quarter is a definite shout.

Edelman is finally back for the Patriots, and Brady’s trusted receiver probably couldn’t have asked for a better match-up. The Colts will be without three of their cornerbacks (two starters), and have painfully poor pass coverage in the secondary even when fully fit, so Edelman should have no trouble getting receptions and adding yards after the catch.

A 100 yard game and a score is not too unimaginable so take the Over 63.5 Receiving Yards at 10/11 (SkyBet).

Overall, the injuries and the short week following an overtime defeat will result in the Patriots moving efficiently on offence and playing hard on defence – to put up 30+ points is more likely to happen than not.

The 35+ points score is 6/4 (SkyBet), while the Edelman anytime touchdown and Pats winning double is available at 15/8 (Betfair).

Best Bets

Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots – Julian Edelman Over 63.5 Receiving Yards (10/11 SkyBet)

Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots – New England Patriots to lead after every quarter (6/5 Bet365)

Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots – New England Patriots to score 35 points or more (6/4 SkyBet)

Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots – Julian Edelman anytime touchdown scorer and New England Patriots to win (15/8 Betfair)

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